Last month’s Luper’s Learnings was a bit overwhelming so I tried to scale this one down a touch. Your input continues to make this a more valuable resource. Please keep the suggestions coming via Twitter and email.
Speaking of input, I do have a selfish ask for you this month. It’s amazing to see the growth in subscribers from inside Microsoft and Azure partners around the world. In addition to being able to talk about number of recipients, I would be very appreciative for you to share any stories you have of how Luper’s Learnings has impacted you individually, your Azure partner organization or your customers. Being able to talk about your stories here in Redmond enables me to continue to get time and investment to share my Learnings with you each month. Please share any short stories you have by email to luperslearnings (at) microsoft.com. Thanks!
Here we go with my Learnings from the last month…
- In April I spent 10 days meeting with partners in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. It was very rewarding to hear about some of the great solutions that partners like Perception Group, Prisma, Lagash, Metric Arts, Netmark, Icom and many others are delivering. Don’t be offended if I didn’t mention you, I had 1:1 meetings with over 20 partners and participated in terrific 1:many events in Santiago and Bogota in addition to attending the Global Azure Bootcamp event in Mexico City on 16 April. Thanks so much to our Azure BDMs and PTSes for organizing and giving me the opportunity to meet with local Microsoft teams and our wonderful Azure partners.
- Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is taking place in Toronto, Canada from 10 July – 14 July. It’s generally not a conference that technical folks from partners attend so don’t feel obligated to go if you are in a purely technical role J. If you are a partner principal, practice director or have some focus / emphasis on the commercial aspects of your company’s business and relationship with Microsoft, you might consider attending. It’s a great opportunity to meet and network with Microsoft folks from Redmond and around the world as well as a chance to meet other partners from your geography as well as many, many other countries. Registration is available here. I’ll be there so let me know if you want to connect during the conference.
- Now that I’ve mentioned the non-technical conference, don’t forget that registration is also open for Ignite in Atlanta in September. I’m planning to be there as well. It’s the premier conference for partners to go for in person, deep dive training on all topics Azure. If you are technical, come join me there!
- DirSync and Azure AD Sync are hitting retirement age. As you may have seen in Andreas Kjellman’s post Upgrade Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (“DirSync”) and Azure Active Directory Sync (“Azure AD Sync”), the best way to connect on-premises directories with Azure AD is using Azure AD Connect. The other, older tools have been deprecated and are less than 12 months from no longer being supported.
- Dustin Miller of BCG Systems asked if we could provide some further discussion and clarification around VPN devices. He saw the article from Cheryl McGuire, About VPN devices for Site-to-Site VPN Gateway connections. I’ve spoken with Cheryl. If you are implementing a device and using S2S VPNs with Azure and have additional questions, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll see about getting her to either update the article or comment on your questions here.
- WinBeta shared Azure CTO Mark Russinovich talks open source technologies and Microsoft’s Cloud
- Redmond Magazine’s coverage
- InformationWeeks’ coverage
- Corey Sanders short video announcement
- John Gossman’s announcement that Microsoft joins the new DC/OS open source project
- Ross Gardler posted about Containers in production with Marathon v1.0
- Azure Container Service page
- DC/OS site
- Mesos’ announcement of DC/OS.
- A bit about Windows Containers from Neil Peterson.Folks can’t contain their excitement about containers running in Windows and on Azure. Lots of interest and enthusiasm for the announcement in April that Azure Container Service is now generally available
- Perhaps it didn’t make your radar with all of the Build noise. Ahmet Alp Balkan announced the Docker Volume Plugin for Azure File Storage within his post Persistent Docker volumes with Azure File Storage.
- I feel like I share at least one blog post almost every month from Alexandre Brisebois. He posted a very in depth article on Getting to Know Azure Mobile App
- Techmike2kx posted recently on his blog New toys : #Azure Web-Based Server Management Tools , And It’s A Lot!!!!!
- Trust me, if you want to know anything about Security, Privacy, Compliance and Trust related to Azure or Microsoft’s other cloud services, the new Microsoft Trust Center is your one stop shop for that info.
- Watch Seth Juarez’ 25 minute discussion An Introduction to Microservices with Mark Russinovich
- Though I’m not a Slacker, you can read Christopher Anderson’s post from March Using the Azure WebJobs SDK to create custom Slack integrations.
- In April on the Cyber Trust Blog we announced that Microsoft Cloud App Security is generally available. Cloud App Security, based on Microsoft’s Adallom acquisition, is a comprehensive cloud-delivered service built for IT and security teams to help combat one of the top security concerns today: “service built for IT and security teams to help combat one of the top security concerns today: “How can we gain deeper visibility, stronger controls and enhanced protection for cloud apps?”
- Richard Kerslak (@kerslakerichard) recently posted the incredibly informative Using Azure Automation to run VMs during office hours only – using graphical runbooks
- Azure Storage now offers two access tiers for Blob storage (object storage), so that you can store your data most cost-effectively depending on how you use it. Read the in depth documentation on Azure Blob Storage: Hot and Cool Access Tiers and get details on pricing here. Sripasad Bhat’s blog post Introducing Azure Cool Blob Storage might be interesting to you as well.
- At //Build there was much discussion about intelligent bots. Adding color to the announcements was Jeff Hollan’s post Bot Framework made better with Azure.
- You might be interested in a free eBook, Beaming up to the cloud: Mission briefings for open source IT leaders on hybrid cloud, auto-scaling, and microservices including hybrid distribution, smart scaling, and microservice architectures.
- As I’ve told you in the past, the best place to keep up with Azure Service updates is this site or the RSS feed. A number of interesting Service Updates from the past month or so are below.
- Mobile Apps iOS Client SDK v3.1.0 released
- Active geo-replication available on all Azure SQL Database service tiers
- General availability: Azure Cool Blob storage
- Azure IoT Suite security articles added
- Azure App Service SSL certificates available for purchase
- Global search in the Azure portal
- Azure DevTest Labs: Introducing formulas to create VMs productively
- There are any number of ways for you and your customers to get support on Azure including Azure Support for Customers (several different options) and Advanced Support for Partners. Remember that @AzureSupport is there for you on Twitter as “The official Microsoft Azure account for improving customer experience by connecting the Azure community to the right resources: answers, support, and experts”
- Not sure if you have ever wondered but I’ve been curious What is an Azure elastic database pool? Sidney Higa updated this article just last week.
- On the Cloud Practitioners’ Blog, Michael Gibson of 10th Magnitude is joined by Brian McGinnis, Microsoft Azure BDM to talk about ISVs: Do More with Azure, The Manhattans Project
- I love to read about the awesome things that customers are using Azure for. Every 2 – 3 months I include a list of some cool customer stories that are publically referenceable. In the table below, you’ll see 18 customer stories from March and April from customers with locations in 15 different countries. All of them have some component of Azure in their solution and many of them received help from terrific partners like you. All published Azure case studies (more than 900 of them) can be found here.
|Customer & story||Country||Partner|
|Sanoma Corporation||Finland & Netherlands|
|Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation||Russia|
|Motif Engineering||China, India & US||Bitscape Infotech|
|hhpberlin – Ingenieure für Brandschutz GmbH||Germany||Colt Technology Services|
|University of Phayao||Thailand||Lannacom|
|HRT, a Croatian radio and TV broadcaster||Croatia||Span|
|Barry University||US||iam cloud|
- What are the teams talking about as being “In Development?” Of course, the broad Cloud Platform roadmap usually has interesting things on it on the Recently Available and Public Preview tabs as well.
- You know that I always like to include a fun story or something interesting about the competition. In mid April, TechRepublic posted AWS and Microsoft Azure at the center of IT's most exciting change in decades. According to the article, “When asked, ‘Which IT mega-vendor will be most critical and indispensable to your organization's IT environment in the future, and why?,’ Amazon Web Services, far and away today's market share leader, doesn't sit atop the heap.” You’ll see that CIOs answered almost 47% in favor of Microsoft compared to 13% for AWS.
- And, finally… I REALLY need to read Understanding Azure—a guide for developers. Or maybe, I’ve got the Azure part but just need the developer part. Hmmm… If you are or you know a developer who could use a free eBook about relating Azure to you / them, check it out.
Thanks for sticking with me and making it to the bottom of the May Luper’s Learnings. I’d love your input for topics for the June edition let me know what they are!