Azure World Newsletter – Issue 2.18

September 22, 2021

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

I am so grateful to have you as a subscriber. 

A reminder that Microsoft Ignite 2021 is coming up on November 2-4, and registration is now open. It’s a conference I used to enjoy going to in-person, and get a lot out of it online. 

The unsubscribe link is at the bottom if you want to stop receiving these emails.


Virtual Machine Scale Sets is getting some cool new features.

Microsoft is calling it “flexible orchestration mode”, and gives you more power when it comes to how VMs scale up and down.

For instance, there is a new “AI Prediction” option for scaling. Instead of relying on specific metrics or specific dates/times, you can leave it to AI to predict when to expand and contract the scale set. Is there anything AI can’t do? I think not!

You can also include spot instances and regular instances in the same scale set. A cool way to save some money depending on your workload.

And it also includes “automatic instance repair”, where “unhealthy” VMs are automatically replaced. 

This is in public preview now. Check out Flexible Orchestration if this is interesting to you.


On-demand capacity reservations for Virtual Machines are also now in public preview.

The idea here is that you know that you’re going to be needing a certain number of VMs in a short period of time. Let’s say you are going to need 2500 VMs in a few days’ time.

And let’s also say that those VMs are critical for your business. You are launching a big promotion, spending millions on advertising, and you will need to be able to spin up the extra capacity for this event. 

You can reserve those VMs in advance. 

Before now, you could deploy those VMs a few days early (and pay for that) just to ensure they are available for use. This is wasteful both in terms of the money spent on computing power you’re not using, and the management overhead of running so many VMs for all those extra days. Even if they’re stopped, there is cost and overhead to that.

Unlike Reserved Instances, you don’t have to commit to a 1- or 3-year term for this. The reservations can be canceled at any time for no extra cost.

This is a rather niche service for people who absolutely need VMs in the future and are willing to pay a little something to reserve the capacity in the region and availability zone that they wish to use. Without having to pay for all the extra stuff like storage and operating system licenses.


Please be advised that I will not be able to send a newsletter on October 6. The next newsletter will be on October 20. Sorry for the inconvenience.


The following announcements were made in the last two weeks: 

  • Azure VM Scale Sets with Flexible Orchestration mode in public preview
  • On-demand capacity reservations for Azure VMs in public preview
  • Screen capture protection for Azure Virtual Desktop is generally available
  • AKS Run command is generally available
  • Scale down mode for AKS is in public preview
  • Azure VMware Solution achieves FedRAMP High Authorization
  • Azure Virtual Desktop is now available in the Azure China cloud
  • Azure Archive Storage now available in three new regions: Norway East, UAE North, and Germany West Central
  • Azure Reservations can now be scoped to a Management Group and not only a subscription, in public preview

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


I’m actually going on vacation for a couple of weeks. Hopefully, I’m not tempting fate too much and Microsoft doesn’t take this opportunity to change all their exams next week. 

Stay safe everyone, and I wish you all the best!


And that’s it for issue 2.18. Thanks for reading this far.

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

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