Month: March 2017

Video

Create Azure Web App in the Azure Portal

Here’s a short video introduction to creating an Azure Web App within the Azure Portal. It also shows how to select the pricing tier to specify the CPU and Memory resources for the App Service Plan that hosts the Web App, as well as explaining a little about the different pricing tiers; including the Free and Shared pricing tiers.

This is one of the first videos I’ve published to the Build Azure YouTube Channel where I’m starting to build out video content to accompany this site. Enjoy!

Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: Mar 27, 2017

Are you having difficulty keeping up to date on all the frequent changes and updates in the Microsoft Azure space? Then the Build Azure Weekly has the solution you’re looking for. Build Azure Weekly is a weekly blog post 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 these in your email, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

Service Updates

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

Top Links

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

Monthly Sponsor

opsgility-new-high-res-logo-no-gear-with-taglineOpsgility 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.

We provide live, instructor-led (onsite and virtual) courses as well as self-paced, online courses that go above and beyond simple videos or blog posts. Each course is designed to comprehensively guide the student through the subject by providing expert instructors, step-by-step hands-on labs, and knowledge measures to assess and ensure new skills are mastered.

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

CertificationTraining

Renew MCSD & MCSE Annually by Retaking Certification Exams

In the past once you passed a specific Microsoft certification exam you were not allowed to retake that exam again, ever. After all, there wasn’t really any benefit to since you passed the exam and it counted towards earning you a specific certification. Back then the exams did not undergo any major updates or restructuring until they were retired and replace with a brand new exam on the latest technology and product releases. With the recent changes and restructuring of the Microsoft certification program, the exam are now getting updated periodically and you will now be able to retake an exam after such updates have been made.

As of March 17, 2017, the necessary changes have been put into place to allow for exam to be retaken on an annual basis. After a period of 365 days from the date you pass a certification exam, you will now be able to retake that exam again. This will allow for you to retake a particular exam, or at least the most recent update of that exam, to be used as the qualifying elective exam necessary to renew an MCSD or MCSE certification and keep it active for the current year.

Currently, the exams eligible to be retaken are:

This new retake policy is a really great improvement. It was previously assumed that only a new elective needed to be passed every year to keep the MCSD or MCSE certifications current for the given year. If this were required then you would be required to keep learning new technologies and product releases to pass an exam even if they didn’t relate to you job duties. However, by allowing already passed exams to be retaken annually, you will now be able to renew and keep up-to-date by continually brushing up and maintaining the exam skills that pertain to your daily job duties over time.

This change goes along with the other improvements being made to the Microsoft certification that are really making the program much better than it was in the past by keeping the certifications relevant and useful.

Big DataDevelopmentTraining

Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) Expanding with More Tracks

The Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) is the most recent program from Microsoft to provide training and an educational platform in an effort to help fill the growing skills gap. According to Microsoft there are 1.5 million jobs going unfilled as a result. The program was initially launched with a Data Science track and has been a big success.

In the Data Science track of the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) there have been nearly 4,000 learners enrolled in the program since July 2016. There has also been over 700 graduates of the program develop their skills and earn the Data Science certification.

There has also been over 700 graduates of the program develop their skills and earn the Data Science certification.

As was announced in October 2016, Microsoft is following through with a planned expansion of the Microsoft Professional Program. This expansion is brining with it the addition of 2 new tracks to the program. The 2 new tracks are:

  • Big Data – The track will teach the skills required to design systems for capturing, processing and analyzing big data.
  • Front-End Web Development – The track will focus on developing skills with programming languages, standards, libraries, and frameworks ranging from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to frameworks such as Angular, Bootstrap, and jQuery.

New Big Data and Front-end Web Development tracks are being added to the program.

Enrollees in the Microsoft Professional Program are getting a new benefit added to the program. The new benefit is the addition of a free 12 month Pro membership to Gooroo.io. Gooroo is a resource for learners interested in careers in technology that will give them access to employment opportunities from some of the world’s leading tech startups and corporations.

The overall price for the completion certificates for each of the courses in the Microsoft Professional Program is also increasing. Previously, the majority of the courses for the program would cost $49 to receive a certificate of completion for each course. While enrollees are also able to audit each course for free. The free course auditing is remaining, but the fee for the certificate of completion of each course will be increasing to $99. This will result in an increase of the full program from costing approximately $500 USD for the Data Science track to the new cost of nearly $1,000 USD. This is somewhat of a significant cost increase but still far cheaper than a technical college or university degree. Additionally, the reason for the cost increase is to help pay for the cost that Microsoft has been putting into the development of the program tracks and courses.

In addition to the above, there are a few other smaller changes and updates being made to the program. Overall it’s been a fairly good success so far, and will undoubtedly keep growing with the expansion of the 2 new tracks in Big Data and Front-end Web Development.

ArchitectureInfrastructureportalVideo

Manage Azure Resource Policies in the Azure Portal

Here’s a short video I recorded that goes over how to manage Azure Resource Policies in the Azure Portal. Before the “how to” showing the Portal, I do give a brief explanation of what Azure Resource Policies are used for and why you would use them. I then go through the newly released UI within the Azure Portal that helps you easily setup and access the Resource Policy features within the Azure Portal. At the time of recording this I was using the “Preview” Azure Portal, but I would expect this features to be released to the Current Azure Portal in the near future. Enjoy! Read More

DevOpsportalVideo

Introduction to the Azure Portal

Here’s a short video I recorded that goes over how to access the Azure Portal (the Current Azure Management Portal). I cover an overview of the dynamics and mechanics of the Azure Portal and how to use it. I also show a few different ways of how to customize the Azure Portal to change the color theme, modify quicklinks in the left-side navigation, and how to easily customize and create multiple Dashboard views to give you easy DevOps style views into your applications and workloads running in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Additionally, I also cover a few tips and techniques that may help you in working with the Azure Portal overall.

I hope you enjoy this video. This is really just the first in an ongoing series of videos that I’m going to be publishing over on the Build Azure YouTube Channel. If you’re interested in seeing MANY more videos like this, then please go Subscribe to the http://youtube.com/BuildAzure channel!

Also, please don’t forget to Subscribe to BuildAzure.com to receive the latest Azure news in your email every Monday morning, in addition to all the latest awesome articles posted here!

Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: Mar 20, 2017

Are you having difficulty keeping up to date on all the frequent changes and updates in the Microsoft Azure space? Then the Build Azure Weekly has the solution you’re looking for. Build Azure Weekly is a weekly blog post 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 these in your email, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

Service Updates

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

Top Links

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

Monthly Sponsor

opsgility-new-high-res-logo-no-gear-with-taglineOpsgility 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.

We provide live, instructor-led (onsite and virtual) courses as well as self-paced, online courses that go above and beyond simple videos or blog posts. Each course is designed to comprehensively guide the student through the subject by providing expert instructors, step-by-step hands-on labs, and knowledge measures to assess and ensure new skills are mastered.

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

Blog Articles

Here’s a collection of some of the most note worthy blog articles posted over the past week:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Functions as a Service (FaaS)

Database / Big Data

Internet of Things (IoT)

Machine Learning

DevOps

Certification

Other

Videos

Here are links to some of the videos that have been posted over the past week:

Audio / Podcasts

To complete the collection of different mediums to allow you to consume your Azure news / info in any way you want, here’s a list of the podcasts released this week:

General Cloud / Related

Here’s some noteworthy links about Cloud computing and other related topics that aren’t necessarily specific to Microsoft Azure:

Feedback

Do you have any suggestions or general feedback on the Build Azure Weekly blog series? Please contact me and send it on over! Or tweet it over to @BuildAzure.

The types of feedback I’m looking for are:

  • What do you like?
  • What do you dislike?
  • What would you change?
  • What would you add?

Please feel free to reach out and let me know your feedback on the Build Azure Weekly series. I post this weekly post as a service to others and really want to make it the best it can be.

Alternatively, you can join the Build Azure Slack Group as well.

Infrastructure

Properly Shutdown Azure VM to Save Money

There are 2 ways to shutdown an Azure VM, and they are certainly not equal! One way you will still get charged for the compute resources, and the other will free you from paying for the compute resources and help you reduce overall cost.

The first method to shutdown an Azure VM, that sounds logical in the context of connecting with Remote Desktop, is to Shutdown the Operating System. In this scenario you would be connected with Remote Desktop, and when done with your work you go to the Power options within Windows and select Shutdown. This will essentially “turn off” the VM and stop it from running. However, even though the VM won’t be running you WILL still be paying for the Virtual machine hardware allocation. Doing this will cause the Azure Portal to report the status of the VM to be “Stopped”.

vs17-azureportal-vm-stoppeddeallocated

The second method, and the one to remember, is to go into the Azure Portal (or use Azure PowerShell or Azure CLI) and Stop the VM. Instead of just shutting down the Operating System, Azure will also deallocate the hardware (CPU and Memory) allocation; thus releasing it to be used for another workload in Microsoft Azure. Doing this will cause the Azure Portal to report the status of the VM to be “Stopped (Deallocated)”.

While in the “Stopped (Deallocated” status, you will not be paying for the VM resources.

It’s a good idea that when ever you don’t actually need the VM to be running that you Stop it using the Azure Portal, PowerShell, or Azure CLI so that the resources are released. While in the “Stopped (Deallocated” status, you will not be paying for the VM resources. This will really help you save money!

Manually Shutdown

To “properly” Stop a VM in the Azure Portal to release the resources and save money, you can follow these steps:

  1. Within the Azure Portal, navigate to the Virtual Machine blade for the desired VM.
  2. On the Overview pane, click the Stop button.
    vs17-azureportal-vm-stop-button

There is one caveat to be aware of when shutting down an Azure VM so it gets placed into the Stopped (Deallocated) status. Since this causes Azure to release the server resources associated with the Virtual Machine, it not only releases the CPU and Memory resources but also the Dynamic IP Address allocation. Due to this, when you Start the VM back up again, the IP Address will likely change. If you require the IP Address to never change for your VM, then you’ll need to configure a Static IP Address for the VM.

To start up a Stopped VM, you can follow these steps:

  1. Within the Azure Portal, navigate to the Virtual Machine blade for the desired VM.
  2. On the Overview pane, click the Start button.
    vs17-virtualmachine-start-button

Another point that’s important to remember when stopping Azure VM’s and placing them into the “Stopped (Deallocated)” state is that you do still pay for the Azure Storage account usage. Remember, the Storage account is where the VM’s .vhd disk image file is stored. Stopping the VM retains all the VM’s settings / configurations, as well as the .vhd image stored in Azure Storage. As a result, you will still incur some cost for the storage, but at least you will save on the VM resources. After all, the Storage will only cost a small amount of money compared to the much higher cost of the Virtual Machine resource allocation if it were left running constantly.

Schedule Auto Shutdown

Manually shutting down a VM to put it in the Stopped (Deallocated) status is a great way to save cost on Azure VM’s. Although, you do need to remember to Stop the VM. This introduces a certain level of human error in the process of saving you hosting costs on your Azure VMs. As a result, Microsoft has added a scheduled auto-shutdown feature into the platform to assist you in this effort.

With the Auto-shutdown feature, you are able to configure a specific Time (with Time Zone) when Azure is to automatically shutdown the VM. When configured, the VM will automatically be stopped if it is still running at that time of day.

To configure Auto-shutdown of an Azure VM, you can follow these steps:

  1. Within the Azure Portal, navigate to the Virtual Machine blade for the desired Virtual Machine.
  2. In the list of links on the Virtual Machine blade, click on Auto-shutdown.
    azureportal-vm-autoshutdown-link
  3. On the Auto-shutdown pane, configure the specific TimeTime Zone, and desired notification Webhook URL settings, then click Save.
    azureportal-vm-autoshutdown-pane

If you forget to Stop your VM at the end of the day, or whenever the Auto-shutdown time is configured it will get Shutdown automatically. When using a Visual Studio development VM, this can become a good thing on Friday afternoons (or any other day when you might be in a hurry) when you’re most likely to forget to shutdown the VM.

Certification

70-464 Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases Certification Exam

The Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases (70-464) certification exam is one of the elective exams that counts towards the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certifications. This exam centers around objectives that cover the areas of developing Microsoft SQL Server databases.

Certification Target Audience

The focus of the 70-464 Developing Microsoft SQL Server Database certification exam is centered around SQL Server technologies. This exam was first published in 2012, with more recent updates done in 2016, so it doesn’t seem to contain the Azure SQL Database topics that other exams cover.

This exam targets those database professionals who build and implement databases across organizations and who ensure high levels of data availability. The database professionals roles would include creating database files, data types, and tables; planning, creating, and optimizing indexes; ensuring data integrity; implementing views, stored procedures, and functions; and managing transactions and locks.

Skills Measured

Here’s a high level outline of the skill objectives measured on the Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases (70-464) certification exam. The percentages next to each of the exam objectives represents the percentage of exam questions in that particular exam objective area.

  • Implement database objects (30-35%)
    • Create and alter tables
    • Design, implement, and troubleshoot security
    • Design the locking granularity level
    • Implement indexes
    • Implement data types
    • Create and modify constraints
  • Implement programming objects (15-20%)
    • Design and implement stored procedures
    • Design T-SQL table-valued and scalar functions
    • Create, use, and alter user-defined functions (UDFs)
    • Create and alter views
  • Design database objects (25-30%)
    • Design tables
    • Design for concurrency
    • Design indexes
    • Design data integrity
    • Design for implicit and explicit transactions
  • Optimize and troubleshoot queries (25-30%)
    • Optimize and tune queries
    • Troubleshoot and resolve performance problems
    • Optimize indexes
    • Capture and analyze execution plans
    • Collect performance and system information

When studying for this exam, you’ll definitely want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the complete list of objectives covered. You’ll need to study each and every one of the objectives measured on the exam before attempting the exam successfully.

Training Materials

At the time of writing this summary, the 70-464 Developing Microsoft SQL Databases exam has a limited amount of Exam preparation material available. As a result, you may need to focus primarily on Microsoft documentation surrounding the technologies and skills measured on this exam.

However, there is a bit of overlap between this exam and the 70-762 Developing SQL Databases exam. It’s unclear at this time if this new exam is meant to replace this one, but there seems to be overlap either way. As a result, you may be able to use the study materials for 70-762 when studying for the 70-464 exam. You’ll at least want to check it out.

Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: Mar 13, 2017

Are you having difficulty keeping up to date on all the frequent changes and updates in the Microsoft Azure space? Then the Build Azure Weekly has the solution you’re looking for. Build Azure Weekly is a weekly blog post 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 these in your email, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

Service Updates

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

Top Links

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

Monthly Sponsor

opsgility-new-high-res-logo-no-gear-with-taglineOpsgility 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.

We provide live, instructor-led (onsite and virtual) courses as well as self-paced, online courses that go above and beyond simple videos or blog posts. Each course is designed to comprehensively guide the student through the subject by providing expert instructors, step-by-step hands-on labs, and knowledge measures to assess and ensure new skills are mastered.

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

Blog Articles

Here’s a collection of some of the most note worthy blog articles posted over the past week:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Functions as a Service (FaaS)

Database / Big Data

Internet of Things (IoT)

Machine Learning

DevOps

Other

Videos

Here are links to some of the videos that have been posted over the past week:

Audio / Podcasts

To complete the collection of different mediums to allow you to consume your Azure news / info in any way you want, here’s a list of the podcasts released this week:

General Cloud / Related

Here’s some noteworthy links about Cloud computing and other related topics that aren’t necessarily specific to Microsoft Azure:

Feedback

Do you have any suggestions or general feedback on the Build Azure Weekly blog series? Please contact me and send it on over! Or tweet it over to @BuildAzure.

The types of feedback I’m looking for are:

  • What do you like?
  • What do you dislike?
  • What would you change?
  • What would you add?

Please feel free to reach out and let me know your feedback on the Build Azure Weekly series. I post this weekly post as a service to others and really want to make it the best it can be.

Alternatively, you can join the Build Azure Slack Group as well.