Automating Azure: Creating an On-Demand HDInsight Cluster

This article pulls together the concepts from two previous articles to demonstrate a way to automate the “on-demand” creation and deletion of an HDInsight cluster. This not only serves as a demonstration of the power of automating Azure provisioning, but is a practical solution for the user who only occasionally requires the power of HDInsight for scalable computations.… Read more

Automating Azure: How to Deploy a Temporary Virtual Machine Resource

Because Azure is designed from the ground-up to allow automated provisioning, It provides a number of interesting opportunities for use. With a .NET language such as C#, it is possible to create a very flexible 'on-demand' infrastructure in Azure, using Azure Resource Manager templates, that allows users to economically deploy the resources they need just for the interval of time that they are required, and then destroy them. … Read more

Mixing MongoDB and Relational Databases in the Enterprise

Your Agile developers want MongoDB, or a similar document database: your Ops people are concerned about security and backup, and Governance are muttering about transactionality and data transfer between systems. Do you restrict your developers from rapidly-evolving the data design for their domain or do you embrace the joys of NoSQL unconditionally? If you accept a polyglot database environment, where the NoSQL lambs coexist with the relational lions, how do you provide tools and common database concepts that everyone can use and understand?… Read more

Uploading Files to Azure Data Lake Using a .NET App

Azure Data Lake Store is an extendable store of Cloud data in Azure. You can move data to and from Azure Data Lake Store via Azure data Factory or Azure SQL Database and connect to a variety of data sources. You can script upload files from on-premise or local servers to Azure Data Lake Store using the Azure Data Lake Store .NET SDK. Ambily KK shows how easy it is to get started by setting up a script or App to move data to Azure Data Lake Store.… Read more

Creating a Custom .NET Activity Pipeline for Azure Data Factory

Azure Data Factory provides a radical new cloud-based way of collecting and preparing data in preparation for its storage and analysis. How do you get started with it to explore the possibilities it provides? Feodor Georgiev shows the practicalities of how to go about the task of preparing a pipeline for use, from preparing the Azure environment to downloading a file from a FTP to a blob storage in the Azure environment… Read more

Monitoring Azure Cloud and Hybrid Environments

Cloud-based services and applications must still be monitored just like the on-premise ones. You still need most of your data center activities that ensure that your planning, budgeting, security and service-level obligations are met wherever the data and services are actually hosted. There is much to be said for an integrated approach to providing a unified view of entire application workloads on-premise. hybrid and cloud using the same tools wherever possible. … Read more

Working with Windows Containers and Docker: Into your Stride

So far, in this series, Nicolas has shown how to get simple container instances up and running with just some basic background information. Now we need to understand the differences between Linux containers, Windows Server containers and Hyper-V containers. We can then define, create and run multi-container Docker applications, and port existing Windows Container VMs to Docker.… Read more

Working with Windows Containers and Docker: Up and Running

Deployments can be made easier, in many different ways, by using Docker and Windows Containers; but how do you set about working with them? As part of his practical series on Windows Containers and Docker, Nicolas shows how to deploy a Container Host to the Microsoft Azure cloud. retrieve Images from Docker Hub, build your own container image, and push your images to the Docker Hub. … Read more

Introduction to Azure Logic Apps

LogicApps are a managed service that provides the Lego blocks of Azure serverless architecture that you can use to create, develop and deploy cloud-based integrations and workflows. The developer merely strings together off-the-self, ready-made components with as little effort as possible. The aim is to go from development to production in a few simple, reproducible steps. Microsoft are investing strongly in this technology, introducing many new connectors in line with the demands of the integration requirements of enterprises.… Read more

Exploring Azure Storage for SQL Server DBAs – Part 2

Managed Disks have simplified way that Azure storage interacts with the users' virtual machines, thanks to the way that it eliminates the need to deal with the Storage Account. It is now easier to add new disks to a virtual machine, either in PowerShell or via the portal. The Storage Spaces feature in Windows Server can be used to aggregate disks together and obtain higher levels of performance. Joshua Feierman explains how to do it all.… Read more

Serverless Architecture with Azure

Azure provides an ideal platform for hosting microservices because it offers a number of managed services that allow developers to create microservices that can run reliably and at scale. The problem is in understanding how these managed services can help and which is most suitable for the task. Christos Matskas provides a useful summary for anyone developing cloud-based applications.… Read more

User Acceptance Testing and the Application Lifecycle

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is an important part of the development process. If carried out as early as possible and as regularly as possible, it not only alerts the development team to aspects that don't yet meet the requirements of the users, but also gives governance a better idea of progress. If UAT is delayed, defects become expensive and troublesome to fix. Sophia Segal gives an experienced summary view of UAT… Read more

Using AWS’s Simple Workflow Service (SWF) with C#

Amazon's Simple Workflow Service (SWF) in AWS provides a model of workflow that is simple to understand but is it simple to get a robust and durable workflow in place? Tom Fischer guides you through the bewildering early stages of your first SWF application, and concludes that workflows inherently take time and effort to get right, but SWF provides a formidable cloud-based solution … Read more

Exploring Azure Storage for SQL Server DBAs

If you need to run SQL Server in an Azure Virtual Machine, your choice of Azure storage will have a great effect on its performance. If performance is important, you are likely to discover complications and barriers in the storage options when you come to provision the server. If you get it wrong, you could end up with an expensive service. Joshua explains the value of using a lab environment to allow you to make well-informed VM storage decisions when the time comes to provision your production system. … Read more

Microservices in Promise and Practice

Are microservices the cure for the ague of monolithic applications, or do they bring their own problems with them that monolithic architectures have circumvented? Are they capable of delivering applications that are easier to maintain and develop? How can they avoid the failings of service-oriented architectures? Once more, Robert Sheldon gets to the heart of the technical issues.… Read more

Azure Diagnostics for Virtual Machines

Hosting a scalable application in Azure seems ideal, but what happens when things go wrong? Azure Cloud Services provide extensive disgnostics, and this feature has now been extended to Azure web sites and Azure Virtual Machines. You need to set up diagnostics on the VM, but once this is done, all your logs, traces and performance counters can be collected from many VMs in one place for easy management.… Read more