Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: Apr 23, 2018 – Azure Sphere: New Linux Powered IoT Microcontroller

Do you find it difficult to keep up-to-date on the frequent updates and changes in the Microsoft Azure cloud? If so, Build Azure Weekly is the solution you’ve been looking for! Build Azure Weekly is a weekly newsletter that includes all the latest Microsoft Azure Service Updates from the week in addition to links to many other blog articles, podcasts and videos from all over the Internet.

If you want to receive the newsletter in your email every week, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

Azure Sphere: New Linux Powered IoT Microcontroller

Microsoft announced the introduction of Azure Sphere, a new solution for creating highly-secured, internet connected micro controller devices. It combines Microsoft’s cloud expertise, software, and hardware devices to create a secured platform that starts with silicon and extends into the cloud. This is done by combining Azure Sphere MCUs (microcontrollers), Azure Sphere secured operating system (OS), and a turnkey cloud security service. All this is designed to provide you with “the confidence and power to reimagine your business and create the future.

Azure-Sphere-3-tenants-Secured-MCU-OS-Cloud-Security

The operating system Microsoft chose for the new Azure Sphere “secured operating system” is Linux; not Windows. The reason is not that Linux might be more secure than Windows. Presumably, the reason Microsoft chose Linux is more to do with the fact that most IoT device platforms are powered by Linux rather than Microsofts Windows 10 IoT Core operating system. So, to compete better in the IoT MCU space, they likely needed to choose Linux. Although, it’s not stated that Linux will be the only option, so we’ll see if Windows 10 IoT Core make an appearance in the Azure Sphere space some time in the future.

You can learn more about Azure Sphere here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/azure-sphere/

The Weeks Top Links

Here are some of the most notable links from the week:

Azure Service Updates

Here’s a list of the Microsoft Azure Service Updates from over the past week:

Monthly Sponsor

If you haven’t checked out what Opsgility has to offer yet, please click the link below and go check out the awesome training offered!

Are you looking for a clear and outlined path to learn Microsoft Azure? No matter if you’re a Developer, IT Pro, or Architect, Opsgility has courses that will help you learn how to build and implement solutions within Microsoft Azure more affectively and efficiently. The on-demand and instructor-led courses from Opsgility offer maximum flexibility to learn how you learn best, and to help your team grow into the cloud experts you need them to be in an efficient manner.

Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

Get started today with Microsoft Dev Essentials and get 3 months Free of Opsgility on-demand streaming service! Read More

DevOpsInfrastructurePowerShell

Using Chocolatey with Azure VMs

Automate Everything. That’s my new mantra, and it should be yours…

Like many of you, I’m an infrastructure guy and grew up with the crutches of setup.exe and the massive installers that MSFT built in the late 90’s and 2000’s. But, that was then, and today all of us need to become DevOps engineers! It used to be when we built servers they would have a lifespan of many years, but now there is a new type of VM that might only live for a day or even less.

The concept of deleting a server would have scared the daylights out of me in 2002!? Yikes!

In this new world of Azure, we should be building VMs that are purpose-built and automated in their deployment end to end. We want the teams that are consuming these servers to be ready to work as soon as they login.

Windows, Linux, and Azure provide us with many tools to make that happen such as ARM templates, PowerShell or Yum and Apt on Linux. These tools can work together with the custom script extension for Windows or Linux to build out our VMs. Read More

Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: Apr 16, 2018 – Azure SQL Database Managed Instance

Do you find it difficult to keep up-to-date on the frequent updates and changes in the Microsoft Azure cloud? If so, Build Azure Weekly is the solution you’ve been looking for! Build Azure Weekly is a weekly newsletter that includes all the latest Microsoft Azure Service Updates from the week in addition to links to many other blog articles, podcasts and videos from all over the Internet.

If you want to receive the newsletter in your email every week, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

Azure SQL Database Managed Instance

The addition of Managed Instance pricing to Azure SQL Database brings with it the option to choose between DTU and vCore based pricing / hosting for your Azure SQL Databases. The existing Single Database and Elastic Pool pricing based on DTUs (Database Throughput Units) is still available, but you now have the choice to use Managed Instances based on vCPUs (Virtual CPUs / CPU Cores) as well!

The new Azure SQL Database Managed instances offer the following benefits to the service:

  • Optimize flexibility and performance with two new service tiers
  • Choosing between DTU and vCore-based performance levels
  • Save up to 30% on vCore-based options with Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server

You can read more from the official announcement here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/a-flexible-new-way-to-purchase-azure-sql-database/

The Weeks Top Links

Here are some of the most notable links from the week:

Azure Service Updates

Here’s a list of the Microsoft Azure Service Updates from over the past week:

Monthly Sponsor

If you haven’t checked out what Opsgility has to offer yet, please click the link below and go check out the awesome training offered!

Are you looking for a clear and outlined path to learn Microsoft Azure? No matter if you’re a Developer, IT Pro, or Architect, Opsgility has courses that will help you learn how to build and implement solutions within Microsoft Azure more affectively and efficiently. The on-demand and instructor-led courses from Opsgility offer maximum flexibility to learn how you learn best, and to help your team grow into the cloud experts you need them to be in an efficient manner.

Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

Get started today with Microsoft Dev Essentials and get 3 months Free of Opsgility on-demand streaming service! Read More

DevOpsInfrastructureportalPowerShell

Nested VMs in Azure with one click? You must be crazy…

When I first heard that you could run nested VMs with Azure, I ran over to my laptop to deploy one of those shiny new Version 3 VMs!

Once my Host was provisioned, I got right to work.  Quickly adding the Hyper-V role and after a quick reboot, I started downloading ISOs!  And before you know it I was disappointed.  Yeah, I had a VM running, but after searching the internet for hours, I gave up.  I never could get the thing talking to the Internet.

Well, fast forward a few months and a client of mine asked if we could build a self-provisioning Nested Hyper-V Host in Azure that would pull down pre-configured VMs and start them with only one click?  I was excited. There is nothing cooler than getting to figure something out while you are getting paid.  Well, it wasn’t easy to figure out, but what I have for you here is the fruit of that labor! Read More

Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: Apr 9, 2018 – Application Security Groups are GA!

Do you find it difficult to keep up-to-date on the frequent updates and changes in the Microsoft Azure cloud? If so, Build Azure Weekly is the solution you’ve been looking for! Build Azure Weekly is a weekly newsletter that includes all the latest Microsoft Azure Service Updates from the week in addition to links to many other blog articles, podcasts and videos from all over the Internet.

If you want to receive the newsletter in your email every week, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

Application Security Groups are GA!

Application Security Groups (ASG) are now Generally Available in all Microsoft Azure regions! Through Application Security Groups, Azure provides security micro-segmentation for your Virtual Networks (VNets). You can use this to define fine-grained network security policies based on workloads, centralized on applications, instead of explicit IP addresses. This provides the capability to group VMs with monikers and secure applications by filtering traffic from trusted segments of your network.

implementing this granular security traffic controls improves isolation of workloads and protects them individually. If a security breach occurs, this technique limits the potential impact of lateral exploration of your networks from hackers.

You can read more from the official announcement from the “Application Security Groups now generally available in all Azure regions” article on the Microsoft Azure blog.

The Weeks Top Links

Here are some of the most notable links from the week:

Azure Service Updates

Here’s a list of the Microsoft Azure Service Updates from over the past week:

Monthly Sponsor

The month of March marks 1 full year of Opsgility sponsoring Build Azure!! If you haven’t checked out what Opsgility has to offer yet, please click the link below and go check out the awesome training offered!

Are you looking for a clear and outlined path to learn Microsoft Azure? No matter if you’re a Developer, IT Pro, or Architect, Opsgility has courses that will help you learn how to build and implement solutions within Microsoft Azure more affectively and efficiently. The on-demand and instructor-led courses from Opsgility offer maximum flexibility to learn how you learn best, and to help your team grow into the cloud experts you need them to be in an efficient manner.

Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

Get started today with Microsoft Dev Essentials and get 3 months Free of Opsgility on-demand streaming service! Read More

Azure CLIInfrastructure

Securing Azure Virtual Machines using Network Security Groups (NSGs)

Security, Security!

This is top of mind for everyone these days and Azure has many security features.  Today we are going to explore the world of Network Security Groups (NSGs) and their use on Virtual Machines and traffic into and out of Virtual Networks.

A network security group (NSG) is a networking filter (firewall) containing a list of security rules allowing or denying network traffic to resources connected to Azure VNets. These rules can manage both inbound and outbound traffic. NSGs can be associated to subnets and/or individual Network Interfaces attached to ARM VMs and Classic VMs. Each NSG has the following properties regardless of where it is associated:

  • Name for the NSG
  • Azure region where the NSG is located
  • resource group
  • Rules either Inbound or Outboard defining what traffic is allowed or denied

When a NSG is associated to a subnet, the rules apply to all resources connected to the subnet. Traffic can be further restricted by also associating a NSG to a VM or NIC. NSGs that are associated to subnets are said to be filtering “North/South” traffic (in other words, packets flowing in and out of a subnet). NSGs that are associated to Network Interfaces are said to be filtering “East/West” traffic (in other words, how the VMs within the subnet connect to each other). Read More

Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: Apr 2, 2018 – Availability Zones goes GA in Select Regions

Do you find it difficult to keep up-to-date on the frequent updates and changes in the Microsoft Azure cloud? If so, Build Azure Weekly is the solution you’ve been looking for! Build Azure Weekly is a weekly newsletter that includes all the latest Microsoft Azure Service Updates from the week in addition to links to many other blog articles, podcasts and videos from all over the Internet.

If you want to receive the newsletter in your email every week, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

Azure Availability Zones goes GA in Select Regions

Azure Availability Zones offer the ability to build mission-critical applications in a more highly-available manner within a single Azure Region by spreading your workload across multiple Zones within a single Azure Region.

To get an overview of what Availability Zones are and how to use them, I encourage you to read the “Azure Availability Zones” by Build Azure’s own Dan Patrick.

The addition of Azure Availability Zones bring with it an update to the SLA (service-level agreement) when hosting Virtual Machines (VMs) to offer a 99.99% SLA guarantee for VMs within Azure using Availability Zones!

The Weeks Top Links

Here are some of the most notable links from the week:

Azure Service Updates

Here’s a list of the Microsoft Azure Service Updates from over the past week:

Monthly Sponsor

The month of March marks 1 full year of Opsgility sponsoring Build Azure!! If you haven’t checked out what Opsgility has to offer yet, please click the link below and go check out the awesome training offered!

Are you looking for a clear and outlined path to learn Microsoft Azure? No matter if you’re a Developer, IT Pro, or Architect, Opsgility has courses that will help you learn how to build and implement solutions within Microsoft Azure more affectively and efficiently. The on-demand and instructor-led courses from Opsgility offer maximum flexibility to learn how you learn best, and to help your team grow into the cloud experts you need them to be in an efficient manner.

Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

Get started today with Microsoft Dev Essentials and get 3 months Free of Opsgility on-demand streaming service! Read More

Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: Mar 26, 2018 – New Azure Portal UI Archive Project

Do you find it difficult to keep up-to-date on the frequent updates and changes in the Microsoft Azure cloud? If so, Build Azure Weekly is the solution you’ve been looking for! Build Azure Weekly is a weekly newsletter that includes all the latest Microsoft Azure Service Updates from the week in addition to links to many other blog articles, podcasts and videos from all over the Internet.

If you want to receive the newsletter in your email every week, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

New Azure Portal UI Archive Project

An idea I’ve had for some time now is to create a screenshot archive of the Azure Portal. The reason for this is that the UI of the Azure Portal is constantly changing, and it’s neat sometimes to look at older screenshots to see what the Azure Portal UI used to be at some point in the past. So, I’ve decided to create a new open source project over on Github, title Azure Portal Archive.

Also, instead of just having a folder of screenshots, I’ve created a simple UI to be able to easily navigate the archive of Azure Portal screenshots. This UI is hosted using GitHub Pages at the following URL: https://buildazure.github.io/azure-portal-archive/

There’s only a couple screenshots in the archive right now, as I just created this project a couple days ago. If you would like to submit any screenshots to the archive, please feel free to submit a Pull Request to the project. Also, please make sure there isn’t any sensitive, confidential, or PII information in the screenshots that you don’t have permission to share publicly. I know we all have production deployments running in Azure, so please blur out stuff in the screenshots if necessary.

The Weeks Top Links

Here are some of the most notable links from the week:

Azure Service Updates

Here’s a list of the Microsoft Azure Service Updates from over the past week:

Monthly Sponsor

The month of March marks 1 full year of Opsgility sponsoring Build Azure!! If you haven’t checked out what Opsgility has to offer yet, please click the link below and go check out the awesome training offered!

Are you looking for a clear and outlined path to learn Microsoft Azure? No matter if you’re a Developer, IT Pro, or Architect, Opsgility has courses that will help you learn how to build and implement solutions within Microsoft Azure more affectively and efficiently. The on-demand and instructor-led courses from Opsgility offer maximum flexibility to learn how you learn best, and to help your team grow into the cloud experts you need them to be in an efficient manner.

Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

Get started today with Microsoft Dev Essentials and get 3 months Free of Opsgility on-demand streaming service! Read More

Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: Mar 19, 2018 – Service Fabric goes Open Source

Do you find it difficult to keep up-to-date on the frequent updates and changes in the Microsoft Azure cloud? If so, Build Azure Weekly is the solution you’ve been looking for! Build Azure Weekly is a weekly newsletter that includes all the latest Microsoft Azure Service Updates from the week in addition to links to many other blog articles, podcasts and videos from all over the Internet.

If you want to receive the newsletter in your email every week, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

Service Fabric is going Open Source

Microsoft Service Fabric originally grew out of the “Azure Fabric” that runs the underlying automation layer of the Azure datacenters. Service Fabric is used internally by Microsoft to host many different Azure services. Over time, Microsoft has released Service Fabric as a separate product that allows for Microservice architectures to be more easily hosted using both Windows and Linux operating systems.

Over the last couple years, there’s been a bit of talk and confusion about where Service Fabric fits within the future of the Microsoft Azure landscape. Most of this has originated from the way that many of the different products within Microsoft Azure are really starting to embrace Docker Containers, and even Kubernetes for orchestration of those containers. With these many services utilizing Containers, it has seemed that Microsoft is possibly shifting focus away from Service Fabric, and maybe Service Fabric will be phased out or deprecated.

Service Fabric deprivation is not something that is happening. Microsoft is continuing to invest in Service Fabric, and will continue to build out it’s features and support. An interesting evolution of this effort is the recent announcement that Microsoft Service Fabric is going open source under the MIT license.

While it’ll be interesting to see what Microsoft does with future versions / releases of Service Fabric, it’ll be just as interesting to see what the Open Source community does with being able to eventually contribute to the project.

You can view the open source project for Microsoft Service Fabric over on GitHub: https://github.com/Microsoft/service-fabric

The Weeks Top Links

Here are some of the most notable links from the week:

Azure Service Updates

Here’s a list of the Microsoft Azure Service Updates from over the past week:

Monthly Sponsor

The month of March marks 1 full year of Opsgility sponsoring Build Azure!! If you haven’t checked out what Opsgility has to offer yet, please click the link below and go check out the awesome training offered!

Are you looking for a clear and outlined path to learn Microsoft Azure? No matter if you’re a Developer, IT Pro, or Architect, Opsgility has courses that will help you learn how to build and implement solutions within Microsoft Azure more affectively and efficiently. The on-demand and instructor-led courses from Opsgility offer maximum flexibility to learn how you learn best, and to help your team grow into the cloud experts you need them to be in an efficient manner.

Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

Get started today with Microsoft Dev Essentials and get 3 months Free of Opsgility on-demand streaming service! Read More

Azure CLIInfrastructure

Azure CLI 2.0: Convert VM to Managed Disks

Traditionally, Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) would use an Azure Storage Account to store the VM Disk Images for the VM. This required explicit management of what Storage Accounts contained which and how many VM Disks; both OS Disks and Data Disks. To simplify the management of the VM Disks, Microsoft released a newer feature (that is now the recommended best practice) called Azure Managed Disks. Managed Disks allow you to store the VM Disk imaged (both OS and Data disks) in Azure without the need to manage what Storage Accounts are used. You simple create Managed Disks, and the Azure platform takes care of all the management and scalability necessary.

When creating a Virtual Machine in Microsoft Azure, you can choose whether to use Managed Disks or not. Even though this can be chosen now at creating time, you may still have a number of Virtual Machines that are not using Managed Disks. Thankfully, Microsoft has provided tooling within the Azure CLI that enables you to easily Convert a VM to use Managed Disks.

Let’s take a look at this below… Read More