This blog is co-authored by Raman Kumar and Yuemin Lu
Welcome to Microsoft Ignite November 2021! We’re excited to share new innovations in Azure Disk Storage for improving scale, performance, security, disaster recovery, and integration with Azure VMware Solution. This blog post gives you an overview of these new capabilities for running your business-critical applications on Azure.
Scale & performance
Generally Available: On-demand disk bursting on Premium SSDs
Earlier this year, we introduced on-demand bursting on Premium disk sizes (above 512 GiB). This new capability provides a cost-effective solution to optimize price-performance supporting disk burst up to 6x of the baseline performance. It is best suited for mission critical workloads that are bursty in nature. Refer the documentation to learn about on-demand bursting.
Generally Available: Ultra Disk maximum throughput increased to 4000 MB/s per disk
Now you can provision an Ultra Disk with throughput up to 4,000 MB/s. With just a single Ultra Disk, you can achieve the highest VM performance limit for the new Ebs v5 and Ebds v5 VMs in preview, taking away the complexity of managing striped disks.
Public Preview: Live resize of disks for dynamically increasing capacity without downtime
Resizing up a disk on Azure can provide more storage capacity and better performance for your applications. With the live resize of disks, you don’t have to project and plan for the data size while creating the disks. You have the flexibility to start with smaller sizes and continue to expand your disks as the usage evolves without taking any downtime of your application.
Read the documentation to learn more about expanding the size of your disk.
Integration with Azure VMware Solution
Preview: Enhancements to Azure Disk support for Azure VMware Solution
Earlier in July, we introduced the Preview of Disk support for Azure VMware Solution through Disk Pool enabling you to better scale your storage for hosting data intensive workloads. Today, we are introducing new capabilities of disk pool (preview). Disk pool enables Azure VMware Solution to access disk storage by surfacing an iSCSI endpoint for disks. You can add new or existing disks to disk pool and expose them as datastores in Azure VMware Solution. The new enhancements to availability, cost-efficiency, and user experience of disk pool are highlighted below:
Improve the availability of disk pool by evolving the underlying iSCSI infrastructure to a Highly Availably architecture with dual controller support.
Introduce new SKUs of disk pool offering selections of different performance tiers. Existing disk pools will be mapped to Standard_S1 SKU, with Basic_B1, and Premium_P1 added to the portfolio.
Add Standard SSDs as a supported disk offering in disk pool providing a cost-effective option for Disaster Recovery scenarios
End to end portal experience for connecting a disk pool to Azure VMware clusters and conducting disk pool configurations
Simplify Disk Pool pricing to a service-based model, effective on Dec 1st, 2021. Instead of billing on the managed resources deployed to support a disk pool, disk pools will be priced at a flat service fee per performance tier.
Preview: Cross-region snapshot copy for disaster recovery scenarios
Incremental snapshots are cost-effective, point-in-time backups of Azure Managed Disks. Incremental snapshots provide diff capability, allowing customers to get the changes between two incremental snapshots of the same disk. Diff capability reduces the data footprint in copying snapshots across regions for backup and disaster recovery. They are billed for the changes to disks since the last snapshot and are always stored on the most cost-effective storage, Standard HDD storage, irrespective of the storage type of the parent disks.
Now the customers can copy incremental snapshots to any region of their choice (Figure 1). And Azure manages the copy process removing the maintenance overhead of managing the copy process by staging a storage account in the target region. Moreover, Azure ensures that only changes since the last snapshot in the target region are copied to the target region to reduce the data footprint, reducing the recovery point objective (RPO). Customers are charged only for the bandwidth cost of the data transfer across the region. There is no additional cost for the copy process.
Read the documentation to learn more about cross-region snapshot copy.
Figure 1: Azure orchestrated cross-region copy of incremental snapshots via the new Clone option
Generally Available: Centrally manage keys for enhanced security
Now you can manage your Azure Key Vaults centrally in a single subscription and use the Keys stored in the Key Vault to encrypt managed disks and snapshots in other subscriptions in your organization. This allows your security team to enforce and easily manage a robust security policy to a single subscription.
Read the documentation to learn more about centrally managing encryption keys.
For a deeper dive into these announcements, please register join us at our Azure IaaS Day digital event on November 17. We have a great lineup of speakers, content, and demos covering the latest storage innovations. Get your questions answered from Microsoft product experts in chat. We hope to see you there!
We look forward to hearing your feedback on the new capabilities for Azure Disks Storage. Please email us at AzureDisks@microsoft.com.