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Microsoft Announces Server-Side Encryption for Azure Managed Disks, Customer-Managed Keys Included!
Microsoft’s announcement that server-side encryption with customer managed keys for Azure Managed Disks is now available is welcome news for security-minded public cloud customers. Managing one’s own keys in a cloud environment can be an important step in complying with regulatory requirements, and this new feature should open Azure Managed Disks to a wider group of customers who may have held back for this reason.
Customer data on Azure Managed Disks has been encrypted using Microsoft’s Storage Service Encryption since shortly after the service became generally available in 2017. Encryption was automatic, though the keys were managed by Microsoft. Shared responsibility is an inherent characteristic of cloud services, but in some cases, customers may want or need additional security.
Customer managed keys (stored in an Azure Key Vault) may be a valuable alternative to Microsoft-managed keys for organizations that have more stringent compliance requirements.
The cloud brings a host of new and advanced services and opportunities. But it also comes with trade-offs, one of which is giving up control of at least part of the infrastructure stack to the provider. That trade-off will now be a little less painful for some customers, as they will be able to repatriate management of Azure Managed Disks encryption keys. Perhaps this will be enough to convince some customers that the service is worth the risk.
After all, in the words of Info-Tech core infrastructure practice lead, Fred Chagnon, “If you didn't encrypt it, then it's not being encrypted for your needs.”
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Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges 775% for Teams in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing – Part 2
Experiencing issues when using Microsoft online services? You are not alone. Capacity constraints were being hit, pre-COVID-19, and usage has surged in regions with enforced social distancing.
Google has announced a premium support plan for its cloud customers, promising a 15-minute response to the highest severity tickets. Google’s cloud has long struggled with enterprise customers – especially when compared to giants Microsoft and AWS – and this announcement is the latest incarnation of Google’s push to better serve a critical constituency.
Microsoft Announces Expansion of Azure Canadian Infrastructure, Offers Data Residency and High Availability
In January, Microsoft announced what it’s calling “the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure” since 2016. Additional availability zones and services will increase capacity for cloud-hungry Canadians, and the addition of an Azure ExpressRoute site in Vancouver will guarantee security and performance in a regulated jurisdiction.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided its customers with better options for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) ingress routing. Customers will have to consider which works best for their needs.
AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring gives customers more visibility for out-of-band traffic inspection. This feature is another useful tool for monitoring in the AWS cloud.
Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges Over 700% in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing: How Could This Impact Your Organization?
Organizations have been running into capacity constraints on cloud infrastructure in regions with enforced social distancing due to COVID-19. Having a back-up plan will be critical to your business continuity plans.
Microsoft has added six months of additional support to Windows 10 Enterprise and Education 1709. This will help reduce pressure to upgrade and provide support in the interim as companies focus on business continuity plans due to COVID-19.
Microsoft’s deep pockets and Financing division can save your IT budget. If your Enterprise Agreement is coming up for renewal in the next six months, we will likely be in an economic downturn.
A year has passed since Microsoft converted Premier Support to Unified. High costs, little information, and few comparable options make it difficult for many organizations to decide whether to keep Unified Support, find an alternative, or drop it all together.