Did you know … Nifty #windowsazure tips and things you perhaps didn’t know …

That the Windows Azure eco system is vast, needs no explanation. But sometimes there’s these little thing you don’t know about or might miss when using the system. Here’s a couple of tips which might be useful when doing Windows Azure related things. Or even just fun to know :-).

10 tips

10.    Copy blobs between subscriptions

Since the spring release of 2012 in the API, and a couple of weeks later in the SDK, the windows Azure Platform gives you the ability to copy blob storage from subscription to another. So if you want to move from one account to another, then you don’t need to download your storage locally anymore when mirgrating!

Ps: the same applies for copying stored blob from regular lob storage accounts to Media Services Storage Accounts. See these MSDN links on how it works.

09.    Move content by support

Sometimes you have it that you want to move your cheese (funny expression actually J). Only sometimes this really can be a hassle in downloading, prepping and re-uploading to another subscription … well there’s actually for some things an easier way in Windows Azure … Did you know you could actually do this through support? open a ticket

08.    The Easter egg

Not known by many but fun to know: the background of the Management Portal can be changed by double clicking on the background (not useful but fun to do, although I like Maarten Balliauw’s Version during his AzureConf talk much more … J #sharkswithfreakinglasers

07.    Microsoft Endpoint Security for Windows Azure

Did you know that Windows Azure supports some security mechanisms you can deploy yourself? Although still in CTP, you do have the opportunity to have an anti-virus and anti-malware solution in place for you Cloud Services deployments.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This plugin is compatible with Windows Azure SDK 1.7 only. It will not work properly with other versions of the Azure SDK. And I don’t know what will be next up for this.
get it here : http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29209

Install Instructions

  1. Download Microsoft Endpoint Protection for Windows Azure (eppplugin.msi) and install it.
  2. Enable the “Antimalware” import in your Windows Azure service definition.
  3. Deploy your service.

06.    Know but mostly forgotten: BEWARE: Stop is still charged

Maybe not to unknown but mostly forgotten … if you stop something in Windows Azure this may still incur some charges!

But some good news for the future, as announced by Scott Guthrie during AzureConf 2013, MSFT is working on this! So this could imply stopped VM’s and Cloud services without charges in the near or distant future.

05.    Storage is directly accessible

Did you know that Windows Azure is actually the best and cheapest Skydrive solution available ;-) Azure Storage is directly accessible when the security is changed on the containers (through means of SAS).

That way you can easily share files with your peers in a cheap way J

if you want some good info on storage then do check out these interesting links by other Windows Azure MVP’s:

04.    cloud cloud click away

cloudjeMost people don’t realize it but did you know that on every item in the management portal there’s a little cloud symbol? and by clicking on that you get different walktrhoughs, guides, code samples, direct download links for tools/sdk’s or even next steps in what to do with you current state of that type of Windows Azure asset. It has a ton of information immediately at your disposals

03.    Traffic Manager and VIP leases

Did you know : An additional advantage of Traffic Manager (yes another one!!! J) is that when you are failing over your cloud services your Publlic Facing IP doesn’t change .. (talking about a nice side effect)

02.    fun fact :

Instead of the sharks with freaking lasers (the most requested feature ever for the platform) we now have Barracudas protecting our valuable cloud platform. https://www.barracuda.com/blogs/pmblog?bid=2016. This proves that Microsoft puts a lot of effort in the safety of the platform. But don’t forget … it’s not because there’s an initial layer of security present that you don’t need to make sure that your assets are secure. Because YOU are still responsible for the safety and security of your Azure assets (as goes with everything else!)

01.    Get your SQL DB connection strings from within the portal.

Always have issues with connection strings? Well then the portal manages this for you: if you click the little cloud symbol you’ll find a “Connect to your database” item on there, which generates connection strings for your db/server on Azure SQL databases. Only thing you need to do is fill out the user and password.

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7 thoughts on “Did you know … Nifty #windowsazure tips and things you perhaps didn’t know …

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