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#Microsoft #Azure (#IaaS) Cost Estimator Tool version 1.2 released

January 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Have a look at the new version of the Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool, here is a good summary by Courtenay Bernier. It currently only supports US pricing but would give you a good estimate at least and hopefully it’s updated with all other country pricing as well soon!

Back in August of 2014 Microsoft released version 1.0 of the Azure (IaaS) Cost Estimator Tool (view my previous post here). Today I’m happy to announce the release of version 1.2!

The following new features have been updated/added:

  1. Support for all regions (apart from US) along with associated currencies.
  2. Support for D-Series virtual machines.
  3. Export data with new regions and currency symbols.
  4. Updated instance prices for all regions and currencies.
  5. Total monthly costs are now calculated over 31 days that’s 744 hours and is aligned with the costs displayed in the Azure portal. (In version 1.0 costs were calculated over 30 days).

Download: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43376

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Estimated runtime of 31 days

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D-Series VMs Added Read more…

Cloud Platform Integration Framework–Overview – #Microsoft, #IaaS, #PaaS, #CPIF

January 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Another great blog series from Thomas W Shinder – MSFT and contributors!

The Cloud Platform Integration Framework (CPIF) provides workload integration guidance for onboarding applications into a Microsoft Cloud Solution. CPIF describes how organizations, Microsoft Partners and Solution Integrators should design and deploy Cloud-targeted workloads utilizing the hybrid cloud platform and management capabilities of Azure, System Center and Windows Server


Table of Contents

1 Introduction

     1.1 Cloud Platform Integration Framework (CPIF) Overview

     1.2 CPIF Architecture

2 Azure Architectural Pattern Concepts

     2.1 Overview of Azure Architectural Patterns

          2.1.1 Pattern Guide Use

3 Summary


Prepared by:
Joel Yoker – Microsoft  

David Ziembicki – Microsoft  
Tom Shinder – Microsoft


Cloud Platform Integration Framework Overview and Patterns:

Cloud Platform Integration Framework – Overview and Architecture

Modern Datacenter Architecture Patterns-Hybrid Networking

Modern Datacenter Architectural Patterns-Azure Search Tier

Modern Datacenter Architecture Patterns-Multi-Site Data Tier

Modern Datacenter Architecture Patterns – Offsite Batch Processing Tier

Modern Datacenter Architecture Patterns-Global Load Balanced Web Tier


Introduction

1.1 Cloud Platform Integration Framework (CPIF) Overview

The Cloud Platform Integration Framework (CPIF) provides workload integration guidance for onboarding applications into a  Microsoft Cloud Solution. CPIF describes how organizations, Microsoft Partners and Solution Integrators should design and deploy Cloud-targeted workloads utilizing the hybrid cloud platform and management capabilities of Azure, System Center and Windows Server. The CPIF domains have been decomposed into the following functions:

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Figure 1: Cloud Platform Integration Framework

By integrating these functions directly into workloads….

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations – #IaaS, #Cloud, #PaaS, #Microsoft, #Azure

January 11, 2015 Leave a comment

This series of blog posts by Thomas W Shinder – MSFT and contributors is really great and do cover the best practises and principles behind building Microsoft based private or hybrid IaaS services. Have a look at their great work!

The goal of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Foundations series is to help enterprise IT departments and cloud service providers understand, develop, and implement IaaS infrastructures. This series provides comprehensive conceptual background that combines Microsoft software, consolidated guidance, and validated configurations with partner technologies such as compute, network, and storage architectures, in addition to value-added software features.

The IaaS Foundations Series utilizes the core capabilities of the Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system, Hyper-V, System Center 2012 R2, Windows Azure Pack and Microsoft Azure to deliver on-premises and hybrid cloud Infrastructure as a Service.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations (this article)

Chapter 2: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Compute Foundations

Chapter 3: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Network Foundations

Chapter 4: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Storage Foundations

Chapter 5: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Virtualization Platform Foundations

Chapter 6: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Design Patterns–Overview

Chapter 7: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations—Converged Architecture Pattern

Chapter 8: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations-Software Defined Architecture Pattern

Chapter 9: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations-Multi-Tenant Designs


Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations is written and presented in a way that enables architects, designers, implementers and operators to view the content that is most relevant to them. Some readers will choose the read the entire “book”, while others will focus on areas that are most interesting and relevant to them.

At this time, the Microsoft IaaS Foundations “book” is available in web format only. In the coming days, individual files (one for each chapter) and a single file that represents a compilation of all the chapters, will be made available for download. A link to these files will be included in this article, and in each of the articles included in this “book”.

The world of cloud computing moves quickly and the underlying technologies supporting the infrastructure that powers the cloud change and improve just as fast. For this reason, each of the chapters includes a published date and the versions of the software that are discussed in the text. For non-versioned software and services (such as Microsoft Azure), a note of “feature set and capabilities as of…” date is included.

Your feedback is crucial

A lot of time, energy and expense goes…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Azure ExpressRoute is a really cool and important feature – #Microsoft, #Azure, #ExpressRoute

Everyone talks about the “cloud” and how you can leverage all the benefits or a public, private or hybrid cloud model. And one challenge and huge risks that enterprises see with moving into a public cloud like Azure is the dependency to the public Internet.

Is the connection secure, stable, available and how can you determine that I have the connectivity between my on-premise stuff and Azure..?

It’s here where I think that Microsoft really has made a HUGE step towards getting more traction with the larger enterprises with the new ExpressRoute feature! Now you can get your own dedicated connection to Azure through it’s partner network of service providers like AT&T and Verizon etc.!

TechnicalOverview

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute lets you create private connections between Azure datacenters and infrastructure that’s on your premises or in a co-location environment. With ExpressRoute, you can establish connections to Azure at an ExpressRoute partner co-location facility or directly connect to Azure from your existing WAN network (such as a MPLS VPN provided by a Network Service Provider).  Read more…

Almost perfect.. #ShareFile StorageZones on Azure is now generally available! – #Citrix, #Azure

February 11, 2014 Leave a comment

This is a great addition I must say, but some things are missing!

One thing that I’m missing is the full integration with Azure storage containers! You still have to specify a temp/cache storage location that today ShareFile controller requires to be on a CIFS share when you have multiple controllers. And if you put the controller up in Azure as well, how do you then get that CIFS share and make it highly available? There is no CIFS exposure directly from the Azure storage, you have to setup a couple of VM’s in Azure, do something like DFS to expose is.. and then all of a sudden you have a whole file service to manage there as well.. and to monitor and all of a sudden you need AD and monitoring and reporting of it.. phuuu…

So I hope that in next version we can specify an Azure storage container for that cache/temp storage as well! 😉

The other thing I’d really like to see is NetScaler support in Azure, so that we could do proper AAA/CS/LB of the controllers in Azure as well so that we can get a simple and fully cloud based service in Azure! 🙂

BYOD and a growing global workforce are generating demand for instant access to data, offline productivity and seamless collaboration from anywhere. Organizations are challenged with reconciling these forces with leveraging existing investments, protect intellectual property and meet regulatory compliance requirements – driving interest in ShareFile StorageZones. StorageZones offers IT the flexibility to store data in secure Citrix-managed datacenters in multiple worldwide locations, or on-premise within their own datacenters.

At Citrix Synergy 2013, we announced new ShareFile StorageZones options with Microsoft Windows Azure. We are now pleased to announce the general availability of ShareFile StorageZones on Azure with the release of ShareFile StorageZones Controller software version 2.2. This release includes support for Windows Azure storage containers, therefore if you have a Windows Azure account, you can use an Azure storage container for your private data storage instead of a locally maintained share. Hosting ShareFile data natively in your Microsoft Azure account helps IT build the most cost-effective and customized solution for their organization. This customer-managed solution integrates ShareFile with Microsoft Azure’s Binary Large Object (Blob) storage, a cloud service for storing large amounts of unstructured data that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via HTTP or HTTPS.

Product Overview

Azure storage is customer-managed storage hosted in the Windows Azure cloud. File uploads are initially deposited into a temporary storage area shared by all StorageZone controllers. Then, a background service copies those files to the Windows Azure storage container and deletes the local cached copy of the file(s).

Typically with CIFS based StorageZones, the Controller servers are installed on-premise in the customer’s datacenter. However, if a customer is hosting virtual machines in Azure, they could install the StorageZone Controller software on instances running in their Azure account and not necessarily on-premise.

Read the ShareFile StorageZones on Azure Storage Technical Brief and watch the video Installing and Configuring ShareFile StorageZones v2.2 with Microsoft Azure to learn more about this solution.

Check out our Citrix and…

Continue reading here

//Richard

#Apache #CloudStack grows up – #Citrix, #IaaS – via @sjvn

On June 4th, the 4.1.0 release of the Apache CloudStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud orchestration platform arrived. This is the first major CloudStack release since its March 20th graduation from the Apache Incubator.

CloudStackLogo

It’s also the first major release of CloudStack since Citrix submitted the project to the Apache Foundation in 2012. Apache CloudStack is an integrated software platform that enables users to build a feature-rich IaaS. Apache claims that the new version includes an “intuitive user interface and rich API [application programming interface] for managing the compute, networking, accounting, and storage resources for private, hybrid, or public clouds.”

This release includes numerous new features and bug fixes from the 4.0.x cycle. It also includes major changes in the codebase to make CloudStack easier for developers; a new structure for creating RPM/Debian packages; and completes the changeover to using Maven, the Apache software project management tool.

Apache CloudStack 4.1.0’s most important new features are:

  • An API discovery service that allows an end point to list its supported APIs and their details.
  • Added an Events Framework to CloudStack to provide an “event bus” with publish, subscribe, and unsubscribe semantics. Includes a RabbitMQ plug-in that can interact with AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol) servers.
  • Implement L3 router functionality for the VMware Nicira network virtualization platform (NVP) plug-in
  • Support for Linux’s built-in Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization with NVP L3 router
    functionality.
  • Support for AWS (Amazon Web Service) style regions

What all this adds up to, according to CloudStack Project Management Committee (PMC) member Joe Brockmeier, is that today’s CloudStack is “a mature, stable project, [that] is also free as in beer and speech. We believe that if you’re going to be building an IaaS cloud for private or public consumption, you’ll be better served choosing an open platform that any organization can participate in and contribute to.”

Brockmeier concluded, “CloudStack is a very mature offering that’s relatively easy to deploy and manage, and it’s known to power some very large clouds–e.g., Zynga with tens of thousands of nodes–and very distributed clouds–such as DataPipe, which…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Sanbolic Brings Public Cloud Economics to the Enterprise – #Melio

March 18, 2013 1 comment

Ok, I must say that this product is great!!! If you haven’t looked at it before then please do! And contact us at EnvokeIT if you want more details!

Sanbolic Enables Distributed Flash, SSD and HDD to Achieve Enterprise Systems Capability and Scale-Out In Server-Side and Commodity Storage Deployments

Waltham, MA – (March 18, 2013) – Sanbolic® today announced the general availability of its Melio version 5 (Melio5™) software – delivering distributed scale-out, high-availability and enterprise data services through software. Server-side flash has seen rapid adoption for applications such as hyperscale web serving, but limited adoption in general purpose enterprise applications. With the launch of Melio5, Sanbolic enables enterprise customers to dramatically improve their storage infrastructure economics by enabling server-side flash, SSD and HDD as primary persistent storage. Melio5 aggregates across nodes for scale-out and availability while providing RAID, remote replication, quality of Service (QoS), snapshots and systems functionality through a software layer on commodity hardware. This provides customers with the ability to deploy commodity and server-based storage architecture with similar economics and flexibility as public cloud data centers such as Google and Facebook.

With validation by hundreds of enterprise and government organizations running in production, Melio volume management and file system technology addresses the needs of high performing cost effective storage infrastructure on-premise. Melio5’s architecture is designed to scale up to 2,048 nodes and up to 65,000 storage devices enabling linear performance scalability in a cluster.

Melio5 also eliminates the need to deploy a redundant flash caching layer in front of legacy storage area network (SAN) hardware by directly incorporating flash into hybrid volumes and intelligently placing data based on file system access profiles. A hybrid volume will place random access data such as file system metadata on flash sectors while placing sequential data on low cost hard disk drives to greatly reduce the cost of capacity. The result is a highly scalable, high performance storage system, with a much lower cost than legacy storage arrays.

“Typically, server and disk drive vendors operate on gross margins in the 20-30% range. Storage array vendors, on the other hand, are often twice that or more,” said Eric Slack, Senior Analyst,Storage Switzerland. “Sanbolic’s approach leverages the architecture that the big social media and public cloud companies use, to fix this problem. By replacing storage arrays (and storage array margins) with commodity server and disk drive hardware and enabling it with intelligence through software, companies can significantly reduce storage infrastructure costs.”

Terri McClure, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), stated, “Sanbolic’s Melio5 software enables corporate users to take advantage of flash and SSD in conjunction with commodity hardware to create an intelligent, cost effective, and high performance storage architecture like the huge public cloud companies run, while still ensuring enterprise workload scalability and high availability.”

“Melio5 lets us solve one of the biggest challenges for our customers today – the upfront and management cost for storage – without sacrificing systems capability or performance. The Lego-like modular capability of Melio allows our customers to scale-out their storage and servers based on off-the-self commodity components, without downtime,” said Mattias Tornblom, CEO, EnvokeIT.

“LSI and Sanbolic’s shared vision and complementary products help customers to dramatically improve the performance, flexibility and economics of their on-premise storage infrastructure,” said Brent Blanchard, Senior Director of Worldwide Channel Sales and Marketing, LSI Corporation. “LSI’s Nytro™ family of server-side flash acceleration cards and leading SAS-based server storage connectivity solutions…

Continue reading here or here!

//Richard

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