Category Archives : Cloud Strategy

24

Jun

How Azure.com operates on Azure part 2: Technology and architecture

When you’re the company that builds the cloud platforms used by millions of people, your own cloud content needs be served up fast. Azure.com—a complex, cloud-based application that serves millions of people every day—is built entirely from Azure components and runs on Azure.

Microsoft culture has always been about using our own tools to run our business. Azure.com serves as an example of the convenient platform-as-a-service (PaaS) option that Azure provides for agile web development. We trust Azure to run Azure.com with 99.99-percent availability across a global network capable of a round-trip time (RTT) of less than 100 milliseconds per request.

In part two of our two-part series we share our blueprint, so you can learn from our experience building a website on planetary scale and move forward with your own website transformation.

This post will help you get a technical perspective on the infrastructure and resources that make up Azure.com. For details about our design principles, read Azure.com operates on Azure part 1: Design principles and best practices.

The architecture of a global footprint

With Azure.com, our goal is to run a world-class website in a cost-effective manner at planetary scale. To do this, we currently run more than

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24

Jun

Azure.com operates on Azure part 1: Design principles and best practices

Azure puts powerful cloud computing tools into the hands of creative people around the world. So, when your website is the face of that brand, you better use what you build, and it better be good. As in, 99.99-percent composite SLA good.

That’s our job at Azure.com, the platform where Microsoft hopes to inspire people to invent the next great thing. Azure.com serves up content to millions of people every day. It reaches people in nearly every country and is localized in 27 languages. It does all this while running on the very tools it promotes.

In developing Azure.com, we practice what we preach. We follow the guiding principles that we advise our customers to adopt and the principles of sustainable software engineering (SSE). Even this blog post is hosted on the very infrastructure that it describes.

In part one of our two-part series, we will peek behind the Azure.com web page to show you how we think about running a major brand website on a global scale. We will share our design approach and best practices for security, resiliency, scalability, availability, environmental sustainability, and cost-effective operations—on a global scale.

Products, features, and demos supported on Azure.com

As a content

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18

Jun

Cost optimization strategies for cloud-native application development

Today, we’ll explore some strategies that you can leverage on Azure to optimize your cloud-native application development process using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and managed databases, such as Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Database for PostgreSQL.

Optimize compute resources with Azure Kubernetes Service

AKS makes it simple to deploy a managed Kubernetes cluster in Azure. AKS reduces the complexity and operational overhead of managing Kubernetes by offloading much of that responsibility to Azure. As a managed Kubernetes service, Azure handles critical tasks like health monitoring and maintenance for you.

When you’re using AKS to deploy your container workloads, there are a few strategies to save costs and optimize the way you run development and testing environments.

Create multiple user node pools and enable scale to zero

In AKS, nodes of the same configuration are grouped together into node pools. To support applications that have different compute or storage demands, you can create additional user node pools. User node pools serve the primary purpose of hosting your application pods. For example, you can use these additional user node pools to provide GPUs for compute-intensive applications or access to high-performance SSD storage.

When you have multiple node pools, which run on virtual

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17

Jun

Seven ways to achieve cost savings and deliver efficiencies with Azure infrastructure

The global health crisis has transformed the way we work and live. At Microsoft, we are committed to doing what we can to help our customers respond to the crisis and plan ahead for future success.

In the past couple of months, I have been learning from—and inspired by—IT leaders around the globe who have been quickly adjusting IT priorities to enable remote work, and optimize costs and efficiencies while investing in smart ways to prepare for recovery and future growth. To achieve these goals, many IT leaders are accelerating the adoption of cloud computing.

Achieve cost savings and deliver efficiencies with Azure infrastructure

Below are seven ways in which Azure infrastructure can help you today to improve cash flow, achieve cost savings, increase operational efficiencies, and unify security and management.

1. Enable remote work anywhere and ensure productivity

To ensure that users have access to desktops and apps they need to work from anywhere, you can spin up and scale virtual desktops quickly with Windows Virtual Desktop—no need to provision new hardware. Windows Virtual Desktop delivers the best Windows 10 and Office 365 virtual desktop experience with support for multi-session. You only pay for the infrastructure that you use

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17

Jun

Optimize your Azure costs to help meet your financial objectives

Many of our customers are facing difficult decisions about how to meet their funding needs for critical IT projects. We’re in this together to help you meet your financial objectives. Ensuring your Azure workloads are cost optimized can help free up funds to support essential surge areas like remote work.

For the fourth year running, cost optimization is the top cloud initiative according to Flexera’s 2020 State of the Cloud Report

Today, we’ll cover the Azure tools, offers, and guidance that can help you manage and optimize your cloud costs. You’ll learn how to understand and forecast your bill, cost optimize your workload, and control your spending. Then we’ll show you seven things you can do today to optimize your cloud costs and start saving.

Understand and forecast your costs

To manage and optimize your Azure costs, you first need to understand what you’re spending now and forecast what your bill is likely to be in the future for your current and planned projects.

Azure Cost Management + Billing gives you a full set of cloud cost management capabilities. You can use Cost Management + Billing to:

Monitor and analyze your Azure bill. Set budgets and spending alerts. Allocate

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15

Jun

Be prepared for what’s next: Accelerate cloud migration

We are in the midst of unprecedented times with far-reaching implications of the global health crisis to healthcare, public policy, and the economy. Organizations are fundamentally changing how they run their businesses, ensure the safety of their workforce, and keep their IT operations running. Most IT leaders that we have had the opportunity to speak with over the past couple of months are thinking hard on how to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. They are also trying to retain momentum on their well-intentioned strategic initiatives.

Across our customers in many industries and geographies, we continue to see the cloud deliver tangible benefits. Azure enables our customers to act faster, continue to innovate, and pivot their IT operations to what matters most. We understand the challenges our customers are facing. We also recognize that our customers are counting on us more than ever.

Common, consistent goals for businesses

Even though our customers’ challenges are often unique to the industries they serve, we hear many common, consistent goals.

Cloud-based productivity and remote collaboration is enabling workers, IT professionals, and developers to work from anywhere. As our customers enable an increase in remote work, there’s increased importance on scaling networking capacity while securely

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15

Jun

Six reasons customers trust Azure to run their SAP solutions

As global organizations across every industry adjust to the new normal, SAP solutions are playing an increasingly vital role in addressing immediate needs and paving a path to a resilient future. Now more than ever, companies are realizing the value of running their SAP solutions in the cloud. While some are using advanced analytics to process their SAP data to make real-time business decisions, others are integrating their SAP and non-SAP data to build stronger supply chains. Whether it’s meeting urgent customer needs, empowering employees to make quick decisions, or planning for the future, customers running SAP solutions in the cloud have been well prepared to face the new reality. Check out how Walgreens delivers superior customer service with SAP solutions on Microsoft Azure.

Many organizations running their SAP solutions on-premises have become increasingly aware of the need to be more agile and responsive to real-time business needs. According to an IDC survey, 54 percent of enterprises expect the future demand for cloud software will increase. As global organizations seek agility, cost savings, risk reduction, and immediate insights from their ERP solutions, here are some reasons many of the largest enterprises choose Microsoft Azure as their trusted partner when moving

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11

May

Automating cybersecurity guardrails with new Zero Trust blueprint and Azure integrations

In our day-to-day work, we focus on helping customers advance the security of their digital estate using the native capabilities of Azure. In the process, we frequently find that using Azure to improve an organization’s cybersecurity posture can also help these customers achieve compliance more rapidly.

Today, many of our customers in regulated industries are adopting a Zero Trust architecture, moving to a security model that more effectively adapts to the complexity of the modern environment, embraces the mobile workforce, and protects people, devices, applications, and data wherever they’re located.

Regardless of where the request originates or what resource it accesses, Zero Trust teaches us to “never trust, always verify.” In a Zero Trust model, every access request is strongly authenticated, authorized within policy constraints, and inspected for anomalies before granting access. This approach can aid the process of achieving compliance for industries that use NIST-based controls including financial services, defense industrial base, and government.

A Zero Trust approach should extend throughout the entire digital estate and serve as an integrated security philosophy and end-to-end strategy, across three primary principles: (1) verify explicitly, (2) enforce least privilege access, and (3) assume breach.

Use the Azure blueprint for faster configuration of

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06

May

Minecraft Earth and Azure Cosmos DB part 1: Extending Minecraft into our real world

This post is part 1 of a two-part series about how organizations use Azure Cosmos DB to meet real world needs and the difference it’s making to them. In part 1, we explore the challenges that led service developers for Minecraft Earth to choose Azure Cosmos DB and how they’re using it to capture almost every action taken by every player around the globe—with ultra-low latency. In part 2, we examine the solution’s workload and how Minecraft Earth service developers have benefited from building it on Azure Cosmos DB.

Extending the world of Minecraft into our real world

You’ve probably heard of the game Minecraft, even if you haven’t played it yourself. It’s the best-selling video game of all time, having sold more than 176 million copies since 2011. Today, Minecraft has more than 112 million monthly players, who can discover and collect raw materials, craft tools, and build structures or earthworks in the game’s immersive, procedurally generated 3D world. Depending on game mode, players can also fight computer-controlled foes and cooperate with—or compete against—other players.

In May 2019, Microsoft announced the upcoming release of Minecraft Earth, which began its worldwide rollout in December 2019. Unlike preceding games in the

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06

May

Minecraft Earth and Azure Cosmos DB part 2: Delivering turnkey geographic distribution

This post is part 2 of a two-part series about out how organizations are using Azure Cosmos DB to meet real world needs and the difference it’s making to them. In part 1, we explored the challenges that led service developers for Minecraft Earth to choose Azure Cosmos DB and how they’re using it to capture almost every action taken by every player around the globe—with ultra-low latency. In part 2 we examine the solution’s workload and how Minecraft Earth service developers have benefited from building it on Azure Cosmos DB.

Geographic distribution and multi-region writes

Minecraft Earth service developers used the turnkey geographic distribution feature in Azure Cosmos DB to achieve three goals: fault tolerance, disaster recovery, and minimal latency—the latter achieved by also using the multi-master capabilities of Azure Cosmos DB to enable multi-region writes. Each supported geography has at least two service instances. For example, in North America, the Minecraft Earth service runs in the West US and East US Azure regions, with other components of Azure used to determine which is closer to the user and route traffic accordingly.

Nathan Sosnovske, a Senior Software Engineer on the Minecraft Earth services development team explains:

“With Azure available

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