Azure World Newsletter – Issue 2.11

June 16, 2021

Welcome to the eleventh edition of the Azure World Newsletter in 2021. 

Microsoft Build is now a few weeks behind us, so we’ve entered into a bit of a quiet period when it comes to Azure announcements. But I’ll do my best to find the most interesting stories of the past two weeks for you, as usual. 

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Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) has been one of the more exciting major new products that Microsoft has produced in the last few years. I saw a demo of it at the last in-person Microsoft Ignite, showing a Windows desktop running on a phone (Android or iOS in that demo). With WVD, you can log in from any device, and use your desktop in the cloud. All your apps and data there. Instead of that experience being confined to your work desk, you can have an identical experience anywhere.

Recently, Microsoft has rebranded WVD as Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) and added integration with Azure Active Directory.

This is going to enable you to log into a Windows VM from any device, using Azure AD as the identity service on the backend. Whether you’re viewing the Windows Desktop on your Surface Laptop, tablet, phone, or desktop, you’ll be able to log in with your AAD credentials everywhere. And of course, that can be connected to your on-prem AD for single sign-on.

The price of this convenience of Azure AD integration is a bit expensive – $10 per user per month. I assume that will be rolled into one of the Azure AD Premium tiers.

Each AVD user will cost $5.50 per month starting in 2022. Right now, it’s free in preview.


Microsoft has hinted at this in the past, but a new region has come online, West US 3.

West US 3 is based in Arizona and is touted as the newest sustainable data center in the network. 

This new region gets its power from a solar power plant, and will not use water for cooling for more than half the year. And they’re working towards a LEED gold certification which means a minimum of 90 percent of waste will be diverted from landfills.

If you’re interested in all of the things Microsoft is working on to make this data center sustainable, which will help them achieve their carbon negative by 2030 goal, there’s an interesting blog post on that here.


There were a lot of announcements due to Microsoft Build. The following platform updates happened in the past two weeks: 

  • Azure Durable Functions PowerShell support now in GA
  • Azure Storage Account Inventory in public preview
  • Azure DevOps Delivery Plans 2.0
  • Azure Maps Creator for creating indoor maps!
  • Azure Storage Key Rotation and Expiration Policies
  • Azure Defender for Azure Database for MariaDB now in GA
  • Azure Defender for Azure Database for MySQL Single Server now in GA
  • Azure Defender for Azure Database for PostgreSQL Single Server now in GA
  • Five more free services with an Azure Free Account
  • Azure Maps Elevation API now in GA
  • Azure Dev Spaces retired on May 15, 2021
  • On-prem SQL Server now available as a data in flow in Azure Data Factory and Azure Synapse

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


I launched a new AZ-303 practice test this week. It’s still on launch promotion – US$9.99 for lifetime access to brand new original Azure AZ-303 practice test questions. This coupon expires June 20 at 11AM PDT.

My SC-900 course should be launching in the next week as well. Excited to invite everyone into that when it’s available.


And that’s it for issue 2.11. Thanks for reading this far.

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

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