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Elton Stoneman (@EltonStoneman) IT Consultant, integration specialist, @Microsoft MVP and @Pluralsight author. Azure Microsoft's offerings in the Cloud
Hey Azure, how's my Blob Storage doing?
This is the last one for the time being – how to get blob metrics for a Storage Account using the Azure Management Libraries, in the same way that I covered Cloud Services and Web Apps. Storage is different from compute in terms of what data is available, and what it is you want to see. I still want overall status and how hard the account is working, but instead of scale I want to see how much is being stored and how much the account is being accessed: The status block on the left tells me the name ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 14, 2015 11:25 AM

Hey Azure, how's my Web App doing?
This follows on from my last post, Hey Azure, how’s my Cloud Service doing? and it looks at getting similar metrics for Web Apps (née “Azure Websites”). Web Apps expose a lot of the same detail as Cloud Services through the service APIs, although the content isn’t exactly the same. Here’s how my dashboard looks with key details for one running Web App: The status block on the left tells me the website name (which would include the slot name if this wasn’t the primary slot), current status and the ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 7, 2015 12:19 PM

Hey Azure, how's my Cloud Service doing?
The Azure Management APIs give you a lot of useful stats and you can easily use them to build a customised dashboard for an instant healthcheck of your Azure estate. Documentation is a little sketchy though, so this is the first of (probably) many posts detailing how to pull stats out for different Azure services. First off you'll need a management certificate – see How to programmatically upload a new Azure Management Certificate – and the rest of this post is about getting information about Cloud ......

Posted On Friday, July 3, 2015 5:48 PM

How to programmatically upload a new Azure Management Certificate
If you want to use the Azure Resource Management APIs, Service Management APIs or Management Libraries, you'll need a management certificate which authenticates your process with the Azure subscription you're accessing. Chances are you'll already have one or more management certs installed (from Visual Studio or the PowerShell SDK or WebMatrix) with the issuer name Windows Azure Tools: It's a good idea to mint a separate one for your new process, so it's clear what the cert is used for. Creating ......

Posted On Monday, June 29, 2015 12:23 PM

Configure an HDInsight HBase cluster that doesn't keep going BANG! with 502s
Running a massively scalable NoSQL database in the cloud is super easy, but not cheap if you want to run it 24x7. The managed offering from Azure - a dedicated HDInsight cluster type running Apache HBase - almost gives you the best of both worlds. The cluster uses Azure Blob Storage for its HDFS-compatible file system, so when you delete your cluster, the data is retained. Fire up a new cluster later on using the existing storage account, and you can carry on reading and writing from the same tables. ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 23, 2015 3:49 PM

Real World Big Data in Azure
My latest Pluralsight course is out now, it's about building Big Data solutions using .NET technologies: Real World Big Data in Azure The typical Big Data stack (think Kafka, Cassandra, Kibana and the Hadoop ecosystem) is heavily Java based. Microsoft have taken the best of those technologies and made them available as managed services in Azure, but also worked hard on integrating them with .NET. Today you can use those tried and trusted Big Data platforms in Azure with C#, PowerShell and Visual ......

Posted On Monday, June 22, 2015 12:50 PM

Submitting HDInsight Storm Applications from Visual Studio - Gotcha!
Apache Storm went to GA on HDInsight yesterday, and the latest Azure SDK has Visual Studio integration for creating Storm applications. You can select the Storm Application project template: And that creates you a basic topology with a simple spout and bolt. You can publish that new project to Azure from Visual Studio (right-click the project in Solution Explorer and select Submit to Storm on HDInsight), and verify it's all working correctly from the Storm Topologies view: But there's a gotcha if ......

Posted On Thursday, February 19, 2015 4:21 PM

Configure Azure storage to return proper response headers for blob GETs
In the early days of Azure blob storage, the response headers for HTTP GET requests were not quite right. The ETag header wasn't escaped with double-quotes, which is not correct, and HTTP clients may not cache correctly without them; and the Accept-Ranges header wasn't returned, which doesn't play nicely with clients wanting to support interrupted & resumed downloads. That was fixed with an update to the storage service that came way back in 2011, but Azure has a very cautious approach to widespread ......

Posted On Thursday, October 9, 2014 7:43 AM

Message Queue Fundamentals in .NET
My latest Pluralsight course has just been released! It's called: Message Queue Fundamentals in .NET and it's a comprehensive look at messaging patterns and message queue technologies you can use in .NET: MSMQ, ZeroMQ, Microsoft Azure Service Bus, AWS Simple Queue Service and Simple Notification Service, and IBM WebSphere MQ. Message queues are nowhere near as commonly used as RPC-style service calls, but they should be. They're easy to use and bring a whole lot of reliability, performance and scale ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 29, 2014 6:10 AM

How much Azure kit do you need to serve 2,000 requests per second?
I met with a prospective client looking to move an existing API to Azure, and they had an interesting problem. Part of their API is supporting over-the-air (OTA) auto-update, so an app calls home, finds out if it has the latest version and if not downloads it from a blob. At peak times, they need to handle 2,000 requests per second for a sustained period of 2-3 hours. That doesn't sound like a lot of scale really, but they need *all* requests to complete successfully, they can't permit any dropped ......

Posted On Thursday, April 10, 2014 1:06 PM

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