Category: Infrastructure

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.

ArchitectureCertificationDevelopmentInfrastructure

Which Azure Cert Exam is Best for Me?

There’s been a huge increase in the need to get trained in Microsoft Azure, and as a result the interest / need to get certified in Azure has been increasing as well. The only difficulty with the certification is there are 3 primary Microsoft certification exams on Azure and it can be a little unclear which exam is right for “You.” In this article I will outline the differences between the different Azure certification exams / certifications, and hopefully I’ll help you decide which is best for you to start with.

Update 9/30/2016: This week Microsoft announced some really big and amazing changes to the Microsoft Certification program and how the Azure certification exams fit in with MCSD and MCSE certifications. As a result, you want to reference the 2016 Edition of Where to start with Azure Certification article instead.

Read More

ArchitectureAzure StackDevelopmentInfrastructure

What is Azure Stack?

Microsoft Azure Stack is a fairly new feature set to complement the Azure Platform, however, Azure Stack isn’t quite the usual feature addition to the Microsoft Azure Platform. Azure contains features such as App Service (Web Apps, Logic Apps, Mobile Apps, API Apps), Storage (Blobs, Tables, Queues), Virtual Machines, Virtual Network, Load Balancer, VPN Gateway, Management Portal, Key Vault, and Azure SDK. Until now, when a new feature was released for Microsoft Azure it was hosted like the previous list; in the Azure cloud within Microsoft data centers. Azure Stack changes this; it changes EVERYTHING! With Microsoft Azure Stack, you will now be able to host all the Azure services I just listed within your own Enterprise datacenter; within your private cloud. Azure Stack brings with it a huge innovation to the hybrid-cloud ecosystem. This article will describe exactly what this means for Developers, IT Pros and the rest of the Enterprise. Read More