Windows and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 End of Support – free security updates in Azure

OK folks, let’s talk about that stage in a Database Server or Windows Server’s lifecycle in EDU that I’ll call Purgatory for the purpose of this blog post.  Mainstream support has ended, the DB/OS vendor is no longer rolling out security updates, but you haven’t been able to either kill off, replace or upgrade this…


How can you test RA-GRS redundancy?

I had a university in Los Angeles who wanted to walk through how to recover from a secondary RA-GRS storage location in the event of an outage.  I put together a quick FAQ and steps to help clarify a few unclear areas: What is the difference between RA-GRS and GRS? The main difference between GRS…

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The Sprint 132 Update of Azure Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) has rolled out

@Chef Gillani The Sprint 132 Update of  Azure Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) has rolled out to all accounts and includes several features to help you scale your build and release pipeline.     Thanks for joining … Shimail Ahmed Gillani Cloud Solutions Architect Microsost US Education @ChefGillani  @ChefGillani


Recent MS Build 2018 – Azure DevOps Related Announcements

@Chef Gillani Azure DevOps with VSTS by Damian Brady, Abel Wang   Container DevOps in Azure by Steven Murawski, Jessica Deen   Building Windows – how the bits flow from check-in to the fast-ring by Edward Thomson and Jill Campbell   Git patterns and anti-patterns for successful developers by Edward Thomson   Analyze and report…


Where can I find the latest Azure training?

We have many free Azure training offerings available to get started learning Azure. Here are several ones I recommend to customers: Where can I see a quick overview of Azure’s capabilities? For getting a quick overview of Azure and its capabilities I recommend you visit this site here as it has all the Azure cloud…

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How to setup Global VNet peering in Azure

Now that Global VNet peering has gone to GA I had a large university in California ask how to set this up. What is Global VNet peering? Global VNet peering in Azure is the ability to peer VNets or virtual networks across regions (see regional availability below). Some benefits of Global VNet peering include: Private…

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Use Azure Policy to help enforce compliance standards for your Azure deployments

Scenario: You need to allow researchers the flexibility to create storage accounts in Azure but you want to ensure they’re using security best practices.  Specifically, you would like to require that secure transfer (HTTPS) be required as they transfer data in & out over the network as well as Server Side Encryption (SSE) be enforced…


How can you change your default Azure AD in your subscription?

There is now a new way to change your default Azure AD in your subscription.  I ran into a few gotchas so I documented them below. Why would you need to change your default Azure AD for your Azure subscription? You might have setup your Azure subscription with the wrong Azure AD and need to…

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Monitoring Azure Resources – Tools and Technology

As you think about building applications in Azure, or migrating VMs to Azure, one of the common first thoughts you might have is ‘How do my monitoring activities change once I’ve moved to Azure?’.  I get this question (or a variation thereof) quite often when meeting with my customers, so I thought it would be…

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Azure SQL DB in 1. 2. 3.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions in Azure provide significant benefits that allow our customers to focus their efforts on providing a solution to their business rather than spending a significant effort patching, securing, and evergreening their traditional infrastructure.  Azure SQL Database, for example, provides a database as a service.  With Azure SQL Database, a…

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New Azure VPN Gateway SKU’s provide much higher bandwidth for hybrid workloads

Background:  Education customers, particularly Higher Education customers, tend to invest in Internet connectivity differently than the average company focused on making or selling widgets.  Commodity Internet connectivity investments are measured in multiple Gigabits/Sec of bandwidth for many of these customers.  A good number of my EDU customers are members of Internet2 (I2), a networking consortium…


Automatic Long Term Retention for Azure SQL Backup – Cloud Recipes

Chef Gillani   Many applications have regulatory, compliance, or other business purposes that require you to retain automatic full database backups beyond the 7-35 days provided by Azure SQL Database automatic backups. By using the long-term backup retention feature, you can “store your SQL database backups in an Azure Recovery Services vault for up to…

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Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment Tool – Cloud Recipes

Chef Gillani   Move to the cloud with confidence The Virtual Machines Readiness Assessment tool will automatically inspect your on-premises environment, whether it is physical or virtualized, and provide you with a check list and detailed report on steps you need to take to move your environment to the cloud. Automated Assessment This tool will…

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Virtual Machine Optimization Assessment Tool – Cloud Recipes

Chef Gillani   Ever wished you could have a Microsoft engineer personally tune up your Azure Virtual Machines? Here’s the next best thing. The free Virtual Machine Optimization Tool automatically inspects SQL Server, Active Directory, and SharePoint deployments and provides a detailed set of prioritized recommendations and step-by-step instructions for improvement. Aimed especially at IT…

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CPUs, GPUs, TPUs, oh my!

Introduction With the rebirth of AI, the demand for computing has gone through the roof. If you break up an AI program broadly into learning and inference parts, many of the learning algorithms take weeks to execute on traditional CPUs as more and more pertinent data becomes available. CPU clock speeds are flattening and it’s…

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