Microsoft Gives Users More Control Over Their Cloud Environment With Azure Dedicated Hosts

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Azure Virtual Machines are the center-piece service of Azure’s public cloud platform, allowing users to launch flexible virtual machines in a wide variety of specifications. However, for some Azure users, Virtual Machines doesn’t provide the control or the regulatory compliance they need. 

To fill that gap, Microsoft recently announced the introduction of Azure Dedicated Hosts – single-tenant dedicated servers that can be used to host virtual machines.

Microsoft has previously addressed this market segment with isolated Virtual Machines, which were available in a limited number of types. Dedicated Hosts are much more flexible, and give users a considerable amount of control over the physical hardware that underlies their virtual machines.

Azure Dedicated Hosts can be deployed via the Azure Portal, as with any of Azure’s services. Currently, there are two types of Azure Dedicated Host available, with differing processor specifications. 

For example, the Dedicated Host Type 1 is based on the 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon® E5–2673 v4 processor. The Host Type determines which Azure VMs can be launched on the Dedicated Host and in which combinations. Users can run any number of VMs within the capacity limitations of their chosen server.

Why Choose An Azure Dedicated Host?

For most purposes, Azure Virtual Machines hosted on the public cloud are more than sufficient. But, in some scenarios, it’s desirable to have greater control over the machine that hosts VMs. A Dedicated Host might be needed when a business:

  • Has specific regulatory compliance requirements that mandate single-tenant hosting or data integrity guarantees.
  • Needs to know which physical machine a virtual machine runs on. On a public cloud platform, there is little insight into the physical layer and no control over which server hosts a VM.
  • Wants to control when and how the host operating system is maintained, including when patches and host OS updates are applied. Dedicated Hosts give users a 35-day window in which to apply Azure-initiated maintenance operations.
  • The business requires a specific hardware configuration.

Dedicated Hosts can also be deployed into host groups, allowing Azure users to build powerful physical server clusters inside Microsoft’s data centers.

Azure Dedicated Hosts do not provide as much control as a traditional dedicated server: they’re intended to be used to host Azure Virtual Machines, supporting Windows, Linux, and SQL Server VMs. However, they are an excellent addition to the platform for users who want more insight into their VM-hosting platform than is typically possible.

VIAcode can help your businesses to migrate, develop, and manage applications running on Azure, including Azure Dedicated Hosts. To find out how we can help, or to learn more about our free Azure Migration service, contact a VIAcode engineer today.

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Man walking into clouds on the horizon

Are your business’s critical applications hosted on an aging server that everyone is afraid to touch in case something goes wrong? Have you been putting off upgrading your server because of worries about downtime, cost, and disruption? 

The bad news is that you will have to bite the bullet sooner or later. The good news is that there are better hosting options than colocated servers with substantial upfront costs or leased servers that will eventually become obsolete.

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How the Azure Cloud Helps Businesses Secure Their Infrastructure

Businesses face a bewildering array of infrastructure security threats. Criminals and other bad actors invest substantial resources into developing sophisticated attacks and malware, while businesses struggle to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving threat landscape with vast amounts of money in play. Bromium, a cybersecurity company, estimates that the cybercrime economy was worth $1.5 trillion last year.

Successful criminals accrue huge windfalls by selling stolen data and personal information, by infecting infrastructure with ransomware and crypto-mining malware, and numerous other types of attack. In contrast, worldwide spending on cybersecurity is around $114 billion, according to Gartner, and there is a dire shortage of experienced cybersecurity professionals.

In short, businesses need all the help they can get to secure their infrastructure.

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