Tag: Architecture

Azure Architecture Best Practices Virtual Event

Azure Architecture Best Practices Virtual Event – October 20

As you might remember we did an Azure Architecture Best Practices Virtual Event back in August 2020. Since we got very high demand and great feedback, we decided to do a second event on October 20. So, I am happy to let you know about another free online event where I am presenting together with Microsoft Cloud Solution Architect, Dominik Zemp, about Azure Architecture Best Practices. This free virtual event will be on October 20 from 9:30am-12:00pm (CEST). In this session, you will learn about proven guidance that’s designed to help you, architect, create and implement the business and technology strategies necessary for your organization to succeed in the cloud. It provides best practices, documentation, and tools that cloud architects, IT professionals, and business decision-makers need to successfully achieve their short- and long-term objectives. We will be focusing on topics like the Cloud Adoption Framework and the new Enterprise-Scale landing zone architecture.

Azure Architecture Best Practices Virtual Event Agenda:

  • Introduction
  • Why Azure Architecture?
  • Introduction to the Cloud Adoption Framework
  • What is Enterprise-Scale?
    • Build landing zones with Enterprise-Scale
    • Critical design areas
    • Deployment using AzOps
    • Demo
  • Build on top of Enterprise-Scale – Well-Architected Framework for workloads and apps
  • Q&A

You can register for the event here: Microsoft Virtual Live Event

About the Speakers:

Dominik Zemp (Microsoft Cloud Solution Architect)

Dominik Zemp is a Cloud Solution Architect working with Global Swiss financial customers and has been working at Microsoft since 2008. Before Dominik changed role in late 2015, he worked as a Security and Identity Consultant in the Microsoft Services organization. Dominik’s focus areas are applications and infrastructure, including cloud-native applications, networking, and security. Dominik holds a Bachelor’s degree in IT with a Specialization in software systems.

Thomas Maurer (Microsoft Senior Cloud Advocate)

Thomas works as a Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft. He engages with the community and customers around the world to share his knowledge and collect feedback to improve the Azure cloud platform. Prior to joining the Azure engineering team (Cloud + AI), Thomas was a Lead Architect and Microsoft MVP, to help architect, implement and promote Microsoft cloud technology. If you want to know more about Thomas, check out his blog: www.thomasmaurer.ch and Twitter: www.twitter.com/thomasmaurer

I am really looking forward to the second Azure Architecture Best Practices virtual event, and I hope to see you there!

AZ-304 Study Guide Azure Architect Design Exam Study Guide

AZ-304 Study Guide Azure Architect Design Exam Study Guide

Also, check out my exam study guides to achieve the Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification:



Azure Architecture Best Practices Virtual Event

Azure Architecture Best Practices Virtual Event

I am happy to let you know about another free online event where I am presenting together with Microsoft Cloud Solution Architect, Dominik Zemp, about Azure Architecture Best Practices. This free virtual event will be on August 18 from 9:30am-12:00pm (CEST). In this session, you will learn about proven guidance that’s designed to help you, architect, create and implement the business and technology strategies necessary for your organization to succeed in the cloud. It provides best practices, documentation, and tools that cloud architects, IT professionals, and business decision-makers need to successfully achieve their short- and long-term objectives. We will be focusing on topics like the Cloud Adoption Framework and the new Enterprise-Scale landing zone architecture.

Azure Architecture Best Practices Virtual Event Agenda:

  • Introduction
  • Why Azure Architecture?
  • Introduction to the Cloud Adoption Framework
  • What is Enterprise-Scale?
    • Build landing zones with Enterprise-Scale
    • Critical design areas
    • Deployment using AzOps
    • Demo
  • Build on top of Enterprise-Scale – Well-Architected Framework for workloads and apps
  • Q&A

You can register for the event here: Microsoft Virtual Live Event

About the Speakers:

Dominik Zemp (Microsoft Cloud Solution Architect)

Dominik Zemp is a Cloud Solution Architect working with Global Swiss financial customers and has been working at Microsoft since 2008. Before Dominik changed role in late 2015, he worked as a Security and Identity Consultant in the Microsoft Services organization. Dominik’s focus areas are applications and infrastructure, including cloud-native applications, networking, and security. Dominik holds a Bachelor degree in IT with Specialization in software systems.

Thomas Maurer (Microsoft Senior Cloud Advocate)

Thomas works as a Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft. He engages with the community and customers around the world to share his knowledge and collect feedback to improve the Azure cloud platform. Prior to joining the Azure engineering team (Cloud + AI), Thomas was a Lead Architect and Microsoft MVP, to help architect, implement and promote Microsoft cloud technology. If you want to know more about Thomas, check out his blog: www.thomasmaurer.ch and Twitter: www.twitter.com/thomasmaurer

I am really looking forward to the Azure Architecture Best Practices virtual event, and I hope to see you there!

Also, check out my exam study guides to achieve the Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification:



Download Azure Architecture Icons

Download New Azure Architecture Icons now!

With the latest Azure Portal refresh, Microsoft Azure got some new icons as well. If you want to draw some Azure architecture diagrams you can now download the latest Azure Architecture Icons from the Azure Architecture Center.

Customers and partners are permitted by Microsoft to use the Azure icons to create architecture diagrams. They are designed as a family. The icons can also be used in training manuals or documentation about a Microsoft product. The full name of the icon must always be used in proximity to the icon, but never locked to appear like a logo.

Also, make sure you aware of the do’s and don’ts on how to use the Azure Architecture Icons.

Do’s

  • Use the icon to illustrate how products can work together
  • In diagrams, make sure to include the product name somewhere close to the icon
  • In text, at first mention use the full product name: Microsoft Azure (insert name)

Don’ts

  • Never put the product name so close to the icon that it appears to be a logo
  • Don’t crop, flip or rotate icons
  • Don’t distort or change icon shape in any way
  • Don’t use Microsoft product icons to represent your product or service

To download the Azure Architecture Icons go to the Microsoft Architecture Center. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. If you are interested in becoming a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect, check out my exam study guides for AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies and AZ-304 Microsoft Azure Architect Design.



How to Learn Microsoft Azure in 2020

How to Learn Microsoft Azure in 2020

The year 2019 is almost over, and usually, we take the time to look back at the year and also to find some New Year’s resolutions for the new year. Why not take all that energy and prepare for the cloud computing era and advance your career by learning Microsoft Azure. In this post, I try to give you a quick look at how you can get started to learn Microsoft Azure in 2020.

Azure hands-on experience

There is nothing better than hands-on experience, so get started with a free Azure account. Your Azure free account includes a limited quantity of free services for 12 months. Within these limits, you have the flexibility to use the free services in various configurations to meet your needs.

Learn with Free Azure services

Learn with Free Azure services

To learn more, see the Azure free account FAQ

Create free Azure Account ☁

Create your Azure free account today and get started with 12 months of free services!

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn was introduced at Ignite 2018 as a free learning platform for a lot of different Microsoft technologies, not just Azure. Microsoft Learn provides you with various learning paths depending on your job role or the skills you are looking for. Most of the learning paths give you a hands-on learning opportunity so that you can develop practical skills through interactive training. And it is free! You get instant in-browser access to Microsoft tools and modules, no credit card required.

Microsoft Learn 🎓

Up your game with a module or learning path tailored to today’s IT Pro, developer, and technology masterminds and designed to prepare you for industry-recognized Microsoft certifications.

Become Microsoft Azure Certified

Another great option to learn and verify your skills is to take Microsoft Azure certification exams. A couple of months back, I wrote a series of blog posts on why you should become Microsoft Azure certified, how you prepare for Microsoft Azure exams, and how you take and pass Microsoft certification exams. Taking the new role-based Microsoft certification exams will help you to find the right topics and structure to learn, depending on your current or future job role you are looking for.

Microsoft Certification

Earn certifications that show you are keeping pace with today’s technical roles and requirements.

If you are just getting started with Azure, have a look at the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam. You can also have a look at my experience with the different Azure exam certifications:

Exam Study Guides

I also wrote a couple of Microsoft certification exam study guides, which might help you as well.

More resources to learn Azure in 2020

There are a couple of more resources I want to point you to, to get started and learn Microsoft Azure in 2020.

Azure Architecture Center

Azure Architecture Center

  • Azure Architecture Center – The Azure Architecture Center contains guidance for building end-to-end solutions on Microsoft Azure. Here you will find reference architectures, best practices, design patterns, scenario guides, and reference implementations.
  • Cloud Adoption Framework – The Cloud Adoption Framework is the One Microsoft approach to cloud adoption in Azure, consolidating, and sharing best practices from Microsoft employees, partners, and customers. The framework gives customers a set of tools, guidance, and narratives that help shape technology, business, and people strategies for driving desired business outcomes during their adoption effort. This guidance aligns to the following phases of the cloud adoption lifecycle, like Strategy, Plan, Ready, Migrate, Innovate, Govern, and Manage.
  • Azure Migration Center – Get all the tools and resources you need to migrate your apps, data, and infrastructure at your own pace, with confidence.
  • Azure Architecture Framework – A successful cloud solution requires to focus on these five pillars of architecture excellence: Cost, DevOps, Resiliency, Scalability, and Security. The Azure Architecture Framework helps you to build on these pillars.
  • Application architecture guide – The Azure Application Architecture Guide presents a structured approach for designing applications on Azure that are scalable, resilient, and highly available. It is based on proven practices that we have learned from customer engagements.
  • Azure Cloud Design Patterns – The Azure Cloud Design Patterns are useful for building reliable, scalable, secure applications in the cloud. Each pattern describes the problem that the pattern addresses, considerations for applying the pattern, and an example based on Microsoft Azure. Most of the patterns include code samples or snippets that show how to implement the pattern on Azure.
  • Azure Reference Architectures – The Reference Architectures are a set of recommended architectures for Azure. Each architecture includes best practices, prescriptive steps, and a deployable solution.
  • Architectural decision guides – The architectural decision guides in the Cloud Adoption Framework describe patterns and models that help when creating cloud governance design guidance.
  • Cloud Operating model – Establish an operating model for the cloud
  • Get started guide for Azure developers – The get started guide helps developers to get started with Azure and tools.
  • Azure Quickstart Templates – Deploy Azure resources through the Azure Resource Manager with community contributed templates to get more done. Deploy, learn, fork, and contribute back.
  • Code samples – Get started with Microsoft developer tools and technologies. Explore our samples and discover the things you can build.
  • Azure Hybrid – Learn about Azure Hybrid Cloud with features and services like Azure Stack, Azure Arc, and many more.
  • Azure for AWS Professionals – This article helps Amazon Web Services (AWS) experts understand the basics of Microsoft Azure accounts, platform, and services. It also covers key similarities and differences between the AWS and Azure platforms.
  • Azure Security – Learn about Azure and security
  • Azure compliance – Get an overview of compliance in Microsoft Azure, with more than 90 compliance offerings
  • Azure privacy – Learn more about Azure data privacy and protection.
  • Service Level Agreements (SLA) – Read the SLAs to learn about our uptime guarantees and downtime credit policies.
  • Azure pricing – learn about how Azure pricing works and how you can save costs and get the best value at every stage of your cloud journey.
  • TCO Calculator – Estimate the cost savings you can realize by migrating your workloads to Azure.
  • Azure Support Plans – Explore the range of Azure support options and choose the plan that best fits, whether you’re a developer just starting your cloud journey or a large organization deploying business-critical, strategic applications.

I hope these resources give you a great summary of how you can start learning Azure in 2020. If you have any questions, or you feel that some resources are missing, let me know in the comments. Also, subscribe to my blog to learn about the latest updates.



Azure Stack Tenant Portal

Considerations for deploying apps and services on Azure Stack

I work with a couple of customers on different Azure Stack projects. One of the main topics that always comes up, is what are the differences between Azure and Azure Stack when deploying applications and services. Obviously there are the high-level differences, which I have written about it here: Microsoft Azure Stack – Azure Extension in your Datacenter. However, there are also small differences in features and services between Azure and Azure Stack. These differences can block customers form deploying and automating workloads. I tried to summarize the most common differences and considerations you should know, in a single blog post.

High-level differences between Azure and Azure Stack

Some of the high-level differences between the two platforms are:

  • An Azure Stack does not have the same SLA and physical security in place since the Azure Stack does not run in a Microsoft operated location.
  • Azure Stack provides only a subset of the Azure services and features.
  • Azure Stack is not operated by Microsoft. Azure Stack backend is operated by the operators in your company or by a service provider.
  • The Azure Stack operator, which can be your company or a service provider, chooses which services, features and marketplace items he wants to make available on Azure Stack.
  • Azure Stack comes with its own portal. It has the same look and feel, but it will be another URL and endpoints for the portal as well as for the APIs.
  • Azure Stack will have different PowerShell and API versions available. If you are building a hybrid cloud app, which should work on Azure and Azure Stack, make sure you are using the versions supported by Azure Stack.

Considerations and differences between Azure and Azure Stack

Obviously, there is much more to this. I put a list of links together, where you can find the differences between Azure and Azure Stack and more considerations you should think of when deploying on Azure Stack.

Setup an Azure Stack operator and developer environment

Install Azure Stack PowerShell

To connect to Azure Stack using PowerShell, Visual Studio, the Azure CLI or another Azure Stack tooling, you have to set up a few things. I recommend that you read my blog post about how to set up an Azure Stack operator and developer environment. This is not only helpful for operators, but also for people who want to deploy and develop solutions on Azure Stack.

Check API versions available

Azure Stack API Verions PowerShell

If you are an Azure Stack tenant and you want to check which API versions are available on your Azure Stack, you can run the following PowerShell command against Azure Stack. This does not need any administrator rights, you will just need a tenant account on Azure Stack to access it. If your Azure Stack is running at a service provider, it is very likely that you won’t have access to the Administrator portal to check the version.

Get-AzureRmResourceProvider | Select ProviderNamespace -Expand ResourceTypes | Select * -Expand ApiVersions | `
Select ProviderNamespace, ResourceTypeName, @{Name="ApiVersion"; Expression={$_}}

Check version release notes

Azure Stack Version Release Notes

Another good thing to check if you are running in any issues deploying applications or services is to check the Azure Stack version release notes. Theses document very well the new features added, fixed as well as known issues with that release.

You can find the links to the latest Azure Stack release notes here. I also recommend that you read my article about Updating Azure Stack.

I hope this gives you a quick overview and help you to successfully deploy applications and services on Azure Stack. You can find most of this information on the documentation site, but I decided to consolidate this information in one post.



Windows Azure Pack IaaS

Windows Azure Pack Architecture

Some days ago I wrote about Windows Azure Pack which basically brings Windows Azure Services to your datacenter on top of Windows Server and System Center. I also showed a little overview how the overall architecture looks like, including the different resource providers such as VM Cloud or SQL Server.

Overall Architecture

Windows Azure Pack Archtiecture Overview

Components

If you a look on the Windows Azure Pack you have 7 different components, which need to be installed.

Service Management APIs

  • Windows Azure Pack Admin API – The Windows Azure Pack Admin API exposes functionality to complete administrative tasks from the management portal for administrators or through the use of Windows PowerShell cmdlets.
  • Windows Azure Pack Tenant API – Windows Azure Pack Tenant API enables users, or tenants, to manage and configure cloud services that are included in the plans that they subscribe to.
  • Windows Azure Pack Tenant Public API – Windows Azure Pack Tenant Public API enables end users to manage and configure cloud services that are included in the plans that they subscribe to. The Tenant Public API is designed to serve all the requirements of end users that subscribe to the various services that a hosting service provider provides.

Authentication sites

  • Admin Authentication Site – This is the authentication site where Administrators authenticate against. By default, Windows Azure Pack uses Windows authentication for the administration portal. You also have the option to use Windows Azure Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) to authenticate users.
  • Tenant Authentication Site – This is the authentication site where Tenants (Customers) authenticate against. Windows Azure Pack uses an ASP.NET Membership provider to provide authentication for the management portal for tenants.

Service Management portals

  • Management portal for administrators – A portal for administrators to configure and manage resource clouds, user accounts, tenant plans, quotas, and pricing. In this portal, administrators create Web Site clouds, virtual machine private clouds, create plans, and manage user subscriptions.
  • Management portal for tenants – A customizable self-service portal to provision, monitor, and manage services. In this portal, users sign up for services and create services, virtual machines, and databases.

Source: TechNet

In addition to the Windows Azure Pack components you also have the Resource providers such as VM Cloud (IaaS), Websites, SQL and more, which integrate in WAP.

Design

You can install all of the Windows Azure Pack components on different servers and also make them highly available and scalable. First you have to understand that there are multiple types of components, you have the Tenant Portal, Tenant authentication site and the tenant public API which are public and should be accessible for the customers, Tenant API, Admin API, Admin Portal, Admin Authentication site as well as the SQL database behind are so called privileged services which should be protected.

Windows Azure Pack ditributed deployment architecture

 

Microsoft describes several different scenarios which you can mix. The minimal installation shows you two “servers” or tiers, one for the public facing services and one for the privileged services. To make them highly available you would have two servers for each tiers behind a load balancer.

Windows Azure Pack minimal deployment architecture

The make the deployment more scalable you can split up the different components on different tiers.

Windows Azure Pack scaled deployment architecture

Well and Microsoft also offers you an express installation which should only be used for lab or proof of concept installations. This installs all the needed components on to a single server.

Windows Azure Pack Express Deployment

At the end you and the customer have to decide how you deploy your environment based on scale, availability and security. You can get more information about the Windows Azure Pack Architecture on TechNet.



Windows Server 2012 R2

Free Microsoft Cloud OS webinar series in March and April

In March and April I will present together with Microsoft and itnetx in webinars about the Microsoft Cloud OS. The webinars will be free and will cover an overview about the Microsoft Cloud OS. The Microsoft Cloud OS is the story behind the latest releases of Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V System Center, Windows Azure Pack and Windows Azure. The webinar series will be split in three different sessions and will cover how you can plan, build and operate a Microsoft Cloud and how you can bring the Private & Public Cloud together to make use of a Hybrid Cloud model.

Webinar 1 - Microsoft Cloud OS: Overview

10:00
Presenter: Markus Erlacher, Marcel Zehner
ANMELDUNG

Webinar 2 - Microsoft Cloud OS: Planning & Architecture

25.März 2014, 09:00-10:00
Presenter: Thomas Maurer
ANMELDUNG

Webinar 1 - Microsoft Cloud OS: Operation

02.April 2014, 09:00-10:00
Presenter: Thomas Maurer, Philipp Witschi
ANMELDUNG

All three webinars will be free and will held in German.