Category: Infrastructure

Big DataDevOpsInfrastructureMarketplaceOpen Source

Super Human: Learn Azure Get a Free Drone

AzureSuperHuman_DroneWho doesn’t want a free drone / quadcopter? “Let’s face it, you’re SUPER HUMAN” The website currently has a bunch of FREE Azure Marketplace Labs you can do virtually (online from anywhere). Once you complete a lab, you just submit proof you did the lab and Microsoft will send you a free mini-quadcopter! Alternatively, you can also get a 3-month Azure Pass instead. But, who doesn’t want a free drone!?

The drone is the Crazyflie 2.0 quadcopter.

There are tons of labs to choose from! You can go to the site to see a full list, but they are broken out into the following categories: Dev Ops, Security, Big Data, Open Source, and Management.

AzureSuperHuman_DockerLabCardHere’s a list of the labs currently you can do for Free!

  • Dev Ops
    • CHEF – Automate an Infrastructure
    • Docker – Containerize an Application
  • Security
    • KEMP – Intelligently Design Traffic
    • Barracuda – Secure Distributed Networks
  • Big Data
    • Hortonworks – Modernize an Architecture
  • Open Source
    • Bitnami – Virtualize a Server
  • Management
    • Cloud Cruiser – Activate Profitable Insights

Learn Azure, Get a FREE Drone!

Attribution: The header image of this post as well as the photo of the drone were taken as screenshots of the Azure Super Human Lab website.


Azure Certification: 70-473 Cloud Data Platform Solutions Specialist – Oct 2015

There have been a few Microsoft Azure certifications for awhile now, and on October 27, 2015 Microsoft added another with the Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions (70-473) exam. Passing this exam will earn you the Microsoft Specialist: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions certification. This is a Microsoft Azure certification centered around SQL Server databases in the cloud; from Azure SQL Database to SQL Server running inside a Virtual Machine.

Update July 2017: This article is out-of-date. The 70-473 exam was update in June 2017 with new exam objectives. Please refer to the newer exam objectives and study resource list outlined in the 70-473 Designing and Implementing Could Data Platform Solutions Certification Exam – June 2017 Update article instead. Happy Studying!

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Free eBook: Migrating SQL Server Databases to Azure

eBookAzureMigratingSqlServerThe “Microsoft Azure Essentials: Migrating SQL Server Databases to Azure” book written by Carl Rabeler has been made a free eBook by Microsoft Press. This book is part of the “Microsoft Azure Essentials” books series. With this book you will learn how SQL Server in Azure is similar to SQL Server in an on-premises environment. You will also learn how they are different. The author, Carl Rabeler, is a content lead for and will walk you through the steps of getting started with SQL Server in an Azure Virtual Machine as well as Azure SQL Databases. Read More


Cloud War: Microsoft vs Amazon – Feature 2 Feature Comparisons

MSAzureMountainsIt’s the middle of a war… The cloud war! Ok, not nearly as dramatic as a real war (thankfully!) but still just as intense as the browser wars in the early days of the Internet. One of the difficulties in navigating the features of each cloud provider is the ability (or lack of…) to be able to compare what feature is equivalent from one cloud provider to another. This is especially difficult with new feature announcements and updates coming out weekly! The pace has picked up, and it’s extremely difficult to keep up with!

There are very similar and some almost identical features of each Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. Each company uses different names for each feature set that really are NOT simply Microsoft SQL vs Amazon SQL. Because of the naming and feature differences, this is extremely difficult to navigate when attempting to compare a Microsoft Azure product page to an Amazon Web Services product page. Read More

InfrastructureOpen Source

Tutorial: Create Minecraft Server in Azure on an Ubuntu VM

Setting up a Minecraft server generally takes a bit of work from installing the Operating System, installing Java, to setting up the Minecraft Server to run itself. This is all in addition to putting some kind of hardware together to run it, and if you do it at home it’s only available to players on your local Wifi / network. When you create a Minecraft Server in the cloud, such as Microsoft Azure, the entire setup is completely automated and the resulting Minecraft Server is available across the Internet to any players you want to invite to your server. Additionally, the cost of running the server is likely much lower than you might expect. In this article, we’ll run through the steps necessary to setup a Minecraft Server to run in Microsoft Azure. We’ll also discuss the cost implications of running a Minecraft Server in the cloud, along with some tips and tricks for keeping the cost as low as possible.

Whether you want to create a Minecraft Server just for yourself, your friends, or your own kids, this article will get you through the setup process and give you the knowledge you’ll need to host your very own Minecraft Server! Read More


Azure Features and Regions, Oh My!?

AzureRegionsMicrosoft Azure has tons of data centers and region. At the time of writing this, Azure is made up of 24 regions with more, new regions announced coming soon. In fact, Microsoft Azure is bigger than both Amazon’s and Google’s cloud services combined!

Microsoft Azure also has a ton of features, however, not all features are available in every data center. The majority of features are, but some are not. To help determine which Azure features are supported in each region, Microsoft has a “Services by Region” page available. This page allows you to easily see which Azure features are available in which regions, and can really help in planning out what regions and data centers you’re going to deploy to in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

The Azure Services by Region page can be found here: