Azure Updates: New Zealand region; Sphere; Cosmos DB; Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification

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Covid-19 continues to dominate headlines, while Microsoft further emphasizes tooling to assist in remote work and low-latency scenarios, as well as indicating new investment in the Southern Hemisphere.  

Australia and New Zealand have been among the first countries to emerge from national lockdowns due to Covid-19 and it seems Microsoft has taken note of the reopening. Microsoft is set to create its sixtieth Azure region to serve New Zealand, once it is granted permission by the country’s Overseas Investment Office. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told New Zealand’s 1News, “It serves as a signal to the world New Zealand is open for business, for quality investment. This is subject to normal regulatory approvals, however this is a hugely welcome development.” 

Among general updates, Sphere update 20.04 is GA, and users can select multiple resources across different scopes in Monitor Logs. In fact, Monitor Logs is also adding new features to its table side pane experience, like column descriptions and dedicated documentation for schemas. Private Link is available for Azure Database for MariaDB and PostgreSQL across both the US Gov Arizona and US Gov Virginia regions.

Blob Index for Blog storage is in-preview and program manager Xin Huang delved into what is covered by the offering. The new capabilities are intended to overcome previous limitations, wherein customers needed to use the ListBlobsAPI to pull and parse 5000 lexicographical records at a time. Blob Index instead supports all blob types like Append Blob, Block Blob and Page Blob, together with services like Lifecycle management. To populate a blob index, users define key-value tag attributes, which are stored along with underlying blob data.

Monitor added the new Application Change Analysis feature, supporting changes across multiple Azure resources. In situations where a web app abruptly stops working, users can more easily narrow down which resource to investigate, clicking into it to view additional context and JSON.