Blue Monday: Two New UK Regions Generally Available

It’s been a “blah” two weeks of Azure service updates of interest to .NET developers, but I want to stay in the habit of writing Blue Monday posts, so here goes literally nothing.

UK datacenters generally available

Two new regions in the United Kingdom are generally available: UK South (London) and UK West (Cardiff, Wales). These join the Europeran datacenters in Ireland (North Europe) and West Europe (Netherlands); and two additional datacenters are planned for Germany.

As tends to be the case for all new Azure regions, right now UK South and UK West don’t have many features.

Only lower-tier VMs and the rudiments of storage, queues / hubs and PaaS offerings are on hand. There’s no Active Directory, no Media Services, no DocumentDB, very little big data (pretty much only Event Hubs) and no developer tools.

However, Microsoft did add Scheduler to both regions shortly after they became generally available.

DevTest Labs auto shutdown warnings

You know how sometimes, you’re puttering along, with an RDP window to a virtual machine open in the background, tinkering with this and that in Visual Studio … and you go to push some code to that remote machine, only to find that the connection has closed or, worse, the entire VM has disappeared?

This apparently happens all the time in DevTest Labs, probably because you can schedule the spin-up and deallocation of these machines, and even conduct those operations via webhooks.

To help put an end to unexpected VM garbage collection, DevTest Labs now has auto shutdown notifications. These will fire off notices 15 minutes ahead of a scheduled shutdown, and provide links to extend the time to shutdown or ignore it completely.

I’m still not sold on DevTest Labs, but this does seem another vital improvement and clearly, Microsoft is listening to its user base.

Odds and ends

Featured photo by Unsplash via Pixabay, in the public domain.
Featured photo by Unsplash via Pixabay, in the public domain.

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