Author : All posts by ilikesql

12

Aug

How to optimize your Azure workload costs
How to optimize your Azure workload costs

The economic challenges posed by the global health pandemic continue to affect every organization around the world. During this difficult time, cost optimization has become an especially critical topic. Recently, we provided an overview of how to approach cost optimization on Microsoft Azure, which laid out three focus areas to help you get the most value out of your Azure investment: understanding and forecasting your costs, optimizing your workload costs, and controlling your costs.

Today, we’ll dive more deeply into the second focus area—how you can optimize your Azure workloads costs—and show you how guidance in the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework, tools like Azure Advisor, and offers like the Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reservations can help you operate more efficiently on Azure and save.

Design workloads for cost optimization using best practices from the Azure Well-Architected Framework

The Azure Well-Architected Framework is designed to help you build and deploy cloud workloads with confidence, using actionable and simple to use deep technical content, assessments, and reference architectures based on proven industry best practices. You can assess workloads against the five pillars of the Azure Well-Architected Framework cloud design—cost optimization, reliability, security, performance efficiency, and operational excellence—to help you focus on

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06

Aug

Prioritize datacenter discovery and readiness assessments to accelerate cloud migration

Cloud migrations are an effective way to drive operational efficiencies and to flip capital expenses to operational. Successful cloud migrations are rooted in bias towards action and execute with urgency towards triggers that need immediate attention. In our experience, migration projects that start with a deep understanding of the IT landscape, are best positioned to mitigate any complexities. In our experience, leaders who set actionable project goals and timelines, bring together teams and encourage solution thinking, and lean in to track progress towards well-defined objectives, are the most effective in helping their organizations realize cloud migration targets.

In the kick-off blog of this series, we listed prioritizing assessments as one of our top three recommendations to accelerate your cloud migration journey. Comprehensive cloud migration assessments should cover the entire fleet and help you arrive at key decisions related to candidate apps, optimum resource allocation, and cost projections. You’ll want to understand your applications, their on-premises performance, uncover dependencies and interrelated systems, and estimate cloud readiness and run-cost. This analysis is critical to fully recognize what you are working with and proactively understand how to best manage these resources in the cloud. Further, in our experience with customers, inadequately planned migrations—especially

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05

Aug

Announcing preview of Java Message Service 2.0 over AMQP on Azure Service Bus

Azure Service Bus simplifies enterprise messaging scenarios by leveraging familiar queue and topic subscription semantics over the industry-driven AMQP protocol. It offers customers a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) offering with deep integrations with Azure services to provide a messaging broker with high throughput, reliable latency while ensuring high availability, secure design, and scalability as a first-class experience. We aim to offer Azure Service Bus for customer workloads on most application stacks and ecosystems.

In keeping with that vision, we’re excited to announce preview support for Java Message Service (JMS) 2.0 over AMQP in Azure Service Bus Premium tier. With this, we empower customers to seamlessly lift and shift their Java and Spring workloads to Azure while also helping them modernize their application stack with best in class enterprise messaging in the cloud.

As enterprise customers look to lift and shift their workloads to Azure, they may take the opportunity to modernize their application stack by leveraging cloud-native Azure offerings. This is more appropriate for components on the data plane, storing or moving data, which benefit from moving away from an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) hosted setup to a more cloud-native PaaS setup.

With databases and data

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05

Aug

New Azure SQL Learning Tools help reduce the global technology skills gap

Microsoft’s learning solutions pave the way toward data-centric jobs of the future

“It’s been forecasted 800 million people need to learn new skills for their jobs by 2030. In this time of change, people are hungry to learn, gain new skills, and grow their economic opportunity.”—Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

Across Microsoft, we are helping a new generation of technology workers develop the right level of skills. Recently, Microsoft announced the availability of new virtual learning programs. These programs, focused on technical topics, are already helping people enhance their digital expertise and, for some, are providing a foundation for success in a new career path.

Building upon this goal, we’re excited to announce the Azure Data team’s latest additions to these educational programs.

Our all-new content will help beginners being introduced to Azure as well as SQL experts learn how to understand the benefits of Azure SQL. Since SQL Server and Azure SQL share the same engine, these new set of tools builds upon familiar content. This means SQL Server professionals can become Azure SQL professionals with just a little bit of help, such as:

Microsoft Learn learning path: This six-course Azure SQL fundamentals learning path provides a built-in lab environment

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29

Jul

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – July 2020

Whether you’re a new student, thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Azure Cost Management + Billing comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management + Billing can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:

Drilling into empty fields and untagged resources in cost analysis. What’s new in Cost Management Labs. New ways to save money with Azure. New videos and learning opportunities. Documentation updates.

Let’s dig into the details.

 

Drilling into empty fields and untagged resources in cost analysis

Azure Cost Management + Billing includes all usage, purchases, and refunds for your billing account. Seeing every line item in the full usage and charges file allows you to reconcile your bill at the lowest level, but since each record can

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28

Jul

Monitoring Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes and servers
Monitoring Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes and servers

Azure Arc is a preview service that enables users to create and attach Kubernetes clusters both inside and outside of Azure. Azure Arc also enables the user to manage Windows and Linux machines outside of Azure the same way native Azure Virtual Machines are managed. To monitor these Azure Arc enabled clusters and servers, you can use Azure Monitor the same way you would use it for the Azure resources.

With Azure Arc, the Kubernetes clusters and servers are given a full-fledged Azure Resource ID and managed identity, enabling various scenarios that simplifies management and monitoring of these resources from a common control plane. For Kubernetes, this enables scenarios such as deploying applications through GitOps-based management, applying Azure policy, or monitoring your containers. For servers, users also benefit from applying Azure policies and collecting logs with Log Analytics agent for virtual machine (VM) monitoring.

Monitoring Azure and on-premises resources with Azure Monitor

As customers begin their transition to the cloud, monitoring on-premises resources alongside their cloud infrastructure can feel disjointed and cumbersome to manage. With Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes and Servers, Azure Monitor can enable you to monitor your full telemetry across your cloud-native and on-premises resources in a single

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28

Jul

Three reasons to migrate your ASP.NET apps and SQL Server data to Azure

The way we work and live has changed. Over the last several months, enterprises have had to shift their strategy from “physical first” to digital first and accelerate their digital transformation to enable remote productivity, reduce costs, or rapidly address new opportunities. In a digital first world, websites and web applications play a significant role in how customers interact with a business. To make a great first impression, companies are modernizing their web applications and data to the cloud for optimal performance, and saving money along the way.

Nearly a third1 of the world’s public websites are built on ASP.NET, and for good reasons; it’s fast, scalable, and secure. What if you could combine those benefits with the operational and financial benefits of the cloud? Microsoft Azure offers the only end-to-end application hosting platform to build and manage .NET applications, enabling significant cost savings, operational efficiencies, and business agility.

Here are three ways you’ll benefit from migrating your ASP.NET apps and SQL Server data to Azure.

Optimize costs with fully managed services that do more for you

Operating your .NET applications on a fully managed platform allows your teams to focus on what matters most by offloading apps, infrastructure, and

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28

Jul

Eight ways to optimize costs on Azure SQL
Eight ways to optimize costs on Azure SQL

Across the globe, businesses are emerging into a new normal, eager to restart or rebuild, but still operating in uncertain times. Optimizing costs and redirecting the spend to where it matters most is as important as ever, and many companies see the cloud as a way to control costs, build resilience, and accelerate time to market.

Customers choose Azure for a variety of reasons, but one of the main reasons is to lower their costs. What more could you do if you could save up to 80 percent or more on your database costs? We introduced the Azure SQL family of database services to help businesses cost-effectively adapt and scale to rapidly changing conditions. Here are the top eight ways you can optimize your data spend, with savings available wherever you are in your digital transformation journey.

1. Maintain business continuity in the cloud with free SQL Server licenses

Use your active Software Assurance benefit to get a free license for every SQL Server in your datacenter for a secondary passive replica you can use for disaster recovery to an Azure Virtual Machine.

2. Shift capex to opex with SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines

Migrating your data to virtual

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28

Jul

Creating cloud ready environments with Azure landing zones

Moving to the cloud creates an opportunity to pause and think about how to operate the IT environment. Most organizations in the world have seen their ability to innovate and adopt cloud technologies slowed down by the rules and operating model that governs their existing IT environments. Organizations have their own set of processes, tools, and dedicated staff to ensure that these environments can continuously support business needs.

With the move to a cloud environment, IT has access to new tools and processes that unblock IT operations. By revisiting the operating model, technology-focused teams and Azure partners can help organizations improve agility, cost, and scale.

Azure landing zones in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure are designed to accelerate efforts to map, modernize, or even reimagine the operating model. Azure landing zones help build a cloud environment aligned to the optimal technology operations specific to your needs in the cloud.

As the following analogy illustrates, a standardized foundation can’t fit the variety of needs seen by organizations and operating models. Respecting any need for options and customization, we provide a range of landing zone architectures and implementation options. Organizations can use the implementation option that most clearly aligns to

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27

Jul

New Windows Virtual Desktop capabilities now generally available

With the global pandemic, customers are relying on remote work more than ever, and Windows Virtual Desktop is helping customers rapidly deliver a secure Windows 10 desktop experience to their users. Charlie Anderson, CIO of Fife Council in the United Kingdom, was planning to modernize his companies’ existing Remote Destop Services (RDS) infrastructure, and then business requirements changed. He needed increased agility and scale to meet the changing requirements. In his own words:

“Windows Virtual Desktop was absolutely essential for us in terms of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many, we were faced with a continuity issue unparalleled in recent times. For us, this meant not only the continuation of services we already delivered, but also responding very quickly to new demands arising as a result of our public response to the pandemic.

To do that, we needed to provide as close to the “in-office” experience as we could to a workforce now working away from our offices. This meant multiplying previous remote working capacities by a factor of 15 almost overnight – something which would have been impossible without a scalable and cloud-based approach, which also worked well on a range of Council and self-provided devices.

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