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Benefits of Microsoft’s New Versions of Azure Application Gateway and the Web Application Firewall

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In a recent blog post, Microsoft discusses the benefits of the generally available releases of Azure Application Gateway V2 Standard SKU and Web Application Firewall (WAF) V2 SKU's. Microsoft fully supports them with a 99.95% SLA, significant improvements and capabilities.

Azure Application Gateway is part of the Microsoft Azure networking services portfolio that includes Azure Load Balancer, Azure Traffic Manager, and Azure Front Door. The service is a web traffic load balancer and Application Delivery Controller (ADC) in Azure that enables customers to manage traffic to their web applications. The service provides customers with layer 7 load balancing, security and WAF functionality. 

Next, the Web Application Firewall is integrated with the Azure Application Gateway core offerings and further strengthens the security portfolio and posture of applications - protecting them from many of the most common web vulnerabilities, as identified by Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) top 10 weaknesses.

In April, Microsoft announced the release of both Azure Application Gateway V2 and Web Application Firewall (WAF) V2. Subra Sarma, principal program manager, Microsoft Azure, states in the blog that customers should move forward to the V2 SKU’s:

We highly recommend that customers use the V2 SKUs instead of the V1 SKU for new applications/workloads.

To help customers with migrating to V2 gateways with the same configuration, Microsoft created a PowerShell script along with documentation that helps replicate the settings on a V1 gateway to a new V2 gateway.

With the new V2 releases, customers can benefit from:

  • Autoscaling - allowing elasticity for their applications by scaling the application gateway as needed based on the application’s traffic pattern.
  • Zone redundancy - enabling their application gateway to survive zonal failures and offering better resilience.
  • The Static VIP feature ensuring that their endpoint addresses will not change over its lifecycleHeader Rewrite - allowing them to add, remove or update HTTP request and response headers on their application gateway.
  • Faster provisioning and configuration update time.
  • Improved performance for their application gateway, helping them to reduce overall costs.

Source: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/taking-advantage-of-the-new-azure-application-gateway-v2/

Note that if customers use WAF functionality for their web application in the Azure Application Gateway V2 Standard, they will need to have one per region and manually scale it as well. However, alternatively customers can use Azure Front Door to have a global reach and autoscaling.

The Standard_v2 and WAF_v2 SKU are available in the America (North Central US, South Central US, West US, West US 2, East US, East US 2, Central US), Europe (North Europe, West Europe, Southeast Asia, France Central, UK West), and Asia (Japan East, Japan West) regions. Furthermore, Microsoft will add additional regions in the future. 

Lastly, Sarma states in the blog that customers will have lower costs with V2 SKU’s. The pricing details are available on the pricing page.

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