AzUpdate: Azure Stack HCI hits GA, Azure Stack Edge supports K8s and VMs, Azure Portal drops IE11
Published Dec 10 2020 11:02 PM 3,408 Views

What a busy week it's been in the world of Azure.  Here are the news items the team is covering this week: Azure Stack HCI achieves general availability status, Azure Stack Edge supporting Kubernetes and Virtual Machines, GitHub Universe announcements, Azure Digital Twins now generally available, AKS pod identity offered via Azure AD in public preview, Azure Portal to drop IE11 support and the Microsoft Learn Module of the Week.



Azure Stack HCI achieves general availability status

Azure Stack HCI is Microsoft's new subscription service for hyperconverged infrastructure and has now reached general availability. The service allows organizations to run virtual machines, containers, and select Azure services on-premises with management, billing, and support made available through the Azure cloud. Sarah Lean recently sat down with Microsoft Sr. Program Manager Matt McSpirit to discuss what Azure Stack HCI is, how you can use it within your environment and how it works with Windows, Linux, Kubernetes, Windows Admin Centre and Azure Arc.

Further details surrounding the Azure Stack HCI announcement can be found here: Starting a new era for Azure Stack HCI


GitHub Universe announcements

This week we saw GitHub host their annual conference GitHub Universe virtually. Normally this isn’t a conference IT Pros would pay attention to however, after listening to Sarah’s chat with Martin Woodward in Azure Unblogged – GitHub I paid a little more attention to it this year. And there were some cool announcements made!

The first one was that GitHub now has a dark mode, so if you are a fan of the dark mode across your applications and workstation you can turn it on for GitHub as well.


The second was an announcement was around Discussions within GitHub. This allows for your team and community to chat and work together within your project repository in a threaded format. You can mark questions are answered and over time use this as a knowledge base for the community. This feature is currently within Beta with a few open-source communities but will be available within other projects soon.


And the third announcement I want to highlight from GitHub Universe is GitHub Sponsors for companies. Individuals can already contribute money to help support open-source projects but with this new feature is companies can how do it without having to have individual procurement agreements with each open-source project. Now organizations can support those open-source projects they rely on or believe in as easy as adding the cost to their existing GitHub bill.


Further details can be found here: News from Universe 2020: Dark mode, GitHub Sponsors for companies, and more


Azure Stack Edge supporting Kubernetes and Virtual Machines

Azure Stack Edge can now manage Kubernetes environments and host Azure virtual machines to enable organizations to run VM based IoT, AI, and business applications on an Azure appliance at your location and or deploy containerized apps to the edge. Both offerings can be invoked via the Azure Portal.  Do note that hosting Azure VMs on Azure Stack Edge is currently in preview.


Learn more on how to deploy Kubernetes apps from the cloud and or host your Azure virtual machines via IoT Edge here: Purpose-built hardware-as-a-service with Azure Stack Edge


Azure Digital Twins now generally available

The now generally available Azure Digital Twins offering breaks down silos within intelligent environments by fusing data from previously deployed devices and track both past and present events to simulate possibilities to help predict future events. As an example, Bentley Systems to develop a digital twin of its wind farms allowing operators to remotely monitor equipment performance and predict energy generation based on weather conditions. They used Azure Digital Twins to combine real-time and historical IoT, weather, and other operational data with physics and machine learning-based models to accurately predict production output for each turbine in the farm.


Checkout the Azure Digital Twins technical resources available here: Azure Digital Twins Documentation


AKS pod identity offered via Azure AD in public preview

AKS applications can now access cloud resources securely using Azure Active Directory (AAD). AAD simplifies access control by using it as an identity provider to any type of resource, including cluster, node, pod, etc. Identities need to be configured and bound to a resource. Once bound, containerized applications can then access the pod and any other resources in the cloud that use AAD as an identity provider.


Further details can be viewed here: Use Azure Active Directory pod-managed identities in Azure Kubernetes Service


Azure Portal to drop IE11 support

The Azure Portal web app will no longer support IE 11 as of March 31, 2021. Internet Explorer will continue to be supported by Microsoft as a component Windows and follows the Lifecycle Policy for the product on which it is installed. Internet Explorer mode use in Microsoft Edge will not extend IE 11 access to the Azure Portal beyond the date listed above.


Further details can be found here: Azure portal to end support for Internet Explorer 11 on March 31, 2021

Community Events

  • Patch and Switch - It's been a fortnight...  Catch Rick Claus and Joey Snow chat about all things IT Pro related.
  • Festive Tech Calendar - Continuing this month's content from different Azure communities and people around the globe for the month of December
  • All Around Azure - A Beginners Guide to IoT - Focus on topics ranging from IoT device connectivity, IoT data communication strategies, use of artificial intelligence at the edge, data processing considerations for IoT data, and IoT solutioning based on the Azure IoT reference architecture
  • Introduction to Cloud Adoption Framework - Sarah Lean investigates Microsoft's Cloud Adoption Framework offering and what is available for organizations to take advantage of

MS Learn Module of the Week


Introduction to PowerShell

Learn about the basics of PowerShell. This cross-platform command-line shell and scripting language is built for task automation and configuration management. You'll learn basics like what PowerShell is, what it's used for, and how to use it.

This learning path can be completed here: Introduction to PowerShell


Let us know in the comments below if there are any news items you would like to see covered in next week show. Az Update streams live every Friday so be sure to catch the next episode and join us in the live chat.

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‎Dec 14 2020 05:15 AM
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