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Lets Build A SharePoint Environment in Windows Azure
 

Lets Build A SharePoint Environment in Windows Azure

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An explanation of what Azure is, what scenarios you could use it for with SharePoint, some "gotchas" and most importantly, real pricing information.

An explanation of what Azure is, what scenarios you could use it for with SharePoint, some "gotchas" and most importantly, real pricing information.

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    Lets Build A SharePoint Environment in Windows Azure Lets Build A SharePoint Environment in Windows Azure Presentation Transcript

    • Let’s Build a SharePoint Environment in Windows Azure Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED
    • I consider myself a “SharePoint All-Rounder”. My job tasks vary including Administration, Development, Training, Analysis, UAT and Project Management. My job changes daily based on the crazy life of an IT fellow in corporate America, but it keeps things interesting! I am have worked with SharePoint for almost six years. I do not consider myself an expert but have a fair amount of knowledge with the technology and currently use it daily in my career. If I don’t know an answer to one of your questions, I will try to find it out or point you in the right direction! SharePoint Business Analyst & Technical Project Manager JDSU Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS Me, me, me…
    • You, you, you! Azure, SharePoint & all the peeps in the audience • Who has heard never heard of Azure and is not familiar with what it is? • Who has heard of Azure, kind of knows what it is but has not used it? • Who has/is currently using/used Azure already? • Who uses Azure almost daily as a part of their environment, production, test or otherwise? • Who does not fall into any of these categories ? Are you just trying to be difficult and need to feel special? I do!
    • To Get Things Going… Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED To kick things off since we have time limits, I am going to amaze and delight you by typing a word and clicking the “enter” button…
    • What is Azure? Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. It provides cloud based servers, networks, storage, services and much more. In today’s demo we will be using Azure as an IaaS (Infrastructure as a service). Photo Credit: Yung Chou http://blogs.technet.com/b/yungchou
    • How Do I Describe Azure? Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Well…pretend you are a chef. You want to make some recipes. Perhaps you want to make a small little cake, or perhaps you want to bake a Thanksgiving dinner. In either case, you need some professional cooking tools such as ovens, broilers, pans, mixers and what not so you can cook up your ideas. Think of Azure as your professional kitchen you will be working in. When you mix the power of a great kitchen with different recipes (that can be microwaved for fast cooking) or baked slowly by hand, you now have the power to become a “Master Chef” producing such delicacies such as apps, big data with Hadoop/HDInsight, Linux Ubuntu/SUSE servers, Node.js mobile services, web sites, CDNs (content delivery networks), streaming video, storage networks and much more. On today’s menu: Using Azure as an IaaS to bake create a SharePoint farm.
    • Typical Scenarios Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Dev/test (All installed on a single VM) Small farm (1 AD, 1 SQL, 1 SP) High Availability (2 AD, 2SQL, 1 Quorum, 2 SP APP, 2 SP WFE) Hybrid (Azure / On- Premise / Office 365) Migrating VHDs up to Azure Any configuration you want (well mostly) What kinds of SharePoint goodies are people cooking in Azure?
    • Cooking Equipment Needed Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED • Azure account (free trial is ok) • Use this link it is the best free trial I have seen for Azure so far, $200 credit for one month http://aka.ms/200 • Credit card (It will NOT be charged unless you remove the spending limit) – we will cover pricing later in our session • Azure PowerShell, profile http://www.windowsazure.com/en- us/manage/install-and-configure-windows-powershell/ • Modern browser • RDP access
    • 2 Ways to Bake in Azure Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Either way, we’re still baking (a cake/SharePoint farm). The question now is how? Slow cooker or microwave? Microwave (PowerShell) Slow Cooker (Manually Clicking) 3 Layer Cake (3 VM) 1 layer cake (1VM) 9 layer Cake (9 VM) 3 layer cake (3VM) Any type of cake you want (within Azure IaaS limits) 9 layer cake (9VM) Any type of cake you want (within Azure IaaS limits)
    • PowerShell (Microwave Version) Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED 1. Download Windows Azure PowerShell: https://github.com/WindowsAzure/azure-sdk-tools/releases http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/downloads/ 2. How to Install and Configure Windows Azure PowerShell: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/manage/install-and-configure- windows-powershell/ 3. Ensure ExecutionPolicy and Admin Privileges • Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned 4. Choose your PowerShell script (the recipe you downloaded from the web or one you have written yourself) 5. Run the script from your Azure PowerShell window
    • Popular Recipes (Azure Scripts) Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED People share recipes all over the internet. Here are a few recipes (PowerShell scripts written by others to create and configure everything) to bake make your SharePoint environment on Azure: 1. 9 Layer cake with frosting (provisions VMs and configures SharePoint from AIS – High Avail Farm) https://github.com/AppliedIS/SharePointFarm-File 2. 3 Layer Cake, no frosting (creates VMs, but no provisioning – Basic Farm) http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2013/04/16/ten-key-scenarios- extend-your-datacenter-today-with-windows-azure-infrastructure- services.aspx#.UeWc-vmOTBN 3. Flexi-cake: 3 or 9 Layer, with or without frosting (You can choose either a small or large farm, provisioned or not) https://github.com/WindowsAzure/azure-sdk- tools-samples - *NOTE: Since Azure changes quite frequently and each of our computers is different, you may need to tweek these scripts a bit to make them to work. Of course, using Windows Azure PowerShell, you can create your own recipe and bake any type of SharePoint environment you want (well almost).
    • Demo Time – Before & After Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED
    • Manual Click (Slow Cook Version) Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Video demo of manual process of creating a 3 VM SharePoint farm (1 AD, 1 SQL, 1 SP) in Azure
    • Cloud Service Planning Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED I guess you could say this is more like preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. This is more so applies to creating a full featured, production use cloud environment. If you are only looking for a TV dinner, microwavable dev/test environment this planning might not be needed. Processes of planning your Azure network 1. Region – Affinity group 2. Storage – storage account (geo rep) 3. Network – Virtual Network (DNS consider) 4. Deploy App architecture - VMs 5. Availability – Availability Set 6. Load Balance – Load balance/end point (cloud service? Doesn’t an AvailSet auto load balance?) Information provided from Yung Chou @ MSFT
    • Affinity Groups Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED This is a logical construct associated with a geo-region and defined at the subscription level. Allow you to group your Windows Azure services for optimized performance and latency by placing items in the same specified data center close to each other.
    • Storage Account Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED A storage account provides the access to Windows Azure storage within a geographic region. By default, geographically redundant storage (GRS) is optional and enabled at a storage account creation time. GRS replicates data to a data center in a secondary location of the same geo-region. When turning off geo-replication, a storage account then becomes locally redundant storage (LRS) which stores data in a single data center location. There are three types of storage in Windows Azure: • Blob • Queue, • Table in Windows Azure. For Windows Azure IaaS, a VM must be stored in Page Blob, max size of 1 TB. Windows Azure creates two 512-bit management keys at a storage account creation time. An application will use one of the two keys to access the storage account. The monitoring and logging is not enabled by default. Charts on the dashboard and monitor page will present usage when enabled .
    • Cloud Services Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED This is a logical container presented as a single URL to include application code and configurations, while together form a cloud service or simply a service. For Windows Azure IaaS, each VM is deployed to a service, however a service can contain multiple VMs. Placing multiple VMs into a service makes these VMs connected and visible to one another. Considering a multi-tier application, a cloud service can therefore be employed to host multiple tiers of VMs which form the application architecture or architectural component, while manage all VMs which are connected as one entity. This concept is revisited when examining VM deployment later in this post.
    • Virtual Network Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Windows Azure employs a configuration file, NetworkConfig.xml, to define the settings of a virtual network. A Windows Azure virtual network is essentially a customized set of network configurations implemented on demand at a data center of a geo-region explicitly specified or implied by an Affinity group. A virtual network is as the name suggested virtual and this network virtualization is isolated at a subscription level. Windows Azure Virtual Network is a powerful feature and a crucial skill to have. For training, prototyping, or short-term networking needs, Windows Azure virtual networking offers tremendous capability and flexibility. For businesses of all sizes, branch office, and business units, Windows Azure IaaS and site-to-site or point-to- site connectivity introduces many new scenarios and exciting opportunities to extend, integrate, and transform an on-premises deployment into a hybrid cloud scenario. There is much information readily available in Windows Azure IaaS documentation and is not repeated here. IT professionals however must recognize that there is no other way to master Windows Azure IaaS without practicing, practicing, and practicing more on creating a virtual network, deploy VMs, and build an application architecture.
    • Virtual Machine Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Windows Azure IaaS supports both Microsoft Operating Systems and non- Microsoft ones. The VM image gallery in Windows Azure Management Portal, as shown below, includes the latest releases and previews of Windows Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, BizTalk Server, and many non-Microsoft workload like openSUSE, SUSE Linux, Ubuntu, OpenLogic, etc. One interesting observation of a Windows Azure IaaS deployment is that multiple VMs can be included in the same cloud service. This offers an opportunity to logically group specific VMs to form an application architectural component or architecture itself. For instance, a three-tier web application architecture like frontend, mid-tier, and backend can be all included in a cloud service such that all VMs are connected via the service to deliver the application. Alternatively each tier can be a service such that the frontend VMs are in a frontend service, mid-tier VMs are placed in a mid-tier service, and the backend are organized into a backend service while all three services collectively form the application/service architecture. The following schematic illustrates this concept.
    • Availability Set Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED This is an essential part of a cloud deployment. An Availability Set is a logical group to signify the need for Windows Azure to prevent a single point of failure for all VMs included in the set. A single point of failure of hardware is the so-called Fault Domain. In Windows Azure a Fault Domain is a server rack. Those VMs instances added into an Availability Set in essence demand Windows Azure to deploy those instances to at least two or more fault domains, i.e. two or more server racks. Windows Azure IaaS makes configuring an Availability Set a very simple interactive mouse-clicking process while configuring a VM or after a deployment. An Availability Set is an effective tool to ensure service availability. For instance, two Domain Controllers, DC1 and DC2, are paired as a backup to each other. At least one of the two servers should always be available for user authentications. Placing DC1 and DC2 into an Availability Set will guarantee there is no single point of failure of hardware between DC1 and DC2.
    • Load Balancer Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Typically a production web application will place a load balancer before the frontend web servers to distribute the incoming traffic for better server utilization and more predictable performance. In a traditional deployment, adding, maintaining, and scaling a load balancer is a significant part of a web application since it adds additional hardware, software, complexities, security, maintenance, vendor dependency, etc. besides just costs. Windows Azure IaaS offers a basic load balancer with a round robin algorithm. The process to create a load balancer is to first specify/open a standalone endpoint, i.e. a port and mark the checkbox to also create a load- balanced set with this endpoint of a VM followed by configuring the load- balanced set. The above right shows Windows Azure PowerShell cmdlets for adding a load-balanced set which is part of the operations of adding an endpoint. While shown below is the user experience to configure a load- balanced set.
    • Creating Your Architecture Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Multiple VMs can be included in the same cloud service. This offers an opportunity to logically group specific VMs to form an application architectural component or architecture itself. For instance, a three-tier web application architecture like frontend, mid-tier, and backend can be all included in a cloud service such that all VMs are connected via the service to deliver the application. Alternatively each tier can be a service such that the frontend VMs are in a frontend service, mid-tier VMs are placed in a mid-tier service, and the backend are organized into a backend service while all three services collectively form the application/service architecture. The following schematic illustrates this concept.
    • What is This Cake Gonna Cost? Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Azure Pricing, not quite as simple as paying the grocery clerk at checkout…   • Discounts for MSDN BizSpark members • Free trials with credits from $50-$200 • Billing is mostly real time in your account • Pricing can be confusing and the available calculators on the Azure site are not fully capable of giving you a true quote • Not being able to turn on a price limit once it has been removed exposes you to extreme financial risk
    • Azure Pricing – Quick History Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED A quick history on pricing. Until a few months ago, Azure billed for any Virtual Machine (VM) that was in your account, even if it was not running. To much ballyhoo, legions of Microsoft techies applauded the change to not charge you for a VM when it is “shut down”. However, make sure what shut down means: • SHUT DOWN: Stop the VM from the management portal or stop the VM through Powershell by calling ShutdowRoleOperation with 'PostShutdownAction' equal to "StoppedDeallocated". • NOT SHUT DOWN: If you shut down a VM from inside (e.g. using power options in Windows, like clicking Start  Shut Down) or through PowerShell by calling ShutdownRoleOperation with 'PostShutdownAction' equal to "Stopped". FIND ALL TIPS TO REMIND YOU TO OR AUTOMATICALLY SHUT OFF YOUR VMS ON WEB
    • What is Billed, What Isn’t? Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED • Billed for outbound traffic • Storage over free limit (whether on or off) • VPN (if you are using it) is extra charge • Hourly Resources of VMs (billing rate changes depending on many things) I am still compiling this list and doing more research, check back on my blog soon for more updates…
    • Azure Cost / Billing – Part Deux Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED Azure changes very often. This pricing is only as current as the day this was written (September 2013) and may not be exact (however I have tried my best to figure it out) Difference of hourly billing using the prebaked SQL image vs. a regular Windows 2012 image and installing SQL yourself (if you have a license for it) Small (A1) 1 1.75 GB $0.09 (~$67/mont h) Small (A1) 1 1.75 GB $0.135/hr (~$100/m onth) $0.64/hr (~$476/m onth) $2.19/hr (~$1,629/ month)
    • Azure Cost / Billing – Part Trois Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED There is also the option of putting in a spending limit, however once removed you cannot turn the spending limit back on. This is high risk. The only solution I know of at this time is to have to delete the account and start over with a new one to set a different pricing limit 
    • I Don’t Want This to Happen 2 U Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED As much as I don’t want anyone from Microsoft to feel I may be talking negatively about their product, I have to be at peace with myself by informing users of how the service may impact them financially.
    • Recap – Azure Pricing / Billing Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED • Azure has a lot of great features and services • I still use and recommend Azure for testing, development & demos • I have learned the hard way and recommend to others to make sure their VMs are turned off on a regular basis (unless needed for high availability) • Research the internet for tips on how to set reminders or scripts that will automatically shut down your VMs • Take extra caution in removing the spending limit on your account • Take time to understand which services and features do and don’t incur cost, even if it is complex and time cosuming
    • Cloud Turbulents – “Gotchas” Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED • Hybrid Authentication / Office 365 / Multiple Accounts or Multiple Azure Accounts (see workaround for multiple Azure accounts at link below) • Remember the SharePoint image is a trial and will expire (add a key or replace with another image later) • Deleting artifacts from your Azure can be very messy (vhd, blob, vm) • Architectural limitations include: • 500IOPS per drive • 20 processor cores per account (unless you contact support for exception) • Max size of 1 TB in a VM http://www.matthewjbailey.com/sharepoint-2013-azure- installation-problems/
    • Is Azure Right for Me? Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED • Fast setup / Rapid deployments • Variable ability to extend network infrastructure (i.e., need some “boosting” to network for major press event) or a very fast growing company • Extending (not replacing) your infrastructure • Create reusable VMs that are customized for your needs (training, disaster recovery, etc) • Need lower start up costs, less time investment on hardware maintenance • Create dynamic shared work environments that where security would normally interfere • Development/Test/Stage or hybrid environments • Disaster Recovery (an available backup to failover to or storing of backups/VMs) • Provide server availability in parts of the world where connections are needed (and coming back to the USA to your current datacenter is too slow) • Opportunity to access and try out new “pre-release” versions of software • You can also use Team Foundation Service to do load and performance testing.
    • Azure Might Not Be for Me If… Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED • You don’t have a continuous internet connection • You need extensive, high level architecture assistance in creating virtual networks (unless you have a resource to assist you in learning/helping) • You have a very limited budget and are unable to perform the extra tasks necessary to keep your monthly bill low • Your needs are truly “mission critical” (although I think Azure will be able to fulfill this in the near future or be as comparable to AWS at least; I would not personally suggest trying to run a major airline website on Azure for example, well not yet) • You have licensing issues with products/add-ons you purchased that are not allowed on cloud • You have hardware situations where multiple hardware NICs are needed and can’t be replicated (Azure uses virtual IPs)
    • Other SharePoint & Azure Resources Matthew J. Bailey, MCTS #SPSRED • There are so many resources on the internet to get started, please check the link at the end of my slide and I will update my website soon with a categorized list to get you going  http://bit.ly/1eWatqj
    • Bon Appetite! @matthewjbailey1 http://www.matthewjbailey.com http://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewjbailey1 sharepointmatthew@gmail.com Download my slides and get started at: http://bit.ly/1eWatqj