Whew… has it already been over six weeks since the beginning of 2018? Hopefully the year is going well for you so far. So much going on here with Azure, partners, enablement and cool projects that I never got to send the January edition so I’m combining it with the February edition.
Take a look below and let me know if you find good nuggets, have stuff to add or just want to say “Hi!” It’s definitely packed with great learnings.
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Here’s what I’ve learned in the last month…
I want to start by sharing an announcement that I neglected to share over the recent months. Jason Zander announced that Cray Supercomputers are coming to Azure. Customers can get a dedicated Cray XC or CS series supercomputers in Azure to run HPC and AI applications alongside their other cloud workloads directly on the Azure network. Pretty fascinating stuff.
- Microsoft Build registration opened today. It usually sells out very quickly. I don’t know if there will still be spots available by the time you receive this but if Build is on your radar, check out the site and register in a hurry.
- Microsoft announced quarterly results on our earnings call a couple of weeks ago. There have been some interesting follow-on articles as a result. Just a few for your reading…
- CRN wrote Microsoft Reports 'Outstanding' Results From Channel Partners As Azure And Office 365 Soar
- Really good read from Forbes - How Microsoft Revolutionized Its Sales Team--Plus 9 More Insights From CFO Amy Hood. It’s hard to count how many times “cloud”, “Azure” and “hybrid” appear in the article.
- Zacks writes Microsoft (MSFT) Reports Earnings Beat, Azure Revenue Soars 98%
- And, in a crazy interesting read for an old guy like me Here's how millennials are trading Microsoft ahead of earnings (MSFT) from Business Insider.
- Two weeks ago, Corey Sanders announced the general availability of Azure Event Grid. Azure Event Grid is the first of its kind, enabling applications and services to subscribe to all the events they need to handle whether they come from Azure services or from other parts of the same application. These events are delivered through push semantics, simplifying your code and reducing your resource consumption.
- Some of the recent excitement has been about storage and networking. To that end (get it?) We announced a couple of weeks ago that Virtual Network Service Endpoints and Firewalls for Azure Storage are generally available in all Azure regions include Azure Government. Virtual Network (VNet) service endpoints extend your virtual network private address space and the identity of your VNet to the Azure services, over a direct connection supporting Azure Storage, SQL DB and SQL DW (Preview.)
- Since I mentioned network, it’s a good call out that last month Augmented rules for NSGs became generally available. Documentation here. And, Service tags for NSGs too.
- While still thinking about networking Azure Global VNET Peering (allowing you to more simply and seamlessly connect two Azure virtual networks) is in preview.
- Announced (briefly) in December then “actually” announced in January is the capability that used to exist in the classic portal allowing you to associate an existing subscription to your Azure Active Directory (AAD). It’s now available in Azure portal. Announcement and simple instructions at Change the subscription directory in the Azure portal. More details at How to associate or add an Azure subscription to Azure Active Directory.
- CSP is such an important thing for me in my role. Pretty frequently I talk with partners about building and deploying solutions into Azure using CSP. A few weeks ago I posted a two part blog on this topic. Part 1 – Implementing a multi-tenant offering in Azure using CSP and Part 2 – Identifying the different use cases for partner offerings and solutions scenarios. I’d love to hear your thoughts, feedback, questions and comments on the topic.
- While on the topic of CSP, Cloud Solution Provider agreements, price lists, and offers is a key, non technical, resource for partners who are CSPs.
- Technical but really about billing - Azure Backup Storage GUID Migration. We’re changing how we report storage used by backups. No change in pricing but reporting of storage used by backup will be different.
- Often bigger is better but if you have a managed disk that’s bigger than you need (costs more) you might take advantage of Mike Lapierre’s How to shrink a managed disk. Probably not for the faint of heart but might be worth it if your VMs have disks much larger than the data contained within.
- If you are certified, certifiable or want to be one of the above, you should know that the 70-533, Implementing Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam is now continually being updated. The most recent updates were posted as of January 18, 2018 and are available here. The Exam Ref / prep book has been updated as well so the second edition is available as of last month.
- I’m not the deepest in Data, Database and DB migrations. I understand from my extended team that the Azure Database Migration Service in public preview is incredibly useful. Last week we announced several updates to that preview. In the February updates.
- Not a week goes by without a partner discussion around Azure Site Recovery, Backup and other DR topics. In January, Trinadh Kotturu announced the ability to enable backup on virtual machines during the VM create experience.
- Also on the ASR topic, today we said that you and your customers can Protect machines using managed disks between Azure regions using Azure Site Recovery. Been waiting on this for a bit.
- Christopher Scott posted Azure Automation: Shutting Down Custom Tagged Virtual Machines saying that his first thought was to setup a scheduled task to shutdown and startup Virtual Machines (VMs) to manage costs. He found various solutions that would do the job but didn’t have the granularity that he was looking for.
- Yup, I’m going to talk about CLI, PowerShell and Cloud Shell again…
- A couple of weeks ago, we added native OpenSSH client to the PowerShell based Cloud Shell.
- I’m not an Ansible guy but it’s now preinstalled in Bash in Cloud Shell.
- Short and sweet How to create Service Principal through CLI. And the longer version.
- Guessing that I’ve shared this previously but it makes me smile every time. http://shell.azure.com gives you a Cloud Shell acting on your Azure Subscription without even having to go to the Azure Portal. Oh http://shell.azure.com/bash and http://shell.azure.com/powershell work too.
- Check out Expanded options for accessing Cloud Shell for instructions for HTML and Markdown embedding as well as VS Code integration.
- Interesting walkthrough on the Azure App Service Team blog on az webapp new
- SUPPORT. Your favorite topic? I know that it’s mine! Based on customer and partner feedback, two changes have been made to Azure Standard support: price drop and faster initial response time.
- A project I’ve been working on recently had a need to document what disks (managed and unmanaged) exist within various resource groups and are attached to which VMs. I’ve got an early version of a PowerShell script that generates a basic report that I will try to share in the coming weeks. When I brought this up to the Storage Engineering team last week, they asked me if I knew about the Disks blade(?) screen(?) in the Azure Portal. I said that I didn’t. If you click on All services and search for Disks you’ll get to a super useful screen that shows you just about everything you could want on this topic for your Managed Disks. Do keep in mind that this does not show unmanaged disks inside Storage Accounts. I can’t wait until it’s exportable from the portal 😊.
- I’ve not included too much coverage on Kubernetes, Docker etc. in Luper’s Learnings. Those topics are definitely heating up and will be topics where I look to include more moving forward. I’ll probably lean on my extended team to contribute. To kick off on that topic, enjoy Scott Hanselman’s post Why should I care about Kubernetes, Docker, and Container Orchestration? from last week.
- Within the last few months my UK colleague Adam Raffe shared his Azure “Virtual Data Centre” lab and along with Dan Baker recorded a one hour video version of a workshop sharing his experience.
- Did you know that Microsoft has a “Chief IP Counsel?” That would be Erich Andersen. Last week he posted Microsoft Azure IP Advantage: Our first year. It’s a great look back at this key differentiator and includes an invitation for you to share your feedback on how we can continue to improve the program.
- Not usually something I’d normally stumble across or call out… Brand Detection in Microsoft Video Indexer. Whether you have an immediate use for it or just want to say “neat” watch the videos. Adds to and really speaks to some of the power inside Cognitive Services.
- Those of you who have been following Luper’s Learnings (on and off) for the past several years know that there are a few regular sites, blogs and videos that I’m a fan of. One of those is the Tip of the Day blog and in particular, things tagged Azure. Take a look at the recent posts over the past few months. You are sure to find some things in there that are great tips for you.
- Closing out, I try to highlight things that are particularly fun and / or cool. Here are the candidates for that honor this edition.
- Show off your skills with #AzureTrivia – This contest runs until the end of June. I want to see pictures of you and your swag if you win.
- Cool web site / app - Azure Compute Info
- The latest (2.7) Microsoft Azure, Cloud and Enterprise Symbol / Icon Set - Visio stencil, PowerPoint, PNG, SVG came out this month. Callon Campbell, MVP (https://theflyingmaverick.com/) shared his insight on getting it installed or updated on your machine.
- Cool article from Cameron Fuller at Catapult Delving deeper into sharing Azure dashboards
We’ll call that a wrap for now. I’ll try to get back on schedule and get you a few good pages of my Learnings in mid March.
Thanks for sticking with me and making it to the bottom of the January / February Luper’s Learnings. You’ve continued to be such a supportive and vocal group, keep sharing topics of interest for future editions.