Microsoft’s annual Build developer conference was held May 10-12 2017 in Redmond, and included a number of exciting announcements about the Azure cloud and surrounding ecosystem of services and tools. What follows here is my short take on the most interesting of those.
Azure IoT Edge
Azure’s IoT capabilities have steadily progressed over the last few years to enable many kinds of semi-connected devices to integrate with Azure’s securing and reliable messaging infrastructure so that cloud-based processing and analytics can act on data from the field and then push decisions and updated data back to those devices.
One obvious hole in the strategy has now been addressed, further enhancing the capabilities of the Azure IoT solution. Azure IoT Edge now allows computation, data filtering, and analytics capabilities to run not only in the Azure cloud but on the edge, at each individual device. This enables a whole range of new scenarios not easily achievable with Azure’s prior IoT offerings: disconnected data processing, data flow and latency optimization for low bandwidth scenarios, secure processing for sensitive data, highly distributed analytics processing to take advantage of increasingly capable edge CPUs, and more.
For further details on Azure IoT Edge and to enroll in the product preview, see the main Azure IoT Edge product page
And to see Cloud Academy’s Azure IoT Learning Path (featured in the Build keynote!) check us out here:
Here’s a brief demo of the geo-replication capabilities of Cosmos and DocumentDB, from my recent Cloud Academy course
Azure Functions Runtime and Visual Studio Tools
Azure Functions have been around for a little while now, and have started to gain real traction for uses like lightweight microservices implementations and glue code within DevOps workflows (you have seen my Azure Functions course, right?).
One problem they’ve had from the outset, however, is a relative lack of good tooling for development and debugging. This isn’t all bad since an advantage of serverless compute like Functions lies in its simplicity and browser-based authoring and deployment model. Still, those of us comfortable in full-fledged editor environments like Visual Studio do enjoy our comforts… and Azure Functions has seemed like a bit of a backward step in that regard. But no more.
At Build, Microsoft released two preview tooling features for Functions… the ability to host and run the Azure Function runtime locally in your own environment, and Visual Studio integration for local testing and debugging of function code, and easy deployment up into your Azure subscription. These capabilities start to round out the DevOps and testing story for Functions and will help make serverless compute more palatable for Microsoft’s traditional developer base.
Azure Cloud Shell
Those of you paying close attention to the Azure Portal UI in early May 2017 (during the week leading up to Build 2017) will have noticed a familiar looking icon in the upper corner of the screen:
Many folks speculated that this would be a portal-based command line interface of some sort… and they were right!
The Azure Cloud Shell is now available for all Azure users. It’s a full-fledged Bash shell running on a cloud-based VM, with durable storage on an Azure file share (created on first use). It comes pre-configured with the latest version of the Azure CLI, reducing or eliminating the need for you to install it on your local machine. It also auto-authenticates to your Azure account and subscriptions, eliminating the Azure CLI “Authentication Dance of Love” we all know so well.
The Cloud Shell is likely most relevant to developers and other folks working interactively with Azure resources on a regular basis; it’s probably less immediately relevant for tasks like automated DevOps pipelines. And I did have some minor difficulties configuring things like the Kubernetes CLI, though those are likely temporary issues (or pilot error 🙂 ). Long-term, this is definitely a tool you want to keep handy in your Azure developer toolbox.
Check out this short video tour I made of the new shell here:
Azure Portal App for Android and iOS
Another long-overdue addition to the Azure developer and DevOps toolkit are full-featured mobile apps for extending Azure administrative capabilities to your phone. Azure apps for both Android and iOS were launched at Build 2017, and promise to make it even easier for you to spend too much time staring at your phone, and not enough time in the real world. 🙂
You can download the freely available apps from Google Play
Or you can download it from the App Store
New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More
Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...
Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration
What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...
Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud
Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...
New on Cloud Academy: AZ-900 Exam Update; MS-100 Exam Prep; PRINCE2 Foundation; Azure, Kubernetes, and Google Hands-on Labs; and Much More
This month, our Content Team really kicked it into overdrive with tons of new content. If you're Team Azure, then you'll be amazed at the number of Azure Courses and Hands-on Labs we published this month alone! At any time, you can find all of our new releases by going to our Training ...
How to Get Hands-on Experience on AWS, Azure, and GCP: Lab Challenges
Meaningful cloud skills require more than book knowledge. Hands-on experience is required to translate knowledge into real-world results. We see this time and time again in studies about how kids and adults best learn — doing the actual learning task is key. Hands-on Labs and Lab Challe...
Which Certifications Should I Get?
As we mentioned in an earlier post, the old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and compan...
New on Cloud Academy: ITIL® 4, Microsoft 365 Tenant, Jenkins, TOGAF® 9.1, and more
At Cloud Academy, we're always striving to make improvements to our training platform. Based on your feedback, we released some new features to help make it easier for you to continue studying. These new features allow you to: Remove content from “Continue Studying” section Disc...
Cloud Migration Risks & Benefits
If you’re like most businesses, you already have at least one workload running in the cloud. However, that doesn’t mean that cloud migration is right for everyone. While cloud environments are generally scalable, reliable, and highly available, those won’t be the only considerations dri...
Google Cloud Functions vs. AWS Lambda: The Fight for Serverless Cloud Domination
Serverless computing: What is it and why is it important? A quick background The general concept of serverless computing was introduced to the market by Amazon Web Services (AWS) around 2014 with the release of AWS Lambda. As we know, cloud computing has made it possible for users to ...
New on Cloud Academy: CISSP, AWS, Azure, & DevOps Labs, Python for Beginners, and more…
As Hurricane Dorian intensifies, it looks like Floridians across the entire state might have to hunker down for another big one. If you've gone through a hurricane, you know that preparing for one is no joke. You'll need a survival kit with plenty of water, flashlights, batteries, and n...
How to Unlock Complimentary Access to Cloud Academy
Are you looking to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Cloud Security, Python, Java, or another technical skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendars for August 23, 2019. Starting Friday at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), Cloud Academy is offering c...
Content Roadmap: AZ-500, ITIL 4, MS-100, Google Cloud Associate Engineer, and More
Last month, Cloud Academy joined forces with QA, the UK’s largest B2B skills provider, and it put us in an excellent position to solve a massive skills gap problem. As a result of this collaboration, you will see our training library grow with additions from QA’s massive catalog of 500+...