Build Azure

Every App Service resource in Azure has the ability to have multiple deployment slots configure. These deployments slots are a feature than can greatly help with the implementation of streamlined testing, staging, and deployment process. Along with the ability to configure multiple hosting environments, the use of Deployment Slots enables zero downtime when deploying application changes, or even rolling back a failed deployment.

Creating Deployment Slots

Deployment slots are a feature of Azure App Service Plans. As a result, every App Service resource (Web App, Web API, Mobile App) in Microsoft Azure has the ability to create up to 4 additional deployment slots with the Standard tiers, and up to 20 deployment slots with the Premium tiers.

Each App Service (in Standard tiers) can have up to 4 additional Deployment Slots in addition to the Production slot.

Each Deployment Slot allows for a separate instance of the application to be…

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Build Azure

Serverless computing is a growing trend in cloud computing, and it’s a natural next step in the Platform as a Service (PaaS) area. First PaaS allowed applications to be hosted without requiring Virtual Machines to manage, then serverless computing further removes the construct of a server. Azure Functions is the service within the Microsoft Azure cloud that offers serverless hosting and execution of application code. With serverless architecture removing the construct of a server from the equation of application hosting the concept of pricing begins to get a little fuzzy. This articles explains how Azure Functions pricing works.

Azure Functions is available with the 2 following pricing methods:

Dynamic Hosting Plan

functions_colorWith Dynamic hosting, Azure Functions completely abstracts away the server construct. You no longer pay for reserving CPU Cores and RAM of the underlying Virtual Machine (VM). You only pay for the time your code runs, and not for the time…

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When considering an Azure SQL instance, one of the decisions you need to make is the pricing level (Basic, Standard or Premium) and then for the selected level the number of DTU’s you need. Now you might be asking, "which service tier and performance level should I use and how many database throughput units (DTUs) am I using now?" 

First lets look at explaining what a DTU is and then we can look at how the DTU Calculator will help.

What are Database Transaction Units (DTUs)?

“A DTU is a unit of measure of the resources that are guaranteed to be available to a standalone Azure SQL database at a specific performance level within a standalone database service tier. A DTU is a blended measure of CPU, memory, and data I/O and transaction log I/O in a ratio determined by an OLTP benchmark workload designed to be typical of real-world OLTP workloads. Doubling the DTUs by increasing the performance level of a database equates to doubling the set of resource available to that database.”

How can I determine the number of DTUs needed by my workload?

If you are looking to migrate an existing on-premises or SQL Server virtual machine workload to Azure SQL Database, you can use the DTU Calculator to approximate the number of DTUs needed.

Following the instructions for the DTU Calculator, download either the Command Line Utility or PowerShell Script and run it to measure your server resource utilization. You want to get an hour worth of data.

Once the script completes, go to the DTU Calculator website and enter in the number of cores for your server and then upload the CSV file that was generated. Then click on the “calculate” button as show below.

image

After the DTU Calculator measures your server resource utilization, it will provide you the best recommendation for the number of DTU’s you should be using in Azure SQL.

Resources

Build Azure

App ServiceThere are many excellent reasons to use Microsoft Azure to host applications and enterprise systems. There’s even plenty of criticisms on it being expensive to host small websites, however the App Service offering in Microsoft Azure does offer the ability to easily host a website in the cloud completely FREE!

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Came across an excellent blog post from @TroyHunt on using Azure Functions to track abusive IP addresses to a website and log them to an Azure storage account and then have another Azure Function on a timer to validate those IP addresses and block them if necessary.

https://www.troyhunt.com/azure-functions-in-practice/

Enjoy!

Windows 10 has some very handy sign-in options for unlocking your computer including using a fingerprint, a picture or a numeric PIN. I’ve used all three and by far my favorite is the PIN option.

Recently I reformatted my Surface Pro 3 and after installing Windows 10 Anniversary edition (build 1607), I noticed that as soon as I joined my work domain, the PIN option for sign-in was disabled. This was strange since hours earlier I was using this sign-in option with Windows 10 Anniversary edition prior to reformatting my device. I decided to try signing in to my device using a local profile and the PIN sign-on option was now available, but strangely on my Windows Domain account it was not.

After doing some research online I found that with Windows 10 Anniversary edition, this feature has reverted back to how it functioned in Windows 8, which requires it to be authorized before you can use it when on a Windows Domain.

Here is what you need to do to enable it.

Steps to Enable PIN Sign-In Option for Windows 10

  1. Open up regedit.exe
  2. Browse to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System]
  3. Add a new DWORD key named “AllowDomainPINLogon” and set its value to “1”
    sshot-3
  4. Restart your computer
  5. After logging back in to your computer, go to SETTINGS, ACCOUNTS, SIGN-IN OPTIONS and you should see that the PIN option is now available to be set
    image

Enjoy!

References

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/84a0bd50-1360-4a94-bfb3-b049ecace521/pin-and-fingerprint-signin-options-unavailable-greyed-out-in-windows-10-1607-enterprise?forum=win10itprogeneral&prof=required

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/b975932a-b50b-4759-b43a-c94854c6da83/cant-enable-windows-hello-with-fresh-install-of-anniversity-upgrade-on-domain-account?forum=win10itprosetup

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