Category: Infrastructure

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

ArchitectureDevelopmentInfrastructure

Which Azure Portal do I use?

AzurePortalAvailabilityChartScreenshotThe Azure Portal duality has been a source of confusion for many almost since the original launch of Microsoft Azure. There’s been 2 separate portals for a really long time. Recently, they’ve been renamed the “Current Azure Portal” and the “Classic Azure Portal”. However, neither portal has the same Azure feature support. This makes for a bit of confusion until you learn what can be managed from which portal.

Thankfully to make things much easier than pure discovery, Microsoft has an Azure portal availability chart. Like much of the documentation on any product, things can get buried in the mass. So, I thought I’d bring this little nugget to light and draw some attention to it. Read More

ArchitectureAzure StackDevelopmentInfrastructurePowerShell

Azure Stack: Introducing PaaS Services and DevOps Tools

When Microsoft announced the initial Technical Preview release of Azure Stack it was also announced there would be additional services released in the coming weeks. This week, Microsoft announced the addition of Web Apps, SQL database, and MySQL database Platform as a Service (PaaS) services to the Microsoft Azure Stack platform, and some additional new tools too!

The recently released tools and services for Azure Stack can be downloaded and installed on top of any installation of the Azure Stack Technical Preview. This is really the first installment of many more Azure Stack services to come, beyond what comes with the Technical Preview itself. Read More

BookDevelopmentInfrastructure

Free eBook: Fundamentals of Azure

The book “Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure” has been made available as a Free eBook from Microsoft Press and Microsoft Virtual Academy. This book is written by Michael Collier and Robin Shahan.

The material covered in this book are targeted towards introducing both Developers and IT Professionals to the huge range of features and capabilities within the Microsoft Azure platform. Read More

InfrastructureInternet of Things

Azure IoT Hub Now Generally Available

On Feb 3, 2016, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Azure IoT Hub is now Generally Available (GA). Azure IoT Hub service is available stand-alone or as one of the services within the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite. With GA comes support for the 99.9% SLA that wasn’t available in Preview; including new General Availability pricing that will go into effect on April 1, 2016.

Azure IoT Hub offers a fully managed IaaS solution for enabling bidrectional communications between the Azure Cloud and IoT Devices (like Raspberry Pi 2 and others). Microsoft Azure IoT Hub offers a few built-in features such as Security, Scalability and Reliability; while implementing standard protocols like HTTP and AMQP 1.0, AMQP over WebSockets, and MQTT.

For more information, please visit the “What is Azure IoT Hub?” post.