Tag: cloud

Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly: July 24, 2017

Do you find it difficult to keep up-to-date on the frequent updates and changes in the Microsoft Azure cloud? If so, Build Azure Weekly is the solution you’ve been looking for! Build Azure Weekly is a weekly newsletter that includes all the latest Microsoft Azure Service Updates from the week in addition to links to many other blog articles, podcasts and videos from all over the Internet.

If you want to receive the newsletter in your email every week, then you’ll absolutely want to Subscribe!

Service Updates

Here’s a list of the Microsoft Azure Service Updates from over the past week:

Top Links

Here are some of the most notable links from the week:

Sponsor

opsgility-new-high-res-logo-no-gear-with-taglineOpsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries.

We provide live, instructor-led (onsite and virtual) courses as well as self-paced, online courses that go above and beyond simple videos or blog posts. Each course is designed to comprehensively guide the student through the subject by providing expert instructors, step-by-step hands-on labs, and knowledge measures to assess and ensure new skills are mastered.

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ArchitectureInfrastructureportalVideo

Manage Azure Resource Policies in the Azure Portal

Here’s a short video I recorded that goes over how to manage Azure Resource Policies in the Azure Portal. Before the “how to” showing the Portal, I do give a brief explanation of what Azure Resource Policies are used for and why you would use them. I then go through the newly released UI within the Azure Portal that helps you easily setup and access the Resource Policy features within the Azure Portal. At the time of recording this I was using the “Preview” Azure Portal, but I would expect this features to be released to the Current Azure Portal in the near future. Enjoy! Read More

DevOpsportalVideo

Introduction to the Azure Portal

Here’s a short video I recorded that goes over how to access the Azure Portal (the Current Azure Management Portal). I cover an overview of the dynamics and mechanics of the Azure Portal and how to use it. I also show a few different ways of how to customize the Azure Portal to change the color theme, modify quicklinks in the left-side navigation, and how to easily customize and create multiple Dashboard views to give you easy DevOps style views into your applications and workloads running in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Additionally, I also cover a few tips and techniques that may help you in working with the Azure Portal overall.

I hope you enjoy this video. This is really just the first in an ongoing series of videos that I’m going to be publishing over on the Build Azure YouTube Channel. If you’re interested in seeing MANY more videos like this, then please go Subscribe to the http://youtube.com/BuildAzure channel!

Also, please don’t forget to Subscribe to BuildAzure.com to receive the latest Azure news in your email every Monday morning, in addition to all the latest awesome articles posted here!

CertificationInfrastructure

70-247 Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud Certification Exam

Many of the newer certification exams from Microsoft target Azure and Public Cloud technologies. The Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud (70-247) certification exam is a little different since it will test expertise in monitoring and operating Private Cloud environments using Windows Server and Microsoft System Center 2012.

Certification Target Audience

The focus on the Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud (70-247) certification exam is centered around Microsoft System Center. The exam is designed to target candidates who have experience setting up security, high-availability, fault tolerance, and networking of enterprise environments using Windows Server, and System Center 2012. Candidates should also have basic SQL Server and PowerShell knowledge, and application configuration experience.

Skills Measured

Here is a high level list of the skills and objectives measured on the Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud (70-247) The percentages next to each of the objectives represent the percentage of the exam questions that will be focus on that specific objective.

  • Design and deploy System Center (15-20%)
    • Design a scalable System Center architecture
    • Install the System Center infrastructure
    • Upgrade System Center components
  • Configure System Center infrastructure (20-25%)
    • Configure System Center components
    • Configure portals and dashboards
  • Configure the fabric (25-30%)
    • Configure the storage fabric
    • Configure the network fabric
    • Configure and manage the deployment and update servers
    • Configure clouds and virtualization hosts
  • Configure System Center integration (15-20%)
    • Configure private cloud integration
    • Configure integration of private and public clouds
  • Configure and deploy virtual machines and services (15-20%)
    • Configure profiles
    • Create and configure server App-V packages
    • Configure and deploy a service
    • Update a service

When studying for this exam, you’ll certainly want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the full list of exam objectives covered. You’ll need to study each and every one of the objectives measured on the exam before attempting to take it.

Training Materials

There are a few training resources (paid and free) for preparing for the Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud (70-247) certification exam. Below is a list of a few of these resources:

Free Videos

Practice Test / Exam

Book

Exam Ref 70-247: Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud

Prepare for Microsoft Exam 70-247—and help demonstrate your real-world mastery configuring and deploying a private cloud using Microsoft System Center 2012 R2. Designed for experienced IT professionals ready to advance their status, Exam Ref focuses on the critical-thinking and decision-making acumen needed for success at the MCSE level.

CertificationInfrastructure

70-246 Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud Certification Exam

Many of the newer certification exams from Microsoft target Azure and Public Cloud technologies. The Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud (70-246) certification exam is a little different since it will test expertise in monitoring and operating Private Cloud environments using Windows Server and Microsoft System Center 2012.

Certification Target Audience

The focus on the Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud (70-246) certification exam is centered around Microsoft System Center. The exam is designed to target candidates who have experience setting up security, high-availability, fault tolerance, and networking of enterprise environments using Windows Server, and System Center 2012.

Skills Measured

Here is a high level list of the skills and objectives measured on the Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud (70-246) exam. The percentages next to each of the objectives represent the percentage of the exam questions that will be focus on that specific objective.

  • Configure data center process automation (15-20%)
    • Implement workflows
    • Implement service offerings
  • Deploy resource monitoring (20-25%)
    • Deploy end-to-end monitoring
    • Configure end-to-end monitoring
    • Create monitoring reports and dashboards
  • Monitor resources (20-25%)
    • Monitor network devices
    • Monitor servers
    • Monitor the virtualization layer
    • Monitor application health
  • Configure and maintain service management (15-20%)
    • Implement service level agreements
    • Manage problems and incidents
    • Manage cloud resources
  • Manage configuration and protection (20-25%)
    • Manage compliance and configuration
    • Manage updates
    • Implement backup and recovery

When studying for this exam, you’ll certainly want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the full list of exam objectives covered. You’ll need to study each and every one of the objectives measured on the exam before attempting to take it.

Training Materials

There are a few training resources (paid and free) for preparing for the Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud (70-246) certification exam. Below is a list of a few of these resources:

Free Videos

Practice Test / Exam

Book

Exam Ref 70-246: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud

Prepare for Microsoft Exam 70-246–and help demonstrate your real-world mastery of monitoring and operating a private cloud based on Microsoft System Center 2012 R2. Designed for experienced IT professionals ready to advance their status, Exam Ref focuses on the critical-thinking and decision-making acumen needed for success at the MCSE level.

ArchitectureDevelopmentInfrastructure

Happy 7th Birthday Microsoft Azure!

February 1, 2017 marks the 7th anniversary of when Microsoft turned on billing for the new Microsoft Azure service. Happy birthday Azure! Initially the service had a fraction of the features and services it has today. There’s been a tremendous growth on the platform over the years as a result of incredible investment by Microsoft.

Here’s a little timeline information about Microsoft Azure that you may or may not know:

  • October 2008  – At the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC), Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie announces a new cloud computing platform from Microsoft called Windows Azure. The initial announcement includes the Azure services of: Cloud Services, and Blob Storage.
  • March 2009 – Azure SQL Database service was announced.
  • November 2009 – An updated Windows Azure CTP is released enabling Full Trust, PHP, Java, including a CDN CTP and more
  • January 2010 – Windows Azure become Generally Available, currently free of cost
  • February 1, 2010 – Microsoft turns on billing and includes full SLA support making Windows Azure commercially available.
  • June 2010 – Windows Azure is updated with .NET Framework 4, OS Versioning, CDN, and SQL Azure update
  • October 2010 – At PDC conference Microsoft released platform enhancements, Windows Azure Connect, and an improved Dev / IT Pro experience
  • December 2011 – New services added: Traffic Manager, SQL Azure reporting, HPC scheduler
  • June 2012 – New services added: Azure Websites, Virtual Machines for both Windows and Linux, Python SDK, Locally redundant storage, and a new portal.
  • April 2014 – Microsoft renames Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure
  • 2014 to Present – MANY, MANY features and services are released!

Something not mentioned in the above timeline is the HUGE growth of Microsoft building out the data centers and backbone infrastructure that makes up the Microsoft Azure platform. From the initial launch of Microsoft Azure back in 2010, until now, Microsoft has grown the platform out to 32 regions today. They even have announced an additional 6 regions that are currently being planned or built.

Since 2010, Microsoft Azure has grown to be available in 32 regions around the world.

The overal size of Microsoft Azure has grown to be the biggest cloud platform on the planet. Microsoft may have been late to the game as Amazon got started 4 years earlier, but Microsoft has grown the platform to include more data centers and regions around the globe than both Amazon and Google combined!

azureofficialregionmap

You can view an interactive map of the Azure Regions here: http://map.buildazure.com

The Microsoft Azure platform has more data centers and global regions than both Amazon and Google combined!

The cloud brings with it some tremendous capabilities and capacity that most enterprises or even individuals could have only dreamed of having access to only a few short years ago. Microsoft is right there at the front of the stage rapidly releasing innovation after innovation in the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Microsoft has been and still is betting the future of their enterprise business on the cloud, and Microsoft Azure is the way they are doing it.

Happy birthday Azure!

Happy birthday Azure! I can’t wait to see how you grow and advance cloud computing over the next 7 years and beyond!

ArchitectureInfrastructure

Microsoft Cloud Platform Roadmap

The Microsoft Cloud Platform roadmap provides a snapshot of what Microsoft is working on in their Cloud Platform business. You can use the roadmap to find out what they’ve recently made generally available, released into public preview, are still developing and testing, or are no longer developing.

azurecloudplatformroadmapsite

The Microsoft Cloud Platform Roadmap really gives you a nice view into the current state of many features and services within Microsoft’s overall Cloud Platform. However, it doesn’t give specific release dates as you might expect a roadmap to do, but it is organized well and easy to navigate. If you’re ever curious about the state of things or what upcoming, then the Microsoft Cloud Platform Roadmap is a nice place to go.

The Microsoft Cloud Platform Roadmap is broken out into the main categories (tabs at the top) of:

  • Recently Available
  • Public Preview
  • In Development
  • Cancelled
  • Archive

Within each category is the ability to filter the list of updates by a few subcategories, as well as the ability to select a filter to narrow down the list by a specific product. The list of subcategories (tabs on the left) are:

  • Cloud infrastructure
  • Enterprise mobility
  • Data management and analytics
  • Application development
  • Internet of Things

You can view the Cloud Platform Roadmap here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/roadmap-in-development

Booksecurity

Free eBook: Defending the New Perimeter – Modern Security from Microsoft

free_ebook_defendingthenewperimeterThe Free eBook “Defending the New Perimeter: Modern Security from Microsoft” is a guide to the Microsoft Cybersecurity Stack for IT Decision Makers written by Pete Zerger and Wes Kroesbergen. The book discusses topics such as: Identifying Threats at Scale, Leveraging Identity as a Gateway, and Protecting the Modern Perimeter.

Download Here

Here’s a description of the book:

With the explosion of cloud and enterprise mobility, the traditional network perimeter is history. A network breach is now an e-mail away.

Identity protection is now a critical component in securing your organization’s front door to on-premises and cloud resources. With the increasing sophistication and funding of attackers by criminal enterprises and nation-states, tooling for detection and response to compromise has never been more important. Classification, labelling and protection of information is a critical aspect of security as organizations store and share information across services and with partners.

Targeted to the CIO and CISO, “Defending the New Perimeter” discusses these challenges and how to address them with the latest security and identity solutions from Microsoft. Designed to properly brief a busy professional in a couple of hours, “Defending the New Perimeter” provides the pertinent information to help you understand the threats your organization faces… and what you can do to protect your business.”

ArchitectureInfographic

The Polynimbus Cloud Enterprise

Many organizations are finding that they are integrating solutions across multiple cloud providers these days. Many complete systems are contained within a single cloud provider, but many different systems may be spread across  multiple cloud providers. We’re starting to enter a world of the Polynimbus Enterprise; an enterprise that uses 2 or more cloud platform providers.

What is a Polynimbus Enterprise?

Put simply, a Polynimbus Enterprise is an Enterprise that utilizes services from multiple cloud providers. Perhaps some applications are in Microsoft Azure, some in Amazon AWS, and possibly some are even in the Google Cloud. Poly-nimbus means “Many Cloud”.

Poly-nimbus Enterprise: An enterprise that utilizes multiple cloud providers

Many enterprises today are finding they are managing multiple software systems and/or databases hosted in different cloud providers. Maybe they started using Amazon AWS a couple years ago, but today find that certain parts of their business or IT team are hosting some applications in Microsoft Azure as well. This is very similar to the fact that many organizations have both Linux and Windows servers.

Polynimus and using multiple cloud providers is all about using the right tool for the job. Just as a certain programming language or development platform / tool is better for certain scenarios, a specific cloud may also be “just right” in certain cases as well.

Why Polynimbus?

There are many reasons to use multiple Cloud Providers, although in a perfect world you would only need 1 and possibly you can achieve this within your organization. However, many organizations are finding they are utilizing multiple cloud providers for a various of reasons. These reasons span from personal preference, to Manager oversight, to cost, and many others.

Here’s a few reasons why an organization may find themselves in a situation where they have applications spread across multiple cloud providers:

  • Talent Pool – Depending on who you’re able to hire you may find new hires know one cloud provider better than another, and possibly even a different cloud provider than your existing team. To reduce cost of training and get applications shipped to help the business or customer you may need to just accept a change in tooling to get the job done efficiently.
  • Legacy – You may be attempting to utilize a certain cloud provider more than another, but possibly you have Production systems that just can’t be moved from where they are. Many companies found this to be true when first moving to the cloud, and many are finding this true as they further embrace the cloud future.
  • Cost – Depending on your situation, you may find it cheaper to host and run a certain system in one cloud provider over another. This could possibly mean a shift from one preferred cloud provider to another.
  • Diversity / Avoid Cloud Lock-in – Some management teams or even entire organizations are finding it difficult to think about being locked into single cloud provider. As a result they are forcing their systems to be spread across different providers.
  • Contractors / Consultants – Perhaps a consulting firm or team of contractors is building applications and putting them in a different cloud provider. Whether you’re aware from day one, or find out once the product is delivered, you might find yourself at the end of the day supporting systems hosted within multiple cloud providers.

As you can see, these are some very compelling reasons why an enterprise would become Polynimbus. In fact, these are the same reason why organizations and teams choose to end up using and supporting applications using many different technologies over time. It’s just something that’s inevitable in the IT field, and the Cloud is no different as we are finding out.

Polynimbus Considerations

As an enterprise / organization or IT team is finding themselves adopting multiple clouds, there are a number of considerations to think about or at least be aware of. Here’s a short list of some of these considerations:

  • One App, One Cloud – It’s best not to spread different components of the same application across multiple cloud providers. This can lead to increased network latency for API and database calls, as well as incur an increase in Ingress and/or Egress charges when transferring data in and out of the cloud data centers.
  • Global Availability – It’s possible by leverage multiple cloud providers that you could achieve a greater level of global availability of your application for your users. Perhaps by distributing the load across multiple instances in multiple clouds you could better place instance endpoints closer to your end users.
  • Training – By managing systems spread across multiple cloud providers there is most likely going to be an increase in the training costs for your IT team. After all, many of them will need to know enough and be familiar enough with each cloud provider to be able to jump over and help out with updates and maintenance of various enterprise systems that may be running on different cloud providers.
  • Lock-in – By spreading applications and system across cloud providers, you are making it easier to migrate over and away from one cloud provider over another. Likewise, you are also making it much more costly to operate than if you had just chosen and stuck with a single cloud provider as a standard for your organization.
  • Flexibility – By forcing your organization or IT team to support applications across multiple cloud providers you ensuring a greater level of flexibility on your team to be able to update, maintain, or build a green fields application on either of the cloud providers you are currently supporting / using.
  • Hiring – While utilizing multiple cloud providers will likely open up the prospective employee pool, it will also make it tricky to hire talented people who know exactly what your organization needs. It’s difficult to find the perfect candidate in general, but the more technical skills you add to the “helpful” section of the job listings, the more difficult you may find it to hire the right people. You may end up listing multiple job postings for the same job but list one for each cloud provider you are using just to hopefully find a candidate that knows one of the cloud providers you need expertise in.
  • Migration – Just as going all in on a single cloud provider may prevent you from migrating to another, if you have applications spread across multiple cloud providers, you may still find things just as difficult if you find your team in a position that requires an application to me migrated from one cloud provider to another.

The above list is not all inclusive and there are likely a few more considerations to keep in mind. Don’t be afraid to go Polynimbus and use the right tool for the job!