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11 Top Azure Announcements From Microsoft Inspire 2021

Donna Goodison

CRN breaks down the new Microsoft Azure products, features and services unveiled by the No. 2 cloud computing provider at its annual partner conference.

Azure Stack HCI Updates

Microsoft has introduced more product features for Azure Stack HCI, its cloud-connected, hyperconverged infrastructure cluster solution that uses validated hardware to run virtualized workloads on-premises. The features include simplified guest licensing activation and enhanced infrastructure security.

Azure Stack HCI now supports Hyper-V’s Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) feature for Windows Server. Customers with existing Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition activation keys can enter them directly into the Azure Stack HCI host using the Windows Admin Center or PowerShell. Virtual machines (VMs) running Windows Server automatically will inherit activation from the host, so product keys for each VM don’t need to be managed separately.

“Azure Stack HCI helps customers modernize datacenters with a hybrid solution of hyperconverged infrastructure tightly integrated with Azure,” said JG Chirapurath, vice president of Azure data and AI. “It is now possible to simplify guest licensing activation with Automatic Virtual Machine Activation. And with secured-core server, customers benefit from advanced protection with defense-in-depth protection over multiple layers across hardware, firmware and OS.”

Secured-core server, which is available for Azure Stack HCI, is becoming a required component for HCI-integrated systems. Secured-core server simplifies security enablement at the server level by resecuring hardware, firmware and operating system capabilities to help protect against threats. It proactively disrupts practical attack vectors, according to Microsoft.

 
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