Category: Infrastructure

InfrastructureMarketplace

Azure Marketplace: SharePoint 2013 HA Farm w/ 3-tier Topology

The main methods of hosting SharePoint are either On-Premises or Office 365. There are many reasons to use both solutions, however there is a 3rd option when migrating your business and SharePoint environments to the Microsoft Azure cloud. The Microsoft Azure Marketplace contains a template that can be used to easily setup a full SharePoint 2013 HA Farm that includes Windows Server 2012 R2 domain controllers, two SQL Server 2014 database servers, and four SharePoint Server 2013 servers (two web front ends and two application servers). This makes it extremely easy to setup a Microsoft SharePoint 2013 environment in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Read More

ArchitectureDevelopmentInfrastructure

Interactive Azure Platform Big Picture

The Microsoft Azure cloud platform is really big with tons of features, plus Microsoft keeps adding more, and more, and more all the time. The technology industry can generally be difficult to keep up with, and all that is in Microsoft Azure can be just as difficult to keep track of. With the help of Ricardo Niepel and his Interactive Azure Platform Big Picture graphic / website it’s easy to see all the big features that make up Microsoft Azure. The interactive part is where you can click on a feature to see a short description, as well as links to documentation and pricing to dive in further.

The below image is a screenshot, clicking on it will bring you to the website. Enjoy!

InteractiveAzurePlatformBigPicture

InfrastructureMarketplace

Azure Marketplace: Windows Server 2016 Tech Preview

There are a large number of Virtual Machine (VM) images available within the Azure Marketplace that range from Windows Server, various Linux distributions, to the latest Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 just released. Just login to the Azure Portal, search the Azure Marketplace for the VM image you need, and create it on your subscription. This is the easiest way to setup a VM that you can then remote into without needing to setup any hardware. Plus, when you’re done just delete it. Read More

Azure CLIDevelopmentDevOpsInfrastructurePowerShell

What is Azure Resource Manager?

In the early days of Microsoft Azure the Portal was the primary tool to go in and configure your cloud components. After some time the Azure Service Manager API’s were introduced as a set of both PowerShell and Command-Line tools (X-Plat CLI). These tools allowed for Azure Automation to be scripted, however they were still a bit cumbersome as they were procedural based. More recently Microsoft overhauled the entire Azure Portal that exists today as well as a brand new set of Azure Resource Manager API’s. The purpose of Azure Resource Manager is more than just replacing Azure Service Manager. It’s real purpose is a story about automation and DevOps. Read More

DevelopmentDevOpsInfrastructure

What is Infrastructure as Code?

As DevOps has been taking hold within the software industry there’s been a strong push towards automating everything. This include automating build, testing, deployments, as well as server and infrastructure configurations. Server and Infrastructure configuration automation was not a trivial task in the old days of on-premises datacenter where each server was on its own dedicated hardware. However, with the adoption of the cloud and Microsoft Azure along with the use of Virtualization, the automation of server and infrastructure configuration is now fairly easily done. In fact the automation of deploying servers and infrastructure is now possible through the scriptability of modern virtualization technology; such as what makes up the Microsoft Azure platform.

Automation scripts have been run for decades, this is not a new concept. However, the term Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is fairly new in the industry. As with any new term there’s starting to get a buzz around it, and with buzz comes misconceptions and misinterpretations. The purpose of this article is to describe some context surrounding the Why, What, and How surrounding Infrastructure as Code. Read More

ArchitectureInfrastructure

Cloud vs On-Premises: Security, Reliability and Uptime

There’s a lot of buzz about the “Cloud” as a result of the rapid growth and adoption of cloud-based services like Microsoft Azure of the last 5 years or so. However, the “Cloud” is still a bit mysterious to some, and many others aren’t clear on the best way to design systems to run best in the cloud. While migrating on-premises solutions to run in the Cloud can be simple, there are many differences between Cloud and On-Premises data center and hosting environments. This article explores many of those differences, what they mean, and how to better design systems to run better in the cloud. Read More

HardwareInfrastructure

Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool

The Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool allows for the necessary hosting resources of an enterprise environment to be mocked up as the appropriate Azure instances that match, then it will estimate out the total cost of hosting those resources in Microsoft Azure. The Azure Pricing Calculator available online can be helpful if you know what Azure Services you need, but the Azure Cost Estimator tool can be more helpful for more complex scenarios. This is a free tool available directly from Microsoft. Read More

ArchitectureHardwareInfrastructure

Why Microsoft Azure?

Many companies are migrating existing or building new systems on the Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform. There’s a lot of buzz lately around the Cloud overall, but it can be a little unclear at first glance what the benefits are. Microsoft Azure includes many different Infrastructure and Platform features that simply mirror those on-premises, as well as features that extend far beyond. Let’s explore some of the primary features of Microsoft Azure, along with reasons why they may be the right choice to use, so we can answer some of the common questions. While Microsoft Azure may be an obvious technical choice, it’s extremely important to answer these questions when conveying the benefits of Microsoft Azure to business decision makers. Read More

DevOpsInfrastructure

What is Azure Operations Management Suite?

The Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) is a SaaS (Software as a Service) offering that is part of the Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform. The Operations Management Suite is a DevOps tool that allows you to create customized dashboards that merge both Azure Cloud and On-Premises environment data. To underline the importance and relevance Microsoft is putting on OMS the Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Exam has recently been updated to include OMS in the exam objectives.

MSFT_OperationsManagementSuite_Overview_Screenshot Read More