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RightScale Webinar: Best Practices: Software Development Strategies Using Windows Azure


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In April of 2013 Microsoft released the Windows Azure IaaS service for general availability. We were proud to be a launch day partner with Microsoft and here at RightScale we are excited to see the …

In April of 2013 Microsoft released the Windows Azure IaaS service for general availability. We were proud to be a launch day partner with Microsoft and here at RightScale we are excited to see the cloud computing market mature and grow.

Please join us for an in-depth discussion and demonstration on how to increase agility and automation in your software development lifecycle.

In this webinar, we will cover how to:
- Enrich the dev/test cycle with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Perform rapid testing and validation
- Enable virtual machine usage for dev/test, with a deep discussion of the artifacts and mechanics of it
- Create IT policy without headaches
- Enable dev/test with "approved assets" and policies

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  • Let’s start by taking a look at the components that make up Infrastructure Services on Windows Azure. Windows AzureVirtual Machines is how you get compute power – servers that scale on-demand in the cloud. You can choose Windows Server and Linux operating systems in multiple configurations. Virtual Machines gives your applications and systems full mobility, so you can move virtual hard disks (or VHDs) back and forth between on-premises and the cloud. To move your applications to Virtual Machines, to the public cloud, in most cases , you don’t have to make any changes at all. If your app works on Hyper-V, it works on Virtual Machines. This gives you the option of bringing existing applications to cloud with no code changes.Then, we have storage attached to your images running in Virtual Machines. Windows Azure Blob storage powers it to give you six copies of the disk image you’re running. 3 in the data center you are in, and 3 in another data center hundreds of miles apart. That is geo-redundant storage for your images at no additional charges beyond compute which enables durability for your images and disks running in Virtual Machines.Windows Azure Virtual Network enables you to securely connect your cloud infrastructure and cloud apps to your on-premises data center using a private connection over IPsec. This is important when there are applications, data and resources you want to retain on-premises, such as your identity store Active Directory, or apps with data processing back-ends on-premises and customer-facing web front-ends in the cloud. Virtual Network provides connectivity to data and applications on-premises, including systems running on Windows Server, mainframes and UNIX. It’s a security enhanced and logical private network connection. Virtual Network and Virtual Machines work together to enable you to meet your growing infrastructure needs in the cloud. Whether you need to build on-premisesconnected hybrid cloud architectures or just purely use public cloud, infrastructure services on Windows Azure deliver.Now, we are going to dive deeper into Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks and look under the hood. Be ready, we are about to look under the hood to study the technology building blocks. These building blocks enable the scenarios we will cover later on.
  • RS bulletRightScale enables you to manage all of your cloud infrastructure with a single, integrated solution. Our cloud management platform provides abstraction with complete customization, allowing you to focus on your applications while optimizing your infrastructure where necessary. In short, RightScale makes cloud manageable.Uber point here is RS provides a higher level of abstraction and management than what is in Azure itself and does this by though our REST API combined with the RS service runtime provides richer management capabilities to the Azure Platform.(throw it to Patrick at end of this slide)rewriteHow do you start? That is the first question we will address for you.For those of you who are new to Virtual Machines and who need an easy and quick way to get started, Windows Azure Management portal, the web interface, offers the desired experience. Simply provision Virtual Machines from the Image Gallery in minutes . Virtual Machines Image Gallery contains pre-built images of Linux – CentOS, Ubuntu and Suse Enterprise Linux (SLES), Windows Server or SQL Server and BizTalk Server. These images have hourly rates, where you pay for what you use. We are continuously working on expanding the images in the gallery – both for most popular Microsoft workloads but also for prebuilt Linux images from commercial distributors. When you are using evaluation images/SKUs from the gallery, such as SharePoint, you can upgrade them to a fully licensed version through Software Assurance and License Mobility.On the other hand, some of you will be familiar with Virtual Machines having used it since the preview. And, you might be looking for ways to automate tasks like provisioning virtual machines or building workflows for your organization where you upload a large number of custom images into your storage account. REST based service management APIs and PowerShell commands are the tools you use in that case.
  • We can take the openness and heterogeneity concept further. Many of you might have existing workloads and apps that are virtualized with VMware which would be in VMDK virtualization format. When you are ready to bring those applications to Windows Azure, so that you free up on-premises datacenter capacity or simply run those apps on modern infrastructure, you have options.If you are a System Center user, you can convert your VMDK images into VHD format using and then bring them on to Windows Azure Virtual Machines. (More info here: Yet, this is not the only approach. We also offer a free downloadable utility called Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter which will take VMDK images and convert them into the VHD format. You can then use PowerShell scripts in uploading those images into Virtual Machines and get going! (More information is here: you start with the gallery or with a custom image, whether you start with Windows Server or Linux or VMware, you have a robust foundation in Virtual Machines and flexible options to get there.
  • Another very important attribute of Windows Azure Virtual Machines is the fact that they are persistent. That means the state of your Virtual Machine is saved and stored. When you stop your instances and restart later on, your settings and configurations persist and carry forward. When you restart your machine, your settings and configurations persist and carry forward. In the same context, we need to talk about the geo-replication concept. It is a unique durability benefit Virtual Machines users get on Windows Azure. It means you get 6 total copies of your image redundantly replicated. First, every Windows Azure Virtual Machine image is replicated 3 times within the region you are running in. This provides high availability, so if a rack or a storage server were to be down, you still enjoy high availability. You would get a new instance up and running behind the scenes. In addition, since these are persistent Virtual Machines, your new image would have the exact same state and configuration. Second, your image is asynchronously copied to another datacenter that’s hundreds of miles away. These two elements are what we call geo-replication. Geo replication is a unique feature, that differentiates us. Virtual Machine users get that by default. On other cloud platforms, it requires a deliberate effort to capture and image and to store it and then to replicate it across regions. Geo-replication also is key to disaster recovery. Since the images are stored in datacenters hundreds of miles apart redundantly, you can have the peace of mind that you can go to these redundantly stored copies and bring them up in case of natural disasters.
  • If you are like most other customers, you will be asking if you are locked into the decision to use public cloud and what options you might be giving up when you use Windows Azure Virtual Machines.That is pretty straightforward to answer. Since the underlying virtualization format is VHD, and the virtualization layer is Hyper-V, your apps and your images can move in and out of Windows Azure and the public cloud. You can start with your app prototypes in the cloud and then move to on-premises when ready or simply move to a hosting partner’s datacenter – if so you choose. This is all about flexibility and having options and not being locked-in.
  • For many customers and partners, scripting and automation is the key to efficient operations. Fear not! Microsoft’s popular task automation framework PowerShell is available for use with Windows Azure as well. Whether you want to automate provisioning of lots and lots of Virtual Machines or configure your Virtual Network settings through scripts, PowerShell cmdlets are ready for you. You can download PowerShell cmdlets from to get started.You can configure and manage all 3 elements of infrastructure services (IaaS) with PowerShell: Virtual Machines, Virtual Network and Storage. When you want to upload custom VHDs into Windows Azure or bring your images back to on-premises, at scale, use PowerShell. When you are working across many Windows Azure subscriptions and need to copy VHDs in between, use PowerShell. Or when you want to convert images virtualized with VMware (VMDK format) into VHD to run in Virtual Machines, use the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC Toolkit) first and then upload the converted images using PowerShell cmdlets.PowerShell is here to help increase your productivity, and to give you advanced management options.
  • Nuget Package
  • We have recently announced general availability (GA) for infrastructure services, Virtual Machines and Virtual Network. Let’s get up to speed on the GA news: We’ve introduced 2 new high-memory compute instances: 28 GB, 4 cores & 56 GB, 8 cores to meet the needs of workloads such as SharePoint Server and SQL Server. These instances are available in 6 regions initially ((East US, West US, Southeast Asia, East Asia, North Europe, West Europe) and will expand to new regions over time. GA prices for these instances become effective on the day of GA. Our SLAs become effective. 99.95% monthly SLA for Virtual Machines (multiple instances deployed in availability sets) and 99.9% monthly SLA for Virtual Network effective April 16. We also should call out the fact that our SLAs are calculated on a monthly basis. That means customers have clear and consistent expectations around availability in a given month. This is as opposed to other annually calculated SLAs that we see in the public cloud, which might have large fluctuations month over month. We will start providing customer support for both services on the same day. There are a variety of support options listed at for our customers and partners. Starting from affordable developer support to Premier support enterprises expect for their mission critical businesses, there is a range that fits every need. We have added new pre-built images with hourly rates in Virtual Machines Image Gallery. Using these images, customers can provision images off the gallery in minutes and pay for what they use: BizTalk Server,SQL Server are two examples to start with. Furthermore, customers get direct support from Microsoft for those images in the gallery, no hand-offs, no transitions, single support organization to deal with for cloud infrastructure and on-premises infrastructure.Most popular MSFT workloads are validated to run on Virtual Machines. Customers bring their own licenses with SA License Mobility rights, plus get direct customer support from MSFT when running these workloads in Virtual Machines: System Center Ops Manager 2012 SP1, Project Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013 & 2010, Dynamics NAV 2013, and SQL Server 2012. This is an ever growing list and you can Find the ultimate list here: It is important to note like we have done before that when you run these applications on Windows Azure, you are directly supported by Microsoft.We pass on the economic benefits of the cloud to customers and partners. With GA, we have announced a number of discounts to match the market pricing: Preview prices on standard Windows Virtual Machines instances and free Virtual Network continue through June 1, 2013. On June 1, 2013, new prices take effect for standard compute instances and we start charging for Virtual Network at $0.05/hr.Linux Virtual Machines prices are reduced by 29% for standard instances (when compared to previously announced GA prices). Effective April 16, 2013, prices go down by 25% for small, medium, large and extra-large instances. For example, the price for a small Linux instance is dropping from $0.085/hour to $0.06/hour in all geographies. Windows Virtual Machines general availability prices are reduced by 22% for standard instances (as compared to previously announced small standard instance GA price).  For a small standard instance, the new discounted general availability price will be $0.09 per hour.  The new general availability prices will be effective June 1, 2013. That means standard Windows Virtual Machine instances retain preview prices until May 31, 2013. We’ve also increased the value of free and trial offers so that customers and partners can learn and build confidence in Windows Azure. MSDN, MPN, 90-day free trial – all get additional 50 hours per month, for use with high-memory instances, untill June 1, 2013.In addition to the prebuilt Linux images in our gallery from commercial distributors, VM Depot is now integrated into Windows Azure management portal experience. VM Depot brings community innovation to infrastructure services. Open source Linux stacks and apps on VM Depot are provided and supported by the community. VM Depot has a direct feed into Windows Azure management portal to enable customers and partners to provision those open source stacks easily and quickly. Combined with the pre-built, Ubuntu, CentOS and Suse images in the gallery from commercial distributors, VM Depot, gives customers and partners additional options for working in heterogeneous environments.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Cloud ManagementAzure IaaS and RightScaleMSBuild, PowerShell and Windows Workflow Foundation IntegrationPatrick McClory, Solutions ArchitectRightScale@patrickmccloryScott Klein, Windows Azure Technical EvangelistMicrosoft@sqlscottWatch the video of this presentation
    • 2. Cloud Management#2#2Agenda• Windows Azure IaaS GA Announcement• Brief overview of RightScale• Quick tour of RightScale.netClient for RightScale API 1.5• 3 demos• MSBuild Integration via TFS• PowerShell Integration• Windows Workflow Foundation• Check it out• Q/A
    • 3. workloads
    • 4. >_SharepointBizTalk
    • 5. PowerShell
    • 6. **multiple instances in an availability set
    • 7. Cloud ManagementRightScale OverviewBrief, artifacts-focused view of the world
    • 8. Cloud Management#13#13RightScale• Cloud management company founded in 2006• Supports multiple public and private clouds• Started integration with Microsoft IaaS over a year ago• Marketplace full of artifacts to accelerate development anddeployment• Cross-platform (multiple OS and multiple versions) managed withinRightScale system
    • 9. Cloud Management#14#14Anatomy of an Instance Running in RightScaleServerTemplateRightLinkScriptsandRecipesMachineImage
    • 10. Cloud Management#15#15Hierarchical set of assets to leverage• Machine Images/VHD’s are collected into a MultiCloud Image (MCI)• Functionally equivalent images across multiple clouds/regions• MCI’s are packaged together within a ServerTemplate (ST)• ST offers 3 major hooks to perform tasks on the server• Boot scripts/recipes• Operational scripts/recipes• Decommission scripts/recipes
    • 11. Cloud Management#16#16ServerTemplate in action
    • 12. Cloud Management#17#17MultiCloud Marketplace• RightScale tested andreleased assets for Windows,IIS, SQL Server and ActiveDirectory• Open Source ServerTemplateswith other novel features asdescribed• Novel ServerTemplates – likethe AIO ST we’ll be using a bitlaterTons of assets to get started
    • 13. Cloud ManagementRightScale.netClientOpen Source .net Client for RightScale API 1.5
    • 14. Cloud Management#19#19RightScale API 1.5• REST API with JSON and XML response types• RightScale core functionality exposed•
    • 15. Cloud Management#20#20RightScale.netClient overview• Generic wrapper for the RightScale API 1.5 toolset• Media Types = Classes/Object Model• Resources = Static methods per class• A couple of assumptions made:• Generally, resources map to media types 1:1• For Resources with multiple urls, more descriptive names are better:• Instance.index() and Instance.index_ServerArray(serverArrayId)
    • 16. Cloud Management#21#21Mapping REST to .net
    • 17. Cloud ManagementDev/Test with AzureMSBuild + TFS + Azure + RightScale
    • 18. Cloud Management#23#23UseCase/Scenario• We’re running a .net shop using Team Foundation Services 2012(TFS) for source control• Standard web application being developed• We’ll use the Mileage Stats demo app• Slightly modified to use Microsoft SQL Server instead of SQL CE• DB Backups and scripts available for download• Application is nearing time to be released to production• Ability to test in multiple environments rapidly is critical• Build from local consistently with how production builds are created
    • 19. Cloud Management#24#24General SDLC Workflow
    • 20. Cloud Management#25#25Organizing MSBuild Process
    • 21. Cloud Management#26#26Dev/Test with MSBuildDemo
    • 22. Cloud Management#27#27Resources• Source code for reference app in github• Team Foundation Server or another MSBuild orchestration utilitylike or TeamCity• Web Deploy 3.0 installed on all machines packaging builds• RightScale Support page on MSDeploy• Some more detail in another blog post
    • 23. Cloud ManagementPowerShell + RightScale and AzureFamiliar and easy admin platform for SysAdmins
    • 24. Cloud Management#29#29Use Case/Scenario• Familiar platform for Windows Sysadmins• Leverage RightScale within other automation processes alreadyscripted• Manage our Dev/Test Environments from the MSBuild Demo• On the way out the door—let’s make sure we tear the instances down• Build a scheduled task to stand them up again in the morning with the lateststable build
    • 25. Cloud Management#30#30Using PowerShell to build the environment
    • 26. Cloud Management#31#31PowerShell + RightScale API 1.5Environment Tear-Down Demo
    • 27. Cloud Management#32#32Resources• Cmdlet code is in Github• Also builds a package as a part of the post-build events on theRightScale.netClient solution• PowerShell API direct call examples on• Will give you examples from curl, PowerShell and sometimes theRightAPIClient ruby gem• Other PowerShell references•••
    • 28. Cloud ManagementWindows Wofkflow FoundationAuto-magic 3-Tier Deployments
    • 29. Cloud Management#34#34Process WorkflowCreate DeploymentCreate SQL SeversCreate LB ServersCreate IIS ServerArrayImport SQLServerTemplateImport LBServerTemplateImport IISServerTemplateLaunch SQL1Launch SQL2Launch 2x LoadBalancersLaunch IIS instanceinside ServerArraySet Public DNS forLoad BalancersInitialize SQL ServerSynchronousMirroring
    • 30. Cloud Management#35#35Server.launch(serverID)• Simple call to RightScale.netClient to launch a specific server• Code includes some additional supporting activity to fulfill therequirements of a custom Workflow Foundation CodeActivity alongwith some logging
    • 31. Cloud Management#36DemoWindows Workflow Foundation + Windows Azure with RightScale
    • 32. Cloud Management#37#37Code available on Github• Core library• RightScale.netClient (github) (nuget)• Windows Workflow Foundation library• RightScale.netClient.ActivityLibrary (github) (nuget)• Windows Workflow Foundation project• RightScale.3Tier.Workflow (github)
    • 33. Cloud Management#38#38Check it out for free• RightScale offers a 60 day free trial and a free tier•• Hook up your MSDN account’s IaaS allotment and check it out• Signup is easy -
    • 34. Cloud ManagementQ/A | Discussion