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Windows Server Hotpatching does away with pesky reboots

Lars Klint
Lars Klint

What’s new with Azure this week? Funny you should ask! This week we have Windows Server hotpatching, VM deletion magic, Spring Cloud for enterprise, and cross region restores. Let’s dig in!


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Windows Server hotpatching

The best part of IaaS is rebooting your Windows Server after installing a patch or update… said no one ever.

I mean, rebooting any computing device is a bit annoying, but when it comes to servers that run your critical business processes, it can get downright hairy. The wait for everything to come back up, the anxiety of critical patches, the late night scheduling of downtime, and so much more.

But now there’s hotpatching! You can patch and update Windows Server Azure Edition core virtual machines on Azure without requiring a reboot. It works by patching code in memory of the running processes. You will need the hotpatches from Microsoft, and so far it only works on Windows Server 2022 Datacenter, Azure Edition, but it’s a start. This should improve the protection, deployment times, and availability for all your Server 2022 VMs. And when you combine this with Azure Automanage and Azure-orchestrated patching, managing VMs is now even easier.

One thing to note—you still need to reboot VMs when you are installing updates that aren’t “hotpatched,” as well as after installing what Microsoft calls “baseline” updates, which happens roughly once a quarter.

Automatic deletion

This week’s small—but hugely helpful—improvement: You can now automagically delete disks, NICs and public IPs when you delete the associated VM. It only took us a decade, but it’s finally here. Yay!

Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise is now available in preview

To be honest, this story is not my strong side. I have yet to use the Spring Cloud with VMware on Azure. But it turns out Spring Cloud has been so popular that Azure has created a new Enterprise tier. At least that’s what they claim. I’m sure it has nothing to do with being able to charge more… Anyway, the new Enterprise tier “includes commercially supported Spring runtime components to help enterprise customers ship faster and unlock Spring’s full potential,” as Microsoft marketing puts it.

This release is the next step in the collaboration between Microsoft and VMware. The plan is to eventually let you deploy polyglot applications that are inherently portable across any Azure service, any cloud, or any on-premises system. Big claim. I like it! If you’re a fan of Spring Cloud on Azure, go check out the new Enterprise tier.


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Cross region VM restore points

You can now create VM restore points in any public region of your choice, irrespective of which region the VM is deployed in.

Let’s say you have a workload running on a VM in the eastern US that you want to protect from disasters. While it’s uncommon, a disaster could potentially bring down the entire region. Well, you can now periodically create VM restore points in a target region far away from your source region—say North Europe. If your eastern US workloads become inaccessible due to a disaster or failure, you can use one of the restore points created in North Europe to create a failover VM with minimal data loss and downtime. Neat!

But that isn’t all! You can also copy restore points between regions for added flexibility.

Keep the goodness coming

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That’s it for the news this week! Until next time, go forth and learn all the things. And as always, keep being awesome, cloud gurus!

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