From the Blogosphere
Looking at “Real World” Windows Azure Scenarios
Migrating a Classic 3-Tier Application to Windows Azure with Don Noonan from Skylera
By: Blain Barton
Jan. 19, 2013 04:00 PM
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:
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 -
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
Cloud Expo Breaking News
Top Stories for Cloud Expo 2012 East
In this Big Data Power Panel at the 10th International Cloud Expo, moderated by Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan, Govind Rangasamy, Director of Product Management at Eucalyptus Systems; Kevin Brown; CEO of Coraid, Inc.; Christos Tryfonas, CTO and Co-Founder of Cetas; and Max Riggsbee, CMO and VP of Products for WhipTail, discussed such topics as: Big Data has existed since the early days of computing; why, then, do you think there is such an industry buzz around it right now? How is Big Data impacting storage and networking architecture in data centers? How about the intersection of Big Data Analytics and Cloud Computing - how big a sector is that and why? What's the difference between Big Data and Fast Data? ... (more)
Best Recent Articles on Cloud Computing & Big Data Topics
The Arlington, Virginia-based National Science Foundation has just released its "Report on Support for Cloud Computing" - in response to the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2010, Section 524. It is an absolute must-read for all concerned with current and future research projects in Cloud Computing.
"The volume of data we're generating now from machines pales in comparison to the volume of data we'll soon generate from our own bodies," says data security expert Dave Asprey. Writing in a Trend Micro blog, Asprey - who is one of the leaders in the emerging Quantified Self movement - explains his vision of a world in which personal biometrical data is shared via the cloud.
Cloud computing has caught the attention of business leaders around the world in every industry because of its enormous transformative potential. Visionary companies know that the value of the cloud is far greater than the current focus solely on technology and operating costs: when combined with a collaborative approach to designing processes, cloud computing will change how we do business.
Want to make sense of the hottest new concept in Enterprise IT? Want to understand in just hours what experts have spent many hundreds of days deciphering? Cloud computing is a technology that has rapidly evolving peppered with a lot of hype along the way. Customers find it hard to navigate through this and make sense of what aspects of this technology will give them real business benefit. Cloud Computing Bootcamp, led by our 2013 Bootcamp Instructor Larry Carvalho, is a great way to get a practical understanding of this technology. We offer multiple days of actionable insight into what vendor offerings are currently available and help you comprehend their strategy. The ever-popular Bootcamp, which is now held regularly around the world, is being held in conjunction with the 12th Cloud Expo, June 10-13, 2013, at the Javits Center, New York, NY.
Did you know that ninety percent of the data in the world has been created in the last two years? Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion (or 2.518) bytes of data, according to IBM. As corporations across all industries globally are struggling with how to retain, aggregate and analyze this mounting volume of what the industry refers to as Big Data, it also provides a unique opportunity for innovative startups that recognize the business prospects Big Data presents. Big Data is not just unlocking new information but new sources of economic and business value. Interactivity is driving Big Data, with people and machines both consuming and creating it. Digital companies focused on becoming good at aggregating and analyzing the data created by the end users of their product, who then provide their customers with solid insights taken from that data are at a distinct competitive advantage over others in the marketplace.
Industry-specific clouds are those PaaS, IaaS, and PaaS services that are tailored for a specific vertical, such as transportation, retail, finance, and health care. IDC sees a $65 billion market in these industry solutions for 2013, rising to $100 billion in 2016. The value of industry-specific clouds is that businesses within a vertical can connect to applications, processes, and databases that are pre-defined for that vertical within a public or private cloud. They can extend processes and databases into the business domain, versus defining the data and processes within a generic cloud-based platform. So, are industry specific clouds right for your business? What options are out there? How do you figure out the ROI?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Rackspace Hosting, the open cloud company, has been named "Platinum Plus Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 12th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 10-13, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX) is the open cloud company, delivering open technologies and powering more than 205,000 customers worldwide. Rackspace provides its renowned Fanatical Support® across a broad portfolio of IT products, including Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. Rackspace has been recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company, is featured on Fortune's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For and is included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Rackspace was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner Inc. in the "2011 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting." Rackspace is headquartered in San Antonio with offices and data centers around the world.
10th International Cloud Expo, held on June 11-14, 2012 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured four content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the cloud computing ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service. We invite you to enjoy our photo album of the show - we'll be adding new images all week.
Ulitzer.com announced "the World's 30 most influential Cloud bloggers," who collectively generated more than 24 million Ulitzer page views. Ulitzer's annual "most influential Cloud bloggers" list was announced at Cloud Expo, which drew more delegates than all other Cloud-related events put together worldwide. "The world's 50 most influential Cloud bloggers 2010" list will be announced at the Cloud Expo 2010 East, which will take place April 19-21, 2010, at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center, in New York City, with more than 5,000 expected to attend.
Cloud computing is becoming one of the next industry buzz words. It joins the ranks of terms including: grid computing, utility computing, virtualization, clustering, etc. Cloud computing overlaps some of the concepts of distributed, grid and utility computing, however it does have its own meaning if contextually used correctly. The conceptual overlap is partly due to technology changes, usages and implementations over the years. Trends in usage of the terms from Google searches shows Cloud Computing is a relatively new term introduced in the past year. There has also been a decline in general interest of Grid, Utility and Distributed computing. Likely they will be around in usage for quit a while to come. But Cloud computing has become the new buzz word driven largely by marketing and service offerings from big corporate players like Google, IBM and Amazon.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dell Inc. has been named "Silver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 12th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 10-13, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. For more than 28 years, Dell has empowered countries, communities, customers and people everywhere to use technology to realize their dreams. Customers trust Dell to deliver technology solutions that help them do and achieve more, whether they're at home, work, school or anywhere in their world. Learn more about Dell's story, purpose and people behind its customer-centric approach.
One of the most compelling promises of the cloud is that you can pull out a credit card and be working in minutes. No purchase orders to fill out, no equipment to wait for on the loading dock. Just instant access to the resources you need, when you need them. But accessibility comes at a price, and an unintentional consequence may be that you create yet another orphaned identity silo. Enterprise IT has spent years consolidating its mishmash of directories, only to discover that cloud now threatens to turn back their hard-won victories. In his session at the 12th International Cloud Expo, Scott Morrison, CTO and Chief Architect at Layer 7 Technologies, will look at strategies to incorporate identity into cloud applications. Enterprise identity or social login can both be a part of your go-to-cloud strategy, but you must plan for this upfront, rather than try to retrofit identity and access control at a later date.
Cloud Expo, Cloud Expo East, Cloud Expo West, Cloud Expo Silicon Valley, Cloud Expo Europe, Cloud Expo Tokyo, Cloud Expo Prague, Cloud Expo Hong Kong, Cloud Expo Sao Paolo are trademarks and /or registered trademarks (USPTO serial number 85009040) of Cloud Expo, Inc.
The World's Most Influential Blogs