Azure World Newsletter – Issue 1.5

Welcome to the FIFTH edition of this bi-weekly newsletter, covering the world of cloud computing and Azure.

Writing this newsletter this year has really made me think about the passage of time. I feel like I JUST sent out the last newsletter, and already it’s time to write the next one.

Anyways, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy. Let’s get into it.


The impact of COVID-19 is starting to be felt in the world of Microsoft Azure with the cancellation of a number of events.

Microsoft Ignite: The Tour has been canceled in a number of cities. So far, Taipei, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Zurich, and Amsterdam have been affected. Others have not, but keep an eye on the official Twitter feed for updates.

Microsoft Global MVP Summit has been turned into an online/virtual event.

North American MCT Summit and the MCT Regional Lead Summit have also been canceled. I was looking forward to going to that. I’ll have to get my MCT another way.

And finally, the #Global Azure community event where people gathered to learn Azure in hundreds of cities worldwide isn’t happening this year. There’s currently some confusion over it, since it might still be happening locally, and multiple “virtual” events are being organized to replace it.

It’s understandable that events happening in Washington State, where Microsoft headquarters are, are no longer taking place. There is a rather large outbreak of Coronavirus there. No sense risking people’s health over a couple of events.

However, the cancellation of events in locations that don’t currently have a virus problem is more unfortunate. But I guess the risk is too great even then, no matter how small.

We may be looking at a longer-term shift in the way we work and meet. If “work from home” starts to become more common in more companies, and “virtual conferences” get better, we may be getting closer to that dream of being able to work from anywhere in the world.


Introduction of a Cosmos DB Free Tier!

Many did not know this, but you could get 1 year of free Cosmos DB with the Azure Free account. But that obviously expires and was limited to only that type of account.

Now, Cosmos DB has a free tier available to all.

You get 400 Request Units per second (RU/s) and 5 GB of storage, free for the lifetime of the account.

That’s obviously not going to replace the majority of database usage out there, but it’s nice to know there is a small free database available for use cases that don’t require a huge amount of storage or performance.


And there is other Cosmos DB news!

  1. If you are using the partitioning feature of Cosmos DB, you can now create larger partitions. 20 GB instead of being limited to 10 GB. Partitions are defined by partition keys, and now you have a little more flexibility when it comes to choosing that key.
  2. Azure is adding a limit of 25 collections per database if those collections are sharing throughput. This will obviously force you to expand to additional databases or commit to dedicated throughput for additional collections but have the benefit of increased performance for the other collections.
  3. Azure has cut the price of “multi-master” accounts. So if you need to be able to write to a database in many regions of the world and have that all synchronize behind the scenes, that’s now cheaper.


I was kind of focused on all of the events being announced this past week, that I missed some of the bigger Azure platform updates. There were a lot of announcements! Here are a few that caught my eye.

  • Vulnerability scanning for Azure Container Registry images available in Security Center
  • Azure Security Center now integrates directly with Azure Monitor, allowing you to configure alerts
  • VMSS now supports automatic instance repair, where it can detect unhealthy backend servers, kill them and start a new one to replace it
  • You can now specify how VMSS scales down, by controlling the order in which machines are deactivated
  • Backup Reports in public preview
  • PowerShell 7.0 in GA
  • Azure Classic VMs are finally being retired March 1, 2023

Be sure and check out the Azure Updates page if any of these affect you.


Well, since the NA MCT Summit was canceled, I have jumped back into course creation full time in March and April. I’m fully charged, and recording 1-2 hours of new videos per day. Stay tuned for news on that!


Thanks for sticking it out this far! This is the end of issue 1.5! Hopefully, you found it valuable, at least a little bit! 

What is your favorite platform to be on? Perhaps we can connect there.

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See you in two weeks!