Today, I am excited to announce I will be joining the awesome team at 5nine Software as Director of Product Management. My primary job responsibilities will be for the product strategy and direction of 5nine’s security and management solutions.
So, you ask, why Product Management? It’s been a lifelong dream to be part of shaping the direction of a technology solution. By joining 5nine, I hope to simplify IT, Cloud and beyond, because there’s always a better way 🙂
“What prepared me for this was very surprising looking back.”
Life at Nutanix
Over the past 2 1/2 years at Nutanix, I managed 84 partners over 146 solutions. The partner solutions that my team managed and validated were from all aspects of technology. i.e. Monitoring, backup, DR, Big Data, DevOps, security, networking, databases and the list goes on.
5nine Software was one of my first partners I validated. I was familiar with them. 5nine Manager was a tool I had used in the field during my consulting days. But I had not seen security solution yet. During Nutanix Ready process, this is when I first got introduced to 5nine Security. I remember at the time, I was super impressed with how they integrated with Hyper-V.
Shortly, after 5nine’s Nutanix Ready validation, my colleague and Alliance Manager Tommy Gustaveson and I interviewed past 5nine’s VP of Alliances Symon Perriman. We enjoyed understanding 5nine’s vision and also getting to know a little more about Symon Perriman’s journey. Yes, I admit, I had a little hero worship for him. But, who can blame me, Symon is a one of kind person and proud to this day to call him a friend 🙂
So, on with the story, part of my job at Nutanix was front-ending the Product Managers (PM’s). The PM’s were always pulled in 10 different directions and they came to trust us with some of these activities with partners. This would include understanding the partner technology, how we can go to market together and how the partner would integrate with Nutanix. We worked with Alliance Managers and PM’s to determine if this would be a good partnership.
Once the business side of alliances onboard s a partner, that’s where the handoff to the Nutanix Ready team happens. The team spends a lot of time understanding each partner solution(‘s). The team does a deep investigation of any issues around the partner solution(‘s) and Nutanix. This is vetted by Nutanix’s support and solutions teams. This, in turn, gives the customer a certain degree of comfort that the partner solutions were tested, validated and it will work on Nutanix 🙂
Over the course of my time at Nutanix and my career to that extent, I have to see many, many UI\UX’s and engines (code) behind it. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. The common theme of what doesn’t work is over complicating your user experience.
We are at the age of managing multiple multi-geographic data centers and clouds, backups, DR, networking, SDN’s and we need to secure it all. If your UI even vaguely resembles an airplane cockpit, you’re doing it wrong. It is an inefficient use of an IT Pro’s time and energy. They just want to simply manage their production applications and have an easy management experience.
I will never trade the time I had at Nutanix, but times are a changing 🙂 As I’ve mentioned in a previous post “Building Nutnaix Ready”, “it was the best of times and the worst of times”. I have not finished that series yet, but needless to say, it prepared me for the next step in my journey.
So, keep an eye on my blog, twitter feed, etc, because things are about to get into high gear.
Until next time and happy holidays,
Robert Corradini, MVP – Cloud & Datacenter
Ignite 2017 Key takeaways
This was the first year I have not attended Microsoft Ignite, due to unforeseen circumstances. But this didn’t stop me from covering Ignite 2017. So here we go…
Ignite 2017 this year has about 25k attendees. During the same time as Ignite, they are also running Microsoft Envision. This is more focused to business leaders across industries. Its main focus is to have Business Leaders understand and manage their organizations in the Digital Age.
Ignite 2017 Attendee Breakout
- 47 % ITI/IT Pros
- 34% Developers
- 19% ITDM.
Top Industries Attended
- 34% IT and Software (flat YoY)
- 20% Education
- 9% Healthcare
- 9% Manufacturing
- 9% Professional & Business Services
Ignite Keynotes Summary and Links
- Satya Nadella – CEO
- Kirk Koenigsbauer (Modern Workplace)
- Jame Phillips (Business Applications)
- Scott Guthrie (The Enterprise Cloud)
Key Takeaways – Modern Workplace
Expanding Microsoft 365
- Microsoft 365 Firstline offering and Microsoft 365 Education
- New Windows 10 S devices from HP, Lenovo, Acer and Fujitsu starting at $275 USD
Intelligent personalized search power by Microsoft Graph
- Bing for business
- LinkedIn data integrated with Office 365 profile card
- Office 365 search & discovery improvements
- Windows 10 taskbar search
Intelligent Communications vision
- Bring voice and video + new cognitive and data services into Micro Teams
Advances in Intelligent Security
- Integrated Adminced threat Protection using Intelligent Security Graph
- Better data protection and access control across Microsoft 365
- New Compliance Manager, a single GDPR dashboard
Modernizing Business Process with Cloud and AI
Key Takeaways – Business Applications
New Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI Solutions
- First solutions for customer care includes a virtual agent for customers, an intelligent assistant for support staff and conversational AI management tools, power by Microsoft AI
- HP, Macy’s, and Microsoft already using this technology to improve customer satisfaction and handle more requests, more quickly
Modular apps for Dynamics 365
- New modular apps are lightweight SaS services designed to transform one business process at a time
- Work with Dynamics 3 business apps or can be used independently
- Extend existing systems of record, integrate with Office 365 and augment with LinkedIn insights.
- First to allow talent leaders and hiring managers to address a company’s most important asset, people
- Attract: focused on recruiting | Onboard: helps you make new employees successful – Available later this year.
Deeper integration for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow + Office 365 and Dynamics 365
- Rapidly build apps, automate tasks, simplify workflows and solve unique business problems.
- Allow any business user familiar with InfoPath forms, Access databases or SharePoint list. This allows customers to build apps that help them achieve more, on a single no-code/low code platform.
Apps and Infra/Data and AI
- Every customer is an AI customer
The Enterprise Cloud
Key Takeaways – Hybrid
Delivering true hybrid consistency
- Azure Stack shipping through OEM partners including Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo
- Database Migration Service (DMS)
Empowering customer to optimize costs
- Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL server
- Azure Cost Management by CFloudyn – free to all Azure subscriptions
Key Takeaways – Intelligence
Any data, any place
- SQL Server on Linux Windows and Docker availability with SQL Server 2017 GA’
One convenient workbench for data scientists and AI developers
- Azure Machine Learning Updates
Build intelligent apps at global scale
- Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Functions integration
Performance and Scale for mission-critical analytic apps
- Azure SQL Data Warehouse preview release of new “optimized for compute” performance tier
Cloud for Good – Key takeaways
To empower nonprofits, Microsoft Philanthropies will:
- Microsoft has announced they met their 2016 commitment to donate $1 billion in cloud computing resources to nonprofits
- Continue the cloud donations program, and triple the number of nonprofits Microsoft serves over the next three years
- Launch a new Tech for Social Impact group, and the first offers, announced this week include:
- Microsoft 365 for Nonprofits
- Nonprofit Surface discounts for the first time ever
To get more detailed information about these announcements, please see links below or check out the Ignite2017 Site.
Official Microsoft Blog
Hybrid Cloud Blog
Data Platform Blogs
Until next time, Rob.
Hello everybody, time to get in-depth with Azure Resource Manager. But, before I dive into the Azure Resource Manager, I would like to quickly review some of the basics in Azure. I will start with a rundown of the Azure Global Footprint. Then, I will go into how Azure charges are incurred. And finally, I will dive into the Azure Resource Manager V2 and comparing it to the older Azure Service Manager V1. Sit tight and let’s go for an Azure Ride 😉
Microsoft Azure itself is deployed around the world and involves the concept of regions, which is where you select to place and run your code. Each region has a Microsoft Azure data center. These data centers are massive facilities that host tens of thousands or, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of servers. Currently, Microsoft has:
- Four regions in North America
- Two regions in Europe
- Two regions in Asia
- One region in Japan
As shown above, Microsoft also has a number of Content Delivery Network (CDN) edge points. They can be used to cache your content and deliver it even faster to end users.
Once you build an application, you can choose any location in the world where you want to run it and you can move your workloads from region to region. You can also run your application in multiple regions simultaneously or just direct traffic and end users to whichever version of the app is closest to them
How are Azure Charges Incurred?
This may be different for many of you who are familiar with hosting providers and on-premises systems
Simply, with Microsoft Azure, you pay only for what you use:
- There are no upfront costs
- There is no need to buy any upfront server licenses; this is included in the price
- VMs (IaaS and web/worker role) usage is by the minute
- VMs (IaaS only) that are stopped in Microsoft Azure, only storage charges apply
- Likewise, if you use a SQL database, through the SQL Database feature in Microsoft Azure, you do not have to buy a SQL Server license—this is also included in the price
- For compute services, such as VMs and websites you only pay by the hour
This gives you the flexibility to run your applications very cost effectively
You can scale up and scale down your solutions or even turn them on and off as necessary. This also opens up a wide range of possibilities in terms of the new types of apps you can build.
Managing Azure Deployments
Microsoft Azure currently have two management models:
- Azure Service Manager (ASM) has been around since 2009 and has been due for an upgrade..
- Azure Resource Manager (ARM), released last summer, supports modern deployment practices. It is designed to be extensible to all current and future services.
Azure Service Manager V1
- Traditional way to deploy and manage applications hosted in Azure
- Azure Portal https://manage.windowsazure.com
- PowerShell / CLI (default mode)
- REST API
Azure Resource Manager V2
- Modern way to deploy and manage applications hosted in Azure
- Azure Portal https://portal.azure.com
- PowerShell / CLI (ARM mode)
- REST API
- Azure Resource Management Library for .NET
Why and what is Azure Resource Manager?
Today’s challenge with Azure Service Manager V1– it’s difficult to…
- Set and manage permissions – only co-admin and service admin
- Monitor and have alerting rules – limited to Management Services and basic KPI in portal
- Billing – through the billing portal
- Deployment – complex PowerShell to gather all components for an application
- Visualize a group of resources in a logical view, including monitoring/billing
- Resources are provisioned in isolation
- Finding resources is not so easy
- Deployment is more complex than on-premise
- Management of app is challenging
- Proper use of resources becomes more abstract
- Isolation makes communications a challenge
Ok, Rob, then why does Microsoft still keep ASM V1 in production?
Answer: As of the writing of this blog post, not all features have been ported over to Azure Resource Manager V2. Once all features and services have been ported over, I expect Microsoft to end of life Azure Service Manager V1.
Azure Resource Manager Overview
Azure Resource Manager enables you to work with the resources in your solution as a group. You can deploy, update or delete all of the resources for your solution in a single, coordinated operation. You use a template for deployment and that template can work for different environments such as testing, staging and production. Resource Manager provides security, auditing, and tagging features to help you manage your resources after deployment.
Benefits of ARM
- Desired-state deployment
- ARM does desired-state deployment of resources. It does not do desired-state configuration inside these resources (e.g., VMs), although it can initiate the process of desired-state configuration.
- Faster deployments
- ARM can deploy in true parallel as compared to semi-sequential in ASM
- Role-based access control (RBAC)
- RBAC is fully integrated with Azure Active Directory
- Resource-provider model
- Resource-provider model is intended to be fully extensible.
- Common interface for Azure and Azure Stack
- When Azure Stack is released, same API model for on-premises and Cloud
ARM Definitions and what they mean?
- Resource – Atomic unit of deployment
- Resource group – Collection of resources
- Resource provider – Manages specific kinds of resources
- Resource type – Specifies the type of resource
Ok, let’s dive into the details of each now.
A Resource Group is a Unit of Management providing:
- Application Life-Cycle Containment – Deployment, update, delete and status
- You can deploy everything included in a resource group together, thereby maintaining versions of an application along with it’s resources
- Declarative solution for Deployment – “Config as Code”
- Resource Group’s are .json, declarative/configuration code
- Grouping – Metering, billing, quote: applied and rolled up to the group
- Resource groups provide a logical grouping of resources
- Consistent Management Layer
- In the V2 portal, everything is controlled in a RG. RGs can be accessed via REST APIs and resource providers
- Access Control – Scope for RBAC permissions
- You can only use RBAC in the new portal and the highest level generally used for RBAC is the resource group level.
But, Rob, that sounds great, but should these resources (VM’s, DB’s, Storage, etc) be in the same Resource Group or in a different one?
Hint: Do they have common life cycle and management?
Answer: It’s up to you
Resource Groups Best Practices
- Tightly coupled containers of multiple resources of similar or different types
- When resources are in the container, they have a common life cycle. You can deploy these things together, put RBAC on them together with one request and they can know about each other
- Every resource *must* exist in one and only one resource group
- Every resource must be in ONE resource group, important for RBAC
- Resource groups can span regions
- Don’t have to live in same location, can deploy to multiple regions
A few final thoughts on Resource Groups and their deployment scenarios before we move on.
- Most significant question is of life-cycle and what to place in a resource group
- Can apply RBAC, but is this right for a particular resource group?
- Sometimes resources are shared across multiple applications, in other words a VM could be stored in a storage account in a different resource group
- Life-cycle is distinct and managed by different people
- There is no hard and fast rule
A Resource Provider is used by the Azure Resource Manager to manage distinct types of resources – in your JSON template, you will have code that shows what the resource provider expects to see in order for the resource provider (sitting out in Azure) to build the resource that you want…for example a SQL Server or SQL DB or VM.
Resource providers are an extensibility point allowing new resource providers to be added in a consistent manner as new services are added to Azure – anyone can write their own provider
Tools typically used with ARM
- PowerShell – Blog Post coming soon
- PowerShell is used to deploy the ARM templates and can be used to download log files from the Resource Group to analyze issues
- Troubleshooting in the portal – Blog Post coming soon
- Visual Studio
- Although not required, will more than likely be the tool of choice for creating the ARM templates – Blog Post coming soon
Well, that wraps up my blog post on Azure Resource Manager. We covered a lot and have much more to go. Stay tuned…..
Until next time, Rob…