Azure

Posts that relate to cloud computing with Azure

Writing a Voice Activated SharePoint Todo List - IoT App on RPi

Ever wanted to write a voice activated system on an IoT device to keep track of your “todo list”, hear your commands being played back, and have the system send you a text message with your todo list when it’s time to walk out the door? Well, I did. In this blog post, I will provide a high level overview of the technologies I used, why I used them, a few things I learned along the way, and partial code to assist with your learning curve if you decide to jump on this. I also had the pleasure of demonstrating ......

Introducing the Azure Key Vault

If you need to store secrets in the Azure cloud, such as connection strings, passwords, or even keys, the Key Vault may be for you. In this post I will provide an overview of the Azure Key Vault and discuss certain implementation details to help you determine if the Key Vault is for you. Service Overview The Azure Key Vault is a highly secured service allowing you to store sensitive information and even help you with compliance initiatives. The Azure Key Vault is designed to store secrets and keys, ......

Exploring Microsoft Azure DocumentDB

In this blog post, I will provide an introduction to DocumentDB by showing you how to create a collection (a collection is a container that stores your data), and how to connect to your collection to add and fetch data. DocumentDB is a newer no-sql data storage engine that is hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud exclusively. Because DocumentDB stores records as JSON objects, it is a natural database engine for developers. Unlike other offerings however, it also offers key features such as automatic ......

HANDS-ON LAB: Emulating Devices for Azure IoT Hub with SQL Server

In this post, I will explain how you can easily simulate dozens (or hundreds) of IoT devices to test your Azure IoT Hub configuration. Simulating IoT devices with dynamic data can help you test your Azure IoT Hub configuration settings, along with downstream consumers such as Stream Analytics and Power BI reports. In order to facilitate the communication between SQL Server and an Azure IoT Hub, we will use Enzo Unified (http://www.enzounified.com) which abstracts the underlying cloud APIs, allowing ......

Real-Time Data Aggregation

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Microsoft, on Channel 9, regarding real-time data aggregation from distributed heterogeneous data sources, using the platform my company has created (Enzo Unified). This video introduces you to Enzo Unified, and shows how to easily merge data from from multiple sources, and create simple solutions that remove the complexities of APIs and traditional ETL data staging. You can find the video here: https://channel9.msdn.com/S... Thank ......

Developers, Get Ready for Windows 10

The wave of Windows 10 development has already started. With many cool features, and the Universal Windows Platform (with APIs that are guaranteed to be present on all devices running Windows 10), you can start your engines and kick the tires! Here are a few resources you may find useful: Visual Studio 2015 Download: https://www.visualstudio.co... Here is an overview of what’s new with Windows 10 for developers: https://dev.windows.com/en-... ......

Backing up Azure Blobs

As customers adopt the Microsoft Azure platform, the need to backup Azure Blobs is becoming increasingly important. That’s because Azure Blobs are used by both the Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) components of Microsoft Azure. In fact, Azure Blobs are also becoming more popular with local software applications that need a central location to store configuration information and application logs. Since Blobs are a form of data, there is a need to back them up. Until ......

Azure Roadshow for IT Pros in Florida

Hi – this is HUGE!!! Microsoft (Blain Barton) is planning a roadshow in Florida starting in March 2013 until June 2013. We will visit many cities (twice), so if you haven’t signed up yet, now is the time! Space is running short already! I will be one of the presenters at most of the locations, along with Adnan Cartwright, MVP, (http://www.fisg.us/). We will talk IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) in Microsoft Azure, so don’t miss out! Here are some key links for you: http://aka.ms/blainbarton http://aka.ms/msproducts ......

Windows 10 Core and Azure IoT Hub

I recently had the opportunity to follow an IoT Lab following the instructions provided in the Nightlight workshop, as found here: http://thinglabs.io/worksho... No need to say, I jumped on the opportunity to learn about Windows 10 Core and have some fun with direct Azure integration with live Power BI reporting in the backend. You will need the Azure IoT kit in order to go through this lab: https://www.adafruit.com/pr... – it costs a bit over $100; money well spent! In the ......

Managing Multiple SQL Servers

If you deal with SQL Server on a regular basis, or if you are a DBA dealing with production databases, you are most likely using a monitoring tool to gather performance statistics and receive alerts. However when it comes to performing real-time analysis, such as finding out which databases are low in log space, querying all your error logs to search for a specific event, or even to find out which databases contain a specific stored procedure or column name, it can get a bit tricky. Most DBAs will ......

Accessing SharePoint Online Data Directly From SQL Server and REST

If you have ever worked with SharePoint, either on premises or online, and ever needed to fetch records or manage Lists programmatically, you know how hard of a task this can be. Learning the SharePoint API presents a significant learning curve even for senior developers. In this post, you will see how you can interact with SharePoint Online using simple SQL statements or simple REST commands, and how you can tap into SharePoint directly from within SQL Server (such as triggers, views, and functions). ......

Accessing No-SQL data from SQL Server 2016 and R Services

In this post, I will show how to easily extend SQL Server 2016 R Services to consume No-SQL data in real-time, such as Azure Tables. This example could easily be modified to access other No-SQL services such as Couchbase for example. As you may know, SQL Server 2016 (currently in Release Candidate 1) now offers the ability to call an R service for statistical analysis using an SQL statement. What is interesting is that you can execute an R script (that contains the statistical computation) directly ......

Monitoring Alerts For Azure Virtual Machine

When hosting a service in the cloud, you may need to monitor and send alerts when specific conditions take place, such as when your service is not running. In this blog post, I will show you how to create a simple alert in Microsoft Azure that sends an email when no activity is taking place on a virtual machine. As a pre-requisite, you will need a Microsoft Azure account, and a Virtual Machine up and running. To create an alert, select Management Services from the left bar (using the current portal). ......

Copy Files From You Local Computer To An Azure VM and Back

Do you need to copy files from your local workstation to Azure Virtual Machines? No need to use FTP, or send files on cloud drives or blobs. The only thing you need to do is to access your local drives from your cloud VM and pull the files over. You can also use the same approach to pull files from your cloud VM locally. Here is how it’s done. First, logon to Microsoft Azure and browse to your Virtual Machine from the portal. From there, select your Virtual Machine and click on the Connect button ......

To SaaS or not to SaaS

Many companies servicing specific industries have technology assets that could be transformed into a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering. Your business may have a unique, proprietary technology that your industry could use. So packaging your intellectual property into a SaaS offering may make sense; you could essentially rent your ‘savoir faire’ to your industry, or even to multiple industries depending on how generic the technology is. For example, if you know how to process insurance claims effectively ......

TechEd 2013–Day 3 Summary

On day 3 I attended an interesting talk on Hekaton, now know as SQL Server 2014, by Sunil Agarwal. Sunil showed us how Hekaton turns stored procedures into C code and loads them as DLLs for SQL Server to use. He also showed us how in-memory tables are organized in memory and explained that the reason in-memory tables were so fast was that they were not organized in a B-tree, but as a hash table. Sunil mentioned that on one test, statements against a standard table was generating over 900,000 CPU ......

TechEd 2013 - Day 2 Summary

Wow… what another amazing day. I attended two excellent sessions on Day 2 of TechEd: Predictive Analytics with Microsoft Big Data (Hadoop / HDInsights) [Val Fontama and Saptak Sen] and Best Practices for Building Your Strategy for a Private Cloud [Eduardo Kassner]. In the Big Data talk Val and Saptak discussed important considerations for building a predictive analytics environment in general terms, then demonstrated how to build one using Hadoop. It was pretty fascinating. Val presented a sample ......

TechEd 2013–Day 1 Summary

As it turns out, Day 1 of Microsoft TechEd 2013 in New Orleans was a great success. The organization itself is of course top notch. And the keynote delivered: lots of major news announced, including some interesting details on the Microsoft Azure platform. In summary, we are no longer charged when stopping a Virtual Machine (it used to be that in order avoiding being charged we had to delete the Virtual Machine – well… no longer). Also, the billing model is now a per minute charge increment (instead ......

Ready for .NET Code Camp in South Florida?

Here we go again! South Florida Code Camp is about to start tomorrow, Saturday Feb 9 2013, at NOVA University in Fort Lauderdale. I have seen this event grow every year; over 900 people were registered last year. It’s a HUGE event for the Microsoft developer community in South Florida. You can still register here: http://www.fladotnet.com/co... If you look at the Agenda you will see some really interesting speakers and topics. I would like to specially give a shout-out at some of the new speakers ......

Typical Concerns of Multitenant SaaS Application Design

Creating a SaaS application, or migrating an existing application into a SaaS model can be difficult for a few reasons. In this post I will address some of the common issues developers and managers face when building a SaaS application and offer some pointers on how to solve them from a data management standpoint. Common Roadblocks Let’s first perform an inventory of the common concerns that developers and managers face when building a SaaS application, or when converting an existing single-tenant ......

Windows Azure IT Roadshow Lab I

This lab was created for the Windows Azure IT Roadshow in Florida (first session). It covers the basics of creating a Windows Server 2012 virtual machine, a SQL Server 2012 virtual machine and a SQL Database. Some of the steps will help you configure the firewalls properly and show you how to stripe two blobs for increased performance. Sign-up for 90-day trial If you haven’t done so, open a 90-trial account now. The rest of this lab requires you to have an Azure subscription. Note: You will need ......

Sample Pricing Comparison: On-Premise vs. Private Hosting vs. Cloud Computing

Last week I blogged about some of the basic pricing differences between Amazon AWS and Microsoft’s Windows Azure (http://wblo.gs/da7) and concluded that while there was a price difference, it was important to review the benefits and gaps of each platform to make the right decision. In that comparison, using the assumptions documented on the blog post, Windows Azure was a more affordable option thanks to its Windows Azure SQL Database service offering. In this blog post, I will compare what it would ......

Backup SQL Database Federation

One of the amazing features of Windows Azure SQL Database is the ability to create federations in order to scale your cloud databases. However until now, there were very few options available to backup federated databases. In this post I will show you how Enzo Cloud Backup can help you backup, and restore your federated database easily. You can restore federated databases in SQL Database, or even on SQL Server (as regular databases). Generally speaking, you will need to perform the following steps ......