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Showing posts from 2014

Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (Day 31 of 31)

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Short Description 
Azure Multi-Factor Authentication is an authentication service that requires more than one authentication method. For example you need to enter the password and a code that is send over SMS or email.

Main Features 
Authentication method supported
In this moment the fallowing authentication methods are supported:

Biometric (you are)Passwords (you know)Phone or Device (you have)Azure Active Directory
It is fully integrated with Azure Active Directory. In this way all the authentications that are made over Azure Active Directory can use this service.
On-Premises Resources
If you integrate Azure Active Directory with your on-premises one you can secure the access to all your on-premises resources using Azure Multi-Factor Authentication.
Web Application integrations
Using Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Server we can integrate this service in applications th…

Azure Site Recovery (Day 30 of 31)

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Short Description 
Azure Site Recovery offer us a way to manage and control the replication and recovery actions of our machines. We have the ability to replicate our entire data center. Using this service you can replicate your datacenter on Azure, without having to reverse resources in advance.

Main Features 
Hybrid Solution
You have the ability to replicate virtual machines that are on on-premises data centers on Azure or on another hosting providers.
Custom Replication Policy
You have the full control to the policies that are used to create the replications. In this way we can manage the replications use cases.
Site Recovery is not adding another replication mechanism over existing one. It is only the orchestration over the existing one. Technologies like SQL Server AlwaysOn, System Center, SAN or Hyper-V can be used.
Ability to set Azure as disaster …

Azure Backup (Day 29 of 31)

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Short Description 
How nice would be a feature that allow us to create automatically backups of our system and store them in a reliable location from where we can restore it when needed. This is called Azure Backup and can be used with success to create backups of our systems.

Main Features 
Operation System Supported
In the current version (in preview) we can create backups for Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7 (64b with SP1).
Using management tools we can specify users that have access to this backups. In this way only authorized users can access the backup content.
Management Tool
We can manage the backups using different tools from Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 essential or System Center 2012. For all of this, we are using DPM (Data Protection Manager) to manage the backups. The cloud storage that is used to create the backup itself can be seen like…

Azure Data Factory (Day 28 of 31)

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Short Description 
Azure Data Factory is one of the services that is part of data analytics functionality offered by Microsoft Azure. This service can be used with success when you need to orchestrate and manage data movement and different data transformation.

Main Features 
Move data between different sources
Using Azure Data Factory you can move data between different storages, from the file based one, to SQL and even NoSQL storages. This can be very useful when you need to change the location of data to be able to process or store it for long time.
On-premises and Cloud
The data storage used as input or output can be not only on Microsoft Azure but also in another storages that can be on-premises.
Data Source Aggregation
We have the ability to combine multiple data sources in only one data sources. In this way we can easily merge different data sources.
Data Processing

Azure StorSimple (Day 27 of 31)

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Short Description 
Azure Stor Simple it is a hybrid cloud storage solution based on Microsoft Azure and StorSimple. It is based on a property device that offer an overview view over all storages (on-premises and cloud).

Main Features 
Lower storage cost
This solution is powerful enough to allocate storage only when is needed, based on company and system requirements.
To reduce the necessary space, content can be compresses. In this way the space used to store data is reduces drastically.
In enterprise, all the data is versioned. Because of this the size of the storage can increase drastically. StorSimple is smart enough to detect data duplication between different versions of the same data. In this way the size of the storage is decrease drastically.
Integration with MMC (Microsoft Management Console) and iSCSI
It is fully integrated with different …

Azure RemoteApp (Day 26 of 31)

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Short Description 
Azure RemoteApp gives us the possibility to use Microsoft RemoteApp functionality over Azure infrastructure. A part of services available on Remote Desktop can be used using Azure RemoteApp.

Main Features 
You are not limited anymore on your on-premises storage. You can use as much space you need when you are using Azure RemoteApp.
The hardware limitation generated by your infrastructure is removed. You can use as many resources you need.
Global Reach 
From any point of the glob users can connect to RemoteApp over Azure infrastructure over a secure and reliable channel.
Cross Platform
Users can connect to RemoteApp using any operating system from Windows to iOS to Mac OS and Android.
Hybrid Collections
Allow users to use resources that are hosted on Azure and on-premises backend. In this way you can store resources and data in different …

Azure HDInsight (Day 25 of 31)

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Short Description 
HDInsight enables us to provision Hadoop and HBase cluster over Azure infrastructure. This mean that we can use Hadoop over Azure platform without having to install, provision and make complex configurations of Hadoop. We can use HDInsight as an out of the box Hadoop solution.

Main Features 
Hadoop Version
The Hadoop distribution that is running on Azure is developed and maintained by Hortonworks Data Platform.
New version releasing
It seems that the new versions of Hadoop reach Azure faster and faster. If in the past it use to take 4-6 months for a new version of Hadoop to reach Azure and HDInsight, now it is taking only a few weeks.
Hadoop Distributed File System(HDFS) exist also in HDInsight giving us the possibility to store data in a distributed file system.
The same programming model that we already know from Hadoop can be found into H…

Azure API Management (Day 24 of 31)

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Short Description 
Nowadays all features and functionality that is exposed by an online application needs to be exposed over an API also. We need to be able to integrate our system with custom devices and applications. Because of this it is important to be able to expose our system using a consistent API, easy to manage and maintain.
For things like this Azure API Management was introduce. Using this service we can publish our application to our clients (public or private way) in a scalable, secure with tracing and audit capabilities.

Main Features 
It has the capability to monitor in real time the load, the number of connections and many more. In this way we can take decision in real time to scale. The audit can be consumed later on by an analytic system and detect patterns or make predictions.
Connect with multiple backends
We have the capability to connect …

Azure Notification Hub (Day 23 of 31)

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Short Description
Azure Notification Hub allow us to send notifications from any backend (hosted on cloud or on-premises) to our devices/clients.
I don’t know I you had the opportunity to work on a system that needs to work with different PNS providers (iOS, Android, WP), but managing all different platforms, tokens, trigger notification for each device of group of devices can be a time consuming task not only for developers but also for the person that trigger the notification.
For use cases like this Azure Notification Hub can become our best friend.

Main Features
Platform Agnostic
We can send notifications to any kind of device or system. From Android to iOS, to desktop application or even kindles.
Focus on content
Azure Notification Hubs enable us to focus on the content that we want to send to our applications and not on the notification system platform that we use. I…

Azure Cloud Services (Day 22 of 31)

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Short Description 
Imagine a world where everything is managed by cloud (from network, to load balancer or operating system). Using Azure Cloud Services we are a step closer to this dream, companies can focus on their product and less on infrastructure. We only need to develop our system and deployed it (more or less :-)).
A definition that I really it from the pricing web page of Azure Cloud Services:
Azure Cloud Services eliminates the need to manage server infrastructure and helps you quickly build, deploy and manage modern applications.
In general a system contains one or more layers divided on different nodes. Nowadays a system contain one or more web sites and a group of system for backend processing – multi tier application. Azure Cloud Services manage everything that is under our Web Roles and Worker Roles. We only need to create the deployment packages of our w…

Azure File (Day 21 or 31)

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Short Description 
Azure File Storage is a shared storage for any kind of applications and systems. Is constructed over Azure Storage and is used to share data and files across applications components. Content from this repository can be accessed not only by applications using mounted shares but also via File Storage API.

Main Features 
Cloud applications and On-premises
The content from Azure File Storage can be accessed not only by virtual machines that are running on Azure, but also from On-premises system using sharing capabilities (over File Storage API).
SMB 2.1 Protocol
Azure File Storage support Service Message Protocol version 2.1 that can be used to access shared file from different networks nodes and system.  This protocol was introduced with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and is used worldwide for file sharing.
Simultaneously Shares
Multiple applications c…

Azure Queue Storage (Day 20 of 31)

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Short Description 
Azure Queue Storage is a services part of Azure Storage that offer queueing support. It is a simple queue services that can be accessed from anywhere over HTTP and HTTPS protocol.

Main Features 
First think that comes in my mind is the size of the queue. Because this service is construed over Azure Storage, the maximum size of a queue(s) can be hundreds of terra bytes (under the same storage account). This can useful when we need to store large amount of messages in a queue.
Like all Azure Services, the Queue Storage can be accessed and manage over a REST API. On top of this there are libraries for different programing languages like C#, NodeJS, and so on.
Batch Support
For reading messages from queue, we have the ability to consume them in batches of 32 messages.
Transactions support (kind off)
When consuming messages from queues we have a ‘…

Azure Tables Storage (Day 19 of 31)

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Short Description 
Azure Table Services are part of Azure Storage and give us the possibility to store large amount of data in a structured way. It allow us to store collections of entities in so called table. If we look over this service from NoSQL side, we could say that so called table in Azure Table are the collections of NoSQL world.

Main Features 
A part of the features of Azure Table are similar with Azure Blob Storage. This is happening because both services are constructed over the same infrastructure and have a common base.
Different entities schema in the same table
We are allowed to store under the same table entities with different schema. For example we can store entity ‘Car’ and ‘House’ in the same table as long as in the moment when we retrieve the entity we can detect the type of entity.
The size of tables is unlimited. We can store large collection o…

Azure Storage Blobs (Day 18 of 31)

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Short Description 
Azure Storage is one of foundation components of Microsoft Azure. It offers cloud storage in a scalable and redundant way for multiple use cases. It can store petabytes of data without any kind of problem, but in the same time is flexible and can handle heavy traffic very easily.
In this moment Azure Storage had 4 components that are defining it:

… it is pretty hard for me to talk about all of them in only one post. Because of this I decided to split this discussion into 4 separately post, that will target each of this services.
This post is dedicated to Azure Storage Blobs.

Short Description (second try)
Azure Storage Blobs allow us to store any kind of data into Azure. From documents, to videos, to databases backup, anything that is a binary content can be stored there. For normal use cases Blob storage is like Santa’s sack – bo…