The Azure Active Directory Admin Console (in the new Azure portal) is now Generally Available! The new experience begins with the brand-new landing page and dashboard. This scoped version of the Azure portal is available at http://aad.portal.azure.com.
This morning, at Microsoft Build conference in Seattle, Scott Guthrie, talked about core design principles. for Azure and introduced the Azure Cosmos DB platform. Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s globally distributed, multi-model database and enables you to elastically and independently scale throughput and storage across any number of Azure’s geographic regions
Spent the weekend working on the Know It, Prove IT challenges over at the Microsoft Virtual Academy. Not too bad, Already knocked out three of the six challenges. I will probably go back and review some of the Azure videos again. But I think I will start working on the Azure Machine Learning challenge. That one looks like fun.
Thank you to Koen Verbeeck for hosting this month’s T-SQL Tuesday. The topic for this month is the role of the DBA in a cloud based world. Will there be less jobs in the future for the traditional DBA? As with most questions in the data world… It depends. We currently live in the age of disruption where you must adapt to change or fade away. That has always been true in the technology world. I am sure there are still Cobal and Fortran developers out there, but would I base my career on those languages? That is why it is always important to future proof your career. One way to build the skills needed to compete in this cloud first, mobile first world is to get Microsoft Certified on SQL Server. Microsoft has recently streamlined their certifications and have geared many of them towards Azure based technologies. The 70-765 and 70-473 exams are specifically geared towards working with SQL in Azure. I have spoken at several user groups and SQL Saturdays on how to get SQL Server certified, but if you would like to see an overview click here. Feel free to contact me with any questions and I will be happy to guide you on the path that is right for you.
I am very excited to be helping others learn new technologies and asisst them in earning new certifications. On January 19, 2017, I will be delivering two exam prep session at the Microsoft Tech Summit in Chicago. The first is for the 70-473: Cloud Data Platform exam and the second session is for the 70-475: Big Data and Analytics Solutions. Click on the appropriate link if you would like to download the powerpoint presentations.
During the session I focus on Microsoft websites, however, if you have a Pluralsight account I would recommend the following video sessions to study for the exams. For the 70-473 exam: SQL Azure by Scott Seely, SQL Server 2016 New Features by Leonard Lobel, Implement Storage for Azure by Tim Warner, and Practical SQL Server HA/DR by Russ Thomas. For the 70-475 exam: Start with the 70-473 videos and then add Applying the Lambda Architecture by Ahmad Alkilani, HDInsight Deep Dive with Elton Stoneman, and Real World Big Data in Azure by Elton Stoneman.
Two weeks from today, I will be delivering Prep sessions on the 70-473 (Cloud Data Solutions) exam and the 70-475 (Big Data Analytics) exam at the Chicago Tech Summit. There are so many other great Azure and Office 365 sessions to attend if you are in the area.
Well, that was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I was able to pass the 70-473 exam for the Cloud Data Platform Specialist certification. The first place to start if you are interested in passing this exam is Microsoft Virtual Academy. It has a great overview of the exam topics with some demonstrations. Next, spend some time with the Azure Documentation to walk through some very excellent tutorials.
I was doing some research on Security and SQL Azure Databases and found this great article form Joseph D’Antoni (Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting) and Stacia Varga (Data Inspirations) that I highly recommend. The summary states, “This paper details the security and data management features found in Microsoft Azure SQL Database. It first describes the security foundation provided by Microsoft Azure and then explains the techniques and features used to manage data access in SQL Database; to log and monitor database activity; to protect data at rest and in transit; and to build secure applications. By understanding and using these features correctly, you can remain confident that your data in the cloud is protected.”
I am starting to work on the 70-473 exam and normally the exam would cost $165. With my MCT discount it would only be $82.50. However, right now Microsoft has a deeply discounted offer for select Azure exams. With this discount I was able to get not only the exam voucher for the 70-473 exam, but also the Measure Up Practice exam, and a free re-take for only $99. There is an even deeper discount if you are going to take 3 exams. Found out more here.
Azure Machine Learning Studio has a large library of algorithms from the regression, classification, clustering, and anomaly detection families. Each is designed to address a different type of machine learning problem. Download the Azure Machine Learning Algorithm Cheat Sheet that helps you choose the right algorithm for a predictive analytics model.
Looking to combat today’s enterprise security threats? Want to respond to and recover from security incidents more quickly? Learn how Azure Security Center helps you prevent, detect, and respond to threats with increased visibility and control over the security of your Azure resources.
Conversational Microsoft Azure, written by Azure MVP Peter de Tender and cloud expert Ron Barrett, has now been released. Cloud Computing is more than a buzzword, learn about the different types of “clouds” and the various services they can provide and how Microsoft Azure’s cloud computing platform helps deliver on-demand services to any sized organization!
During this 30-minute webinar from January 13, 2016, Jeremy Cioara, Garth Schulte, and Ben Finkel compare and contrast Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure — three of the leading cloud platforms on the market. You’ll learn what features the three share, what features help them stand out, and how they can benefit you and your organization.
Microsoft is currently offering two new ways to support IT professionals and their companies in a smooth transition to the cloud: Microsoft IT Pro Cloud Essentials and Microsoft IT Pro Career Center. The IT Pro Cloud Essentials and the IT Pro Career Center are the two newest programs to help IT professionals familiarize themselves with Microsoft’s available cloud technologies and sharpen their IT skills. The free annual subscription to IT Pro Cloud Essentials offers IT professionals direct access to cloud services, including training, support and certification. Other benefits of the free IT Pro Cloud Essentials annual subscription include:
Do you want to learn what all the different pieces of Azure are available. Well, here is a Clickable version of the Azure Periodic table. This is an excellent resource to get you started in the Azure world.
Want to develop your cloud skills? Attend one of these expert-led, virtual classes to get hands-on experience on the latest Microsoft cloud technologies for free. These engaging live sessions will help you learn how to work with Microsoft’s cloud products and services through step-by-step instructions in a practice environment. Find a topic below that interests you and register for a date that works for you. Space is limited for each class so reserve your virtual seat today.
TechNet Virtual Conference 2016 was technology summit from March 1-3, 2016 covering products such as Windows 10 and Azure, and major IT topics such as security and management. The videos for each of the three days are now available to view on demand. You definitely do not want to miss out on the future of Microsoft Technologies.
Last year (2015) was a big year for Azure Security. Microsoft released a number of new security capabilities such as Azure Disk Encryption, Azure Key Vault, SQL Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and Column Level Encryption (CLE), Storage Client-side Encryption, and more. On the product/service side we introduced the public preview of Azure Security Center. The year passed like a whirlwind and the pace of change in Azure kept us all on our toes. Let’s take a look at what the Azure Security team and other partners have published last year to help you keep up to date.
Azure Stack extends the Azure vision by bringing the cloud model of computing to every datacenter. Azure Stack is a new hybrid cloud platform product that enables organizations to deliver Azure services from their own datacenter in a way that is consistent with Azure. To see a short video by Jeffrey Snover and Mark Russinovich you can click here or visit the Microsoft Mechanics to take an early look. Still not sure, check out Azure Stack Technical Preview here.
Save the date for the TechNet Virtual Conference on March 1-3, 2016. This an event for IT professionals, but it could still be interesting for Microsoft fans who care about technical stuff. Anyway, here is the program:
March 1, 9AM to 1PM PST: Microsoft Senior Evangelist Rick Claus and journalist Mary-Jo Foley will present this first session labeled “Inspiring IT Pros”, covering topics like online security, IT careers and the role of IT leaders in companies.
March 2, 9AM to 4:30PM PST: This session labeled “Windows 10 and mobility” promises to explore the latest developments in Windows 10 and to provide IT Pros the skills needed to plan out scaled deployments. Presenters are still unknown.
March 3, 9AM to 4:30PM PST: The concluding session is labeled “Infrastrucure, on-premises and in the cloud”, and may interest you if you’re passionate about datacenters, Azure and Windows Server.
If you want more details about the event, you can already sign up right on the website for getting speaker previews and other important announcements. Moreover, if you’re an IT professional and legal resident of the US, you may really want to sign up as Microsoft will give participants the chance to win one of 5 Air Hogs remote control quad drones! Who said IT conferences were not interesting?