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
The 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
Studying for the Azure certification exams can be a daunting task. One of the most difficult things is knowing whether you’re ready to sit the actual exam or not. Take the exam too early, you’ll fail. Not understand how the questions will be written, you could fail. Over prepare, and you’ll pass but possibly waste some time. To really hone in on a certification exam, the use of a practice test / exam can be extremely useful. In an effort to help others studying for these exams, I have started creating a couple Free, Open Source Azure certification practice exams. Read More
The trilogy of Microsoft Azure Certification exams first debuted more than one year ago. In that time there have been some tremendous changes and additions to the entire Microsoft Azure Platform. As a result, coming March 10, 2016, Microsoft is updating the exam objectives to reflect some of these changes. But, what are the changes? Read More
While many of Microsoft product and tools cost money, they do have the Visual Studio Dev Essentials available for Free. Visual Studio Dev Essentials provides a lot of Free tools, training and cloud services offering everything needed to build and deploy apps to any platform. The things offered include Visual Studio and Azure service usage! Read More
The “Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure” book written by Scott Guthrie, Mark Simms, Tom Dykstra, Rick Anderson and Mike Wasson has been made a free eBook by Microsoft Press. This books goes through a pattern-based approach to building real-world solutions with Microsoft Azure. Among these practices covered include topics coving both Architecture and coding practices. The content of this book is based off the presentation Scott Guthrie gave at the Norwegian Developers Conference (NDC) in June, 2013, as well as Microsoft Tech Ed Australia in September, 2013. Read More
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
Microsoft PowerApps is a SaaS (Software as a Service) service offering allowing for intelligent business apps to be built extremely easily and fast that connect and integrate data across the cloud. The easy to use User Interface (UI) of PowerApps makes it possible for Business Users to start creating an App and share it with others without writing a single line of source code. Additionally, apps built with PowerApps will run on almost all operating systems; iPhone, Windows Phone, Windows 10, with Android support coming in the future. Read More
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
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.