AWS adds two new Route53 Health Checking features

Posted on February 4, 2014 by Sankeerth Reddy | Comments(0)

AWS recently added two additional features to Route 53 health checks, which are HTTPS support and string matching. Lets see what these features do and how would it help a DevOps Engineer. To begin with, Route53 Health checks have hitherto supported TCP and HTTP end-points. In both the options, Route53 would try to establish a TCP connection which needs to be successfully connected within four seconds. In case of a HTTP end-point, Route53 would expect a HTTP 200 or greater (but less than 400) status code in the response within two seconds after connecting in order to conclude that the resource is healthy. HTTPS Support HTTPS support to Route 53 will simplify resource health check over SSL. Similar to HTTP health check, Route 53 tries to establish a TCP connection to the resource over the port 443(default). Prior to HTTPS support, web servers with SSL enabled had to serve at least one page over HTTP for the health check to pass, but not anymore. Matching String Now in HTTP or HTTPS health check, you can also specify a string which Route 53 needs to look for in the response, in order to conclude that the instance is healthy. I see

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Preparing for AWS Certified Developer Certification Exam

Posted on January 22, 2014 by Bhavesh Goswami | Comments(2)

Amazon has now released certification for AWS Certified Developer at Associate level and AWS Certified SysOps at Associate Level. Until now only the AWS Certified Solutions Architect was available at the Associate Level. But Amazon is aggressively working on their certification program and adding more certifications at a good pace. Below is the chart Amazon has published for current and future certifications in the pipeline. As you can see many more are coming soon.   I cleared the AWS Certified Developer Certification Exam and am sharing my experience about the certification in this blog post. We will talk bout the AWS certified Sysops in a later blog post. The AWS Certified Developer certification at Associate Level is now available through Kryterion testing centers. The cost of the certification is $150. The certification has the number of questions and results are not provided immediately. AWS says that the results will be provided upto 8-10 weeks post the beta start date. Also if you fail the beta, you get a free voucher to give the exam again when it comes out of beta. So overall it’s a good deal, and I highly encourage giving the beta. Below is the summary of difference

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Sample Questions for Exam 70-583: Designing and Developing Windows Azure Applications

Posted on January 4, 2014 by Sangram Rath | Comments(4)

  This is in continuation to my previous blog where I shared my experience and general information about Microsoft’s Designing and Developing Windows Azure Applications Exam. Here are some Sample Questions* to give you a look & feel about the exam. Answers with explanations are at the bottom. 1. Windows Azure Queue returns a “Bad Request (400) message” during application initialization. What could be the possible reason? A – Queue does not have messages in it B – Queue is full C – Queue name may contain illegal characters D – Multiple processes are talking to the same queue 2. You need to design a Windows Azure application that will accept images from end users and store them on Windows Azure blob. The application will make use of services like web & worker role and will be interdependent. What will ensure optimized performance? A – No additional configuration needed. B – Create an affinity group and associate only compute resources. C – Create an affinity group and associate both compute & storage resources. D – Create separate affinity groups for compute and storage resources. 3. You are migrating an application to Windows Azure. It has a hard disk space requirement

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Preparing for Microsoft’s PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Azure Applications Exam 70-583

Posted on January 4, 2014 by Sangram Rath | Comments(0)

  I recently appeared for and cleared the Microsoft PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Azure Applications Exam & would like to share my experience and insight about the exam for all aspiring candidates. Let me start by providing some insight into what the exam is all about. The Exam: Microsoft’s Exam 70-583 or PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Azure Applications is a Professional level certification that demonstrates your capability on designing, optimizing and troubleshooting apps for Windows Azure Cloud. It also counts as a credit for MCPD on Microsoft Visual Studio 2010‘s Windows Azure Developer certification path. Although this is the last exam in the certification path, it can also be taken as a single exam. Skills Measured: The exam duration is 120 minutes and consists of 55 multiple choice questions measuring a candidates skills in the following areas: Designing Data Storage Architecture (18%) – This section presents design scenarios and requires you to choose a storage architecture based on criterias like performance, scalability, cost, accessibility. It also covers migration of databases from SQL Server to SQL Azure, synchronization and reporting. Optimize Data Access and Messaging (17%) – You are required to provide solution to optimization scenarios covering batch operations,

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Windows Azure New Service Alert: Read Access Geo Redundant Storage (RA-GRS)

Posted on December 25, 2013 by Sangram Rath | Comments(0)

On December 12th Microsoft announced the preview of it newest service targeted at providing durability to business critical data, the Read Access Geo Redundant Storage or RA-GRS for short.   This service creates a read-access only secondary replica of the desired storage account and once enabled provides an endpoint name for the secondary replica. In case of a disaster situation where the primary storage account becomes unavailable, read requests can be routed to the secondary replica.   Key features of this Service: Follows eventual consistency Uses the same Secret Keys and Shard Access Signature as the primary storage account The Secondary endpoint name is added with a suffix “-secondary” for identification as secondary endpoint Storage Analytics are also available The Storage Client Library 3.0 (REST v 2013-08-15) also provides support for RA-GRS in terms of: Querying the Last Sync Time Automatically retrying the secondary replica if primary is unavailable   Keep in Mind: Any PUT/DELETE request to this secondary replica returns an HTTP code 403. The canonicalization of the resource to access the primary and secondary endpoint must remain the same else it may not be able to read from the secondary endpoint when needed.   How does it work? RA-GRS

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What’s new in OpenStack Havana

Posted on December 21, 2013 by Sangram Rath | Comments(0)

OpenStack has evolved continuously with every release and with Havana release we have yet again a set of new features that make it even easier to build and deploy OpenStack clouds. The new services introduced were: OpenStack Metering – provides a single source of usage data across services OpenStack Orchestration – template-driven service for describing automating deployment of services for apps Now let us look at the new features for individual services. 1. OpenStack Compute: Support for Docker which speeds up application deployment with containers Additional features through the Dashboard 2. OpenStack Object Storage Global Clusters for Object Storage Performance improvements to disk operations and caching ConfD for better configuration management 3. OpenStack Block Storage Extend volume size Transfer volume ownership Migrate volumes Update Quotas QoS for Block Storage for guaranteed performance for apps 4. OpenStack Networking VPN-as-a-Service Firewall-as-a-Service Integration with new Metering service for better billing capabilities Hardware vendors can now write plugins for L2 networking 5. OpenStack Dashboard Greater multilingual support Improved UI, workflows and productivity Better virtualization of network topology Improved role and password management 6. Shared Services Image service now supports quotas and additional storage options Identity service now provides better separation between authorization and authentication

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Private AWS Cloud-in-a-box in 30 minutes

Posted on December 20, 2013 by Sangram Rath | Comments(0)

Last week at Dell World 2013 in Austin, which is Dell’s annual user conference, Eucalyptus showcased the data center version of AWS Cloud-in-a-box. Dell + Eucalyptus = 30 minutes for setting up and running an AWS compatible development platform. Isn’t that awesome !!   Source: esg-global

Eucalyptus & Dell partner to provide Cloud-in-a-box solutions

Posted on December 17, 2013 by Sangram Rath | Comments(0)

Eucalyptus cloud software is now available as part of the Dell Technology Partner Program on their server, storage and networking equipment as a “Cloud-in-a-box” solution. A Dell specific architecture developed by Eucalyptus forms the foundation for cloud deployments on Dell hardware.   Through this partnership companies can build a private or hybrid cloud that is AWS Compatible, easy to manage and  flexible; provides better performance, agility and control; rapidly and at an affordable cost.   More details  

Gartner IaaS Magic Quadrant comparison from 2010 and 2013

Posted on December 16, 2013 by Bhavesh Goswami | Comments(2)

  I am sure anyone interested in Cloud Computing will have seen the Gartner Iaas Magic Quadrant by this time. What was interesting to me was comparing the 2010 quadrant to 2013 quadrant. Check the quadrants below.         Few things to note: AWS was still the biggest player in 2010, but in 2013 its almost untouchable. It is THE company with completeness of vision that matches ability to execute. There is no denying that any CIO or senior management moving to cloud and going with anything else but AWS will have to seriously justify their decision. IBM has been relegated to a niche player. Even smaller players are bypassing this giant. If I were IBM top management, I would be very worried. Until now IBM has been able to get big corporations due to its reputation, but as AWS is making more inroads into Fortune 500 companies, IBM will have a horrid time. IBM acquired SoftLayer to boost its cloud credentials, but even that company is not that high in Gartner charts. It will be interesting to see if IBM can SoftLayer can make their combined offering better, or if they will again be relegated to niche

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New Windows Azure Service: Import/Export for Blob Storage

Posted on December 14, 2013 by Sangram Rath | Comments(0)

If you have large amount of data that you would like to move to or download from Windows Azure Blob Storage but are held up by internet speed and bandwidth restrictions, then Windows Azure now has a solution for you. Windows Azure provides a cost effective and easy option to transfer large volumes of data using the new Windows Azure Import/Export Service. The service currently in preview will allow you to copy your data in or out of Windows Azure Blob Storage using physical hard drives. So how does it work? Create an import/export job in Windows Azure Management Portal (or REST) from Blob Storage. This is basically to let the data center know that you are sending in a hard drive. Depending on the type of job it could be a hard drive with data (import job) or an empty hard drive (export job). If importing, prepare the data and hard drive, then download and run the WAImportExport tool which will assist in Copying the relevant data Encrypting the hard drive Generating the journal files If exporting, select data and enter tracking or shipping information of blank hard drive. Then schedule a pick up through FedEx, they pick up

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