Spectra and Meltdown patching has ended in most of the Azure Regions – Microsoft has done express patching to protect the customers.
Last two weeks in most of the organizations the windows team must be busy in applying patches to hundreds of Servers after the information of the serious design flaw with Intel, ARM and AMD based chips that allowed programs to read the contents and layout of a computers protected kernel. Patches has been applied to the Azure VM as well in express basis. This windows patch requires reboot of the VM in most of the cases.
To understand more detail of the problem please read the post here. This post has been published in google blogs.
Although initially Microsoft said the “majority” of Azure infrastructure had already been updated and that all planned maintenance had been preponed following the above blog post release.
Microsoft has send a mail to its customers for this patching activity to all the subscription holders on 3rd of Jan. They have also mentioned that they are performing the maintenance updates on an accelerated timeline now.
ARM in a statement informed that most of its processors were not affected except some Cortex based processor. AMD also reported that their processor are not prone to this however Intel has agreed to this flaw and informed although they are working on this for some time now but their processors still have problems. Microsoft has released multiple statement in their blog about their actions against this vulnerabilities. For more details please click here.
Results of the patching:
Some of the system admin has informed that there is an impact in performance after the reboot but the percentage is very less. Customers who has noticed a problem after reboot are those with large machines with very heavy network usage.
How to check the status of the patching for your Azure VM
Please go to the service health – health history section and click on health history.
You can also check the list of the VM’s where the patch has been applied from here and download a report in excel. A report will look like this.
Please note that in some subscription this download is not available at the time of writing this blog post since MS has removed the link due to an error reported by the customer’s. If you still have any doubt about your subscription please open a support case with MS.