Welcome to the March 2016 monthly edition of Luper’s Learnings.
Thanks for your patience as I got this edition together. I’m shooting to get the April edition back on schedule for the first week of the month. Your input continues to make this a more valuable resource. Please keep the suggestions coming via Twitter and email.
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Here are topics I’ve run across and my Learnings from the last month…
- My friend and colleague, Eduardo Kassner (@ekassner) co-authored Enterprise Cloud Strategy. You can get your free copy in PDF, ePub and Mobi formats here.
- Definitely check out the Cloud and Proud Sessions from my UK mate, Daniel Baker (@azuredan). He’s got a handful of easy to consume sessions on various Azure topics.
- Thomas Shinder published a whitepaper Azure Disk Encryption for Windows and Linux Azure Virtual Machines. It’s a new capability that lets you encrypt your Windows and Linux Azure Virtual Machine disks leveraging the industry standard BitLocker feature of Windows and the DM-Crypt feature of Linux to provide volume encryption for the OS and the data disks.
- Read Corey Sanders’ post Announcing more open options and choice on Microsoft Azure. The announcements include Red Hat Enterprise Linux images available in the Azure Marketplace, Azure Container Service broadly available, Bitnami images certified for the Azure Marketplace, and OneOps support on Azure.
- I had a discussion with a partner last month about migration options for VMs from ASM to ARM. Diego’s post from December is one resource to help.
- I’m trying not to go too ARM crazy this month (as I’ve done in some previous editions) but you’ll definitely want to watch Scott Hanselman talk to Brady Gaster about some of the new Azure App Service features in Visual Studio. Then read Brady’s announcement of Azure SDK 2.8.2 for Visual Studio 2015. This release includes some user interface, validation improvements and engineering optimizations to improve the App Service developer experience.
- I frequently talk about how important security, trust, privacy and compliance are to Azure and to Microsoft. You may have heard about the new set of tools (in preview) from Azure called the Azure Security Center. Watch this 28 minute video including a demo to learn more.
- The Azure Stack team announced early preview of Azure PaaS services and DevOps tools for Azure Stack. In addition to download availability of the first Technical Preview of Azure Stack, now additional Azure PaaS services and DevOps tools are available for you to deploy and run on top of your Technical Preview deployments.
- Have you kept up with the “Build Your Hybrid Cloud” series from Keith Mayer and Andy Syrewicze? In mid-February they posted Part 26 - Delegating Management in the Azure Cloud with Role-Based Access Control (RBAC).
- Interested in ExpressRoute? Every other Friday, the US ExpressRoute Blackbelt team holds a customer facing meeting to help customers learn about ExpressRoute and plan & design their ExpressRoute connectivity to the Microsoft Cloud. Archives, invite and other details are here.
- Anurag Gupta wrote Announcing new Log Analytics (OMS) resource for Azure VMs. Log Analytics brings the power of Operations Management Suite (OMS) right into the Azure portal allowing you to provision a brand new OMS workspace, link workspaces to Azure subscriptions, and onboard Azure VMs directly to the OMS service.
- I tend to go nuts on a topic each month. This month (though I’ll temper the nuts a bit) that topics is Azure Active Directory Domain Services (currently in Preview.)
- Azure Active Directory Domain Services documentation
- How does it work?
- SLVIRTUALGUY walkthrough
- Deployment scenarios and use-cases
- Getting Started
- If AADDS is interesting to you, I know that Azure AD is as well. Be sure to check out Azure Active Directory features and capabilities plus a comparison of what capabilities are in various Azure Active Directory editions.
- Keeping with the Azure AD theme, Changing user password in Azure AD using GraphAPI and How to use Microsoft Graph and Office 365 API in a Service or in a Windows App/UWP without a graphical interface.
- On the A Cloud Above the Rest blog, Rich Lilly (@richlilly) called out that Azure AD Connect 220.127.116.11 Released and, you’ll find that there were even some updates in 18.104.22.168 according to Andreas Kjellman’s 29 February post.
- Closing out my run of Identity related items. Alex Simons posted Identity and Security innovations for your enterprise on the Active Directory Team Blog.
- Towards the end of February, Aidan Finn shared his Early Experience with Azure Backup Server.
- Joe Davies published an updated and improved version of the Microsoft Cloud Networking for Enterprise Architects to the Cloud Adoption Advisory Board (CAAB) blog. You can also join the CAAB Yammer group.
- SQL Server Express is a version of SQL Server you can use for dev/test and web and mobile apps with lightweight relational database needs. The SQL Server Express licensing is free, so you only need to pay for running the virtual machine. Pause the virtual machine when you don’t need it and resume it when you want to maximize cost savings. Why am I telling you this? Of course, Announcing SQL Server Express images in the Azure Gallery.
- It’s becoming more the norm than the exception. When I don’t get Luper’s Learnings out before really cool announcements, I’m hesitant to wait a month to share them. Not totally Azure but… in early March, Scott Guthrie announced SQL Server on Linux. ‘nuff said. Read about it!
- In the R-bloggers blog, Joseph Rickert shared Getting Started with Microsoft SQL Server on Azure with the R community. In his post he also mentions a few other posts that might be of interest.
- I’m definitely not a Parse guy but I’ve heard that y’all are out there. If you have been using Parse hosting as the backend that supports your mobile apps, now is the perfect time to try out Azure App Service. The folks at Parse have provided a way to migrate an existing backend hosted by Parse to another host. Glenn Gailey posted Azure welcomes Parse developers.
- Join speaker Jose Miguel Parrella, Open Source Product Manager for an on demand webinar to learn how organizations around the globe are harnessing the power of open source in Azure.
- Red Hat on Azure is heating up. Stay current at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/campaigns/redhat.
- Ian Farr posted Configure an Azure Automation Account - Part 1 - Start Me Up.
- Speaking of Azure Automation, it’s exciting to share that Azure Automation classic portal redirect to new Azure portal March 2016. Nothing better than seeing services coming over from the old portal into the new. Watch for that trend to continue!
- In early February, Microsoft released a public preview of some tools that Jeffrey Snover showed at the 2015 Ignite conference. Marius Sandbu helps us to learn about Getting started with Web based server management tools in Azure. The learning follows Kriti Jindal’s Introducing Server management tools post.
- Spyros Sakellariadis tells us that “There are a number of documentation articles and code samples on pushing data from devices you control to Azure and for analyzing in combination with other streaming or static data. What’s not as well documented is how to pull data from a public website you don’t control, then push that data into an Azure Event Hub.” He tells us where to find both documentation and the sample in his post A sample application for pulling data from the web into an Azure Event Hub.
- It wasn’t in the January edition of Luper’s Learnings but finally got my attention when in late January, the Power BI team announced Power BI Mobile Apps Update - January 2016. In February, they announced Power BI Mobile Apps Update – February 2016 and Power BI Update: Lots of new authoring features and a new Power BI Desktop update. Stay current on the Power BI service, desktop and mobile announcements on the Power BI blog.
- Stefan Roth told us about the ISE Add-On Editing Runbooks and did the math for us on Azure Automation – Twitter + IFTTT + Webhook = Start Runbook.
- Since I was light on ARM mentions this month, I’ll share Ravikanth Chaganti’s post Building Azure Resource Manager Templates – Using Domain Join Extension that is part of a series of posts on ARM templates.
- Shannon Gowen’s Tip of the Day was new to me when I came across the recent post (Cloud) Tip of the Day: 5 Minute Warning for Reboot. Other interesting, recent cloud tips included:
- Finally, as you know, I love including at least one fun tidbit each month. Here are a couple for this edition.
- Did you hear that Microsoft’s Project Natick put the cloud in the ocean for the first time? Maybe not mainstream (or would that be mainocean?) this year but interesting to think about. Barb Darrow (@gigabarb) of Fortune covered it at Microsoft Test Drives (Dives?) Underwater Data Centers?
- Alexandre Brisebois (@Brisebois) helped us to understand what a Petaflop would look like on Azure.
Thanks for sticking with me and making it to the bottom of the March Luper’s Learnings. I’d love your input for topics for the March edition let me know what they are!