Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: AppDynamics Blog, Fima Katz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: .NET, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Silverlight, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo

.NET: 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.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
Cloud Technology Partners on Wednesday announced it has been recognized by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards as one of the Best Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partners. Selected by the editors of TechTarget's SearchDataCenter.com, and by votes from customers and strategic channel partners, the companies acknowledged by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards represent the top providers of cloud consulting services for AWS including application migration, application development, inf...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile ...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Blue Box has been around for 10-11 years, and last year we launched Blue Box Cloud. We like the term 'Private Cloud as a Service' because we think that embodies what we are launching as a product - it's a managed hosted private cloud," explained Giles Frith, Vice President of Customer Operations at Blue Box, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your onlin...
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore's Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at Big Data Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, disc...
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by minin...
"We are the top stocking distributor for HP renew products in North America. We can only sell to U.S. authorized partners and resellers for HP," explained Miguel Diazdelcastillo Jr., Sales Executive at Creative Business Solutions, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Puppet Labs on Wednesday released the DevOps Salary Report, based on salary data gathered from Puppet Labs' industry-recognized State of DevOps Report. The data confirms that market demand for DevOps skills is growing, and that DevOps engineers are among the highest paid IT practitioners today. That's because IT organizations today are grappling with how to be more agile and responsive to the business, while maintaining the stability of their infrastructure. DevOps practices, such as continuous ...
Software Defined Storage provides many benefits for customers including agility, flexibility, faster adoption of new technology and cost effectiveness. However, for IT organizations it can be challenging and complex to build your Enterprise Grade Storage from software. In his session at Cloud Expo, Paul Turner, CMO at Cloudian, looked at the new Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) market and how it is changing the storage world. Now Software Defined Storage companies can build Enterprise grade ...
IBM and Docker, Inc. have announced a strategic partnership that enables enterprises to more efficiently, quickly and cost effectively build and run the next generation of applications on the IBM Cloud and on prem via the Docker open platform for distributed applications. Enterprises can use the combination of IBM and Docker to create and manage a new generation of portable distributed applications that are rapidly composed of discrete interoperable Docker containers, have a dynamic lifecycle, a...
Companies today struggle to manage the types and volume of data their customers and employees generate and use every day. With billions of requests daily, operational consistency can be elusive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Dave McCrory, CTO at Basho Technologies, will explore how a distributed systems solution, such as NoSQL, can give organizations the consistency and availability necessary to succeed with on-demand data, offering high availability at massive scale.
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
Vormetric on Wednesday announced the results of its 2015 Insider Threat Report (ITR), conducted online on their behalf by Harris Poll and in conjunction with analyst firm Ovum in fall 2014 among 818 IT decision makers in various countries, including 408 in the United States. The report details striking findings around how U.S. and international enterprises perceive security threats, the types of employees considered most dangerous, environments at the greatest risk for data loss and the steps or...
CodeFutures has announced Dan Lynn as its new CEO. Lynn assumes the role from Founder Cory Isaacson, who has joined RMS and will now serve as chairman of CodeFutures. Lynn brings more than 14 years of advanced technology and business success experience, and will help CodeFutures build on its industry leadership around its Agile Big Data initiatives. His technical expertise will be invaluable in advancing CodeFutures’ AgilData platform and new processes for streamlining and gaining value from gro...
IBM has announced a new strategic technology services agreement with Anthem, Inc., a health benefits company in the U.S. IBM has been selected to provide operational services for Anthem's mainframe and data center server and storage infrastructure for the next five years. Among the benefits of the relationship, Anthem has the ability to leverage IBM Cloud solutions that will help increase the ease, availability and speed of adding infrastructure to support new business requirements.
In this scenarios approach Joe Thykattil, Technology Architect & Sales at TimeWarner / Navisite, presented examples that will allow business-savvy professionals to make informed decisions based on a sound business model. This model covered the technology options in detail as well as a financial analysis. The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and ROI (Return on Investment) demonstrated how to start, develop and formulate a business case that will allow both small and large scale projects to achieve...