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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Cloud Career Essentials

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Microsoft Azure Essentials started off as a series of free ebooks (two of them published in 2016 are still relevant today) on a variety of Azure topics. Expanding on that theme there is great new content on the Azure Essentials microsite

The Career Essentials section on that site defines different roles, primary and secondary skills needed to take up the roles and learning content with a Progress Tracker to track your progress in accomplishing those skills

Google Cloud Platform similarly defines Learning Tracks that you can pick based on your technical background and area of interest.

Irrespective of the certification exam, the outline defined in the Exam Guides for various Google Cloud Certifications is so good that it can also be used for assessing skills required for other public clouds too.

The AWS Certifications site offers four role-based paths - Cloud Practitioner, Architect, Developer, Operations

The structured learning road-map offered by each of these popular public cloud providers can aid individuals in choosing which path works best for them.

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Key Takeaways From RightScale 2018 State Of The Cloud Report

Monday, February 19, 2018
Key takeaways from RightScale State Of The Cloud Report (based on a survey over 1000 technical professionals on their adoption of cloud computing across a broad cross-section of organizations):
  1. Multi-cloud strategy is becoming a reality
  2. Public cloud continues to grow among enterprises
  3. Majority of the container workloads are running on AWS
  4. Kubernetes is the most preferred container orchestration tool among enterprises
  5. Cost and usage optimization are the critical goals for enterprise IT
  6. Microsoft Azure is growing at the cost of AWS
  7. Azure, IBM Cloud, and GCP are growing considerably
  8. VMware is still the king of private cloud market
  9. Databases are the number one workload running on cloud
  10. Serverless is witnessing a huge surge in adoption

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"Easy Auth" Azure App Service authentication

Saturday, February 17, 2018
If you have developed a web site and are deploying it to Azure as an App Service, you can enable authentication through popular Authentication Providers like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft Account without doing anything much in code by just configuring some settings within the Azure portal & the Authentication Provider's website for developers.


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This Week I Learned - Week #254

Friday, February 16, 2018
This Week I Learned -

* Reserve a static IP address if you need a fixed IP address that won't change — for example, if you need to create an A record in DNS, or need the IP address to be added to a safe list.

* Use a tool such as iostat to monitor disk I/O performance for your workload.

* You can scale a VM up or down by changing the VM size. Managed Disk can only be resized to a size greater than the existing disk size.

* If you delete a VM, the VHDs are not deleted. To delete the VHD & avoid being charged for storage, delete the file from Blob storage.

Cloudcraft can be used to create advanced AWS visualizations and diagrams, in both commercial and non-commercial projects.

Unigma Public Cloud Cost Comparison Calculator can be used to compare prices in AWS, Azure and Google clouds

Azure DocKit is a SAAS solution that automatically generates technical documentation of your Azure environment, including complete Visio diagrams, dependencies, track changes, best practices warnings, billing info (CSPs and EAs included) and more.It works in both environment, classical and ARM.

* If you are using unmanaged disks, create separate Azure storage accounts for each VM to hold the virtual hard disks (VHDs), in order to avoid hitting the (IOPS) limits for storage accounts.

* To prevent accidental deletion, use a resource lock to lock the entire resource group or lock individual resources, such as a VM.

* A Progressive Web App uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience. Safari still does not support it.

QRCode Scanner is a progressive web application that can scan barcodes

* RBAC does not limit the actions that a user logged into a VM can perform. Those permissions are determined by the account type on the guest OS.

* Reservation charges for Reserved Virtual Machine Instance does not cover additional software, networking, or storage charges. Reservations do not auto-renew.

docs.microsoft.com is built on top of the open GitHub platform. Content feedback mechanism for docs.microsoft.com is moving from Livefyre to a custom built commenting system based on GitHub Issues. This will let the Microsoft team triage the issue, assign a label, and assign an owner to make the fix (or ask follow up questions) thereby enabling richer way with writers and product teams. Jeremy Danyow (author of utteranc.es) is on the Docs dev team and built our GitHub issues implementation

* Starting from July 2018, with Google’s release of Chrome 68, which will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure.”

* You can now estimate the network bandwidth requirements and target Azure requirements, for cloud migration and disaster recovery.

* Lots of Americans have chest pain because of a lack of blood and oxygen reaching the heart. This is known as angina. For decades, one of the most common ways to treat this was to insert a mesh tube known as a stent into arteries supplying the heart. The stents held the vessels open and increased blood flow to the heart, theoretically fixing the problem..Studies  show that..stents delivered no benefit over medical therapy for preventing heart attacks or death for patients with stable coronary artery disease - NY Times

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. Evidence from twin and family studies suggests that Tourette syndrome is an inherited disorder.

* 118 different formulations of fixed dose combination (FDC) antibiotics being sold in India between 2007 and 2012, 64% were not approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) - even though sale or supply of  unapproved new medicines in India is illegal. FDC antibiotics, which were sold under more than 3,300 brand names, were made by almost 500 pharmaceutical manufacturers - of which 12 were multinationals.

* "Without data you're just another person with an opinion" - W. Edwards Deming

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What is NOT supported with Azure Site Recovery

Thursday, February 15, 2018
Besides disaster recovery of on-premises and Azure VMs,Site Recovery can help with the following types of migration:
Migrate from on-premises to Azure: Migrate on-premises Hyper-V VMs, VMware VMs, and physical servers to Azure. After the migration, workloads running on the on-premises machines will be running on Azure VMs.
Migrate within Azure: Migrate Azure VMs between Azure regions.
Migrate AWS: Migrate AWS Windows instances to Azure IaaS VMs.

It has some limitations though -

ASR does not support the recovery of machines with desktop OS’es.  (Also, some client virtual desktop flavours (eg. Windows 7) are not yet supported for licensing in Azure.)

Failback to on-premises from Azure VM with managed disks is not currently supported.

Replicating and recovering Azure virtual machines from one region to another region with ASR using PowerShell, CLI & REST API is not currently supported

You can only replicate a classic virtual machine and recover it as a classic virtual machine. You cannot recover it as a Resource Manager virtual machine using ASR.

Replication of VMs with Standard or Premium Managed disk between Azure regions using ASR is not supported 

Azure Backup and ASR can't protect the same workload

No support for UEFI conversions

Also see:
What is NOT supported on Azure Virtual Machines
What is NOT supported with Azure Site Recovery

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