Today Microsoft announced that Azure Stack Technical Preview 3 has been released with several new updates.
Azure and the Azure Stack integrated systems enable businesses to focus on investing energy and talent on turning their application portfolio into a strategic differentiator for their business. This approach enables customer choice and flexibility of deploying and operating their application where it best meets their business needs. IT can deliver far greater value by empowering development teams with self-service provisioning and cloud services while partnering with them to establish DevOps workflows that meet business policies and requirements.
- Deploy with ADFS for disconnected scenarios
- Start using Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets for scale out workloads
- Syndicate content from the Azure Marketplace to make available in Azure Stack
- Use Azure D-Series VM sizes
- Deploy and create templates with Temp Disks that are consistent with Azure
- Take comfort in the enhanced security of an isolated administrator portal
- Take advantage of improvements to IaaS and PaaS functionality
- Use enhanced infrastructure management functionality, such as improved alerting
Shortly after TP3, Azure Functions will now be available to run on Azure Stack TP3. This will be followed by Blockchain, Cloud Foundry and Mesos templates.
TP3 should the last planned technical preview before becoming available in mid-CY17.
Further reading and next steps
Learn more about Azure Stack and download Azure Stack Technical Preview 3.
Learn more about this announcement here.
You can now get your Azure invoices sent to your inbox instead of logging in and downloading them every month. Once you’ve opted in, your invoice will be attached to your monthly billing email.
To get started, go to your subscriptions from the Subscriptions blade and select the Send my invoice link and then select Opt In. If you don’t see this link, then your not the account admin.
Next you will need to agree to the email statement notice:
Once you’ve opted in you can configure additional recipients to be added:
Microsoft recently published a free e-book on how to develop on Azure. This guides shows you how to use common design scenarios and see how the comprehensive set of application platform services can suit your needs.
Download and check it out now.
Came across an awesome Visual Studio Code extension called “Azure Tools for Visual Studio Code” by Brady Gaster. Check it out!
This extension for Visual Studio Code gives Azure developers some convenient commands for creating or accessing resources directly in the editor.
- Search the Azure QuickStart Templates GitHub repository
- Download Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template and parameter files to workspace
- Uses the Azure Resource Manager Tools extension to simplify the template-editing experience
- ARM template deployment to live Azure subscription
- Login with Microsoft Account (@hotmail.com, @live.com, etc.)
- Login with Azure Active Directory (or "Organizational") account
- Create App Service Web Apps
- Create App Service Function Apps
- Create Storage Accounts
- Get Storage Account connection string
- Browse to resource in portal
- Browse to resource group in portal
- Support for multiple Azure subscriptions
- Supports all Azure data centers
Each of these commands is visible directly from commands visible in the command palette.
Azure Tools Extension for Visual Studio Code can be installed from the built-in extension tab in Visual Studio Code. Just search for “Azure Tools” and it will be the first result. Click on the extension and then click on the green “Install” button.
This extension is available as an open-source project and can be found in the GitHub repository https://github.com/bradygaster/azure-tools-vscode.
Announcing the Azure Tools Extension for Visual Studio Code
Last week at Microsoft’s Developer Connect(); // 2016 event, a new public cloud bot service powered by Microsoft Bot Framework is now available on Azure called the Azure Bot Service.
The Azure Bot Service will allow you to:
- Use the Bot Framework with Azure serverless platform to run and scale your bots while only paying for your usage
- Get started quickly with out of the box templates for .NET and Node.js. These templates allow you to create a basic bot, a language understanding bot (LUIS), a form bot or a proactive bot:
- Write code for your bot directly in the browser within Azure. You will also be able to test your bot with the included Web Chat control:
- Configure conversation channels
- Take advantage of integrated continuous deployment (DevOps)
Now more than ever it’s so easy to get started with creating your bots and having them run on Azure.
Azure Bot Service
LUIS: Language Understanding Intelligent Service
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.
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.
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.