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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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.


Media File: 



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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Episode 30 - Automation, Scheduler & WebJobs (SDK)

by Sujit D'Mello May 29, 2014

Automation is more geared towards Admins for running Windows Workflow-style orchestrations. Used for running complex datacenter jobs.

Scheduler is a generic and robust schedule engine. It can run any workload on schedule and is leveraged by various Azure services.

WebJobs allows running prorams in various languages to do work related to an Azure Website.

.cmd, .bat, .exe (using windows cmd)

.ps1 (using powershell)

.sh (using bash)

.php (using php)

.py (using python)

.js (using node)


Jobs can be run:

  • On Demand
  • Continuously Running
  • Scheduled


It still takes a lot of work to write these programs so the new WebJobs SDK makes this easier. It uses Triggers and Bindings to make the I/O portion of these applications easier.

Still in Preview. Need VS 2013 or 2012 and get it via NuGet. It's also in GitGub if you need to look at the code.


Media File: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode30.mp3


Updates and News:

Microsoft announced a global strategic partnership with SalesForce.com to create new solutions that will connect SalesForce.com's CRM apps and platform to Microsoft Office and Windows


Under the terms of the agreement, we will work with salesforce.com on a number of areas:

New interoperability between Salesforce and Office 365 will give customers access to the content they need to collaborate, sell, service and market from virtually anywhere

We are bringing the Salesforce1 app to Windows devices, phones and PCs


Salesforce also renewed its commitment to use SQL Server as the database for ExactTarget and established a new commitment to use Microsoft Azure for ExactTarget Development and Testing.


Microsoft Buys Mobile App Management Platform Capptain – a startup based out of Paris that provides app developers with analytics and the ability to send push notifications based on customer usage patterns. The service is expected to be integrated into Azure.


SAP on Azure



The book on HDInsight by our colleague Buck Woody is released - and Microsoft Press has decided to make it free: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_press/archive/2014/05/27/free-ebook-introducing-microsoft-azure-hdinsight.aspx  




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Episode 29 - Azure Files

by Cale Teeter May 21, 2014


What is this all about?


SMB 2.1 protocol


VM/Web/Worker on Azure can share files using standard file api (ReadFile/WriteFile)


REST interface as well


Moving existing apps to the cloud (without more integration work)


App Settings




Install share (dev builds)



How do I use this thing 

  • PowerShell cmdlets
  • REST Apis


RDP Drives works!




  • Must be in the same region as the storage account hosting (REST everywhere!)
  • Currently can't copy directly from blob to files or between File Shares
  • Reading GEO copy of Files
  • Using SAS (must use accountname/accountkey)
  • No emulator support currently


Media File: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode29.mp3

VS 2013 Update 2 Azure related enhancements:


Regional Virtual Networks: http://blog.azure.com/2014/05/14/regional-virtual-networks/



Final warning about Guest OS family 1 (2008 based servers) 




Filed Under: Podcast

Episode 28 - TechEd 2014 Announcements

by Sujit D'Mello May 14, 2014

Azure ExpressRoute General Availability:

  • Announcing new partnerships with:
    • TelecityGroup and SingTel to expand ExpressRoute’s reach in Europe and APAC
    • Zadara to allows Azure customers to use Zadara storage via ExpressRoute in the U.S. 


Azure Compute-intensive A8 & A9 Virtual Machines General Availability for virtual machines.


Azure Files - Public Preview - enables virtual machines in an Azure datacenter to mount a shared file system using the SMB protocol.   


Azure Import/Export - General Availability


Microsoft Antimalware and security partnership with Trend Micro and Symantec - Public Preview.


  • Deep integration for Trend’s Deep Security™ and SecureCloud™ products in the Azure platform.  Additionally, Microsoft is also working to integrate PortalProtect™ with Azure.  
  • Symantec End Point Protection (SEP) is being supported on Azure. Through deep portal integration, customers have the ability to specify that they intend to use SEP within a VM.


Internal Load balancing - Public Preview.  Provides the ability to load balance Azure virtual machines with private IP addresses.


Virtual Networking features - General Availability of multiple site-to-site VPN and VNET-to-VNET connectivity. 


IP Reservation for VIPs and Instance-level public IP’s for Virtual Machines – General Availability:


  • Customers can now reserve public IP addresses and use them as virtual IP (VIP) addresses for their applications.
  • With Instance-level Public IPs for VMs, customers can now assign public IP addresses to their virtual machines, so they become directly addressable without having to map an endpoint.


Azure Site Recovery (formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager) – New features announced:


  • Today, Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager provides a disaster recovery solution for customers which helps protect the availability of System Center private clouds. 
  • In June a public preview of new features will enable customers to replicate virtual machines from their primary site directly to Azure, instead of a second customer site. 


Azure RemoteApp: New service delivering remote applications from the Azure cloud - business applications run on Windows Server in the Azure cloud where they’re easier to scale and update. Employees install Microsoft Remote Desktop clients on their Internet-connected laptop, tablet, or phone—and can then access applications as if they were running locally. 


API Management - Public preview - new service enabling organizations to publish APIs to developers, partners and employees securely and at scale. 


Azure Cache Services:


  •  General Availability for Azure Managed Cache service.
  • Azure Redis Cache service is available in Public Preview. 
  • Azure Shared Caching Service will be retired in September 2014 and with it the Microsoft’s Silverlight-based portal. 


Azure Traffic Manager - General Availability - supports both Azure endpoints and external endpoints.


BizTalk Hybrid Connections- Public Preview of BizTalk Hybrid Connections – this new Azure service enables cloud services to more securely, quickly, and easily integrate Azure cloud solutions with on-premises applications. With no custom code required, Hybrid Connections enables customers to connect to any on-premises TCP or HTTP resource—such as Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, or any web service—from Azure Web Sites.


Windows Client VMs for MSDN Subscribers: Virtual machine images for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are now available in the Azure virtual machine gallery for MSDN subscribers.



Media File: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode28.mp3




VM Depot is a community-driven catalog of preconfigured operating systems, applications, and development stacks that can easily be deployed on Windows Azure. Find your favorite software and deploy it in minutes, or join the community, build a virtual machine image, and share it with others.



VM Depot is brought to you by Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation. The virtual machine images on this site are provided and licensed to you by community members. Microsoft Open Technologies does not screen these images for security, compatibility or performance, and does not provide any license rights or support for them.






RemoteApp demo: https://www.remoteapp.windowsazure.com/ClientDownload/WindowsDemo.aspx



Filed Under: Podcast


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