Episode 40 - The Maturing of Azure

by Sujit D'Mello August 20, 2014

A discussion on the evolution of Azure with Simon Gurevich, veteran MCS consultant specializing in cloud development.

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Link to the grid of services to region mapping.  link

Link to Tejaswi Redkar's book that was referenced.  link



Filed Under: Podcast

Episode 39 - Brewmaster!

by Sujit D'Mello August 13, 2014

The guys chat with Mike McKeown  who has spent nearly two decades as Microsoft FTE and now is with key MS partner Aditi Technologies as Principal Cloud Solutions Architect. His passion is to help stakeholders or customers define their business/system requirements, and then apply Windows Azure Cloud architecture patterns and best practices to meet those goals. He loves to blog (http://www.michaelmckeown.com) about the Azure Cloud.  In his spare (what spare?) time he also authored Azure online training courseware as a course author for Pluralsight. 

Mike would like to plug the MVP community event, the Charlotte Azure Partner Boot Camp, Sept 6, at the Microsoft offices in Charlotte, NC that he is hosting.  Evan and Jeff Nuckolls (last week’s guest) are also speaking there. He talks at length about Brewmaster!


Media file: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode39.mp3





  • Azure API Management REST API. Use it to integrate with and automate your service. User, group, product, and subscription resources are exposed in this update. We will make other resources available shortly. Please note that we will continue to tweak the API based on feedback until the GA release and will be announcing the changes here.
  • Delegation of user registration and product subscription.  Use your existing web site for handling developer sign-in/sign-up and subscription to products as opposed to the built-in functionality in the developer portal.
  • WADL import/export bug fix. Default operation parameter values are now handled properly and are required to be present in the value lists.
  • Operation URL template matching bug fix. Operations in the same API with identical paths but different query parameters in their URL templates are now resolved correctly.
  • Service update speed improvement. We are now able to roll out updates to all our customers six times faster than before!


Azure Resource Groups can now be created with VS 2013 Resource Manager Tool


Script Browser

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Episode 38 - API Management

by Sujit D'Mello August 6, 2014

 Scale to millions of API calls

Throttle, rate limit and quota your APIs

Bring modern formats like JSON and REST to existing APIs

Mobile enable enterprise APIs

Maximize developer success with interactive console

Get deep insights with rich analytics

Media File: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode38.mp3


TIP: Using AzCopy to copy a VHDs from one sub to another

Visual Studio Update 3 is available [download]

New Features:


-          Websites: Publish WebJobs from Console or Web projects.

-          Mobile Services: Create a Dev/Test environment in the cloud when creating Mobile Services projects. Use the Push Notification Wizard with .NET Mobile Services.

-          Notification Hubs: View and manage device registrations.



Azure SDK 2.4 for .NET is available [VS 2013 download | VS 2012 download]

New features:

-          Virtual Machines:

o   Remote debug 32-bit Virtual Machines.

o   Configure Virtual Machines, including installation & configuration of dynamic extensions (e.g. anti-malware, Puppet, Chef and custom script).

o   Create Virtual Machine snapshots of the disk state.


-          Storage:

o   View Storage activity logs for diagnostics.

o   Provision Read-Access Geo-redundant Storage from Visual Studio.

-          Cloud Services:

Emulator Express is the default option for new projects (Full Emulator is deprecated). Configure new networking capabilities in the service model.

Blog post by Scott Guthrie on new features released for Azure Mobile Services .NET


 A blog post by SR EE Craig Landis describing how to use Azure monitoring features to check for Storage Account Throttling:


Why to monitor:

  • There is a 20,000 IOPS limit per storage account
  • For Azure VMs, storage limits is 500 IOPS per disk

With close to 40 highly used VHDs, it’s easy to bump against the account storage IOPS limit.



Filed Under: Podcast

Episode 37 - IoT & Azure

by Sujit D'Mello July 30, 2014

Special guest Jeff Nuckolls, VP of Cloud Practice at Aditi, joins us for a discussion on the industry trends with adoption of IoT and the services that Azure offers in this space.

Media file: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode37.mp3


Charlotte Azure Bootcamp - https://cltazurebootcamp.eventday.com/

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Episode 36 - Hyper-V Recovery Manager

by Sujit D'Mello July 23, 2014

The guys talk about the lesser-known Hyper-V Recovery Manager and it's importance for not just large enterprises but the SMB market as well.

Media file: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode36.mp3


Tip of the week

Customers receive error messages when the connection to Azure SQL Database fails. The connection problems can be caused by the firewall settings, connection time-out, or incorrect login information. Additionally, if the maximum limit on some Azure SQL Database resources is reached, you cannot connect to Azure SQL Database.  This is an interactive KB article to help users find the right content to help them out.



Ultimate book! 



Cloud Automation Whitepaper



New 'Explain that to me' video series:

Identity 101: Azure and Office 365 Powered by Identity And Access Control


Azure PowerShell 0.8.5 is released and it includes :

  • Azure File Service cmdlets: Get-AzureStorageFile | Remove-AzureStorageFile | Get-AzureStorageFileContent | Set-AzureStorageFileContent
  • Azure Resource Manager tags in AzureResourceManager mode: New-AzureTag | Get-AzureTag | Remove-AzureTag
  • ReverseDnsFqdn parameter in New-AzureService, Set-AzureService, New-AzureVM and New-AzureQuickVM
  • Network: Set-AzureInternalLoadBalancer | Add-AzureDns | Set-AzureDns | Remove-AzureDns
  • Traffic Manager: Support for Weighted Round Robin policies and Performance policies with external endpoints
  • Role sizes information for Get-AzureRoleSize, Get-AzureAffinityGroup, Get-AzureService, and Get-AzureLocation cmdlets


Reverse DNS for Azure Cloud Services (both IaaS & PaaS) now supported:

  • Backwards compatible with all existing Cloud Services
  • Offered at no additional cost
  • Supported in the Service Management API, and through PowerShell.


7 more ExpressRoute locations are now generally available.

  • US: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Seattle

Asia: Hong Kong, Singapore


Azure Active Directory SDK’s for iOS, Android and OSX are GA


Azure Web Sites Cheat Sheet


Charlotte Azure Bootcamp - https://cltazurebootcamp.eventday.com/

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Episode 35 - WPC Announcements

by Evan Basalik July 16, 2014

The Worldwide Partner Conference is currently underway in Washington D.C. and there were a ton of announcements related to Microsoft Azure. Cale and Sujit break down some of them for our listeners as well as discuss a comment from one of our listeners.

Media file: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode35.mp3


Site for the Sept 6 Charlotte Azure Boot Camp is live at  https://cltazurebootcamp.eventday.com

Event Hubs Public Preview http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/event-hubs

Machine Learning Public Preview http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/machine-learning


New Portal features:


    • Create, deploy, monitor, manage VMs
    • Manage VNETs
    • Automate the deployment of rich multi-machine application templates with a few clicks - deploying a multi-tier, highly-available SharePoint farm from the portal will be a few clicks away!
  • Resource Group enhancements:
    • Manage IaaS VMs & VNETs along with PaaS Web Sites and Databases, all within the same Resource Group
  • Azure Image Gallery Updates: The completely re-imagined Azure Gallery  with the addition of several new virtual machine images that enable you to provision dev/test servers or production applications in minutes.

Azure SQL Database: Manage Azure SQL DBs within the Portal, including provisioning databases across Web and Business (currently in general availability) and Basic, Standard, and Premium (currently in preview).





Microsoft has acquired InMage Systems, an innovator in the emerging area of cloud-based business continuity.

  • Forrester Research recognized InMage Systems as an enabling technology for top Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service providers
  • InMage Systems won a Penton Media Best of TechEd award. 
  • Customers across a variety of industries, including financial services, healthcare and government, rely on InMage technology to keep their organizations up and running. 
  • InMage Systems technology is behind leading DRaaS offerings from companies like Sungard and HP. 
  • InMage solutions are being integrated into Azure Site Recovery service
  • Will help accelerate our strategy to provide hybrid cloud business continuity solutions for any customer IT environment, be it Windows or Linux, physical or virtualized on Hyper-V, VMware or others.


Blog series by Principal PM Lead Josh Twist on Azure API Management covering:


A blog post by CVP Jason Zander announcing collaboration with Google and Docker to support new open source projects on Microsoft Azure:

  • Kubernetes  - declarative container management solution supporting orchestration and scheduling of Docker containers, originally built on top of Google Compute Engine
  • libswarm  - imperative management on Docker, so that libswarm will natively support Azure in enabling deployment of containers on Azure Virtual Machines.


Diagnostics as a Service (DaaS) for Azure Web Sites is announcedby Sr. PM Apurva Joshi:

  • Provided as a Site Extension
  • Helps isolating or root causing an application specific issue(s). The following symptoms are typical for issues that can be diagnosed with DaaS:
    • Website is responding slowly
    • Random requests are timing out
    • Web page(s) hang (keeps on spinning without opening fully)
    • DaaS can also be used to draw a sample of the health of your website and do some analysis against a set of data at any given time.
  • Diagnose Now” option:
    • Collects and analyzes memory dumps, HTTP logs and event logs from all VM instances of your web site.
    • Collects and analyzes a second memory dump after 2 minutes (this provides two different states of your application and is useful in troubleshooting slow performance issues).
  • “Schedule Analysis” option - provides you a way to customize your diagnostics sessions and lets you:
    • Schedule a DaaS session at a specific time or timespan.
    • Choose data type or types to collect and analyze.
    • Choose a specific VM instance to collect and analyze data from (addressing a scenario where your website is running on multiple instances)
    • Choose an option to collect and analyze right away, or just collect for now and analyze at some later time.
    • Configure a custom blob storage location for the data and reports to be stored.



New sizes and regions for Azure Redis Cache are available.
NOTE: Be sure to migrate to Redis or a Managed Cache service. Shared Caching will be decommissioned on September 1, 2014.

  • Azure Block Blob Storage pricing is changing from 3 decimals to 4 decimals to provide more precise pricing which will take effect on September 1, 2014
  • Service Bus Queues and Topics pricing changes - effective starting October 1, 2014:
    • Messaging is now offered in Basic and Standard tiers
    • Service Bus Connections are introduced - can now be used in conjunction with Event Hubs in large throughput and high-connection applications including IoT command and control scenarios (e.g., “Unlock car door from smartphone”). A single AMQP connection can be used for all Queues, Topics, and Event Hubs in a Service Bus namespace.


 US Central in Iowa and US East 2 in Virginia are now GA.


A blog post by Principal Researcher Thore Graepel demonstrating an application of Machine Learning in action – implementing recommendation features on web sites


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Filed Under: Podcast

Episode 34 - Azure Backup

by Cale Teeter July 9, 2014

Everything you wanted to know about Azure Backup - from the source.


Cale and Evan talk to Microsoft Azure Support engineer William Effinger about Backup.


Media File: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode34.mp3



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Episode 33 - Azure Authentication

by Sujit D'Mello June 18, 2014

 Summary:  As the cloud services offering in Azure have continued to evolve, so to have the options for authentication to leverage these services.  There is quite a matrix of options possible with our current tooling, and even more in the third party side: 


  • Windows Azure Active Directory - What is it?  How is it different from Windows Server Active Directory?
  • ADFS - What is it?  How can it be leveraged?  What problems does it solve?  When is it appropriate for use?
  • DirSync - What is it?  When should it be used?  What problems does it solve?
  • MultiFactor Authentication - When is this needed?  How can I enable in o365 and/or Azure


Media file: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode33.mp3








The Azure Qualification Guidelines is available at Microsoft Life Sciences page (scroll down all the way or use the direct link )


A blog post by Azure Networking Sr. PM Yu-Shun Wang to walk you through the configuration steps and examples of how you can connect your virtual networks together using the VNet-to-VNet feature.


Azure Security 101 session on the best practices designing for a cloud platform, clarifying the breakdown of responsibilities between Azure platform and Azure consumer - by Security Program Manager Ben Ridgway 


Red vs. Blue – presentation on Azure internal security penetration testing by Principal Security Manager John Walton


Azure Automation: Monitoring and Troubleshooting Your Runbook Jobs :http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/06/12/azure-automation-monitoring-and-troubleshooting-your-runbook-jobs-2/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=organic&utm_term=BlogAutomation&utm_campaign=61314


Getting started with Azure Automation: http://www.nullsession.com/index.php/2014/05/getting-started-with-azure-automation/

Azure Automation – Using the assets : http://www.nullsession.com/index.php/2014/05/azure-automation-using-the-assets/


A blog post by Azure Networking Sr. PM Ganesh Srinivasan describing Why Azure used non-US IPv4 addresses in US regions


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Episode 32 - Moving a CMS to Azure

by Sujit D'Mello June 11, 2014

The guys discuss a scenario sent in by a listener which involves moving a CMS to the Cloud to gain better scalability with Microsoft Azure WebSites (MAWS) and IaaS.


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Also discussed are the following new updates to Azure:

TFS Planning and DR Avoidance Guide v1.4 BETA is available

Azure Web Sites now fully supports Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) certificates (compared the classic private/public key generation, keys are harder by a factor of 10)

A public preview of Azure AD Application Proxy - is available

Docker deployments are now supported into an Azure Linux virtual machines using Azure's Virtual Machine Extensions.

Azure PowerShell 0.8.3 is released


How to tell what version of Azure Cmdlets I'm running?  http://blogs.msdn.com/b/wats/archive/2013/03/08/how-to-quickly-determine-the-windows-azure-powershell-version.aspx



Filed Under: Podcast

Episode 31 - Life with Azure in the real world

by Sujit D'Mello June 4, 2014


The guys talks about 2 scenarios where customer have tried to use Azure in interesting ways and discuss some of the best practices in utilizing Azure in each case.


Media File: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Podcast31.mp3






The Virtual Machines Readiness Assessment tool will automatically inspect your on-premises environment, whether it is physical or virtualized, and provide you with a check list and detailed report on steps you need to take to move your environment to the cloud.


Microsoft ACE / Information Security and Risk Management team recommended practices for Azure-related commonly encountered (but tricky to get right) scenarios:


Newest Infiniband offering performance research.

Only AWS & MSFT are shown in the Gartner IaaS Top Quadrant per the latest report








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