Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Serafima Al, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Silverlight, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Post

Looking at “Real World” Windows Azure Scenarios

Migrating a Classic 3-Tier Application to Windows Azure with Don Noonan from Skylera

Looking at “Real World” Windows Azure Scenarios – Migrating a Classic 3-Tier Application to Windows Azure with Don Noonan from Skylera

I wrote this article about Don Noonan, a Cloud Architect from Skylera and his overview of “Infrastructure as a Service” platform. Don and I met at TechEd in Orlando 2012 last year and I interviewed him on the newest technologies around Windows Azure. Don has experience working at Microsoft, Boeing and has been working with storage technologies, virtual machines, workloads and desktop client deployment using cloud services - instead of the usual on-premise infrastructure services.

We start by discussing the working components or parts of cloud deployment in a real customer scenario. His current customer had a future mobile application on .Net but wanted to sell more of their current classic products. The customer had many servers to manage, with their IT staff on call to manage their on-premise infrastructure. Given the new technology, Don’s customer decided to look at Windows Azure to scale their applications and workloads on Microsoft’s Infrastructure cloud services.

So they started with a collection or set of functional groups within IaaS. They separated their virtual machines by roles such as Active Directory and other core services. This was a basic implementation of Windows Azure availability sets, which means at the datacenter level there is a promise that at least one member of a group of virtual machines will remain available while updates are being made to the Windows Azure platform.

You should use a combination of availability sets and load-balancing endpoints to make sure that your application is always available and running efficiently. For more information about using load-balanced endpoints, see Load Balancing Virtual Machines.

This task includes the following steps from the Windows Azure website below:

· Step 1: Create a virtual machine and an availability set

· Step 2: Add a virtual machine to the cloud service and assign it to the availability set during the creation process

· Step 3: (Optional) Create an availability set for previously created virtual machines

· Step 4: (Optional) Add a previously created virtual machine to an availability set

Don wanted to make sure that the cloud services and hypervisor have the appropriate virtual machines and that the compute resources will remain there. In this project, they had availability sets around there SQL virtual machines and the goal was that the system understands that one of the SQL instances is always highly available. Even though they have availability sets, you still have to implement failover at the database level, either using a witness, or the new Always On capability in SQL Server 2012.. They also have a custom management service specific to their mobile solution so their customers can look at logs and activities as well as their custom C++ sync service application used to sync data between the mobile phone application and backend database. Don explains that from a Windows Azure Mobile Services context, he likes to group the virtual machines, define what roles they will be playing and how the networking might be specifically laid out like load balancers and endpoints. Don shows in the IT Time Radio interview the Windows Azure portal and shows the interface with virtual machines within an availability set with 2 Domain Controllers paired up running. Don configures the DC availability set that has Active Directory running and AD Domain Services itself has built-in replication giving it high availability capabilities. The demo in the video shows setting up affinity groups and we explain how they are used in the Windows Azure datacenter which keeps your resources closely together like a high-level container that has compute and storage can be close together for provisioning. So for instance, since we’re here on the East Coast we would pick EAST US and build out Affinity Groups close to where we are physically located. Datacenters are large so you would first set up an Affinity Group and then within the Affinity Group you can build out your storage and virtual networks. For security reasons, within virtual networking you may want to divide out or subnet out the virtual networks so that the services are segregated and only certain ports can talk to each other which in common within public clouds services. You could say that you only want to have Windows firewall rules that say I only want external servers to talk to me on port 443, or only have SQL traffic go from the middle-tier to the database-tier.

So the nice part about IaaS is that each customer can have their own management network with an instance of their own virtual machines so you can segregate customers and services. I had a chance to explain the overview picture with segregating the workloads with first discussing Directory Services, Database Services, Management Services, Sync Services, and then wrapping around the whole thing with an Affinity Group and around that the virtual networking. We took a look at building this out in the video and Don shows how to use Powershell scripts and the Windows Azure IaaS cmdlets that makes the actual application work. What he likes to do is break them out into chucks like core infrastructure and back-end management servers like Active Directory Domain Controller, the middleware tier in the front-end like in this case SharePoint Server. So similar to how he segmented the network out and Don shows the scripts he uses to provision objects using Windows Azure and Powershell. He shows how to script out an Affinity Group so that the resources are not a football field away from each other for performance reasons. XML is used to do many of the functions within the portal that you can create from scratch or you can also find pre-canned management scripts up on http://www.windowsazure.com and Don has been working with the Windows Azure team to get more scripts up after they have had time to test these “real world” proof of concepts.

Don shows the foundation including the networking, affinity groups and storage he then shows how to create a virtual machine. He creates the management service layer which contains two Domain Controllers, with the same header information he then tells the default storage account to put new objects in the same storage account like for instance, 5 virtual machines within that storage account. Don explains what cmdlets do what functions like setting up instance variables for his two domain controllers to be in the same availability set. When the DC’s are being configured he explains the beauty of Windows Azure in that it has an existing gallery or catalogue of pre-built virtual machines so he builds it off the Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 install and then he tells it what subnet and then he shows the cmdlet New-AzureVMConfig command and create the first and second virtual machine and added them to the same availability set name. If we did not include them they would be independent and therefore might be serviced at the same time which would not give you high availability. The last thing he configures is the cloud service for the management network. He explains that this is where you would open ports and configure the connection to the virtual machines to service them via RDP. He finishes the overview of the real world Windows Azure application covering computing power, administrative privileges and adding a set of disks to the database tier like adding a 100GB LUN for data and a 50GB LUN for log files, and you can add lots of disks. Up to 16 data disks at 1TB a piece so that give you room for expansion. There are over 2400 cmdlets for Powershell in Windows Server 2012 and you can get the Windows Azure PowerShell cmdlets from the Windows Azure manage area on http://www.windowsazure.com . The last piece is the web-tier on the newly created subnet that is public facing and two web front-ends and he explains the setup at the end of (Part 1 of 5) Real World Azure - Migrating a Classic 3-Tier Application to Windows Azure IT Time Radio – TechNet Episode .

Catch the previous episodes of “IT Time Radio” below -

TechNet Radio: IT Time – (Part 2 of 5) Real World Azure - Deploying a Custom SharePoint Application to Windows Azure

TechNet Radio: IT Time – (Part 3 of 5) Real World Azure – Moving an All-In-One Server from Co-location to Windows Azure

TechNet Radio: IT Time – (Part 4 of 5) Real World Azure – Implementing RemoteApp for Client / Server Applications on Windows Azure

TechNet Radio: IT Time – (Part 5) Real World Azure – Real World Azure - Migrating a Classic 3-Tier Application to Windows Azure

Try Windows Azure http://aka.ms/try-azure – (Free account requires credit card but not charged)

Get your Microsoft Trial Products at http://aka.ms/msproducts

In case you missed any of the series here is a list to all of the articles: http://aka.ms/31azure

More Stories By Blain Barton

Raised in Spokane Washington, Blain Barton has been with Microsoft for 20 years and has held many diverse positions. His career started in 1988 as Team Leader in Manufacturing and Distribution, progressed to PSS Team Manager for Visual Basic Product Support, Product Consultant for Microsoft Word Division, OEM Systems Engineer and currently serves as a Senior IT Pro Evangelist.

Blain has organized and delivered a wide array of technical events and has presented over 1000 live events and has received over six “top-presenter” speaking awards. He has traveled around the world 3 times delivering OEM training sessions on pre-installing Microsoft Windows on new PC’s.

He attended Washington State University graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Business and Minor in Computer Science. After college, Blain taught snow skiing on a professional level in the Cascade Mountains before starting his career with Microsoft. Blain currently resides in Tampa Florida.

@ThingsExpo Stories
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, presented the findings of a series of six detailed case studies of how large corporations are implementing IoT. The session explored how IoT has improved their economic performance, had major impacts on business models and resulted in impressive ROIs. The companies covered span manufacturing and services firms. He also explored servicification, how manufacturing firms shift from se...
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...