Ramifications of Microsoft Azure’s Strategic Shift towards Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) Partners

Posted on February 8, 2017 by Bhavesh Goswami | Comments(2)

Microsoft Azure is giving a tough fight to AWS in the public cloud market. Its no secret that AWS, with its 6 years of headstart in IaaS segment has more market share and more services. The latest announcement by Microsoft about Azure pay-as-you-go model not available in the MPSA licensing model gives us a hint on the strategic initiative by Microsoft Azure to capture more market share. Before we begin, let me share few licensing models with which microsoft sells Azure. Microsoft Online Subscription Program (MOSP) This licensing model is the subscription based model which is the default option when you go to the Azure portal and create an account using your credit card. You can also use this model to procure products like office 365, Dynamic CRM, etc. Most small and medium business, and individual developers procure Azure in this fashion. This is the classic Pay-as-you-go model with no prepaid commitments. Enterprise Agreement (EA) EA is a volume licensing package offered by Microsoft which primarily targets large organizations that have 500 or more personal computers. Although this is primarly used to buy software like Windows and SharePoint, Azure can be bought with this licensing model. There is usually some

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Establishing multi-site connectivity with Azure Virtual Networks

Posted on May 20, 2016 by Arman Koradia | Comments(0)

Recently, I designed an architecture for client application where we used Azure’s VNet-to-VNet connectivity for geo-redundancy. The requirement was such that they wanted to continue with their on-premises infrastructure, so we thought of it as DR (disaster recovery) solution. In the design we proposed Multi-Site connectivity as well, with VNet-to-VNet connectivity in Azure, you can connect two different VNets with each other. You can use this connectivity to connect two VNets across different regions or across different subscriptions. The question that comes to mind is “Why connect VNets?” So, connecting VNet is especially useful when you want to setup multi-tier applications with multiple virtual networks connected together with a strong isolation boundary and secure inter-tier communication within same region. This can also help you set up geo-replication or synchronization over a secure connection without going out over the internet. Connecting one Virtual Network with another is almost similar to connecting an on-premises network to Azure’s Virtual Network as both the connection uses a VPN gateway to provide a secure IPSec tunnel for data transfer. Are you new to VNet-to-VNet connectivity? If yes, click here to get more insight on VNet-to-VNet connectivity in Azure. Now, where can we include VNet connectivity?

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Preparing for Azure 70-532 Exam: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions

Posted on April 22, 2016 by Jigar Pathak | Comments(4)

I’ve completed my MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect and I would like to share the experience with all of you. To become MCSD, you have to clear all three certifications offered by the Azure i.e. 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions, 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions and 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Solutions. In this article, I’m sharing information about 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam, which rewarded me Microsoft Specialist: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification. This certification is developer oriented where developers validate their knowledge on Cloud by clearing this certification. Before discussing about 70-532, I would like to explain about the entire Azure certification track. As per the below illustration, you will get fair idea about which certification track is suitable as per your job role. Types of Azure Certification About Certification Exam This 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam is targeted towards a Developer audience. In my experience, it was a very comprehensive and advanced exam with a lot of real-time use cases being converted to exam questions. To clear this certification, developer must have working experience on real-life projects, which involves developing applications on Azure. By having that experience, you will be able to  answer questions better. Below, we break

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Migration Tale of Databases – 6 Reasons to move from Oracle to Microsoft SQL

Posted on April 14, 2016 by Arzan A | Comments(0)

As far as I have seen, there are majorly two types of DBAs. The one who favor the Oracle and the others who favor Microsoft SQL. Each of the database systems are very well tested and designed with years of improvement done with experience. They share a long listing of similarities but also few differences which makes the software and system architects choose one from the two. This article doesn’t fall into discussing the differences between the two, but rather gives you a high level insight about the migration ideology behind moving the database workloads from Oracle to MS SQL. Why should I move my databases from Oracle to MS SQL? Does this question arise in your mind? Well, I can describe 6 reasons #1. Very limited cloud exposure of Oracle Systems. Cloud technology is the need of every organization today. Not necessary it is always a 100% migration case scenario but it can also be the case where cloud can be used as a part of hybrid implementation or disaster recovery site. With Microsoft SQL, we get options for implementing the database on cloud as well as on-premises. Even if the database is implemented on-premises, a very tight integration

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5 Reasons why Multi-Cloud Disaster Recovery (DR) is the Only Real DR Strategy

Posted on March 14, 2016 by Bhavesh Goswami | Comments(2)

Disaster Recovery (DR) is an important aspect of any cloud deployment. In the words of Amazon’s CTO Vernal Vogel’s, “Everything fails, all the time”. It is possible that an entire data center or region of the cloud provider goes down. This has already happened to most cloud providers like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure and will surely happen again in future. Cloud providers like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure will readily suggest that you have a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity strategy that spans across multiple regions, so that even if a single geographic region is down, you can continue working off of another region. This sounds good in theory, but there are several flaws in the methodology of using the same region of a single provider. Below are the 5 reasons why I am asserting that this Cross-Region DR will not be that effective. Alternatively, companies would be looking at Multi-Cloud DR where a different cloud provider is used for the DR strategy. 1) A single AWS Region failure might cause huge capacity crunch for other regions used as DR Many businesses in the USA will have their AWS infrastructure in AWS East coast region. Most of them will have their cross-region DR setup in

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Data Warehouse as a Service powered by Azure

Posted on December 29, 2015 by Satya Prakash Sharma | Comments(4)

Before starting any business, you might think how to equip your data, how to maintain and manipulate your data (as it will be there in abundance). You might go and ask some IT expert what to do, how to do and a bunch of other questions. The IT guy may suggest you to build your own Data Warehouse, to which you will ask if it is cost effective or not, what’s the upfront cost, what will be the maintenance charges, etc. For this reason Azure has comes up with a solution called SQL Data Warehouse as a Service (DWaaS). DWaaS is one amazing solution for the organizations, which are just starting or in a process to start. DWaaS is the first enterprise class cloud Data Warehouse, which can grow or shrink. It offers full SQL server experience in cloud, which customers expect.  The organization should not worry about spending the upfront cost and maintaining the hardware or software resources they buy. Architecture of SQL Data Warehouse For users, it’s like sending data to a database, but underneath SQL Data Warehouse runs “Massive Parallel Processing (MPP) Engine”, which helps in dividing the query send by user to Control Node. Control Node:

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Deploying your website on cloud? Checkout for options in Azure

Posted on November 9, 2015 by Arzan A | Comments(0)

Are you planning a startup with a new feature loaded e-commerce website or just a static website which is showing the existence of your company online. Microsoft Azure has something for you. Let me crack into the concept and list the three options which one can have for deploying a Website or Web Application with Azure. Azure Websites (PaaS) Cloud Services (Pass) Virtual Machines (IaaS) In this blog, I am giving some piece of information to help you choose one out of the three options which suit your needs. Why should you go for Azure Websites? Reason 1: You want to deploy website ultra-fast and doesn’t have much time for deployment. May be launching a company webpage or small operations website before the deadline ends. Reason 2: You don’t have enough knowledge and skills to setup Azure Cloud Services or have an implementation drafting from scratch using virtual machines. Reason 3: You have a simple one-tier website and doesn’t want to implement multiple machines running different tiers or parts of web application. Azure Websites doesn’t allow to implement multiple virtual machines to communicate under one virtual network internally. Why should you go for Cloud Services? Reason 1: You want to

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IaaS v2: New enhancement with Azure Architecture

Posted on October 14, 2015 by Arzan A | Comments(0)

I will not take up a long time to unfold the facts for which you are eager searching and surfing on the wide internet. If you want to first get a short answer of what exactly is IaaS v2, let me satisfy the hunger of information by the definition I created. Definition: IaaS v2 states few architectural changes within Azure, which originated with the introduction of new management framework called Azure Resource Manager (ARM). Definition Decoded: So the whole story of ‘IaaS v2’ begins by understanding difference between Azure Service Management (ASM) and Azure Resource Manager (ARM). There is a management framework for almost all IT systems. The management framework was initially designed and used for Azure was Azure Service Management (ASM), which is also now termed as Classic. But now Microsoft has introduced a new framework for Azure, which is known as Azure Resource Manager (ARM). This is the reason we have two management portals for Azure; one, which is the default management portal, which works on ASM framework, and then the next one, which is known as Azure Ibiza preview portal which works on ARM framework. Even the Azure PowerShell CMDLETS works in two different modes; ASM and

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Getting started with Docker on Azure

Posted on September 7, 2015 by CloudThat | Comments(0)

Docker is on the verge of becoming one of the most popular virtualization approaches which uses Linux containers as a way to segregate application data and underlying infrastructure on your shared resources rather than virtual machines. Docker automates the deployment of any application as a portable, self-sufficient container which will run almost anywhere – including Microsoft Azure. Associated with Azure Virtual Machines (VM’s), Microsoft Azure provides VM Extensions which are developed by Microsoft and by other trusted third-party providers. VM extensions enable security, runtime, debugging, management, and other dynamic features by which the productivity of Virtual machines can be exploited. The Azure Virtual Machine Agent is used to install, configure, manage and run VM Extensions. You can configure VM agent and VM extensions either during the VM creation or on an existing VM. This can be done using the Management Portal, PowerShell cmdlets or the xplat-cli. So, using a Docker VM extension and along with the Azure Linux Agent we can create a Docker VM that hosts any number of containers for your applications on Azure. The Docker VM Extension has some very cool features like Docker Hub integration, Docker Compose support and Docker Hub/Registry authentication support. Create Docker VM extension

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Migrate your pre-configured Windows Instance from on-premise or AWS to Azure

Posted on August 20, 2015 by Arman Koradia | Comments(13)

IT industry today is fast paced compared to any other industries in this century. Growth, Upgrade, Mobility, Availability are the buzz words in today’s world. This is the only industry which is more fashion driven than women’s fashion. With the growth of Cloud Computing, people are moving their existing infrastructure to Cloud. Many tech-giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, VMWare are offering their services in cloud computing. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are very frequent names for cloud services. Azure argues that its platform allows businesses to fully take advantage of hybrid cloud platforms. Azure Logic Apps works with your existing assets like legacy softwares, ERP, etc and extend it to Azure cloud. Thus with Azure, extensibility is in your control. Problem Definition: Cloud Consultant always get below requirements: Moving your on premise Windows Server to Microsoft Azure Moving your Amazon EC2 Windows Instance to Microsoft Azure. We have configured SharePoint Server or Exchange Server on AWS or on premise. To setup the same environment on Azure from scratch, might be time consuming or complicated process. So in such cases we will want to migrate preconfigured server to Azure. Solution: To solve the above problem, I’ll take you through the

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