Blog Archives

TechNet on Tour – Increasing efficiency and scalability with Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft cloud

Want to learn how to evolve your datacenter into a true hybrid cloud model to achieve greater efficiency, flexibility and scalability? If you are around Redmond, WA – sign up for free one-day training event – https://www.microsoftevents.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x111759537c

This training will cover:

  • Confidently virtualize your mission critical workloads on premises with Hyper-V, and in the cloud with Microsoft Azure
  • Implement new software-defined storage and network architectures to increase storage performance, flexibility and redundancy
  • Get the smallest footprint, reduced patching, and most cloud-optimized OS performance available, with Nano Server
  • Extend datacenter resources by using virtual networking to bridge the gap between your on-premises infrastructure and Microsoft Azure
  • Explore single-click deployment of complex, multi-tier apps across VMs, storage, and networking with the new Azure Resource Manager

I will be delivering one of the sessions. See you there at the venue. J

Microsoft Azure Training & Workshops to Solution Architects from various Global System Integrators

Last two weeks, I have travelled to Bangalore, India to provide trainings to Architects from various global system integrators on Microsoft Azure technology. During this travel, I have delivered sessions / workshops on the following:

  • Architecting Big Data & Analytics Solutions: The proliferation of customer data and the desire for insights not previously attainable has created a new industry focused on analyzing massive amounts of data. The cost of processing huge amounts of data does not need to be prohibitive when you can take advantage of a scalable cloud platform. We will discuss the Lambda architecture to take advantage of both batch and stream processing of data and will show various Azure services such as Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Factory, Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Machine Learning, and Power BI to provide a solution to unlock insights into data.

 

  • Architecting Modern Cloud Applications: Modern cloud applications offer end-user experiences and features that transcend traditional on-premises applications. For example, there are often multiple database technologies supporting today’s modern app. Embrace the notion of polyglot persistence and see how RDBMS’s, NoSQL databases, and caches can be combined to deliver robust end-user experiences. Modern cloud apps today are also expected to be reachable regardless of the platform or device. See how Azure’s App Service can be used to expand the reach of your solutions. Modern cloud apps are also not always just platform-as-a-service solutions. Learn about modern architecture patterns enabled by Azure that span infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service deployments.

 

  • Architecting Global Scale Web and Mobile Solutions: One of the main benefits of the Microsoft Azure platform is its massive scale. Microsoft Azure runs on a massive network of over 19 regions worldwide. This global reach makes it possible to create solutions on a global scale that meet your demanding performance requirements. We will discuss architectural patterns that lend themselves to global geo-located solutions and the specific features of Microsoft Azure that enable geo-replicated data.

 

  • Dev Ops: Enterprise IT organizations are increasingly driven by business demands for faster, better solutions delivered more quickly than ever before. DevOps has emerged as a trend to help organizations evolve to better collaborate between development and operations teams for addressing these solution delivery challenges. While a DevOps transformation can take time to fully realize within an organization’s people and processes, there’s opportunities to accelerate the path towards DevOps by smartly leveraging cloud capabilities that can reduce infrastructure complexity, simplify release management, and support end-to-end application visibility through all stages of a solution’s lifecycle. This session will discuss the features in Microsoft Azure that help to realize this transformation and how the platform enables integration with existing assets.

 

  • Case Study – Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Case Study – Refactoring Multi-Tier Solutions
  • Case Study – Lift and Shift
  • Case Study – Identity and Access Management
  • Case Study – Networking

Passed Microsoft Exam 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

This Monday, I got certified for 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions, which is aimed at validating Microsoft Azure solution design skills. This test validates our knowledge about the features and capabilities of Azure services, ability to identify tradeoffs and make decisions for designing public and hybrid cloud solutions. Test also covers our knowledge and experience on defining the appropriate infrastructure and platform solutions to meet the required functional, operational, and deployment requirements through the solution lifecycle.

Preparation

Having true hands on experience with Windows Azure development really helps in preparing as well passing this exam. In addition to the practical knowledge gained through these experiences, I have used the following resources.

Skills measured

Design Microsoft Azure infrastructure and networking (15–20%)

  • Describe how Azure uses Global Foundation Services (GFS) datacenters
    • Understand Azure datacenter architecture, regional availability, and high availability
  • Design Azure virtual networks, networking services, DNS, DHCP, and IP addressing configuration
    • Extend on-premises Active Directory, deploy Active Directory, define static IP reservations, understand ACLs and Network Security Groups
  • Design Azure Compute
    • Design Azure virtual machines (VMs) and VM architecture for IaaS and PaaS; understand availability sets, fault domains, and update domains in Azure; differentiate between machine classifications
  • Describe Azure virtual private network (VPN) and ExpressRoute architecture and design
    • Describe Azure point-to-site (P2S) and site-to-site (S2S) VPN, understand the architectural differences between Azure VPN and ExpressRoute
  • Describe Azure services
    • Understand, at a high level, Azure load balancing options, including Traffic Manager, Azure Media Services, CDN, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Azure Cache, Multi-Factor Authentication, and Service Bus

Secure resources (15–20%)

  • Secure resources by using managed identities
    • Describe the differences between Active Directory on-premises and Azure AD, programmatically access Azure AD using Graph API, secure access to resources from Azure AD applications using OAuth and OpenID Connect
  • Secure resources by using hybrid identities
    • Use SAML claims to authenticate to on-premises resources, describe DirSync synchronization, implement federated identities using Azure Access Control service (ACS) and Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)
  • Secure resources by using identity providers
    • Provide access to resources using identity providers, such as Microsoft account, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo!
  • Identify an appropriate data security solution
    • Use the appropriate Access Control List (ACL), identify security requirements for data in transit and data at rest
  • Design a role-based access control strategy
    • Secure resource scopes, such as the ability to create VMs and websites

Design an application storage and data access strategy (15–20%)

  • Design data storage
    • Design storage options for data, including Table Storage, SQL Database, DocumentDB, Blob Storage, MongoDB, and MySQL; design security options for SQL Database or Azure Storage; identify the appropriate VM type and size for a solution
  • Design applications that use Mobile Services
    • Create Azure Mobile Services, consume Mobile Services from cross-platform clients, integrate offline sync capabilities into an application, extend Mobile Services using custom code, implement Mobile Services using Microsoft .NET or Node.js, secure Mobile Services using Azure AD
  • Design applications that use notifications
    • Implement push notification services in Mobile Services, send push notifications to all subscribers, specific subscribers, or a segment of subscribers
  • Design applications that use a web API
    • Implement a custom web API, scale using Azure Websites, offload long-running applications using WebJobs, secure a web API using Azure AD
  • Design a data access strategy for hybrid applications
    • Connect to on-premises data from Azure applications using Service Bus Relay, BizTalk Hybrid Connections, or the VPN capability of Websites, identify constraints for connectivity with VPN, identify options for joining VMs to domains or cloud services
  • Design a media solution
    • Describe Media Services, understand key components of Media Services, including streaming capabilities, video on-demand capabilities, and monitoring services

Design an advanced application (15–20%)

  • Create compute-intensive applications
    • Design high-performance computing (HPC) and other compute-intensive applications using Azure Services
  • Create long-running applications
    • Implement worker roles for scalable processing, design stateless components to accommodate scale
  • Select the appropriate storage option
    • Use a queue-centric pattern for development, select the appropriate storage for performance, identify storage options for cloud services and hybrid scenarios with compute on-premises and storage on Azure, differentiate between cloud services and VMs interacting with storage service and SQL Database
  • Integrate Azure services in a solution
    • Identify the appropriate use of machine learning, big data, Media Services, and search services

Design websites (15–20%)

  • Design websites for scalability and performance
    • Globally scale websites, create websites using Visual Studio, debug websites, understand supported languages, differentiate between websites to VMs and cloud services
  • Deploy websites
    • Implement Azure Site Extensions, create packages, hosting plans, deployment slots, resource groups, publishing options, Web Deploy, and FTP locations and settings
  • Design websites for business continuity
    • Scale up and scale out using Azure Websites and SQL Database, configure data replication patterns, update websites with minimal downtime, backup and restore data, design for disaster recovery, deploy websites to multiple regions for high availability, design the data tier

Design a management, monitoring, and business continuity strategy (15–20%)

  • Evaluate hybrid and Azure-hosted architectures for Microsoft System Center deployment
    • Understand, at an architectural level, which components are supported in Azure; describe design considerations for managing Azure resources with System Center; understand which scenarios would dictate a hybrid scenario
  • Design a monitoring strategy
    • Identify the Microsoft products and services for monitoring Azure solutions; understand the capabilities of System Center for monitoring an Azure solution; understand built-in Azure capabilities; identify third-party monitoring tools, including open source; describe use cases for Operations Manager, Global Service Monitor, and Application Insights; describe the use cases for Windows Software Update Services (WSUS), Configuration Manager, and custom solutions; describe the Azure architecture constructs, such as availability groups and update domains, and how they impact a patching strategy
  • Describe Azure business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) capabilities
    • Understand the architectural capabilities of BC/DR, describe Hyper-V Replica and Azure Site Recovery (ASR), describe use cases for Hyper-V Replica and ASR
  • Design a disaster recovery strategy
    • Design and deploy Azure Backup and other Microsoft backup solutions for Azure, understand use cases when StorSimple and System Center Data Protection Manager would be appropriate
  • Design Azure Automation and PowerShell workflows
    • Create a PowerShell script specific to Azure
  • Describe the use cases for Azure Automation configuration
    • Understand when to use Azure Automation, Chef, Puppet, PowerShell, or Desired State Configuration (DSC)

Good luck for your exams.

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