Infrastructure

Azure is the future for Microsoft and the Enterprise

Azure has come along way in regards to features and pretty much every aspect of the service since it’s initial launch in 2010. In the last 5 years, Microsoft has spent a huge amount of money growing out this new cloud business. Now that Azure has been tested and proven over time, it’s gained the credibility necessary to enable Microsoft to migrate its enterprise service business to the cloud.

Azure is a huge piece to the future success of Microsoft.

One of Microsoft’s biggest strengths is in building development and hosting platforms. As more businesses are looking to cloud based services to cut hosting costs and gain efficiencies; Microsoft has been building out the Azure platform and positioning itself as a leader in the very cloud these businesses are looking for. Read More

Development

Using Azure Storage Queues from .NET

Azure Storage Queues provide an easy to implement messaging communication mechanism for reliably passing messages to/from different components of a single application or multiple applications. Storage Queues have an HTTP/HTTPS API to allow for support of any development platform; however, Microsoft does provide a .NET SDK to make it even easier to implement from C# or other .NET languages. Read More

Certification

Microsoft Azure Certification: Where to Start? 2015 Edition

The question of “Where do I start?” can be confusing if you’ve never studied for or taken a Microsoft Certification exam before. It can also be a bit daunting if you don’t know anyone who has done it themselves either. Do not let this discourage you. It may be a bit confusing, but it’s actually rather simple. This post will outlines the main steps necessary as well as the main resources you’ll need to begin, study, eventually pass an exam, and finally obtain a Microsoft Azure Certification yourself!

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

Development

Azure Web App: Connection Strings

Just as all Azure Web Apps need configuration values, most applications also need to have database Connection String values configured. With Azure Web Apps the Connection Strings are stored/retrieved in a very similar fashion as Azure Web App Application Settings. Connection Strings are also Key / Value pairs of String values, but are separated out into their own section.

Connection Strings are typically used to store the connection information for one or more databases the Web App needs to connect to for storing and retrieving data. The Connection String types supported are SQL Database, SQL Server, MySQL and Custom. Most often the Connection Strings used will be for some kind of SQL RDMS, but the Custom type allows for an additional Connection String to be configured any other type of database connection necessary.

As with Application Settings, the Connection Strings are accessed as normal from .NET code and the values will come from what is set within the Azure Management Portal. In other development environments (Node.js, Java, PHP, Python) the Connection Strings are exposed to code as Environment Variables. Additionally, the Connection Strings are editable within the Azure Management Portal, but are read-only when access through code. Read More

Development

Azure Web App: Application Settings

All web applications have some kind of configurations necessary. The method of storing and accessing these settings varies on different web application platforms. In ASP.NET they are normally stored within <appSettings> element of the web.config file. The Microsoft Azure Web Apps Service allows for these application settings to be configured within the Azure Web App configurations in the cloud, and then subsequently accessed from application code as needed. With .NET applications the application settings are accessed exactly as AppSettings contained within the web.config file. In other web platforms (Java, Node.js, PHP and Python) the application settings are access via Environment Variables.

Application Settings are stored as a Key / Value pair. These are both stored as String values. Read More

Certification

Azure Exam Certification Braindumps

Microsoft certifications are very difficult exams and the new Azure certification exams are no exception. For this reason there are some who would post questions directly from these exams to share with others. These collections of questions taken / copied directly from the exams are called “Braindumps” and there are a number of reasons they are bad to use. Read More

DevelopmentService Bus

Using Azure Service Bus Queues from .NET

AzureServiceBusQueueLogo_150The Azure Service Bus Queue feature offers easy to implement infrastructure for implementing brokered messaging communication.

Implementing a Message Queue requires the implementation of at least two application components: a Sender and a Receiver. The Sender will send messages to the Queue, while the Receiver will pull messages from the Queue to take action on. Both of these happen Asynchronously when working with Microsoft Azure Service Bus Queues. Read More

Hardware

Azure Cloud Hardware is Made of Containers

At the heart of the Microsoft Cloud are servers, networks, Internet connections, and much, much more! These data centers share a lot of qualities with traditional Enterprise data centers; such as fire suppression, humidity control, temperature control and more.

One major difference between the traditional Enterprise data center is that Microsoft uses Containers (called ITPACs) to build out it’s data centers. These Containers are Shipping Containers fitted with all the necessary climate control, networking, server racks and other hardware necessary to be a “mini” data center all in one. Then many of these are connected together within on of Microsoft’s Azure data centers to build out the full data centers. Read More