Azure World Newsletter – Issue 3.21

November 30, 2022

Welcome to the twenty-first edition of the Azure World Newsletter in 2022.

It’s been a busy month as we race toward the end of the year. Our American friends have finished eating their turkey, and most survived the sales pitches that filled our inboxes. The Thanksgiving season is over in America, and attention will quickly turn to Christmas.

This will be my first Christmas in Europe, and I’ve discovered they are really into it in some places. I was in Zurich and Vienna recently, and the Christmas markets were just getting ready to open. And even in Lisbon, the trees are going up, the lights are on at night, and the year-end celebrations are starting.

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Do you like Space? Specifically, do you like Outer Space?

Last year, Azure introduced the Azure Orbital Ground Station. At the time, it was interesting but not super-exciting because it’s main feature was allowing you to communicate with your satellites without maintaining a ground station infrastructure. Who has their own satellite? Not many of us. And if we did, we’d already have our own ground station, I bet. I wasn’t too excited by that news.

A couple of months ago, they announced their second space product – Azure Orbital Cloud Access. This allows you to access the cloud from anywhere. Effectively, this service ties in with both 5G and SpaceX’s Starlink service to bring fiber-speed 1-hop access to the Azure cloud from places that traditionally do not have Internet access.

And this past month, Azure has introduced a product called Azure Orbital Space Software Development Kit (SDK). This one does seem more exciting.

Effectively it’s a development platform for satellites.

A satellite is like an Internet of Things (IoT) device. Azure has a long history of working it IoT devices and provides various IoT toolkits for developers to easily integrate their devices into the Azure Cloud backend. It made perfect sense so that developers could focus on the functionality of their devices and not need to worry much about how their devices communicate with the Internet or with Azure.

And now, this same idea is available for satellites.

“The Azure Orbital Space SDK was created to be able to run on any spacecraft and provide a secure hosting platform and application kit to create, deploy, and operate applications on-orbit. This “host platform” runs onboard the spacecraft including a containerized, scalable compute infrastructure with resource and schedule management capabilities.”

There is also a virtual test harness so that developers can test their satellite programs without having an actual satellite.

Read more:
And here:


There were a bunch of small announcements this week, as you’ll see in the next section on Azure Updates. I’ll highlight two of them that look particularly interesting.

One is that Azure Bastion now supports shareable links and is currently a preview feature. Until now, if you wanted to give someone access to a virtual machine and Azure Bastion was being used for access (even if it was a one-time-only access), you had to get them a portal account and grant them access to the resource using RBAC.

Now, you can generate a shareable link to a VM, and they can access the VM this way. No portal account is required. They still have to authenticate via RDP or SSH in the normal way, and you still have to give the user those admin credentials or keys. But this does make like easier for Bastion-protected servers.

Read more:

And another exciting update is the ability to manage tables in a Log Analytics Workspace.

As you may know, most Azure services allow you to collect their diagnostics data into a Log Analytics workspace, among other options. You can then run various Kusto queries in the Azure Monitor service to extract and analyze data.

Now that we can access the underlying data tables inside Log Analytics, we can customize more options regarding what data is collected and how long it’s kept.

You can override the default workspace retention policy for data on a table-by-table basis. If you’re on the correct log data plan, you can retain data for up to 2 years for interactive retention and up to 7 years in an archive model.

You can also customize the columns on the individual tables by adding additional transformed columns or data from another source. For example, you may wish that the day, month, and year were three separate columns of the table instead of one “date” column. You can do that by adding the additional columns and deriving the value of the new columns from the original date field. It could be handy if you write a lot of queries.

Read more:


The following announcements were made in the last four weeks:

  • Virtual Machine software reservations, in GA
  • Azure Static Web Apps now fully supports .NET 7
  • Functions now supports .NET 7 in an isolated worker process
  • Block domain fronting behavior on newly created customer resources
  • Azure Automation supports Availability zones
  • Manage your Log Analytics Tables in Azure Portal
  • Rotate SSH keys on existing AKS nodepools, in preview
  • Azure Static Web Apps now Supports Node 18, in preview
  • Static Web Apps support for stable URLs for preview environments
  • Static Web Apps support for Gitlab and Bitbucket
  • Static Web Apps support for preview environments in Azure DevOps
  • Multivariate Anomaly Detection in Azure Cognitive Services
  • Azure Front Door zero downtime migration, in preview
  • Azure Front Door integration with managed identities, in preview
  • Encrypt managed disks with cross-tenant customer-managed keys
  • Use Azure Quota REST APIs to manage service limits (quotas), in preview
  • TLS 1.3 with Application Gateway
  • Azure SQL Managed Instance backup portability to SQL Server 2022
  • Azure SQL trigger for Azure Functions, in preview
  • Azure Bastion now supports shareable links, in preview
  • Cross Subscription Restore for Azure Virtual Machines, in preview

Important retirement or migration announcements:

  • Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Server will be deprecated 30 September 2024
  • Azure Percept DK will be retired on March 30th, 2023

Check out the Azure Updates page if any of these affect you.


If you don’t mind the self-promotion, I invite you to check out my Microsoft Azure courses on Udemy.

As a special thank you for subscribing, I’ve created a special coupon code for my Azure and TOGAF courses on Udemy. With the coupon code NEWSLETTER, most of my courses are US $9.99 for the next four days only. Some courses are a little more, but that’s out of my control.

Remember to use the code NEWSLETTER at checkout for special savings only for newsletter subscribers like you. And yes, you can share the code with a friend if you feel they are worthy. 🙂

I mentioned in the last newsletter that I was speaking at the Azure Portgual User Group a couple of weeks ago. I’ve recorded that talk, and it’s available as a free course on Udemy.



And that’s it for issue 3.21. Thanks for reading this far. Talk to you again in two weeks.

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

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