Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, PagerDuty Blog, ManageEngine IT Matters, Elizabeth White, David H Deans

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Silverlight, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Post

Looking at “Real World” Windows Azure Scenarios

Migrating a Classic 3-Tier Application to Windows Azure with Don Noonan from Skylera

Looking at “Real World” Windows Azure Scenarios – Migrating a Classic 3-Tier Application to Windows Azure with Don Noonan from Skylera

I wrote this article about Don Noonan, a Cloud Architect from Skylera and his overview of “Infrastructure as a Service” platform. Don and I met at TechEd in Orlando 2012 last year and I interviewed him on the newest technologies around Windows Azure. Don has experience working at Microsoft, Boeing and has been working with storage technologies, virtual machines, workloads and desktop client deployment using cloud services - instead of the usual on-premise infrastructure services.

We start by discussing the working components or parts of cloud deployment in a real customer scenario. His current customer had a future mobile application on .Net but wanted to sell more of their current classic products. The customer had many servers to manage, with their IT staff on call to manage their on-premise infrastructure. Given the new technology, Don’s customer decided to look at Windows Azure to scale their applications and workloads on Microsoft’s Infrastructure cloud services.

So they started with a collection or set of functional groups within IaaS. They separated their virtual machines by roles such as Active Directory and other core services. This was a basic implementation of Windows Azure availability sets, which means at the datacenter level there is a promise that at least one member of a group of virtual machines will remain available while updates are being made to the Windows Azure platform.

You should use a combination of availability sets and load-balancing endpoints to make sure that your application is always available and running efficiently. For more information about using load-balanced endpoints, see Load Balancing Virtual Machines.

This task includes the following steps from the Windows Azure website below:

· Step 1: Create a virtual machine and an availability set

· Step 2: Add a virtual machine to the cloud service and assign it to the availability set during the creation process

· Step 3: (Optional) Create an availability set for previously created virtual machines

· Step 4: (Optional) Add a previously created virtual machine to an availability set

Don wanted to make sure that the cloud services and hypervisor have the appropriate virtual machines and that the compute resources will remain there. In this project, they had availability sets around there SQL virtual machines and the goal was that the system understands that one of the SQL instances is always highly available. Even though they have availability sets, you still have to implement failover at the database level, either using a witness, or the new Always On capability in SQL Server 2012.. They also have a custom management service specific to their mobile solution so their customers can look at logs and activities as well as their custom C++ sync service application used to sync data between the mobile phone application and backend database. Don explains that from a Windows Azure Mobile Services context, he likes to group the virtual machines, define what roles they will be playing and how the networking might be specifically laid out like load balancers and endpoints. Don shows in the IT Time Radio interview the Windows Azure portal and shows the interface with virtual machines within an availability set with 2 Domain Controllers paired up running. Don configures the DC availability set that has Active Directory running and AD Domain Services itself has built-in replication giving it high availability capabilities. The demo in the video shows setting up affinity groups and we explain how they are used in the Windows Azure datacenter which keeps your resources closely together like a high-level container that has compute and storage can be close together for provisioning. So for instance, since we’re here on the East Coast we would pick EAST US and build out Affinity Groups close to where we are physically located. Datacenters are large so you would first set up an Affinity Group and then within the Affinity Group you can build out your storage and virtual networks. For security reasons, within virtual networking you may want to divide out or subnet out the virtual networks so that the services are segregated and only certain ports can talk to each other which in common within public clouds services. You could say that you only want to have Windows firewall rules that say I only want external servers to talk to me on port 443, or only have SQL traffic go from the middle-tier to the database-tier.

So the nice part about IaaS is that each customer can have their own management network with an instance of their own virtual machines so you can segregate customers and services. I had a chance to explain the overview picture with segregating the workloads with first discussing Directory Services, Database Services, Management Services, Sync Services, and then wrapping around the whole thing with an Affinity Group and around that the virtual networking. We took a look at building this out in the video and Don shows how to use Powershell scripts and the Windows Azure IaaS cmdlets that makes the actual application work. What he likes to do is break them out into chucks like core infrastructure and back-end management servers like Active Directory Domain Controller, the middleware tier in the front-end like in this case SharePoint Server. So similar to how he segmented the network out and Don shows the scripts he uses to provision objects using Windows Azure and Powershell. He shows how to script out an Affinity Group so that the resources are not a football field away from each other for performance reasons. XML is used to do many of the functions within the portal that you can create from scratch or you can also find pre-canned management scripts up on http://www.windowsazure.com and Don has been working with the Windows Azure team to get more scripts up after they have had time to test these “real world” proof of concepts.

Don shows the foundation including the networking, affinity groups and storage he then shows how to create a virtual machine. He creates the management service layer which contains two Domain Controllers, with the same header information he then tells the default storage account to put new objects in the same storage account like for instance, 5 virtual machines within that storage account. Don explains what cmdlets do what functions like setting up instance variables for his two domain controllers to be in the same availability set. When the DC’s are being configured he explains the beauty of Windows Azure in that it has an existing gallery or catalogue of pre-built virtual machines so he builds it off the Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 install and then he tells it what subnet and then he shows the cmdlet New-AzureVMConfig command and create the first and second virtual machine and added them to the same availability set name. If we did not include them they would be independent and therefore might be serviced at the same time which would not give you high availability. The last thing he configures is the cloud service for the management network. He explains that this is where you would open ports and configure the connection to the virtual machines to service them via RDP. He finishes the overview of the real world Windows Azure application covering computing power, administrative privileges and adding a set of disks to the database tier like adding a 100GB LUN for data and a 50GB LUN for log files, and you can add lots of disks. Up to 16 data disks at 1TB a piece so that give you room for expansion. There are over 2400 cmdlets for Powershell in Windows Server 2012 and you can get the Windows Azure PowerShell cmdlets from the Windows Azure manage area on http://www.windowsazure.com . The last piece is the web-tier on the newly created subnet that is public facing and two web front-ends and he explains the setup at the end of (Part 1 of 5) Real World Azure - Migrating a Classic 3-Tier Application to Windows Azure IT Time Radio – TechNet Episode .

Catch the previous episodes of “IT Time Radio” below -

TechNet Radio: IT Time – (Part 2 of 5) Real World Azure - Deploying a Custom SharePoint Application to Windows Azure

TechNet Radio: IT Time – (Part 3 of 5) Real World Azure – Moving an All-In-One Server from Co-location to Windows Azure

TechNet Radio: IT Time – (Part 4 of 5) Real World Azure – Implementing RemoteApp for Client / Server Applications on Windows Azure

TechNet Radio: IT Time – (Part 5) Real World Azure – Real World Azure - Migrating a Classic 3-Tier Application to Windows Azure

Try Windows Azure http://aka.ms/try-azure – (Free account requires credit card but not charged)

Get your Microsoft Trial Products at http://aka.ms/msproducts

In case you missed any of the series here is a list to all of the articles: http://aka.ms/31azure

More Stories By Blain Barton

Raised in Spokane Washington, Blain Barton has been with Microsoft for 20 years and has held many diverse positions. His career started in 1988 as Team Leader in Manufacturing and Distribution, progressed to PSS Team Manager for Visual Basic Product Support, Product Consultant for Microsoft Word Division, OEM Systems Engineer and currently serves as a Senior IT Pro Evangelist.

Blain has organized and delivered a wide array of technical events and has presented over 1000 live events and has received over six “top-presenter” speaking awards. He has traveled around the world 3 times delivering OEM training sessions on pre-installing Microsoft Windows on new PC’s.

He attended Washington State University graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Business and Minor in Computer Science. After college, Blain taught snow skiing on a professional level in the Cascade Mountains before starting his career with Microsoft. Blain currently resides in Tampa Florida.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Akana has announced the availability of version 8 of its API Management solution. The Akana Platform provides an end-to-end API Management solution for designing, implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and publishing APIs. It is available as a SaaS platform, on-premises, and as a hybrid deployment. Version 8 introduces a lot of new functionality, all aimed at offering customers the richest API Management capabilities in a way that is easier than ever for API and app developers to use.