Monthly Azure news September 2022

In this blog post we summarized some of the most important general availabilities and public previews, such as gRPC support in Azure App Service, some updates for CLI and SDK, App Configuration with Azure App Service and some more. Enjoy the read! ????????‍????


General availabilities

Azure Cosmos DB integrated cache

Azure Cosmos DB is a fully managed NoSQL database. The integrated cache is an in-memory cache which is automatically configured within the dedicated gateway and consists of the parts item cache and query cache. The feature can lower costs and improve read and write latency by handling cache management. The integrated cache is currently available for Core (SQL) API only. Check this site out for more information.

Azure Functions extension for Event Grid blob trigger

Azure functions can be executed based on different triggers. One of them is related to Azure Blob Storage events (e.g., every time a blob is created). In previous versions, there was a delay in the execution of the functions. With the new trigger the latency is reduced as it is based on the event of a subscription to the blob container.

If you want to test this feature, you need to create a storage account and a blob triggered function which uses at least version 5 of the Blob Storage Extension. For a full tutorial refer to this site.

Enterprise-grade edge for Azure Static Web Apps

Azure Static Web Apps enables you to host static web apps based on a serverless approach. Enterprise-grade edge is a functionality working together with the Azure Front Door service improving security and enabling faster page loads. Also, it is possible to cache a website’s static content across more than 118 points of presence across 100 metro cities. You can set up the enterprise-grade static web apps manually or within the Azure Portal. All details can be found here.

API Management custom widget support in developer portal

Azure API Management enables users to manage the whole API lifecycle and enables management of APIs across different environments. The developer portal is a website which provides documentation of your APIs.

Source: Microsoft

With the custom widget support for the Azure API Management, it will be easier to integrate with external systems and to represent data in the developer portal as you can customize your developer portal experience even better. You can use custom HTML code, self-host the developer portal and create or upload custom widgets to enhance your experience.

Managed identity to connect Azure Cache for Redis to storage

A managed identity can be used by applications when connecting to Azure by using AAD authentication. Such managed identities can now be used by Azure Cache for Redis authenticating storage account connections. Details can be found here.

Multi-instance GPU support in AKS

Multi-instance GPU support is now generally available in AKS. An A100 GPU can be divided into seven instances with own memory and Stream processing. As it is now available to use this functionality of divided instances in AKS, it can benefit from a higher performance output.

Improved Append Capability on Immutable Storage for Blob Storage

Immutable storage for blob storage on containers now supports a new append feature that allows new data to be added and old data to remain in a WORM (write, once read many) pattern. Data cannot be changed or removed for a user-specified amount of time while it is in a WORM state.

Learn more about immutable storage here.

Improvements to Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF) custom rules

Azure Web Application firewall protects web apps from common threads like SQL injection or other security breaches. For each WAF, it is possible to use predefined or custom rules to restrict access or handle requests. Microsoft now added additional operators (Any and GreaterThanEqual) for these rules and enables customization. This feature is enabled on regional level Web Application Firewalls.

Global Web Application Firewalls now support custom geo matching filtering rules using socket addresses as long as Azure Front Door is also in use. Therefore, access may be limited by a country or region.

You can find the documentation for the global WAF here and for the regional here.

Public Previews

Node.js 18 in Azure Functions

Node.js is an open-source JavaScript runtime that is available within Azure Functions. The support for Node.js Version 18 is now in public preview.

API Server VNET Integration for AKS private cluster

Currently a private AKS cluster is based on a Private Link. With the VNET Integration enabled the server endpoint for the Azure Kubernetes Cluster will be projected into a delegated Subnet in the same VNET of the Cluster. This makes the communication between the nodes and the API server a lot easier. The advantage is that you can ensure that network traffic between the node pools and server remains in a private network.

You can test out this function by registering for the EnableAPIServerVnetIntegrationPreview and activating the relevant Feature-Flag on the subscription.

gRPC support in Azure App Service

RPC stands for Remote Procedure Call which is a protocol that enables a service to request something from another service in another network. gRPC is an open-source framework that can connect services across different data centers and supports load balancing, health check or authentication. With the support of gRPC in Azure App services, you are now able to utilize the framework and use it for messaging between client and server with HTTP/2. The feature is enabled for Linux workloads in the App Services. The steps needed to deploy a .NET 6 application on App Service can be found here.

Some small updates for CLI and Azure SDK in September

There were several fixes and improvements for the Azure CLI and the Azure SDK. Also, additional functionality is now provided. For instance, new templates can be utilized for the CLI and SDK. Moreover, the SDK terraform is now supported besides bicep as infrastructure providers. For a detailed overview of all improvements and changes please see the release notes of the SDK or the CLI.

App Configuration with Azure App Service and Azure Functions now in preview

With Azure App configuration you can manage Azure Application settings and feature flags. As many applications have different components with separate configurations, it is difficult to keep track of those. The Azure Application Services provides a central solution for such applications. Now, as a preview feature, you can reference key-values for your Azure App Service and Azure Functions. The only restriction is that network restricted configuration stores and Configuration Store references are not supported yet. If you want more information, please read this article.

Soft delete in Azure Container Registry

There is a new soft deletion upcoming to Azure Container Registry. With the preview enabled, it is possible to restore deleted artifacts for a specific period and build your containers from it again. In the settings, you can change the days the artifacts are kept in the so-called recycle bin. More information on this topic can be found here.