IaaS

Introduction to Kubernetes

April 22, 2018 Cloud Computing, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Computing, Emerging Technologies, Google Cloud, IaaS, OpenSource, PaaS, Platforms No comments

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes (a.k.a K8s) is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications that was originally designed by Google and now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

What Kubernetes can do?
Kubernetes has a number of features in cloud computing world, it can be thought as a :

  • A container platform
  • A microservices platform
  • A portable cloud platform and a lot more

Kubernetes defines a set of building blocks (“primitives”) which collectively provide mechanisms for deploying, maintaining, and scaling applications. The components which make up Kubernetes are designed to be loosely coupled and extensible so that it can meet a wide variety of different workloads. The extensibility is provided in large part by the Kubernetes API, which is used by internal components as well as extensions and containers running on Kubernetes.

If you are interested  to know more, learn more about Kubernates  through Official tutorials:

Some useful online training is:

What’s Azure Container Service (ACS/AKS)

April 12, 2018 Application Virtualization, Azure, Azure Container Service, Cloud Computing, Cloud Services, Computing, Containers, Docker, Emerging Technologies, IaaS, Kubernates, Microsoft, OpenSource, Orchestrator, OS Virtualization, PaaS, Virtual Machines, Virtualization, Windows Azure Development No comments

I will start with history: Sometime around 2016, Microsoft launched an IaaS service called Azure Container Service a.k.an ACS serves as a bridge between Azure Ecosystem and existing container ecosystem being used widely by the developer community around the world.

kubernates_azureIt helps as a gateway for infrastructure engineers and developers to manage underlying infrastructure such as Virtual Machines, Storage, Network Load Balancing services individually than the application itself.  The application developer doesn’t have to worry about planet-scale of the application, instead, a container orchestrator can manage the scale up and scale down of your application environment based on peaks and downs of your application usage.

It offers an option to select from 3 major container orchestrators available today such as DC/OS, Swarm, Docker, and Kubernates.   ACS along with your choice of container orchestrators works efficiently with different container ecosystems to enable the promise of application virtualization.

To make it simpler, ACS is your Super Glue to gel your Azure infrastructure and your container orchestrator together. Means you will be able to make your fully managed container cluster in a matter of minutes with Azure.

ACS is for making your microservices dream come true, by providing individual services scale according to the demand and automatically reduce the scale, if usage is low. You don’t have to worry, ACS and your container orchestrator will take care of you.

If you are a beginner to container-based infrastructure for your applications, you don’t have to take the pain at all of setting up Kubernates on your own, instead, ACS will simplify your implementation with a couple of easier click thru’s and your container infrastructure is ready to be fully managed by you. As simple as that.

What is Azure Container Kubernates Service (AKS) then?

As I am writing today, Microsoft has a new fully managed PaaS service called as Azure Container Service (AKS) or Managed Kubernates, meaning that Kubernates would be your default fully managed container orchestrator, if you choose Azure Container Service. But you would be able to deploy other open-source container orchestrators if you prefer to choose to have your own unmanaged Kubernates, Docker or DC/OS and then add your specific management and monitoring tools.

This service is currently available in PUBLIC PREVIEW, you can get started from here

Means though it is a fully managed service, you still have the option to manage it your own using your preferred set of tools and orchestrators.

Charging Model

Whether you manage your AKS service with your own set of tools and orchestrator or you use Fully Managed Kubernates, you only need to pay for resources you consume. No need to worry about per-cluster charges like other providers.

Useful References:

Big Data & Front End Development track in the Microsoft Professional Program

June 8, 2017 Analytics, Azure, Azure Data Factory, Azure Data Lake, Big Data, Big Data Analytics, Big Data Management, Data Analytics, Data Services, Emerging Technologies, Hadoop, HD Insight, IaaS, PaaS, Predictive Analytics, Realtime Analytics, SQL Azure, Stream Analytics, Windowz Azure No comments

Earlier I introduced you the Microsoft Professional Program for Data Science. Right after few days Microsoft announced the BETA availability of two more tracks Big Data and Front End Development.

Big Data Track:

This Microsoft program will help you to learn necessary skills from cloud storage and databases to Hadoop, Spark, and managed data services in Azure. Curriculum of this program involves learning how to build big data solutions for batch and real-time stream processing using Azure managed services and open source systems like Hadoop and Spark.

Are you intend to pursue a Data Analytics career, this is the right program for you to gain necessary insights.

Technology you will apply to gain these skills are: Azure Data Lake, Hadoop, HDInsight, Spark, Azure data factory, Azure Stream Analytics

Below is the course outline :

  • 10 COURSES  |  12-30  HOURS PER COURSE  |  8  SKILLS
  • ENROLL NOW here
  • More details here

Front End Development Track:

This track provides you necessary skills to get started with Advanced Front End development using HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, AngularJS and Bootstrap.  At the end of the curriculum you will become master in Front End Development with all predominant modern web technologies.

So if you are a front end UI developer, this is something you can try out to enhance your skills.

Below is the course outline :

  • 13 COURSES  |  15-30 HOURS PER COURSE  |  11 SKILLS
  • ENROLL NOW here
  • More details  here

Track detail

Each course runs for three months and starts at the beginning of a quarter. January—March, April—June, July—September, and October —December. The capstone runs for four weeks at the beginning of each quarter: January, April, July, October. For exact dates for the current course run, please refer to the course detail page on edX.org. 

[Microsoft]

Azure in Germany–a complete EU cloud computing solution

May 18, 2017 .NET, Analytics, AppFabric, Azure, Azure in Germany, Azure IoT Suite, Cloud Computing, Cloud Services, Cloud Strategy, Cognitive Services, Computing, Data Analytics, Data Governance, Data Hubs, Data Warehouse, Emerging Technologies, Event Hubs, IaaS, Intelligent Edge, Internet of Things, IoT, IoT Central, IoT Hub, Machine Learning(ML), Media Services, Media Services & CDN, Messaging, Microsoft, Mobile Services, PaaS, SaaS, SQL Azure, Storage, Backup & Recovery, Stream Analytics, Virtual Machines, Windowz Azure No comments

With my earlier article Azure in China, it came in to my interest to look for any other country/region specific independent cloud data center requirements.  I came across Azure for US Govt(Similar to Amazon Govt Cloud) instance and Azure Germany data center.  For this article context I will be covering only Azure in Germany.

What is Azure Germany?

Just like regional regulatory requirements in China, Germany also wanted a completely locally owned/managed Azure Data Center for EU/EFTA/UK requirements. This is also to ensure stricter access control and data access policy measurements. This  approach is to enable organizations doing business in EU/EFTA and UK can better harness the power of cloud computing.

  • All customer data and related applications and hardware reside in Germany
  • Geo-replication between datacenters in Germany to support  business continuity
  • Highly secured datacenters provide 24×7 monitoring
  • It meets all Public sector or restricted industry requirements
  • Follows all Compliance requirements for EU/EFTA and UK.
  • Lower cost, locally accessible  within your business locations in Germany/EU.

“ Azure Germany is an isolated Azure instance in Germany, independent from other public clouds.”

Who controls it?

An independent data trustee controls access to all customer data in the Azure Germany datacenters. T-Systems International GmbH, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom and an experienced, well-respected IT provider incorporated in Germany, serves as trustee, protecting disclosure of data to third parties except as the customer directs or as required by German law.

** Even Microsoft does not have access to customer data or the datacenters without approval from and supervision by the German data trustee.

What Compliance?

Azure Germany has an ongoing commitment to maintaining the strictest data protection measures, so organizations can store and manage customer data in compliance with applicable German laws and regulations, as well as key international standards. Additional compliance standards and controls that address the unique role of the German data trustee will be audited over time. Refer to: Microsoft Trust Center compliance.

[Source : Microsoft Azure]

Useful Links:

Azure in China

May 17, 2017 .NET, AppFabric, Azure, Azure In China, Azure IoT Suite, Cloud Computing, Cloud Services, IaaS, Intelligent Cloud, Intelligent Edge, IoT Hub, Media Services, Microsoft, Mobile Services, PaaS, SQL Azure, SQL Server, VisualStudio, Windowz Azure 1 comment

Microsoft Azure presence in China is always a question when there is a need for any customer to deploy azure applications specifically for Chinese Regional customers.

Recently I had an interaction with a Microsoft Certified Trainer, who carelessly said Azure only uses Chinese partner based environment is only for serving CDN (Content Delivery Network) needs, partial knowledge is difficult to convince. Being a Certified Trainer, he should have known these. As I recollect my earlier experience with azure, I was aware that Microsoft has partnered with 21Vianet , to setup a Chinese instance of Azure with most possible IaaS, PaaS and SaaS offerings are available to Chinese customers. At the same time data would reside within Chinese governments data privacy and storage regulations.

Similarly other competitor cloud providers such as IBM also partnered with 21Vianet to setup their BlueMix instances in China.

Microsoft Azure in China

General availability of Azure in China through 21vianet partnership has been announced in March 26th 2014. These Azure Services in Chinese region will be operated and sold by 21vianet.

Quoting to Doug Hauger GM- National Cloud Programs, Microsoft

Windows Azure, operated by 21Vianet, is based on the same technology as Microsoft’s global Windows Azure service and offers a reliable, flexible and value-based service to bring Microsoft’s latest cloud technologies and benefits to Chinese customers and propel forward technological development in China as a whole.

Why Partnership?

As per Chinese Government(PRC) Cyber Security Law and Governance policies there is a clear restriction for a foreign entrant to obtain license and provide services to Chinese customers.  All the data relating to Chinese customers should reside within Chinese Data Centres, and foreign companies would have to pass on the operational ownership to a Chinese company in order to operate within PRC(Peoples Republic of China).

In Additional to that on November’2016 new amendments attached to new PRC Cyber Security Law (effective 1st June 2017).

As per DLA PIPER

The new law will come into force on 1 June 2017 and has significant implications for the data privacy and cybersecurity practices of both Chinese companies and international organisations doing business in China.

The new PRC Cybersecurity Law intends to combat online fraud and protect China against Internet security risks. In short, it imposes new security and data protection obligations on “network operators”; puts restrictions on transfers of data outside China by “key information infrastructure operators”; and introduces new restrictions on critical network and cybersecurity products.  [Read more from Source]

Where is Azure in China?

You can access Azure in China instance through a separate portal https://www.azure.cn. Azure Portal is available at https://portal.azure.cn/. Pricing information is available on http://www.azure.cn/pricing/pia/  (click on English to get an English version).

Below are two data centre regions Azure is available in China.

image

Services Offered in Azure China Instances:

Not all all services of Azure including Mobile Services, Analytics and IoT Suite are available for Chinese regions. I will try to cover a specific list of services that are available for China region.Azure China is a few versions behind regular Azure and not all services are supported. Some of the services supported are:

  • Compute – Virtual Machines (For IaaS Services)
  • Compute – Cloud Service (For PaaS Services)
  • Compute – Web Site
  • Data Services – Storage (For Blobs, tables and Queues)
  • Data Services – SQL Database
  • Data Service – HDInsight
  • SQL Database – SQL Import/ExportNetworks – Virtual Network (To communicate between cloud services via Local networks)
  • Service Bus
  • Active Directory
  • Access Control Service – which has its own UI and namespace
  • Caching – only dedicated cache is supported
  • Mobile Service
  • Media Service
  • CDN
  • Traffic Manager
  • Azure IoT Suite
  • Notification Center
  • Event Center
  • Service Fabric
  • Batch Service
  • Flow Analytics, Power BI
  • Document DB, SQL Database, SQL Data Warehouse, MySQL
  • and many more

image

A list of supported and not supported services can be found at (This is in Chinese, and it is a working document, use google translate to take you through all steps necessary for you to understand services offered in Azure China) http://www.windowsazure.cn/documentation/articles/developerdifferences/#readyonwacn

This also includes all the endpoints that are required for developers to integrate/develop applications targeting China region.

Hope this information was helpful to you. I would assume it would be helpful for some who are specifically looking forward for providing technology solutions for Chinese customers through Azure Cloud.

Sources:

All you need to know about Microsoft Azure Stack(Azure on On-Premises

May 20, 2015 Azure, Azure Stack, Cloud Computing, Cloud Services, IaaS, Microsoft, PaaS, SaaS, Storage, Backup & Recovery, Virtual Machines, Windows Azure Development, Windowz Azure No comments

Typically it is a hype among people that if a product comes from Microsoft, it needs to be criticized and thinking Microsoft would only be promoting their products with Azure. That’s not right and I would say we are being judgmental without even looking at the capabilities on Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft Azure the prime competitor to Amazon AWS offerings, has improved a lot and focus is more on providing cloud computing capabilities available for everyone.

azurestack1

What is Microsoft Azure Stack?

Simply it paves a way to engaging your data-center with On-premise – Private/Hybrid cloud computing capabilities.

Azure Stack is a combined solution consisting of Windows Server 2016, Azure Pack and Azure Service Fabric.

  1. Azure Pack is an arrangement of Azure features that Microsoft makes accessible to its facilitating hosting service providers and bigger business clients as a download that can keep running on top of Windows Server and Systems Center. 
  2. Service Fabric is the new infrastructure management technology Microsoft is integrating in to Azure and Windows Server that will empower applications to be developer, deployed and oversaw in micro-service structure.
  3. Windows Server 2016 is an upcoming server operating system developed by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems, developed concurrently with Windows 10 expected to be released in Q3, 2016 and is currently under Technical Preview.

Here’s a simplified view of the Azure Stack Architecture(Sourced from Microsoft Azure Stack Documentation):

    azurestack2
    What it takes to have Azure Stack – on your data-center?

    Read through this link for hardware requirements:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/12/22/azure_stack_hardware_specs/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/05/18/azure_stack_versus_azure_pack_whats_the_difference/