Author : All posts by ilikesql

29

Jan

Last week in Azure: New Zone Redundant capabilities now in preview, and more

Last week in Azure, several announcements were made for Zone Redundant capabilities now in public preview that build on Azure Availability Zones. In addition, new backup and update capabilities make it easier to manage and help protect your virtual machines. There’s also a new, intuitive and simplified onboarding experience for Azure Site Recovery service for VMware to Azure.

Now in preview

Zone Redundant Virtual Machine Scale Sets now available in public preview – Zone Redundant Virtual Machine Scale Sets bring the scalability and ease of use of scale sets to availability zones by automatically spreading your virtual machines across availability zones. You don’t need to worry about distributing VMs across zones, choosing which VMs to remove when scaling in, etc.

Azure Zone Redundant Storage in public preview – Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) greatly simplifies development of highly available applications by storing three replicas of your data in different Availability Zones, with inserts and updates to data being performed synchronously across these Availability Zones. This enables you to continue to read and write data even if the data in one of the Availability Zones is unavailable or unrecoverable. ZRS is built over Availability Zones in Azure which provide resilience against failures

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29

Jan

Managing Azure Secrets on GitHub Repositories
Managing Azure Secrets on GitHub Repositories

Background

An increasing number of developers across the globe use GitHub to host their projects, and many of them use GitHub public repositories for their open source work. While this is a great way to contribute and leverage the power of the community, it does come with a unique set of responsibilities. Particularly around managing credentials and other secrets.

Examples of Azure secrets are authentication credentials that should not be made public. These include things such as passwords, private keys, database connection strings, and storage account keys that are managed by Azure tenants.

In Azure, we take security very seriously. Azure secrets are considered sensitive and should not be made publicly available. An exposed secret could lead to the compromise of your Azure subscription, your cloud assets, as well as on-premises assets and data; putting your applications or services at significant risk.

Microsoft Credential Scanner Preview

To help protect our customers, Azure runs Credential Scanner aka CredScan. CredScan monitors all incoming commits on GitHub and checks for specific Azure tenant secrets such as Azure subscription management certificates and Azure SQL connection strings. 

Internally at Microsoft we’ve been developing and leveraging CredScan to protect Azure and our 1st party services and

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29

Jan

Network Watcher Connection Troubleshoot now generally available

Azure Network Watcher Connection Troubleshoot, previously in preview as Connectivity Check, is making general availability sporting a new name. Connection Troubleshoot, part of our Network Watcher suite of networking tools and capabilities, enable you to troubleshoot network performance and connectivity issues in Azure.

Continuing the expansion of tools within Azure Network Watcher, this new addition provides visualization of the hop by hop path from source to destination, identifying issues that can potentially impact your network performance and connectivity.

Network Watcher Connection Troubleshoot features

With the addition of Connection Troubleshoot, Network Watcher will see an incremental increase in its capabilities and ways for you to utilize it in your day to day operations. You can now:

Check connectivity between source (VM) and destination (VM, URI, FQDN, IP Address) Identify configuration issues that are impacting reachability Provide all possible hop by hop paths from the source to destination Hop by hop latency Latency – min, max, and average between source and destination A topology (graphical) view from your source to destination Number of packets dropped during the connection troubleshoot check

Connectivity troubleshoot check graph view output Source: Azure VM and Destination: www.bing.com.

What kind of issues can Connection Troubleshoot detect?

Connection

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29

Jan

Using the MySQL sys schema to optimize and maintain a database

The MySQL sys schema, which is fully enabled in Azure Database for MySQL 5.7, provides a powerful collection of user friendly views in a read-only database. Building on the MySQL Performance and Information Schemas, you can use the MySQL sys schema to troubleshoot performance issues and manage resources efficiently.

The MySQL Performance Schema, first available in MySQL 5.5, provides instrumentation for many vital server resources such as memory allocation, stored programs, metadata locking, etc. However, the Performance Schema contains more than 80 tables, and getting the necessary information often requires joining tables within the Performance Schema, as well as tables from the Information Schema. Let’s look more closely at how to use the MySQL sys schema.

There are 52 views in the sys schema, and each view is prefixed by one of the following:

Host_summary or IO: I/O related latencies. Innodb: Innodb buffer status and locks. Memory:Memory usage by the host and users. Schema: Schema related information, such as auto increment, indexes, etc. Statement: Information on SQL statements; this can be statements that resulted in a full table scan or long query time. User: Resources consumed and grouped by users. Examples are file I/Os, connections, and memory. Wait: Wait

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29

Jan

Using EXPLAIN to profile slow queries in Azure Database for MySQL

Azure Database for MySQL is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) solution that Microsoft offers on Azure. Using Azure managed services for MySQL (and PostgreSQL), enables one to easily build an intelligent and secure application.

Though Microsoft has done a lot of work to optimize database performance, sometimes a simple query can easily become a bottle neck impacting overall database performance. Luckily, MySQL integrates a handy tool – the EXPLAIN statement – that can profile client queries and thus help you identify the root cause of a slow query. You can use an EXPLAIN statement to get information about how SQL statements are executed. With this information, you can profile which queries are running slow and why.

The output below shows an example of the execution of an EXPLAIN statement.

mysql> EXPLAIN SELECT * FROM tb1 WHERE id=100G *************************** 1. row *************************** id: 1 select_type: SIMPLE table: tb1 partitions: NULL type: ALL possible_keys: NULL key: NULL key_len: NULL ref: NULL rows: 995789 filtered: 10.00 Extra: Using where

As you can see from this example, the value of key is NULL. This means that MySQL cannot find any indexes optimized for the query and it performs a full table

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28

Jan

Azure ExpressRoute updates – New partnerships, monitoring and simplification

Azure ExpressRoute allows enterprise customers to privately and directly connect to Microsoft’s cloud services, providing a more predictable networking experience than traditional internet connections. ExpressRoute is available in 42 peering locations globally and is supported by a large ecosystem of more than 100 connectivity providers. Leading customers use ExpressRoute to connect their on-premises networks to Azure, as a vital part of managing and running their mission critical applications and services.

Cisco to build Azure ExpressRoute practice

As we continue to grow the ExpressRoute experience in Azure, we’ve found our enterprise customers benefit from understanding networking issues that occur in their internal networks with hybrid architectures. These issues can impact their mission-critical workloads running in the cloud.

To help address on-premises issues, which often require deep technical networking expertise, we continue to partner closely with Cisco to provide a better customer networking experience. Working together, we can solve the most challenging networking issues encountered by enterprise customers using Azure ExpressRoute.

Today, Cisco announced an extended partnership with Microsoft to build a new network practice providing Cisco Solution Support for Azure ExpressRoute.   We are fully committed to working with Cisco and other partners with deep networking experience to build and expand on

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25

Jan

Share reports with your teams and partners
Share reports with your teams and partners

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/share-reports-with-your-teams-and-partners/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/share-reports-with-your-teams-and-partners/           We’re excited to announce we’re rolling out report sharing to users worldwide. Now reports and dashboards have the same sharing features, making it even easier for Power BI users to collaborate with their READ MORE

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25

Jan

Compliance assessment reports for Azure Stack are now available

A few months ago, we announced we were performing a compliance assessment on Microsoft Azure Stack, today we are happy to share that the compliance assessment is done and available to you.

Knowing that preparing compliance paperwork is a tedious task, we precompiled the documentation for our customers. Since Azure Stack is delivered as an integrated system through hardware partners, we are in a unique position to perform a formal compliance assessment of Azure Stack that applies to all our customers. This resulted in a set of precompiled compliance documents that customers can now use to accelerate their compliance certification process.

We are glad to announce that Coalfire, a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and independent auditing firm, has audited and evaluated Azure Stack Infrastructure against the technical controls of PCI-DSS and the CSA Cloud Control Matrix, and found that Azure Stack satisfies the applicable controls.

In the assessor’s words:

“It is Coalfire’s opinion that Microsoft Azure Stack integrated system, reviewed between July 2017 and October 2017, can be effective in creating a PCI DSS compliant infrastructure and to assist in a comprehensive program of compliance with PCI DSS version 3.2.”

“It is Coalfire’s opinion that Microsoft Azure Stack as deployed

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25

Jan

Azure Standard support now offers the highest value support for production workloads amongst major cloud providers

Our Azure customers have three common needs from their cloud support plan:

A fixed monthly cost that is affordable and simple to forecastFast response time for critical casesA plan that covers their entire organization and eliminates guesswork in how many support plans are needed and who can use them

We are pleased to announce important updates for Azure Standard support. With these changes, Azure now offers the most cost effective and predictable support offering amongst major cloud providers.

Azure Standard support now includes:

A significant price drop to a fixed cost of $100 USD per month, so forecasted support costs are completely predictableFaster initial response time, now at 1 hour for critical casesContinuing our current offering of unlimited 24×7 technical and billing support for your entire organization

Get Azure Standard support now >>

Click here for more details, eligibility, and frequently asked questions.

Azure is continuously improving and expanding the range of options to help you accelerate your cloud journey. From the built-in Azure Advisor service that provides free, proactive, and personalized best practice recommendations, to direct connection with Azure engineers through multiple levels of Azure support. There are also unique support options for different types of

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25

Jan

Cognitive Services – Availability of SDKs for the latest Bing Search APIs

We are pleased to announce preview availability of SDKs for the Cognitive Serivces – Bing Search APIs. Currently available as REST APIs, the Bing APIs v7 now have SDKs in four languages: C#, Java, Node.js, and Python. These SDKs include offerings such as Bing Web Search, Bing Image Search, Bing Custom Search, Bing News Search, Bing Video Search, Bing Entity Search, and Bing Spell Check. 

Here are some of the salient features of these SDKs:

Easy to use and highly flexible in adjusting your basis application scenario. Encompass all the API v7 functionalities, languages, and countries. Reduce assembly footprint through individual SDK for each Bing offering. Enable development in C#, Java, Node.js, and Python. Provide ability to use the new/existing Bing APIs access keys, both free and paid. Well documented through samples and parameter references. Supported through Azure and other developer forums. Opensource under MIT license and available on GitHub for collaboration.

Getting Started with Bing SDKs

For C#, both NuGet packages and SDKs are available for individual Bing offerings. The best place to start is with C# samples. These samples provide an easy to follow step-by-step guide on running various application specific scenarios through corresponding NuGet packages.

Each

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