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Azure – Page 12 – Regular IT guy

Category - Azure

Tuesdays with Corey: Taking Some Questions

Corey Sanders, Principal PM on the Azure Compute team takes a moment to answer a few of the “Tuesdays with Corey” questions that have come up online . Don’t forget – we’re always looking for Suggestions and Questions here in the comments section OR via twitter #AzureTwC.

You never know – you might make it to an upcoming episode and be a virtual star of the show – like THIS one!

Post any questions, topic ideas or general conversation here in the comments OR online on via Twitter.

Tuesdays with Corey: Quick Office Tour

Corey Sanders, Principal PM on the Azure Compute team gives us a whirlwind tour of some of his team members on the Azure Compute team. Don’t forget – we’re always looking for Suggestions and Questions here in the comments section OR via twitter #AzureTwC.
You never know – you might make it to an upcoming episode and be a virtual star of the show.


Post any questions, topic ideas or general conversation here in the comments OR online on via Twitter.


The impossible task of rapid Disaster Recovery – and how Microsoft Azure can help

I remember when I had to setup my first DR plan for a datacenter failover of critical systems from one datacenter to our backup datacenter.  It was a nightmare of logistical planning and near duplicate hardware / infrastructure required to have the bare minimum systems in place for some level of business continuity. It took months of planning and I-Don’t-Even-Want-To-Think-How-Much money in order to pull it off.

Oh – then we had to test it.

That was a fun weekend of 18 hr days I will never get back.

Virtualization has made things significantly easier than running on bare metal.  It makes your VMs are transportable between different systems running the same hypervisor and managed by tools like SystemCenter to ensure proper synchronization and coordination when something goes wrong.  BUT – you still needed to have duplicate resources / networking setups and physical datacenters in order for this to work… Until Public Cloud datacenters like Microsoft Azure became an option.  With hybrid connectivity,  virtual networks and subnets, firewall endpoints and a wide range of virtual machine base image sizes – you can dial in your configurations to be damn near identical to the VM spec of your on-premises systems AND only pay for what is up and running.

Our Disaster Recovery offering is called Azure Site Recovery.  It recently got a boost in capabilities that now allows you to include VM Guests that run on Hyper-V, VMware – so long as they are running a supported version of Windows Server and Linux distribution that is comparable in Azure.  In the past – Azure Site Recovery required that you had a comprehensive SystemCenter implementation in place in order to protect various workloads. that isn’t the case anymore (although still recommencement for more complex workloads of multiple machines) .  In case you missed it – I recently did an interview with Matt McSpirit (a fellow Technical Evangelist on my team who handles the On-Premises space) where he took us through how Azure Site Recovery works.

If DR is on your list of things to explore and possibly implement in the future OR if you already manage a DR implementation and are interested in simplifying it’s setup and execution – you need to check out Azure Site Recovery.

You should sign up for the preview so you can try it out yourself (scroll down to the bottom)… Once you’ve been accepted (or just want some more detailed step by step instructions on how it is setup) check out this article on the Azure site.

 

Tuesdays with Corey: OS Disk size update and IaaS Backup

Corey Sanders, Principal PM on the Azure Compute team brings us two quick tidbits about base OS disk size changes and cool information about the new Azure IaaS VM Backup service.

Post any questions, topic ideas or general conversation here in the comments OR online on Twitter using #AzureTwC. You never know – you might make it to an upcoming episode and be a virtual star of the show.


Tuesdays with Corey: More about Docker

Corey Sanders, Principal PM on the Azure Compute team brings us up to date on all the recent Azure IaaS and Docker news.

As per Corey’s comments: here is that awesome link to documentation about Azure VMs, Docker and Swarm courtesy of Ralph Squillace

Post any questions, topic ideas or general conversation here in the comments OR online on Twitter using #AzureTwC. You never know – you might make it to an upcoming episode and be a virtual star of the show.


 

Top 5 Reasons why you should pay attention to Containers on Microsoft Azure

In the continually changing world of IT – it is vital to stay on top of new trends as they are identified. Something that has popped up on my radar over the last year and has been gaining in popularity around dev circles is a cool technology called containerization.  Have you heard about it?  Like most trending technologies – it has reached a level of awareness that everyone needs to know about what it is and how it works.

Sounds like a nice topic for a “Top 5 reasons” you should pay attention to this and understand how it works – so you are informed when a CxO type comes up and asks you about it.  Here is my list in no particular order.

  1. Containers “compartmentalize” components or portions of apps / whole apps for use on any platform that supports the same containerization technology.  That means that you could have a developer working on a dev machine creating a multi-stage app / system and could deploy it to an internal cloud or public cloud. Same code, same containers – just literally changing deployment target. Kind of eliminates the “works on my workstation” syndrome, right?
  2. Containers can be shared privately or publically for reuse as building blocks for other applications by other developers. This generates a large wealth of reusable blocks that should make development time decrease and creativity grow with all sorts of rich community involvement.  You can take one public container and modify / enhance it for your needs and then share it back to the community for use.  It’s really cool – nurture the community by making it simple to share, things start to take off with regards to adoption and market share.
  3. Small footprint in order to be able to host the containers.  Think of a purpose built OS running the containerization runtime on which sit the containers.  Unlike a whole VM to run EACH container just for it’s app, you now just run the container sitting on top of this purpose built OS.  You don’t get 13 OSes with duplication overhead to run 13 containers – just need one to run. Better resource utilization = greater possible density of containers = less cost due to more efficient use of available resources.
  4. Scale, scale and more SCALE. Along with that – fast and consistent deployment as you need it.  Obviously you have to construct your app to work at scale – but now the deployment vehicle is consistent and identical when deployed in multiple locations. Oh – did I mention it is lightweight and small compared to full VMs.
  5. I alluded to it above when talking about the concept – “portability” and all that it brings (including cross-platform).  You don’t need to worry about setup of specific environments with identical configurations or specific editions of different supporting software.  You just worry about the container engine running correctly on your ON-Premises or public cloud / hosted cloud infrastructure.

don’t be fooled – this is not something that is “just for devs”… this is something that you should spend some time with to understand it’s architecture, how it is installed, how containers are managed and deployed to different environments.  Start small – then work your way up.

I have been playing around with Docker – just starting to get my feet wet. You Should Too! Great information about them and containerization technologies on their main site.  Everything from what this is and how their solution of containerization works.  You can try it out on their site with a little help and get up and running. Once you get a bit of an understanding – you can fire it up on Azure – we have docker ready images in the marketplace gallery!

Need a primer on Open Source technologies on Azure and want some Docker pieces added in as a bonus?  I did four modules on OpenSource and containerization technologies (Docker) in last Decembers Level Up Azure live stream.  You should check out the replay.

Tuesdays With Corey: VM Size Update. #AzureTwC

In this episode of “Tuesdays With Corey”, Corey Sanders – Principal PM on the Azure Compute team brings us up to date on all the recent Azure IaaS VM Size options that are generally available.

Post any questions, topic ideas or general conversation here in the comments OR online on Twitter using #AzureTwC. You never know – you might make it to an upcoming episode and be a virtual star of the show.


Tuesdays with Corey Sanders re-launch. #AzureTwC

A while back Corey Sanders and Cameron Rogers created a video series called “Tuesdays With Corey” which was featured on Facebook – usually every Tuesday. It was good fun, informal and short bite sized chunks of info.  As with most regular video episodes, as time progressed – it got harder and harder to get these out on a regular basis. I sit in meetings with Corey every week where he would get asked about kicking this thing off again – so I approached him about rebooting the series and offered to help produce these on a more regular basis.

Same format, same “gorilla style” shooting – only change is hopefully some better audio and hosting the files on Channel 9.

Well…. what do you think?

The plan is to have these ready to go and you’ll see the episodes up on Facebook and socialized on a variety of networks on Tuesdays – starting on March 17th… I’ll post them here as well.

Got any questions? Any things you’d like to know or see about Azure? Use the comments here or tweet out using the #AzureTwC hashtag.

Interoperability? Azure is open for business

You don’t go building a table with only a Hammer, do you? You need a diverse set of tools and materials to make any kind of project, be it furniture or advanced infrastructure. We’ve come to recognize this and have been working hard to ensure you have an awesome heterogeneous experience both on premises and in Azure.

To be completely honest, most of my professional career has been in the Windows world with the last 10 ish years working AT Microsoft.  I’ve supported projects that included Linux or OSS tech/apps here and there – generally involving whatever the developer / infrastructure folks liked to use and were comfortable working with at the time.  I am a big believer in the philosophy of “If you work in the IT space, you should keep your options open and work with as many technologies as you can”.

AzureNumbers

I have to update the numbers on this slide constantly when talking about Azure. The one square that gets a lot of attention is the Linux one. Approximately 20% of Azure IaaS workloads are running on Linux which is able to take advantage of all of the infrastructure and capabilities Azure has to offer – just like Windows VMS. If your on-premises environment isn’t an “All Windows” shop – DON’T WORRY… Microsoft Azure is ready and waiting for your heterogeneous Hybrid datacenter.

If you are looking for information about how to work with Azure and deploy Linux and OSS workloads on our cloud platform – the first place you will probably look is to your search engine of choice.  You are not alone. I was chatting with a documentation writer on our Azure team who mentioned while most enterprises rely on support contracts to gain access to resources and information when working on projects, Open Source folks tend to rely on community posts, support forums and online documentation when things go south.  We weren’t doing a great job with keeping up with all the updates and changes in a timely fashion, especially with our Linux and OSS docs. It was getting so bad that people were thinking we didn’t care.

Well – that is starting to change.

We recently announced a change to our documentation portal- opening it up for ANYONE to contribute, correct or author their own docs that will be found on Azure.com. All you need is a GitHub account, some guidance on how to contribute and know where our repository is found.  I recently shot a video during an internal Hack-A-Doc event where some folks from the Azure Virtual Machine team were participating in a mass GitHub and documentation process training. We are serious about wanting help to make this experience better – have a look at the video below:

As you can see, all of our investments in our cloud services is available equally to both Microsoft and Linux/OSS operating systems.  We’re getting our act together when it comes to documentation. I’ll be doing my part here by writing posts that include both Microsoft and Non Microsoft technologies – running on Azure.

When you are ready to run your heterogeneous on-premises workloads in a hybrid environment, we’re ready to support your efforts whole heartedly.

New Azure Planned Maintenance logs and Premium Storage details

A while back I chatted with Drew McDaniel about G-Series machines on Azure and he teased about Premium Storage (SSD based) availability in Azure. Well – that was enough to pique my interest, so I invited him back to talk about it in more detail.  He talks about Premium Storage and some more details on our “Scale Up” G-Series machines on this episode of The Edge Show.

But Wait – there’s more!

Kenaz Kwa comes along and gives us the details on the new availability of Log data around Planned Maintenance in Azure.  In the past – you knew your machines might have been rebooted due to scheduled maintenance, but not much more details. Now you can query and have access to detailed logs about the maintenance and restart details on each of your VMs – all via PowerShell. More info is always good when it comes to planned downtime.

Check out the full details in the video below:

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