In the past the only option for writing code and building software using Visual Studio was to install it on your local machine. With technologies like Windows Hyper-V and VMWare things became less invasive by allowing you to develop software inside of a Virtual Machine (VM). With the cloud, things have become even easier. You can now easily, spin up a Virtual Machine in Microsoft Azure, use it for what ever you need, then shut it down or delete it when it’s no longer needed. This can be an extremely valuable tool for any software developer, and has been possible with Visual Studio 2017 for some time now. With the first public release of Visual Studio 2019, you can now run a Visual Studio 2019 VM in Microsoft Azure too!! Read More
Traditionally, Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) would use an Azure Storage Account to store the VM Disk Images for the VM. This required explicit management of what Storage Accounts contained which and how many VM Disks; both OS Disks and Data Disks. To simplify the management of the VM Disks, Microsoft released a newer feature (that is now the recommended best practice) called Azure Managed Disks. Managed Disks allow you to store the VM Disk imaged (both OS and Data disks) in Azure without the need to manage what Storage Accounts are used. You simple create Managed Disks, and the Azure platform takes care of all the management and scalability necessary.
When creating a Virtual Machine in Microsoft Azure, you can choose whether to use Managed Disks or not. Even though this can be chosen now at creating time, you may still have a number of Virtual Machines that are not using Managed Disks. Thankfully, Microsoft has provided tooling within the Azure CLI that enables you to easily Convert a VM to use Managed Disks.
Let’s take a look at this below… Read More
One of the most common complaints about Azure Virtual Machine (VM) pricing is that it’s too expensive for small workloads. For custom web applications you could share an App Service Plan, which is great if the app can be hosted within Azure App Service. However, if your workload needs a full VM, then there wasn’t really a great option unless you were willing to share a VM with multiple applications. This can pose many management difficulties. Thankfully, Microsoft has been listening to feedback of wanting an even more cost effective and affordable cloud for smaller workloads too. The Azure B-Series VM sizes are the answer to this, and instead being “just cheaper VMs” they offer an innovative advancement to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Read More
Microsoft uses their own products to build and host their own products. This is done from the development platform level, all the way into the Microsoft Azure cloud. This concept of using your own products is called “Dogfooding”. (I have no idea where this term came from, but that’s what it means.) Dogfooding refers to the concept of “eating your own dog food”; meaning that you consume your own products and that helps you make your own products better. Microsoft does this a lot and in fact in the Microsoft Azure cloud, many services are built out “on top of” or using other services. Read More
Azure Resource Manager (ARM) imposes limits and quotas on how many resources of each type you can provision per Azure Subscription, and even per Azure Region. Some limits are a hard maximum, while others are a soft limit that can be increases upon request. When working with Virtual Machines (VMs), Storage Accounts, Databases, and other resources in the Microsoft Azure cloud you can easily hit up against these limits, so it’s important to know they exist and how to work around them. This article will explain the details around the Limits and Quotas on resources within Microsoft Azure; including tips on how to work around these limits to scale as high as your organization needs. Read More
At first glance, Virtual Machine pricing in Microsoft Azure seems fairly straight forward. However, the different VM pricing tiers actually do vary in price from region to region. In fact comparing the prices across regions can be a little tricky whether you’re using the Pricing Calculator or the pricing info in the Azure Portal. However, Victor Kiselev has compiled all the Azure pricing together into an easy to use comparison tool. Read More
In this video, I show you the specifics on comparing Azure Region pricing information around Virtual Machine hosting. As you can see, the Azure Regions do have different pricing for some of the Virtual Machine instance sizes. This is something that could potentially impact what Azure Region you host your VMs in. Read More
This post contains 10 tips and tricks you can use to save money on your Virtual Machines (VMs) running in the Microsoft Azure cloud. The cost analysis of the cloud can be scary at first, and it’s actually one of the reasons companies are shy to start adopting the cloud. Once you know these tricks you’ll feel confident that you won’t overspend and go broke in Microsoft Azure.
Some of these tips are almost secrets, as they aren’t really talked about anywhere. I know these from my years of experience working with Microsoft Azure and getting to know many of the ins and outs of the platform. So, read below, and benefit from my years of Azure experience in just a few minutes.
Using these tips will certainly help you save your company or organization money, and will likely impress your boss! Read More
The other day I hosted a FREE Webinar with Opsgility that provides an Introduction to Azure for Developers. In this webinar I went over an introduction to what IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are. Then I dove into the Azure Portal and showed how to create IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) VMs with Windows and Linux, as well as how to remote into those VMs with Remote Desktop and SSH; respectively. I also went into deploying a Web Application into an Azure Web App PaaS (Platform as a Service) service directly from within the Visual Studio IDE, and I even showed how you can easily deploy a website directly from Github into an Azure Web App as well! I also discussed Azure SQL Database (“Database as a Service”), as well as a few additional services and features.
I encourage you to watch the entire webinar recording to see the whole demo of everything. There are very little slides, and the webinar was almost entirely demos of real features, real functionality, and real Azure usage! Go watch! Read More
This is a short video that shows how to create an Ubuntu Linux Virtual Machine (VM) in the Microsoft Azure Management Portal. It also explains a few details on how VMs are hosted in Azure, along with a demo on how to connect to the Ubuntu Linux VM using ssh and bash.
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This is one of the first videos I’ve published to the Build Azure YouTube Channel where I’m starting to build out video content to accompany this site. Enjoy!