What is Azure?
Azure is a flexible and open cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications in the data centers. Azure supports all major operating systems, languages, or development tools and integrates public cloud applications with the existing IT infrastructure.
Azure offers international class Service Level Agreements that enable you to build and run highly available applications without having to focus on the infrastructure. It provides the ability to automatically repair operating systems and services, and has built-in network load balancing and hardware fault recovery capabilities. It supports the deployment models that allow you to upgrade applications with no downtime.
Azure enables you to generate applications in any language and by any framework or tool. Azure utilizes the public functions and services of open REST protocol. Azure’s client libraries are available in a variety of programming languages and are published under open source licenses and hosted on GitHub.
Azure offers a flexible cloud platform that meets the needs of any application.
Are Azure services in China the same as Azure services in other areas?
In China, Azure is operated by Shanghai Blue Cloud Technology Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Beijing 21Vianet Broadband Data Center Co., Ltd. (abbreviated as "21Vianet"). 21Vianet is China’s largest neutral third-party Internet infrastructure service telecommunications provider to which Microsoft has authorized technologies. In China, Azure combines Microsoft’s global technologies and 21Vianet’s local operating experience to build an enterprise-level international cloud computing platform for China.
Outside China, Microsoft Azure is operated by Microsoft itself. China’s Azure customers will be able to enjoy exactly the same user experiences and service level as customers in other areas.
What is an SLA (Service Level Agreement)? What kind of SLA does Azure offer in China?
We provide international class Service Level Agreements for each of the Azure services that are officially available for commercial use. If a certain service level is not reached, the customer can receive the corresponding service fee deduction. Details on SLAs provided by Azure in China are listed at: Service Level Agreements.
What are some success stories of Azure in China?
In China, a large number of enterprises like GMW.cn, Linekong, Spring Airlines, Mobike, Digital China, Coca Cola, Kingdee, PPTV, ChinaCache, and Qoros have landed onto the Azure platform in China. Please go to the Success Stories page for more information on these cases.
How is Virtual Machines charged? Why does my virtual machine still incur costs when it’s stopped?
Virtual Machines billing consists of two parts: the cost of the virtual machine itself and the cost iccurred by its disk (including managed disk and non-managed disk), so as long as your virtual machine and the disk are not deleted, disk storage cost always exists. Please refer to the Price Details of Disc Storage for billing details.
In addition, note that the two virtual machine statuses "Stopped" and "Stopped (de-allocated)" are charged differently. Please refer to the following table:
Status Virtual Machine cost Disc cost Detailed information Starting Up Yes Yes This is the initial starting state of the virtual machine, during which the virtual machine is going through a startup cycle and is charged as normal, as the virtual machine is running. Running (already started) Yes Yes The virtual machine is running and charged as normal. Stopped Yes Yes The shutdown operation is performed through the virtual machine, and the virtual machine will be in a "Stopped (de-allocated)" state. During this time, the core is not released, so the virtual machine is still being charged. Stopped (de-allocated) No Yes The shutdown operation is performed through the Azure portal, and the virtual machine will be "Stopped (de-allocated)". During this time, the computing resources will no longer be allocated to the virtual machine, so the virtual machine will no longer be charged for it. However the cost of disk storage still exists, as the disk still exists. Deleted (including the disk) No No You should ensure the disk has been deleted while deleting the virtual machine. Otherwise, there will still be disk storage costs.
How do I select Azure computing services: Web Apps, Cloud Services or Virtual Machines? If I’m an enterprise user, which services should I select to migrate the existing enterprise applications to the Azure cloud computing platform when provided with these three different computing capabilities?
According to the following characteristics, you can select the service that is suitable for your needs:
Characteristics Suitable For Web Apps
- You can easily deploy a highly scalable cloud environment by building a highly scalable website on Azure, which can start at a very small scale.
- You can use language and open source applications of your own choice, such as WordExpress, FTP, Git or TFS, and easily integrate them with Azure services, such as SQL databases, caches, CDN and storage.
- Modern Web Apps. Include client scripts, server-side scripts and database applications, and can be scaled horizontally.
- Continuous development. You can use Git or Team Foundation directly from the source code libraries for deployment.
- Using open source applications. You can directly use open source applications, such as WordPress.
- Expand your enterprise applications on Azure.
- A rich PaaS environment can be utilized to create highly available and scalable applications and services. Advanced multi-layer architecture, automatic deployment and elastic computing are supported.
- Through a virtual network, you can connect the network of the local LAN to the Azure public cloud network to allow the enterprise network to enjoy the highly elastic computing and interoperability brought by the public cloud, while ensuring network security.
- For multi-layer applications, each layer can expand itself. When using Web Role and Worker Role, Web Role can respond to the display at the front end, while the complex business is handled at the back end.
- Advanced management. You can use Cloud Service if your application requires administrator rights, remote desktop access, or escalated authority to run the code.
- Private cloud + public cloud. You can use Azure Connect for point-to-point connection with Azure or use the Azure virtual network to connect the enterprise internal or private network to Azure.
- IaaS service is provided. Windows and Linux operating systems are supported
- You can easily deploy and run Windows Server and Linux virtual machine and migrate the operating load in a few minutes, without changing the existing code. For applications based on Windows OS, you can deploy them to Hyper-V, save it as a VHD file and upload it to Azure for deployment and management.
- Virtual network supported. You can connect your LAN enterprise application with the public cloud directly and enjoy the convenience of cloud computing.
- Windows or Linux supported. You can quickly migrate the existing Windows or Linux applications to Azure.
- More service applications are supported. You can use SQL Server, MySQL, MongoDB, and SharePoint applications in Azure.
- Migrating existing applications to the public cloud is supported. You can save persistent non-relational data in Azure VHD.
How do Azure services in China ensure the security of users’ data and services?
Security and stability of Cloud Services have always been the focus of the industry. As the first international public cloud service landed in China, Microsoft Azure operated by 21Vianet has gained recognition from many industry users, and provided users with reliable, flexible and highly valuable public Cloud Services.
Being the first to land all-round cloud services including IaaS, PaaS, SaaS in China , and reliable localized operation, international standard monthly Service Level Agreements with financial security, powerful data security, rich client returns and other advantages, Microsoft Azure operated by 21Vianet has obtained 6 credible cloud certifications including Yunfen, Cloud Engine (Cloud Services) and the Whole Network Load Balancing (Traffic Manager), representing recognition from the industry for the quality of localized international cloud service provided by 21Vianet.
Moreover, according to the GBT 22240-2008 Information Security Technology - Guide on Determination of Security Protection Levels for Information Systems, the assessment organization authorized by the Ministry of Public Security has conducted an assessment of Microsoft Azure operated by 21Vianet as per GB/T 22239-2008 Information Security Technology - Basic Requirements of Security Protection Levels of Information Systems. The Information Security Protection of Azure has been classified as the third Level (Information System Classified Security Protection (DJCP), Level 3) and has been issued with record-keeping certificates.
In full compliance with China’s policies and regulations, Azure data service in China provides up to six geo-redundant backups, which are distributed in 2 data centers (China North and China East). In addition, with decades of experience in providing enterprise customers with online services applied in the Azure platform, we strive to keep the leading position in the industry in terms of security, privacy and control and compliance practices.
I have an MSDN subscription, and when I enable "Azure Benefit" for my account, can this service be available in Azure China at the same time?
No. China's Azure service is operated by 21Vianet. The "Azure Benefit" in your account can only be operated on platforms in other areas of Azure. MSDN accounts cannot be enabled on Azure China's platform operated by 21Vianet. If you’re interested in applying for one of the Microsoft Azure services operated by 21Vianet, please fill out the Azure Trial Application Form to experience Azure with the 1RMB Trial plan.
What kind of roles does Microsoft play in Microsoft Azure operated by 21Vianet?
Microsoft Azure in China is a public cloud platform that is operated and sold independently by 21Vianet in China mainland. Based on Microsoft's decades of rich online service experience for global enterprise customers, Azure, a world-class technology, is developed to fully serve customers in China, and guarantee to provide globally consistent service quality for our customers all over the world.
How will 21Vianet use the information I stored in Azure?
21Vianet will only use the customer data you stored in Azure to provide you with Azure services. These services may include the troubleshooting for preventing, detecting, or fixing issues that affect the operation of Azure; and also the improvement of features that detect and resist emerging and evolving threats to users (such as malicious software and junk mail).
As per 21Vianet policy, in addition to providing you with cloud productivity services, we will never mine or use your customer data for advertising purposes. If you want to know more about our commitment regarding your data, please go to the Privacy and FAQ pages in the Azure Trust Center.
I want to learn more about Azure. In addition to the Starter Guide, do you have any further study materials?
You can browse the Documentation Center.
This page contains links and the following content:
- Developer center: .NET, Node.js, Java, Python
- Details of various services: computing, data services, app services, network
- Multiple resources: architectural structure, reference documentation, advice on effective use, performance, and answer to questions, etc.
Publish and search questions in the Azure Forum.
Browse the Azure School for related Azure courses and expert columns.
Browse Azure Operations Guide for Azure common questions and instructions.
What cloud and data security certifications has Azure obtained in China?
See our Trust Centerfor the latest content.
Billing, subscription and Fapiao
What should I do if I cannot complete the full subscription ID due to the bank’s limits?
You can send the following remittance information to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can distinguish the remittance sources and recharge your subscription in a timely manner.
- Subscription ID (you can sign in to the Azure Account Center, click the subscription name, and the "Subscription ID" appears on the right side of the page).
- Remittance amount
- Remittance date
- Remittance bank account
- Name of remitter (remitter on the remittance slip)
- Company name
- Mobile phone of contact
How can I upgrade the 1RMB Trial to a Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscription, or recharge a Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscription?
The Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscription supports three payment methods, i.e. Alipay, UnionPay and Online Payment and wire transfer, and each payment method has the minimum recharge amount. If you select "Alipay" or "UnionPay Online" and other methods of online remittance, after clicking on "Upgrade" or "Recharge", enter the recharge amount according to the prompt (the minimum amount is RMB1,000, and the maximum amount is RMB150,000), and then click on the check mark. The payment page will appear and you should follow the instructions to complete the payment. If you select wire transfer, the minimum recharge amount should be RMB5,000. Please refer to recharging Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscriptions for details.
Note: Microsoft Azure services currently operated by 21Vianet only accepts payments in RMB.
What’s the time zone in usage report?
Azure is a global service. To ensure that customers located in different physical locations can share with the same time zone, we use Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to calculate the usage.
How to download and analyze the monthly usage report?
Users purchasing online (including 1RMB Trials and Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscriptions)
The usage report can be obtained via the platform, including the monthly consumption summary, billing amount and daily consumption of each service. This operation is restricted to the account managers who purchase subscriptions online. For detailed steps, please refer to Downloading monthly usage reports for online purchasers.
The monthly usage report is presented in Excel format, which consists of three parts:
* Subscription and account validity information
* Monthly service usage and billing information
* Daily service usage
Refer to Understanding monthly usage reports for details.
Enterprise Agreement User
You can sign into the Enterprise Portal to view the historic usage and current remaining amount in the contract. The usage in the system can be delayed for up to 5 days, and you can see the details by date through the Download Usage feature.
The Enterprise Portal provides customers with three viewing methods: monthly report downloading, advanced report downloading and API access key. The monthly report and advanced report provide the service content, service amount and the corresponding billing amount consumed in each department, account and subscription every day up to the date of the report. Please refer to Downloading usage reports for Enterprise Agreement users for details.
The monthly usage report is presented in CSV format, which provides each account and the corresponding usage information every day, including usage and the corresponding costs. Please refer to Understanding Monthly Usage Reports for details.
In order to help you better use Azure and boost your cloud business, Azure provides you with informative training tutorials. You can refer to the Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA billing portal training at the Azure Video Center to understand the specific operations for creating pivot tables through bills.
How are the remaining days and remaining credits viewed?
- Sign into the Azure Account Center
- Click the subscription for which you want to view the remaining days and the remaining credits
- The remaining days and remaining credits are displayed on the right side of the page
Under what circumstances will my subscription be suspended? How can I reactivate it?
- 1RMB Trial subscription
When the remaining usage of your subscription is 0 or when the usage credits expire, your subscription will be disabled. You need to recharge it within 15 days and upgrade the subscription to the Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscription, and then you may continue to use this subscription.
- Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscription
When the remaining usage of your subscription is 0 or when the usage is expired, your subscription will be disabled. You need to recharge it within 90 days to resume this subscription.
- Enterprise Agreement User
* When the excessive amount or annual order is not paid, your subscription will be disabled. After you finish the payment, the business team will help you manually restart the contract and subscription.
* When your subscription is unexpectedly canceled by the account owner, you need to contact the 21Vianet support staff to help you manually restart it.
If the subscription is disabled for other reasons, please contact the 21Vianet support team for help.
- 1RMB Trial subscription
What will happen to me after my subscription is disabled? Will my data be preserved? Can I take out the data in my subscription?
When your subscription is disabled, the resource services deployed in the subscription will be disabled and the resources in temporary storage will be released. You can still sign into the portal to view the resources, but you can't edit them.
The data in your subscription will be preserved, but at the time, the data cannot be backed up. The data can be exported only after the subscription is reactivated. If it is not recharged within the specified period, your subscription and all the data in the subscription will be automatically deleted.
* After the 1RMB Trial subscription is suspended, your data will be kept for 15 days, and if you recharge it within 15 days, the subscription can be resumed.
* After the Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscription is suspended, your data will be kept for 90 days, and if you recharge it within 90 days, the subscription can be resumed.
* After the Enterprise Agreement subscription is suspended, your data will be kept for 90 days, and you need to pay for the excess amount and annual order within 90 days. You can contact 21Vianet customer support to help you restart the subscription.
What are the payment methods for my subscription? Can I change after the selection?
- 1RMB Trial subscription
* New purchase: The two online payment methods of Alipay and UnionPay Online are supported, and the payment method cannot be changed before the recharge order fails.
* Upgrade now: The three online payment methods of Alipay, UnionPay Online and wire transfer are supported, and the payment method cannot be changed before the recharge order fails.
- Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscription
* New purchase: The three online payment methods of Alipay, UnionPay Online and wire transfer are supported, and the payment method cannot be changed before the recharge order fails.
* Recharge: The three online payment methods of Alipay, Unionpay Online and wire transfer are supported, and the payment method can be changed at any time.
- 1RMB Trial subscription
How can I deal with an interruption in the process of using Alipay or UnionPay Online when purchasing a standard pay-in-advance account?
Sign into Azure Account Center and click the yellow bar on the underside of the subscription to continue to pay.
Note: Using the UnionPay Online payment, after the order is submitted, the payment should be completed within 15 minutes. If the payment time is over 15 minutes, the payment may not be successfully done and the order should be resubmitted.
How can I get my unpaid order? How long is the valid period of the order?
- Alipay Orders
Alipay orders are valid for 3 days. If you fail to complete the payment in time during the payment process, you can see the relevant prompt in the Azure Account Center within 3 days: "Your RMB1,000.00 payment is waiting to be completed. If you have already completed the payment, please check it later. Click here to complete payment before XX/XX/XXXX." Click this prompt to continue your payment. Alipay orders cannot be canceled manually. The system will automatically cancel them three days later.
- UnionPay Online Orders
UnionPay online orders generally expire within 1 hour, after which the Azure Account Center will give you the prompt: "Recharge on your subscription failed. Please click here to try again". At this point, you can make the payment again and change the payment method.
- Wire Transfer Orders
Wire transfer orders shall be valid for 7 working days. If the payment is not completed within 7 working days, the wire transfer order will be cancelled on the back-end. If you need to cancel the wire transfer order, you need to contact the 21Vianet service hotline at 400-089-0365.
Please refer to the Introduction to Wire Transfers for operation steps and remittance information.
- Alipay Orders
What should I do if I enter the wrong account/amount when I make a payment, and the payment is not completed?
- If you are upgrading the 1RMB Trial to a Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscription or purchasing a Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscription for the first time, you will be required to resubmit the order and pay for it after the expiry of the order. (UnionPay online orders are valid for 1 hour/Alipay orders are valid for 3 days/wire transfer orders are valid for 7 working days).
- If you are recharging the Standard Pay-in-Advance PIA subscription, you can get back to the Azure Account Center and make the payment by clicking "Recharge".
Can the monthly usage report detail the cost of each Azure service I create (for example, a single virtual machine)?
No, the billing information in the Monthly Usage Report will be aggregated according to the Azure service and related types and specifications, so you cannot accurately query the individual charge for each Azure service.
Take the virtual machine as an example: if you have created multiple virtual machines of the same size and model, the billing information thereof will be displayed in a row in the monthly usage report. The "Consumed" column accumulates the usage of multiple virtual machines for billing.
What is the specific procedure for requesting a Fapiao? What types of Fapiaos are there? What are the space limits on a Fapiao?
- Sign into the Azure Account Center
- Click the subscription for which you need to apply for a Fapiao
- Click "Payment History"
- Click "Manage Fapiao" to sign up and apply. Please see Applying for Chinese Tax Fapiaos for the detailed application process.
The Azure service in China can provide Chinese tax Fapiaos, including VAT special Fapiaos and VAT ordinary Fapiaos.
For the Fapiao title, enterprise customers should fill in information according to the actual situation.
After applying for a Fapiao, how do I get the Fapiao? Do I have to pay any extra costs?
The Fapiao can be sent by express delivery or obtained by yourself. It is printed and delivered by 21Vianet Shanghai Blue Cloud Technology Co., Ltd, and you can select Yunda Express or SF Express (for freight collect payment only).
Except for the above-mentioned freight payment collected by SF Express, you do not need to pay any extra fees.
When can I apply for a Fapiao?
You can apply for a Fapiao within 3 working days after the payment is successfully completed. Should you have any special requirements, please contact the 21Vianet Customer Service Center at 86-10-84563652 or 400-089-0365.
What is the tax rate?
According to relevant Chinese regulations, the tax rate for Azure Cloud Computing Services operated by 21Vianet is 6%.
How do I sign in to a Fapiao account? What should I do if I can’t apply Fapiao after activating Fapiao account successfully? What should I do if I can’t apply for Fapiao?
After entering the Fapiao Application Interface, you can click “Sign Up Account” in the right corner of the page and choose the product you’ve purchased to sign up for an Azure account.
If you are unable to apply for Fapiao after activating Fapiao account successfully, please call 21Vianet Customer Service Center: 86-10-84563652 or 400-089-0365.
When applying for a Fapiao, I chose to obtain the Fapiao by myself. What address can I pick it up at? Can I still change to express delivery?
The self-pickup address is 21Vianet Shanghai Branch, located at Building 3, Room 657, German Centre, No.88 Keyuan Road, Pudong District, Shanghai. You can contact Zhu Qinqin at 021-28986102.
You can sign into the Fapiao Management System at any time to modify the delivery method of your Fapiao. For now, you can only select Yunda Express or SF Express (for freight collect payment only).
How can I modify the registered mailbox in the Fapiao Management System?
Click the mailbox at the upper right corner of the Fapiao Management System, and select Modify Email Address via the drop-down menu to enter your current password and new email and confirm the same. Then you can modify your email with a click. After the modification is completed, two emails will be sent to your two mailboxes, respectively, for notification.
What can I do if I cannot receive an activation email when signing up for an Fapiao Management System account?
- Please confirm that you have filled in the correct email address. If you fill in the wrong email address, then you surely cannot receive the activation email. At this point, you cannot continue to re-sign up. You need to wait for the automatic expiry of the signup link in the activation email (the activation link is generally valid for 24 hours) before you can re-sign up with the correct mailbox.
- After your confirmation that the email you filled in is correct, and you have not received the account activation email within 24 hours after signup, you can click the "Resend" button on the Fapiao Management System Account Signup Interface, and then the system will send the account activation email to your signup email. If you still cannot receive the activation email, please contact the 21Vianet support team for help.
Can I change the subscription name?
Yes, you can use the Azure Account Center or Azure portal to rename your subscription. For detailed steps, please refer to the Changing Subscription Names and Account Contacts Link.
How to establish the subscription user’s role and authorize different management limits for users?
There are three roles including the owner, contributor and reader under the Azure Account, and the roles are applicable to all resources. As the administrator of the account, you can distribute different roles to the business personnel in your company in accordance with the business requirements of your company. Please refer to Add or Alter the Role of the Azure Administrator Managing the Subscription or Service for specific steps.
How many roles does the Azure Account have?
Roles Description Account Administrator (AA) The account administrator possesses the login information of an OrganizationID and is able to access the account center to perform various administrative tasks. For example, creating subscriptions, canceling subscriptions, changing subscription billing, creating a user and authorizing the corresponding role of the user, and deploying the services under each subscription. Owner The owner has full access rights to all resources in a single subscription, including the right to delegate access rights to other users Contributor A contributor has full access rights to all resources in a single subscription, while they cannot authorize the access rights to other users Reader A reader can check the current Azure resources in a single subscription, while they cannot deploy services or authorize roles to users
Can I alter the Profile of the Account Administrator?
Yes. You can alter the Profile of the Account Administrator through the Azure Account Center, referring to Change Account Subscription Name and Contact Method for specific steps.
How to view the current Azure quota and its service conditions?
Can I apply for the Azure quota resources? And how can I apply for it?
Note: if your quota demand is quite large and urgent, we recommend that you apply for it at least three working days in advance.
MySQL Database on Azure Retirement Customer FAQ
We have summarized detailed FAQ for your better migration experiences from MySQL Database on Azure. Please refer to the MySQL Database on Azure migration FAQ and instructions.
Other Technical FAQ
What measures should I take to reduce the impact and risk on production applications caused by this maintenance?
Answer: We recommend that you use the Availability Set in the architecture to ensure continuity of business. For Cloud Services and Virtual Machines in an Availability Set, maintenance updates only one instance of an Update Domain (UD). We also encourage customers to cooperate with Microsoft contacts (sales field staff, technical account managers, etc.) on Availability Set. For more information, please visit the Virtual Machine Management Availability web page.
Why can’t I access the VIP IP address and ports of Azure VM from the local Ping?
When accessing a virtual machine via a VIP address, network traffic needs to go through Azure Load Balancer. Azure Load Balancer currently blocks the ICMP protocol. Ping belongs to the ICMP protocol group and cannot get through the Load Balancer. If customers need to verify the connectivity of virtual machines via VIP, they can do it with tools based on TCP Protocol. For more information, please refer to Using the PsPing & PaPing for TCP port connectivity testing.
Can I create a virtual machine inside Azure Virtual Machine?
The Dv3 and Dv3 VM sizes support nested virtualization. Both VM sizes are available on China East2 and China North2 region.
Can I create a Windows Server 2003 virtual machine in Azure?
The officially supported Windows Server virtual machine templates are:
- Windows Server 2008 R2
- Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2
- Windows Server 2016
Customers can create their own virtual machine template locally on Hyper-V for Server 2003 and upload it to Azure cloud, but Microsoft does not provide official support if there’s any problem with virtual machines created this way.
Is it supported to deploy Microsoft Exchange, Lync and Sharepoint in Azure?
The SharePoint Virtual Machine templates can be selected from Azure Virtual Machine templates and can be officially supported by Microsoft. Exchange Server and Lync Server can be customized and uploaded, but not officially supported.
What is the load balancing mechanism?
Azure Load Balancer is based on the fourth layer protocols (TCP, UDP), serving to distributing incoming traffic to the well-operating service instances defined in a load-balancing set, so as to improve the availability and network performance of applications.
Azure Load Balancer can be configured to:
- perform load balancing on Internet traffic going to the virtual machine. This configuration is called Internet-facing load balancing.
- perform load balancing on network traffic among virtual machines in the virtual network, network traffic among virtual machines in the Cloud Services, or network traffic between local computers and cross-premises virtual networks. And this configuration is called Internal Load Balancer.
- forward external traffic to designated virtual machines.
For more details about Azure Load Balancer, please refer to Overview of the Azure Load Balancer.
How do I perform data backup?
Azure backup provides two types of redundancy: Local Redundant Storage (LRS) and Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS). Local Redundant Storage copies the data in the matching data centers of the same region three times (creating three data copies). Geo-Redundant Storage copies the data to a secondary region several kilometers from the primary location of the source data. In order to prevent temporary storage unavailability arising from a disaster in one region, we recommend that customers back up their data using Read/Access Geo-Redundant Storage (RA-GRS). This way, in case of unavailability of the storage account of the primary region, the data can be accessed from the secondary region.
The following table describes backup and disaster recovery capabilities of different data services in Azure, as well as the corresponding backup methods:
Service Name Local data redundancy mode Local backup Remote data mirroring Backup methods Storage service 3 copies, Active-Active None Asynchronous replication to the remote location, no RTO
- Local Redundant Storage (LRS)
- Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS)
- Read/Access Geo-Redundant Storage (RA-GRS)
- Use AzCopy
SQL Database 3 copies, one master and two backups No (new function in development) None IaaS virtual machine OS disk and mounted disk Only preserves data, same as storage service None Only preserves data, same as storage service IaaS virtual machine temporary disk None None None None PaaS Cloud Services, mobile services and Web Apps Only preserves published packages and code None None Backup options on the Azure portal application page
Can I specify regions for VIP addresses when creating related services (Cloud Computing)?
VIP address is determined in accordance with the selected region of the services being created and is randomly assigned from the IP address pool managed by Microsoft. For instance, if the customers choose China North, they will be preferentially assigned within an IP address in China North.
What should I be aware of when running a business application on a virtual machine?
Azure will regularly update the host environment to ensure that all the applications and virtual machines on the platform are always in a secure environment.
There may be data lost during virtual machine migration. Some reasons for virtual machine migration are as follows:
- Adjusting the size of the virtual machine
- Updating the host
- Hardware failure on the host
- User configures AutoScale for automatic expansion and contraction
In order to guarantee high availability of applications/services hosted in Azure virtual machines, we recommend:
1. Use multiple virtual machines in an Availability Set.
2. Deploy high availability structure for all components (front-end interface/application logic/data storage, etc.) of the pplications; Deploy each component on multiple virtual machines in Availability Sets, so that any individual virtual machine involved in the application deployment going offline does not bring the entire system offline.
3. After the key business applications are deployed to Azure Virtual Machines, test the applications thoroughly for the potential impact of virtual machine reboot.
For more information, please refer to the following links:
What should I be aware of about using virtual machines to store application data?
Azure Virtual Machine disks include a temporary disk, the D: disk (Windows) or /dev/sdb1 (Linux). They only provide temporary storage, so there is a risk of data loss, and the data cannot be completely recovered under some conditions. It is recommended against to use the disk to store data that require long term preservation, otherwise users must bear the risk of data lost resulting from this. Data loss on temporary disk usually occurs when virtual machines are migrated to different hosts. Reasons for virtual machine migration include: adjustment of virtual machine size, host update, or failures in host hardware. Exact time of virtual machine migration cannot be predicted, and it is very likely to occur without any user operation. For more information on virtual machine disks and high availability, refer to the following links:
How do I add virtual machines into a virtual network? What is the difference whether or not adding virtual machines into a virtural network? And how do I put an existing virtual machine into a new virtual network?
First, create a virtual network; select the previously-created virtual network when creating a virtual machine; add the virtual machine to the virtual network. For detailed steps, please refer to How to Add the Virtual Machines to the Virtual Network.
When adding into virtual networks, virtual machines can guaranteed to communicate with each other via intranet, and advanced functions, such as P2S and S2S VPN, can be configured.
If a virtual machine is not added to a virtual network during creation, it cannot be added to a virtual network later. Currently, the only approach is to delete the virtual machine (select to save the data disks), create a new virtual machine from the previously saved data disk, and choose to join an existing virtual network during the creation.
List of validated local network VPN devices that are compatible with Azure Site to Site VPN?
Please refer to Site to Site VPN for details.
How to configure websites deployed in Azure virtual machine to be accessible from public networks?
By default, Azure virtual machines only open limited ports corresponding to its VIP, used for remote connection or management. If a newly built website needs to be accessed via a certain port of a VIP, it is required to add an Endpoint to this virtual machine. This operation can be completed through Azure portal or Powershell.
What is availability set? How do I use availability set to increase the availability of applications?
Availability set is a type of logical grouping function. Applying it in Azure ensures that VM resource are mutually isolated after deployment.
Azure can ensure that the VM deployed in availability sets can run across multiple physical hosts, computer racks, storage units and network switches. In case of hardware failure, Azure software issue, or VM and applications update, only part of the VM will be affected and the applications as a whole can maintain functional for users.
How about the security of the Azure Storage service?
Azure Storage provides a comprehensive set of security capabilities. You can:
- Secure the storage account by using Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Azure Active Directory.
- Secure data in transit between an application and Azure by using client-side encryption, HTTPS, or SMB 3.0.
- Set data to be automatically encrypted when it's written to Azure Storage by using Storage Service Encryption.
- Set OS and data disks used by virtual machines (VMs) to be encrypted by using Azure Disk Encryption.
- Grant delegated access to the data objects in Azure Storage by using shared access signatures (SASs).
You may refer to Azure Storage security overviewfor the latest information.
What is the difference between Azure SQL Database and the traditional SQL Server Database?
Though SQL Server and Azure SQL Database sometimes handle the same application working load, one is a traditional database server under the software licensing model, while the other one is under the service-model cloud database running in the data center of 21Vianet, and is available as a pay-as-you-go model or a commitment rate model. You can easily choose the platform and business model that best suits your technological requirements between these two products.
SQL Server Azure SQL Database SQL Server is an enterprise-level database server, which is able to provide "vertical scalable" relational data storage and handle a wide-range of internally deployted applications and scenarios. SQL Server is not a service product and does not use a pay-as-you-go consumption model. SQL Server is licensed per server or per processor, and involves a rich set of server hardware. SQL Server runs on the hardware in your data center or your hosting provider's data center. Azure SQL Database is a highly-available distributed "horizontal scalable" database service, hosted in the Cloud operated by 21Vianet. With Azure SQL Database, users can easily configure and deploy the relational database as a service. Developers or administrators do not have to install, configure, patch or manage any software. This service has built-in high availability, backup and recovery, geographical distribution, and disaster recovery.
In addition to the difference between vertical/horizontal scaling, there are major differences in operating modes. Azure SQL Database service covers management of hardware and operating system, and therefore users can focus on building the solutions instead of purchasing, managing, patching, and licensing the hardware, virtual machines, operating systems and application platform software. However for the dedicated database servers (whether installed as traditional servers in on-premises deployment, hosted in the virtual machine, or hosted by the third-party service provider), developers and IT professionals are still responsible for installing, configuring, updating, and patching the operating system and database software. Furthermore, users of the database server must design their own solutions for high availability, vertical scaling and disaster recovery, resulting in increased overall management costs.
Azure SQL Database is targeted at designing and optimizing applications towards high scalability and high availability at a lower cost than a traditional vertical-scaling structure. As a result, Azure SQL Database is able to provide highly-available vertical-scaling solutions on commercial hardware and provide database functions as a service.
For more details, please refer to the SQL Azure web page.
How is Azure’s data redundancy guaranteed?
We provide geo-redundancy. One dedicated line is used to connect the two data centers in Beijing and Shanghai. It is dedicated to data synchronization between the data centers. In terms of data storage, Azure provides four redundancy levels for storage:
- Local Redundant Storage (LRS): we maintain multiple data replica in a region so as to provide high durability.
- Geo-Redundant Storage(GRS): we provide extra data durability through asynchronous replication between two regions hundreds of miles apart. In the two regions, we maintain multiple data replicas.
- Read-Access Geo-Redundant Storage (RA-GRS): in addition to GRS services, we provide read-only access to the storage account in the secondary region (which has a final edition consistent with data in the primary region). When the storage account in the primary region is not available, customers can use this service to access the data.
Are there any other detailed self-help information on Azure hot topics?
You may refer to Azure Operations Guide(Chinese) for Azure common questions and instructions.
Online Purchase Customer Support
Azure Support Overview
For which languages does 21Vianet provide support?
21Vianet provides support in two languages: Chinese and English.
Do I get 24x7 support?
21Vianet provides 24x7 technical support in Chinese and English for severity A only. Severity A support is available only to customers who have signed the 21Vianet Online Services Advanced Agreement (purchase services through the sales team).
What is considered local business hours for support?
For China, business hours are defined as 9:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M Beijing time during week days (weekends and holidays are excluded).
What kind of support will I get from 21vianet technical support team?
21vianet technical support team will provide you with break-fix and limited advisory support. Break-fix issues are technical problems you experience while using Azure services. "Break-fix" is an industry term that refers to “work involved in supporting a technology when it fails in the normal course of its function, which requires intervention by a support organization to be restored to working order." Limited advisory support generally includes answers to common questions and best practices sharing.
For customer specific architectural support such as design reviews, performance tuning, code optimization and personalized configuration, please get support from Premier service. You can contact your account manager to learn how to purchase.
What is a Public Preview service or feature? Will it be supported?
Public Preview services or features are available to Azure subscribers through the Azure Portal, these services are intended to be used as an early-look into what is coming and as a chance to test upcoming services and features. Public Preview services or features are identified by “Preview” tag in the Azure Portal and Azure.cn product page.
Why is submitting a request online the preferred method of contacting Azure Support?
Submitting support requests online allows support team to deliver fast and deep technical expertise in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Due to the detailed nature of the requests, it is much easier to provide relevant information online, compared to reading this information over the phone. This model also eliminates unproductive hold time for a simple, intuitive online process. As a result, customer problems are routed more quickly, to the most qualified engineer.
Is there a phone number I can call to contact the Azure Support?
Contacting Azure Support over the phone will not speed up the processing of your request and you will get a much better and faster experience by submitting support requests online. If you cannot submit a request online, please call 21V service hotline: 400-089-0365.
How do I submit a support request if I cannot log in to the management portal?
How do I get support if I don’t have an Azure subscription yet, and I get an error message while creating one?
You can open a Subscription Management support request fromhere.
What is Initial Response Time and how quickly can I expect to hear back from someone after submitting my support request?
Initial Response Time is the period from when you submit your support request to when a Support Engineer contacts you and starts working on your support request. The Initial Response Time varies with the Business Impact of the request (also known as Severity).
How quickly will you resolve my support request?
21 Vianet is committed to assist you in resolving your issue as soon as possible. Sometimes that means focusing efforts on reducing the business impact and mitigating any negative impact to your operation, before moving to a full solution. Therefore, 21Vianet make a commitment to Initial Response Time and also in working with you until the impact of your issue is mitigated, having no direct SLA for support request resolution. The time it takes to troubleshoot and resolve a support request varies greatly based on the specifics of the issue. Support engineer will work with you to get the issue resolved as fast as possible.
I’m running a non-Microsoft technology on Azure or a custom application built using Open Source Software (OSS). Will it be supported?
Customers can run non-Microsoft technologies on the Azure platform, including but not limited to Linux, Oracle, SAP, and IBM. For all scenarios that are eligible for support, 21V Support team will help in isolating the issue between the Azure Service and your custom application.
Full technical support will be provided if the issue is determined to be caused by an Azure service or platform. Commercially reasonable support will be provided to all other scenarios. When an adequate solution to your issue is not achieved, you might be referred to other support channels that are available for the non-Microsoft software.
For open source code, please refer to Microsoft Azure SDK.
How do I get support during an Outage or Service Interruption Event (SIE)?
During a SIE (Service Outage), 21Vianet provides frequent and timely updates to the Azure Service Dashboard. This is the best way to receive the latest information. You can also chatthrough WeChat account with a support engineer who will work with you to determine whether your issue is related to an ongoing SIE.
Can I request a Root-Cause Analysis (RCA)?
If you have opened an Azure technical support case and need an RCA, you can request one.
What if I already have a Premier contract and I want to learn more about how to get the most from it?
Contact your Technical Account Manager (TAM) to discuss options for best utilizing your existing Premier support agreement or rightsizing your Premier agreement to better suit your Azure needs.
Using Azure Support
Azure Support for Enterpise/Premier
Enterprise Customer Support
Azure Support Overview
I have purchased one OSPA contract. How do I log in EA portal?
Please log in EA Portalwith your account in contract and password.
How should I create one account which has the same domain name with Enterprise Administrator?
3 steps need to be done to create such account:
Step1: Log inO365 Portalwith your Enterprise Administrator to create one new account.
Step2: Log in EA portal with your Enterprise Administrator and then add your new account just creating in O365 portal in ‘Account’ .
Step3: Log in EA portal with your new account and add subscriptions for the new account.
What is Account Owner?
The person identified to manage subscriptions and service administrators on Microsoft Azure. They also have the ability to view usage data on this account and its associated subscriptions.
What is Enterprise Administrator?
The person(s) identified to manage departments and department owners and accounts and account owners on Microsoft Azure. They also have the ability to manage enterprise administrators and view usage data, billed quantities and unbilled charges across all accounts and subscriptions associated with the enterprise enrollment.
What is Amendment Subscription?
A single one year or coterminous subscription under the Enrollment Amendment.
How can I delete my account in EA Portal?
Log in EA Portal and click ‘Manage-Account-select account-delete account’.
How should I change my subscription name and account contact details?
There are 2 ways to edit your subscription name and account contact details.
(1) Log in Azure portal and click subscription to edit the name.
(2) Log inAccount center to edit both subscription name and account contact details.
How to add department in EA Portal?
Log in EA Portal and click’ Manage-Department-add department’.
If I have one 1RMB Trail account, PIA account and EA Trail account, can I upgrade these accounts to EA Enterprise accounts?
Yes, you can. You should log in EA portal with your Enterprise Administrator and add these accounts in ‘Account’ and then they will be upgraded to EA Enterprise accounts. But, once they have been upgraded to EA Enterprise accounts, they cannot be downgraded to the trail account.
where should I go to view the notifications published in EA portal?
Log in EA Portal and Click the ‘Notification’ in the left Page.
Is there any documents that introduce the EA Portal?
Yes. Please log in EA portal and click ‘Help’ where you can view and download documents.
Where could I check my billing data?
There are 3 ways to check billing data in EA Portal.
1. View usage summary.
2. Download monthly usage report or advanced usage report.
3. Download usage report through API.
Is tax included in the EA Portal price list and cost?
No, it does not include the tax.
What is Frequency of the Notification of my usage in EA portal?
Administrator and notification contacts are automatically enrolled to receive notification when the consumption usage meets 50%, 75%, 90% ,100% and 125% of their monetary commitment. Meanwhile, the administrator has the ability to change the frequency of the notification to Daily, Weekly, Monthly or None. Basing on your business requirement, you can select the relevant Notification Frequency.
How to pay as an indirect OSPA customer?
Indirect OSPA customers pay directly to partners, all terms and payment methods will be suggested by partner. Partner will issue VAT invoice to customer once payment is completed.
How to view my Indirect OSPA price?
For Indirect OSPA, all pricing will be suggested by Indirect partner. 21 Vianet and Microsoft will not provide or engage in customer pricing or billing. Please contact Indirect Partner for more information.
How to pay overage as an Indirect OSPA customer?
In Indirect OSPA, Customers’ overage will be informed and charged by partner. VAT invoice will be provided by partner after customer paid. The overage service unit price will be the same as the commitment service unit price. Please consult your partners for payment terms, frequency, and methods.
Under what circumstances do you need to do credit check?
Before 21Vianet sends out the contract package to customers, credit check is the prerequisite to all enterprise customers to complete.
What materials customer should provide?
The materials customer should provide includes:
Business license with registered capital；
Tax register certification；
Recent 2 years’ financial report；
Contract details with commitment, payment terms and Microsoft related contact persons (Microsoft team will help to consolidate)
Do you need to do credit check in next year?
If the next year annual commitment amount is greater than 150% of previous year, customer need to follow the same process for credit check one more time.
How long credit check will take?
Standard credit check will take 2 working days.
How to apply Azure EA trail account?
You need to check with your account manager to apply.
How may subscription can EA trail account have?
Only one subscription.
Is there any notification will be sent to customer when subscription going to cancelled?
Email notification will be sent when credit used by 30%，50%，70%，90%, and also 30days，14days，7days，1days to account expiration.