Just this past week, Microsoft Azure turned eight years old, and in those eight years, we have seen amazing growth come from Azure, as it is now one of the largest of Microsoft’s service areas. Azure has a 56% year-over-year growth, showing the major exodus of businesses from strictly on-premises infrastructures to cloud environments, and since 2014 Azure has taken over a cloud leader from Amazon and Google. As we enter 2018, we see even more developments coming from Azure, and at New Signature, we work to make sure that we communicate the exciting new releases for Azure VMs, Azure security and other developments. As we look back on the past quarter, there are dozens of new updates to Azure, but some storage updates we find most important are: Azure Managed Disks and Blob Storage Changes There have been some pricing adjustments to how usage is measured, and therefore priced, for managed disks and blob storage. Both methods of storage have their own unique benefits. Azure Managed Disks provides durability, availability, and security for virtual machines. Azure Blob storage provides scalable, durable, and secure storage for unstructured data. Previously, consumption for Managed Disks and consumption for Blob storage were measured using the same pricing meters. But now, consumption will be measured separately, using GUIDs. To view the detailed migration changes, check out this official Microsoft announcement. Global VNet Peering At the 2017 Ignite conference, Microsoft announced the ability to use global VNet peering to peer virtual networks across Azure regions. In January of 2018, they added additional support regions for global peering, with the inclusion of US West Central, Canada Central and US West 2. Now with a few clicks, you have more options for peering in order to easily share resources and create a global private peered network. This opens the door to secure data replication, disaster recovery and failover. Integration of Azure Backup into the VM creation Fresh off the development press is the new ability to configure Azure Backup during the creation of the virtual machine. Prior to this week, creation of the virtual machine came first, and then users had to back track and configure the backup. Using the Azure portal, you have select a recovery services vault and also select your back up schedule and retention, offering you a streamlined portal experience. Next month, we will review new Azure security features that you can leverage to create a stable and secure environment. If you’re new to the cloud or are struggling with upkeep to the constantly updating Azure platform, connect with a New Signature expert about our comprehensive managed services.