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
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
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
Microsoft recently hosted a DevOps Virtual Workshop where they provided a deep dive into topics covering how to manage, automate, and transform applications and workloads within Microsoft Azure. This was held as a half day, virtual event that was recorded so it can be viewed afterwords. The sessions from this event provide tons of information and demos on DevOps and ALM integration for Architects, Developers and IT Pros. Read More
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
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
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
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.
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.
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