What’s New in Azure Disk Storage at Microsoft Ignite 2021
Published Mar 01 2021 08:10 PM 5,210 Views

Since Ignite last September, we’ve been focused on delivering enhancements to Azure Disk Storage to help our customers migrate their mission-critical workloads to Azure. Today, at Microsoft Ignite 2021, we are excited to share a new set of innovations for Azure Disk Storage across key elements, including reliability, scale & performance, security, data protection, and cloud native applications.


This blog post gives you an overview of these new capabilities which will help you run your business-critical applications on Azure.




Increase availability for your applications with Zone redundant storage (ZRS) on Premium and Standard SSDs, in preview

  • Provide synchronous replication of data across zones in a region, enabling disks to tolerate zonal failures which may occur due to natural disasters or hardware issues. 
  • Enable customers to maximize their virtual machine availability without the need for application-level replication of data across zones, not commonly supported by legacy applications such as old versions of SQL or industry-specific proprietary software. This means that if a virtual machine becomes unavailable in an affected zone, you can continue to work with the disk by mounting it to a virtual machine in a different zone. 
  • Can be used with shared disks to provide improved availability for clustered or distributed applications like SQL FCI, SAP ASCS/SCS or GFS2.

Sign-up for the preview.

Read the blog and documentation to learn more about ZRS for Azure managed disks.


Scale & Performance


Achieve sustained higher performance by changing tiers without disruption to your workloads, in preview

In November 2020, we announced the general availability of performance tiers on Premium SSDs, which provides you the flexibility to scale the disk performance without increasing the disk size by selecting a higher performance tier. You can also change tiers to bring the disk back to your baseline performance tier, enabling you to achieve higher performance and cost savings. Performance tiers is critical for planned events like a seasonal sales promotion or running a training environment, where you need to achieve sustained higher performance for a few hours or days and then return to the normal performance levels. Now, in preview, you can change the performance tiers of Premium SSD without any downtime to your application - even when the disk is attached to a running virtual machine.


Sign-up for the preview.

Read the documentation to learn more about performance tiers on Premium SSDs.


Boost disk performance on-demand with new disk bursting experience on Premium SSDs, in preview

We are extending disk bursting support for larger Premium SSDs (above 512 GiB) with a new enhanced experience. Unlike credit-based bursting where you can only burst your performance if you have accrued credits, on-demand bursting allows you to burst up to 6x of the provisioned limit (up to 30,000 IOPS and 1,000 MBps) whenever needed. On-demand disk bursting is most suitable for mission-critical workloads where a limit in performance cannot be tolerated even for unexpected spikes. With on-demand disk bursting, you will be charged a burst enablement fee and for any additional transactions over the provisioned limit.


Read the documentation to learn more about on-demand bursting.


Security & Data Protection


Keep your data secure with auto-key rotation of customer-managed keys, in preview

Azure managed disks provide end to end encryption of data with your keys stored in Azure Key Vault. Now, you can choose to enable automatic rotation of your keys. When you generate a new version of a key in your Key Vault, the system will automatically update all the managed disks, snapshots, and images to the new key version within an hour.


Read the documentation to learn more about auto-key rotation of customer managed keys.


Protect your critical data with per disk backup, in preview

Per disk backup provides snapshot lifecycle management by automating periodic creation of snapshots and retaining it for configured duration using a backup policy. You can easily manage disk snapshots with no additional costs and without need for custom scripting or any management overhead. This is an agent-less and crash-consistent backup solution that takes point in time backup of a managed disk using incremental snapshots with support for multiple backups per day. 


Several key aspects of per disk backup include:

  • Faster and more frequent backups without disruption to your applications
  • Supports backup and restore for both OS and data disks (including shared disks), regardless of whether they are currently attached to a running Azure Virtual machine.​
  • Cost-effective solution to backup specific disks

Sign-up for the preview.

Read the documentation to learn more.


Cloud Native Applications


Deploy and protect Stateful Kubernetes applications with Azure Disk CSI Driver, generally available 

Container Storage Interface (CSI) is a standard for exposing block and file storage systems to containerized workloads on Kubernetes. With the GA of the Azure Disk CSI driver, starting in Kubernetes v1.20, you can now:

  • Take advantage of the latest Azure Disk functionality by updating to the new CSI driver version, without the need to wait for Kubernetes release cycles.
  • Create, manage and delete disk volume snapshots via Kubernetes native API, as well as, create new disk volumes pre-populated with the data from a snapshot via Kubernetes dynamic volume provisioning - providing a singular interface for volume and snapshot management.
  • Use RWX raw block volumes from multiple pods.

Azure Disk CSI driver is now available with Kubernetes v1.20 onwards with AKS Engine and will be available on AKS coming soon.


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‎Mar 01 2021 08:11 PM
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