AzUpdate: Azure Monitor Agent updates, Azure IoT Central updates and more
Published Jun 18 2021 03:01 AM 4,546 Views

Looks like engineering at Microsoft has been busy with the announcements of updates for both Azure Monitor Agent and Azure IoT Central. Not to mention the announcement of new cloud regions in Arizona, 20 amazing IT Admin updates for those who support educators and the cost-effective Microsoft Learn module of the week.



Azure Monitor Agent and Data Collection Rules now generally available

Azure Monitor Agent (AMA) along with the Data Collection Rules (DCR) improve on key areas of data collection including granular and flexible configuration (e.g. collect from a subset of VMs for a single workspace), collect once and send to both Log Analytics (multi-homing) and Azure Monitor Metrics, data filtration at source, improved extension management, and better performance overall.   


DCRs allow the ability to define rules surrounding what data to collect and where it should be sent to. It’s agnostic of the data source or destination and thus flexible enough to configure granular and targeted data collection.

Here’s what’s now generally available:

  • All existing features, capabilities and support that were available in preview except for below: 
    • Using Azure Monitor Metrics as destination is not GA (preview). 
    • Metrics data can still be collected and sent to Log Analytics workspaces. 
  • New features: 
    • Production quality, security and compliance as expected of generally available features of Azure Monitor. 
    • Availability in all public regions where Azure Monitor is supported. 
    • Performance and scale improvements to support higher EPS (events per second) uploads. 
  • Coming next:
    • Support for direct proxy and private link networking support

Learn more:


General availability: Azure IoT Central new and updated features—May 2021

Built-in JSON editor for device modeling

Modify the device model’s DTDL from within your app using the new JSON editor. From the device template experience, select Edit DTDL. The code editor lets you see in-line JSON syntax errors and review your edits with highlighted changes.



Command request and response on Raw Data view

The Raw Data view now includes command request and response data exchanged with your devices including the the last 7 days of payloads exchanged.


External content dashboard tile

Use the External Content tile to add external content to dashboards. The tile uses an HTML iframe to load content from a source outside of IoT Central.


Analytics query persistence

Your app now remembers analytics query definitions across sessions so you don’t need to rebuild your queries if you navigate away from the page.


CDE - Data source parity with CDE v1

You can now configure your data export to send device lifecycle events only for provisioned devices, or only for enabled devices. You can now add enrichments containing the device's provisioned and enabled states. Use these new filters to further narrow down your exported data.


IoT Central Documentation

The device template versioning guidance has been updated, and we've added more samples to the samples browser.


Device development best practices and failover testing

Best practices for device development describes how to take advantage of built-in disaster recovery and automatic scaling, including testing with the az iot central device manual-failover and az iot central device manual-failback CLI commands. Failover capabilities are included automatically in applications created since April 2021 and will be added to pre-existing applications.


Microsoft Azure available from new cloud regions in Arizona



Microsoft's newest sustainable datacenter region in Arizona, West US 3, includes Azure Availability Zones, offering additional resiliency for apps by designing the region with unique physical datacenter locations with independent power, network, and cooling for additional tolerance to datacenter failures. Azure offers region portability for multiple resources with Azure Resource Mover if you are looking to leverage the new region and Availability Zones. 

Learn more


20 Amazing Education Focused IT Admin Updates

Education IT admins have begun thier planning for the next calendar school year. A great amount of learning by IT based on this past year's experiance has influenced the creation of new updates in both Microsoft 365 and School Data Sync (SDS). 


  • School Data Sync (SDS)
    • SDS is releasing 11 amazing updates for the upcoming BTS season, including a new enhanced v2.1 CSV data schema for Education Insights Premium, group provisioning support in v2.1 sync profiles, and a several updates to MS Graph APIs for SDS remote management and partner integration scenarios.
  • M365 Admin Center and School Level IT Administration
    • A new a single and centralized place for delegated School level IT admins to perform and manage the most common administrative tasks across M365 workloads like Azure AD, Teams, Exchange, and SharePoint. This will help central IT teams and Global Administrators focus on higher privileged tasks within M365 while delegating the operational tasks down to others within the organization as appropriate. Using Administrative Unit (AU) scoping and RBAC role assignments, delegates will be empowered to manage the subset of users, groups, teams, and group connected sites associated with their specific school, college, or subset of the broader tenant and directory.

Further details surrounding said updates can be found here: Learn more


Community Events

  • Microsoft Windows Event (June 24th) - Join Microsoft to see what's next for Windows
  • Testing in Production - Producer Pierre and Sound Guy Steve are back to share thier livestream learnings
  • Hello World - Special guests, content challenges, upcoming events, and daily update


MS Learn Module of the Week



Understand Windows Server IaaS Virtual Machine cost management

You'll be able to use the Pricing calculator to assess likely costs, use Azure Advisor to monitor actual costs for Azure resources, implement Spot VMs and Azure Reservations, and describe benefits of Azure Hybrid licensing.


This module details how to:


  • Use the Azure pricing calculator to estimate VM costs.
  • Monitor and limit Azure resource costs.
  • Implement Spot VMs and Azure Reservations.
  • Describe the Azure Hybrid Benefit licensing offer.


Learn more here: Understand Windows Server IaaS Virtual Machine cost management


Let us know in the comments below if there are any news items you would like to see covered in the next show. Be sure to catch the next AzUpdate episode and join us in the live chat.

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Last update:
‎Jun 21 2021 04:40 PM
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