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How To Save Up To 40% On Azure Bill Without Buying Any Cost Management Software

I have seen many projects get shut down because of the Azure usage cost. Being a senior developer, I was asked to look over the azure usage and optimize the usage to reduce cost. In this article, we will discuss various ways for effective Azure cloud architecture cost optimization that can easily save up to 40% on Azure cost without purchasing any Cost Management Software. I'll also share some deep insights, which IT Managers doesn't care about, and which has a huge impact on Azure Bill.Different cost management system:1.CloudynCloudyn is an Azure cost management software that provides features like Report on cost and usage, Categorize by resource tags, Create and manage cost and usage budgets, Create alerts on cost and usage budgets, Eliminate idle cloud resources, Right-size cloud resources, Chargeback features including cost markup, redistribution, and custom charges, Customize recommendation thresholds and Categorize costs with custom meta-tags2. ProXcioProXcio contains features like cost analytics, usage analytics, filtered table views, exec dashboards, best practice reports, tag-based analytics, tag-based budgeting, budget analytics, aggregated reporting, limits data stored, limit range for analytics, CSV data import, EA Account drill down, multi-users support, no credit card required, support, cost forecasting, e-mail alerts, data export, Reports scheduling, API access, azure list price invoicing3. RackNapRackNap contains features like White-Label Marketplace, Subscription Billing, Support Helpdesk, Customer Self-service Portal, CRM, Sales and Marketing, Business Intelligence, Own Catalog Management, Partner Management, Inventory Management, Core Customizations, 3rd Party Integrations, Online Training, Admin Users, Deployment Countries, Deployment Model, Services for Launch.4. Azure CostsAll Azure Plans (incl. EA), Unlimited data retention Includes all Professional Features, Multi-Contract & User Support, Team & Enterprise Support, Subscription Based Permissions, Branding & Customizable Widgets, Azure Active Directory Support, Data Access via RESTful APIPrice Comparison:The table below compares the prices of different Azure cost management software available:Review Azure usage and costsCost Analysis Vs Cost AllocationDrill into various data segments itemized from the billing file using Cost Analysis Reports. The reports enable granular cost navigation across Azure raw billing data.After you create a cost model, Cost Allocation reports are available. It matches the data to the usage and tag data of the Azure Account.Cost Over Time:Cost Over Time report displays spends over time to allow you to observe trends and detect irregularities in your deployment. It includes main cost contributors such including ongoing costs and one-time RI fees are being spent during a selected time frame.Use Actual Cost Over Time to see cost trends over time and find irregularities in costAmortized Cost:Amortized cost is that accumulated portion of the recorded cost of a fixed asset that has been charged to expense through either depreciation or amortization. Amortized Cost Reports shows non-usage-based service fees or one-time payable costs and spread their cost over time evenly during their lifespan. For example, one-time fees might include:Reserved Instances purchase feesAzure Marketplace itemsAnnual security component feesThis report displays the main cost contributors within a specified time range and includes ongoing usage costs and one-time RI fees, amortized over the term of the asset or reservation.Custom Charges:Enterprise and CSP often provide additional services to their customers along with their own cloud consumption. You can define these customs charges for added service and additional discounts if any. The list of customs charges doesn't show the different rates that you may be charging.5 things to consider saving to save costIf you are using a public cloud like Azure, it is crucial to know the ways to save cost as your bill is based on consumption. Below are the 5 tips explained to lower Azure pricing and optimize hosting costs:1. Select Azure Reserved VM instancesWhat is RI (Reserved Instance)?An Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instance (RI) is a virtual machine (VM) on the Microsoft Azure public cloud that has been reserved for dedicated use on a one- or three-year basis.RIs require a one-time, upfront payment and offer customers a discount of up to 72% when compared to Microsoft's standard on-demand, pay-per-use VM pricing model.Azure shows 3 options for Discount -Pay as you go -  You only need to pay for how much you will use.1 year reserved (~29% savings) – 29% discount will be given for reserving VMs for 1-year use.3 years reserved (~43% savings) --43% discount will be given for reserving VMs for 1-year use.2. Compare cost before choosing datacenter regionThe different VM pricing tiers do vary in price from region to region.https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/pricing/calculator/It combines the pricing data for all VM instance sizes across all Azure regions.Estimate your expected monthly bill using our Pricing Calculator and track your actual account usage and bill at any time using the billing portal. Set up automatic email billing alerts to be notified if your spend goes above an amount you configure.3. Make use of Azure Hybrid BenefitThe most cost-effective cloud for your Windows Server or SQL Server migration which helps you-Save up to 80% on Windows Server with Azure Hybrid Benefit and Reserved InstancesSave up to 55%1 on migrations to Azure SQL Database2 with Azure Hybrid BenefitGo at your own pace - move a few workloads or entire data centers)Maximise your investment in Microsoft Server SoftwareNow is the time to move to Azure and reap the rewards of cloud technology, including the ability to scale up or down quickly, pay only for what you use and save on compute power. Whether you are deploying new virtual machines, moving a few workloads or migrating your data centers as part of your hybrid cloud strategy, the Azure Hybrid Benefit provides big savings as you move to the cloud.4.  Use different load calculator to identify the required loadThere are few additional Database resources whose price cannot be calculated based on days and storage. It needs to specify throughput, DTU, and many additional add-ons.Two types of calculators for databases-1) SQL Database Calculatorhttps://dtucalculator.azurewebsites.net/If you are a developer using SQL Server, you've probably heard of Azure SQL Database and you've probably been thinking about migrating your on-premise or VM-based SQL Server database(s) to Azure SQL Database. If so, you've probably asked yourself, "which service tier and performance level should I use and how many database throughput units (DTUs) am I using now?" This calculator will help you determine the number of DTUs for your existing SQL Server database(s) as well as a recommendation of the minimum performance level and service tier that you need before you migrate to Azure SQL Database. Knowing the minimum service tier will allow you to get the performance you need while minimizing your costs.2) Cosmos Db Calculatorhttps://www.documentdb.com/capacityplannerTo help customers fine-tune their Azure Cosmos DB throughput estimations, there is a web-based tool to help estimate the request unit requirements for typical operations, including document creates, reads, and deletes.5. Make use of BYOL (Bring Your Own License)What is BYOLBYOL, or “bring your own license,” is the process you can use to deploy software that you already have a license. When you BYOL, you are responsible for managing your own licenses. You are responsible for managing true-ups and renewals as required under your Volume Licensing agreement. In addition, you must submit a new verification form when you renew your agreement and when you deploy any previously unverified products.How to go for BYOL?As a customer using License Mobility through Software Assurance, you must complete a license verification process. Microsoft will verify the eligible license with active Software Assurance and send a confirmation once the verification process is completed.Azure now have to Bring Your Own License (BYOL) images of Windows Server and Windows 10 directly in the marketplace.This is what you needed to do before:Install Windows 10 or Windows Server on an On-Premise machineSysprep the installationUpload the vhd to a storage accountCreate a VM (by template or script) using the custom imageThis is what you need to do now to achieve the same thing:Create a VM (by template or script) using the new marketplace BYOL imageHope you found this article helpful to reduce and optimize your Azure costs. Understand and manage your Azure spend effectively with the help of above 5 cost optimization strategies for Azure bill.
How To Save Up To 40% On Azure Bill Without Buying Any Cost Management Software
Raju
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How To Save Up To 40% On Azure Bill Without Buying Any Cost Management Software

I have seen many projects get shut down because of the Azure usage cost. Being a senior developer, I was asked to look over the azure usage and optimize the usage to reduce cost. In this article, we will discuss various ways for effective Azure cloud architecture cost optimization that can easily save up to 40% on Azure cost without purchasing any Cost Management Software. I'll also share some deep insights, which IT Managers doesn't care about, and which has a huge impact on Azure Bill.Different cost management system:1.CloudynCloudyn is an Azure cost management software that provides features like Report on cost and usage, Categorize by resource tags, Create and manage cost and usage budgets, Create alerts on cost and usage budgets, Eliminate idle cloud resources, Right-size cloud resources, Chargeback features including cost markup, redistribution, and custom charges, Customize recommendation thresholds and Categorize costs with custom meta-tags2. ProXcioProXcio contains features like cost analytics, usage analytics, filtered table views, exec dashboards, best practice reports, tag-based analytics, tag-based budgeting, budget analytics, aggregated reporting, limits data stored, limit range for analytics, CSV data import, EA Account drill down, multi-users support, no credit card required, support, cost forecasting, e-mail alerts, data export, Reports scheduling, API access, azure list price invoicing3. RackNapRackNap contains features like White-Label Marketplace, Subscription Billing, Support Helpdesk, Customer Self-service Portal, CRM, Sales and Marketing, Business Intelligence, Own Catalog Management, Partner Management, Inventory Management, Core Customizations, 3rd Party Integrations, Online Training, Admin Users, Deployment Countries, Deployment Model, Services for Launch.4. Azure CostsAll Azure Plans (incl. EA), Unlimited data retention Includes all Professional Features, Multi-Contract & User Support, Team & Enterprise Support, Subscription Based Permissions, Branding & Customizable Widgets, Azure Active Directory Support, Data Access via RESTful APIPrice Comparison:The table below compares the prices of different Azure cost management software available:Review Azure usage and costsCost Analysis Vs Cost AllocationDrill into various data segments itemized from the billing file using Cost Analysis Reports. The reports enable granular cost navigation across Azure raw billing data.After you create a cost model, Cost Allocation reports are available. It matches the data to the usage and tag data of the Azure Account.Cost Over Time:Cost Over Time report displays spends over time to allow you to observe trends and detect irregularities in your deployment. It includes main cost contributors such including ongoing costs and one-time RI fees are being spent during a selected time frame.Use Actual Cost Over Time to see cost trends over time and find irregularities in costAmortized Cost:Amortized cost is that accumulated portion of the recorded cost of a fixed asset that has been charged to expense through either depreciation or amortization. Amortized Cost Reports shows non-usage-based service fees or one-time payable costs and spread their cost over time evenly during their lifespan. For example, one-time fees might include:Reserved Instances purchase feesAzure Marketplace itemsAnnual security component feesThis report displays the main cost contributors within a specified time range and includes ongoing usage costs and one-time RI fees, amortized over the term of the asset or reservation.Custom Charges:Enterprise and CSP often provide additional services to their customers along with their own cloud consumption. You can define these customs charges for added service and additional discounts if any. The list of customs charges doesn't show the different rates that you may be charging.5 things to consider saving to save costIf you are using a public cloud like Azure, it is crucial to know the ways to save cost as your bill is based on consumption. Below are the 5 tips explained to lower Azure pricing and optimize hosting costs:1. Select Azure Reserved VM instancesWhat is RI (Reserved Instance)?An Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instance (RI) is a virtual machine (VM) on the Microsoft Azure public cloud that has been reserved for dedicated use on a one- or three-year basis.RIs require a one-time, upfront payment and offer customers a discount of up to 72% when compared to Microsoft's standard on-demand, pay-per-use VM pricing model.Azure shows 3 options for Discount -Pay as you go -  You only need to pay for how much you will use.1 year reserved (~29% savings) – 29% discount will be given for reserving VMs for 1-year use.3 years reserved (~43% savings) --43% discount will be given for reserving VMs for 1-year use.2. Compare cost before choosing datacenter regionThe different VM pricing tiers do vary in price from region to region.https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/pricing/calculator/It combines the pricing data for all VM instance sizes across all Azure regions.Estimate your expected monthly bill using our Pricing Calculator and track your actual account usage and bill at any time using the billing portal. Set up automatic email billing alerts to be notified if your spend goes above an amount you configure.3. Make use of Azure Hybrid BenefitThe most cost-effective cloud for your Windows Server or SQL Server migration which helps you-Save up to 80% on Windows Server with Azure Hybrid Benefit and Reserved InstancesSave up to 55%1 on migrations to Azure SQL Database2 with Azure Hybrid BenefitGo at your own pace - move a few workloads or entire data centers)Maximise your investment in Microsoft Server SoftwareNow is the time to move to Azure and reap the rewards of cloud technology, including the ability to scale up or down quickly, pay only for what you use and save on compute power. Whether you are deploying new virtual machines, moving a few workloads or migrating your data centers as part of your hybrid cloud strategy, the Azure Hybrid Benefit provides big savings as you move to the cloud.4.  Use different load calculator to identify the required loadThere are few additional Database resources whose price cannot be calculated based on days and storage. It needs to specify throughput, DTU, and many additional add-ons.Two types of calculators for databases-1) SQL Database Calculatorhttps://dtucalculator.azurewebsites.net/If you are a developer using SQL Server, you've probably heard of Azure SQL Database and you've probably been thinking about migrating your on-premise or VM-based SQL Server database(s) to Azure SQL Database. If so, you've probably asked yourself, "which service tier and performance level should I use and how many database throughput units (DTUs) am I using now?" This calculator will help you determine the number of DTUs for your existing SQL Server database(s) as well as a recommendation of the minimum performance level and service tier that you need before you migrate to Azure SQL Database. Knowing the minimum service tier will allow you to get the performance you need while minimizing your costs.2) Cosmos Db Calculatorhttps://www.documentdb.com/capacityplannerTo help customers fine-tune their Azure Cosmos DB throughput estimations, there is a web-based tool to help estimate the request unit requirements for typical operations, including document creates, reads, and deletes.5. Make use of BYOL (Bring Your Own License)What is BYOLBYOL, or “bring your own license,” is the process you can use to deploy software that you already have a license. When you BYOL, you are responsible for managing your own licenses. You are responsible for managing true-ups and renewals as required under your Volume Licensing agreement. In addition, you must submit a new verification form when you renew your agreement and when you deploy any previously unverified products.How to go for BYOL?As a customer using License Mobility through Software Assurance, you must complete a license verification process. Microsoft will verify the eligible license with active Software Assurance and send a confirmation once the verification process is completed.Azure now have to Bring Your Own License (BYOL) images of Windows Server and Windows 10 directly in the marketplace.This is what you needed to do before:Install Windows 10 or Windows Server on an On-Premise machineSysprep the installationUpload the vhd to a storage accountCreate a VM (by template or script) using the custom imageThis is what you need to do now to achieve the same thing:Create a VM (by template or script) using the new marketplace BYOL imageHope you found this article helpful to reduce and optimize your Azure costs. Understand and manage your Azure spend effectively with the help of above 5 cost optimization strategies for Azure bill.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 2 customer reviews
How To Save Up To 40% On Azure Bill Without Buying...

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Test Drive Your First Istio Deployment using Play with Kubernetes Platform- Cloud Computing

As a full stack Developer, if you have been spending a lot of time in developing apps recently, you already understand a whole new set of challenges related to Microservice architecture. Although there has been a shift from bloated monolithic apps to compact, focused Microservices for faster implementation and improved resiliency but the fact is  developers have to really worry about the challenges in integrating these services in distributed systems which includes accountability for service discovery, load balancing, registration, fault tolerance, monitoring, routing, compliance, and security.Let us understand the challenges faced by the developers and operators with the Microservice Architecture in details. Consider a 1st Generation simple Service Mesh scenario. As shown below, Service (A) communicates to Service (B). Instead of communicating directly, the request gets routed via Nginx. The Nginx finds a route in Consul (A service discovery tool) and automatically retries to form the connection on HTTP 502’s happen.                                                                    Figure: 1.0 – 1st Gen Service Mesh                                                      Figure:1.1 – Cascading Failure demonstrated with the increase in the number of servicesBut, with the advent of microservices architecture, the number is growing ever since. Below are the  listed challenges encountered by both developers as well as operations team:How to make these growing microservices communicate with each other?Enabling the load balancing architectures over these microservices.Providing role-based routing for the microservices.How to implement outgoing traffic on these microservices and test canary deployment?Managing complexity around these growing pieces of microservices.Implementation of fine-grained control for traffic behavior with rich-routing rules.Challenges in implementing Traffic encryption, service-to-service authentication, and strong identity assertions.In a nutshell, although you could enable service discovery and retry logic into application or networking middleware, the fact is that service discovery becomes tricky to make it right.Enter Istio’s Service Mesh“Service Mesh” is one of the hottest buzzwords of 2018. As the name suggests, it’s a configurable infrastructure layer for a microservices app. It lays out the network of microservices that make up applications and enables interactions between them. It makes communication between service instances flexible, reliable, and fast. The mesh provides service discovery, load balancing, encryption, authentication and authorization, support for the circuit breaker pattern, and other capabilities.Istio is completely an open source service mesh that layers transparently onto existing distributed applications. Istio v1.0 got announced last month and is ready for production. It is written completely in Go Language and its a fully grown platform which provides APIs that let it integrate into any logging platform, or telemetry or policy system. This project adds a very tiny overhead to your system. It is being hosted on GitHub. Istio’s diverse feature set lets you successfully, and efficiently, run a distributed microservice architecture, and provides a uniform way to secure, connect, and monitor microservices.Figure-1.2: Istio’s CapabilityThe Istio project adds a very tiny overhead to your system. It is being hosted on GitHub. Last month, Istio 1.0 release went public and ready for production environment.What benefits does Istio bring?Istio lets you connect, secure, control, and observe services.It helps to reduce the complexity of service deployments and eases the strain on your development teams.It provides developers and DevOps fine-grained visibility and control over traffic without requiring any changes to application code.It provides CIOs with the necessary tools needed to help enforce security and compliance requirements across the enterprise.It provides behavioral insights & operational control over the service mesh as a whole.Istio makes it easy to create a network of deployed services with automatic Load Balancing for HTTP, gRPC, Web Socket & TCP Traffic.It provides fine-grained control of traffic behavior with rich routing rules, retries, failovers, and fault injection.It enables a pluggable policy layer and configuration API supporting access controls, rate limits and quotas.Istio provides automatic metrics, logs, and traces for all traffic within a cluster, including cluster ingress and egress.It provides secure service-to-service communication in a cluster with strong identity-based authentication and authorization.If you want to deep-dive into Istio architecture, I highly recommend the official Istio website.It’s Demo Time !!!Under this blog post, I will showcase how Istio can be setup on Play with Kubernetes (PWK) Platform for a free of cost. In case you’re new, Play with Kubernetes rightly aka PWK is a labs site provided by Docker. It is a playground which allows users to run K8s clusters in a matter of seconds. It gives the experience of having a free CentOS LinuxVirtual Machine in the browser. Under the hood Docker-in-Docker (DinD) is used to give the effect of multiple VMs/PCs.Open https://labs.play-with-k8s.com/ to access Kubernetes Playground.Click on the Login button to authenticate with Docker Hub or GitHub ID.Once you start the session, you will have your own lab environment.Adding First Kubernetes NodeClick on “Add New Instance” on the left to build your first Kubernetes Cluster node. It automatically names it as “node1”. Each instance has Docker Community Edition (CE) and Kubeadm already pre-installed. This node will be treated as the master node for our cluster.Bootstrapping the Master NodeYou can bootstrap the Kubernetes cluster by initializing the master (node1) node with the below script. Copy this script content into bootstrap.sh file and make it executable using “chmod +x bootstrap.sh” command.When you execute this script, as part of initialization, the kubeadm write several configuration files needed, setup RBAC and deployed Kubernetes control plane components (like kube-apiserver, kube-dns, kube-proxy, etcd, etc.). Control plane components are deployed as Docker containers.Copy the above kubeadm join token command and save it for the next step. This command will be used to join other nodes to your cluster.Adding Worker NodesClick on “Add New Node” to add a new worker node.Checking the Cluster StatusVerifying the running PodsInstalling Istio 1.0.0Istio is deployed in a separate Kubernetes namespace istio-system. We will verify it later. As of now, you can copy the below content in a file called install_istio.sh and save it. You can make it executable and run it to install Istio and related tools.You should be able to see screen flooding with the below output.As shown above, it will enable the Prometheus, ServiceGraph, Jaeger, Grafana, and Zipkin by default.Please note – While executing this script, it might end up with the below error message –unable to recognize "install/kubernetes/istio-demo.yaml": no matches for admissionregistration.k8s.io/, Kind=MutatingWebhookConfigurationThe error message is expected.As soon as the command gets executed completely, you should be able to see a long list of ports which gets displayed at the top center of the page.Verifying the ServicesExposing the ServicesTo expose Prometheus, Grafana & Servicegraph services, you will need to delete the existing services and then use NodePort instead of ClusterIP so as to access the service using the port displayed on the top of the instance page. (as shown below)You should be able to access Grafana page by clicking on “30004” port and Prometheus page by clicking on “30003”.You can check Prometheus metrics by selecting the necessary option as shown below:Under Grafana Page, you can add “Data Source” for Prometheus and ensure that the dashboard is up and running:Congratulations! You have installed Istio on Kubernetes cluster. Below listed services have been installed on K8s playground:Istio Controllers and related RBAC rulesIstio Custom Resource DefinitionsPrometheus and Grafana for MonitoringJeager for Distributed TracingIstio Sidecar Injector (we'll take a look next section)Installing IstioctlIstioctl is configuration command line utility of Istio. It helps to create, list, modify and delete configuration resources in the Istio system.Deploying the Sample BookInfo ApplicationNow Istio is installed and verified, you can deploy one of the sample applications provided with the installation- BookInfo. This is a simple mock bookstore application made up of four services that provide a web product page, book details, reviews (with several versions of the review service), and ratings - all managed using Istio.Deploying BookInfo ServicesDefining the Ingress Gateway:Verifying BookInfo ApplicationAccessing it via Web URLYou should now be able the BookInfo Sample as shown below:Hope, this Istio deployment Kubernetes tutorial helped you to successfully install Istio on Kubernetes. In the future blog post, I will deep dive into Istio Internal Architecture, traffic management, policies & telemetry in detail.
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Test Drive Your First Istio Deployment using Play ...

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Delivering Messages Made Easy With Azure Service Bus

Integrating two different systems is often complicated and comes up with lots of challenges with respect to the availability of both systems, processing speed, scaling and many more. Amongst many recommendations for designing and developing applications for the cloud, enabling asynchronous communication between multiple services plays a vital role in achieving the reliability, scalability and the efficiency of the system.What are Message Queues?Message Queues is the solution to the challenges faced during Integration in distributed systems. It is an efficient way of enabling asynchronous communications between different software services.Following are three most important benefits Queuing solution comes with:1. Decoupling: Messaging queues provide a persistent storage and asynchronous communication and thus the availability of one service does not impact the another. They are eligible to work in a disconnected fashion.2. High reliability: Messaging queues use transactions to manage the message and help to roll back the transaction to recover the message, In case of a failure.3. Granular Scalability – Messaging queues helps to achieve granular scalability where the producer or consumer can scale on their own choice without even impacting the other.Azure Service Bus – A managed Queuing system on Azure CloudAzure Service bus is a highly scalable service that helps to achieve asynchronous messaging and exchanging data among decoupled systems. Moreover, since it is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering from Microsoft, thus, you don’t have to manage the Infrastructure and configuration. Azure cloud manages all this for you.Among all others, the most important feature of Azure Service Bus queue is that it guarantees messages to be delivered in FIFO order, which many other queuing solutions fail to provide, even Azure Storage Queues. This makes service bus the most suitable choice than any other Message Queues, though not the only choice. However, Other features to include high availability, auditing, Geo redundancy etc.Azure Service Bus has 3 offerings:1. Queues2. Topics and Subscriptions3. Relays1. Service Bus Queues:The queue is an optimum choice when we are implementing one-directional messaging and, we want to ensure that only one consumer can fetch the message. This is generally used when both the producer and the consumer are not online at the same point in time. All the messages sent by the producer are stored in the queue until consumed by the consumer or gets expired. Also, each message in the queue is identified by a unique Message-ID.Queues come with the assumption that the message needs to be consumed by only one service. However, in practical scenarios, one message might need to be delivered to multiple consumers on some business decisions or need to be broadcasted. To meet those requirements Service bus does have a different offering, Topics.2. Topics and Subscriptions:Topics also provide one-directional communication. However, it works on the publish-subscribe principle where the same message can be consumed by more than one consumer. A single topic may have multiple subscriptions associated with it. A Subscription is somewhat like Queue. When the topic receives the message, it delivers it to all the relevant subscriptions or distributes based on the subscription filters.3. Relays:Unlike Queues and Topics, Relays provides more sort of bi-directional communication. Relays do not support brokered messaging i.e. they don’t store any messages instead simply passes the message from one service to the other. Therefore, both the publisher and subscriber need to be active at the same point in time in case of relays. Relays are automatically created and deleted in a service bus namespace i.e. they need not be created beforehand and deleted post use by services.Azure Service Bus ArchitectureThe Azure Service Bus architecture is depicted in the figure below:Some Important Limits and QuotasAdvanced Features of Azure Service BusAzure Service Bus also has some advanced features that can help you to solve most complex messaging problems. The key features are listed below:1. Dead LetteringService bus provides dead letter subqueue to store messages that could not be delivered or processed. Dead letter queues can be used to move expired or poisoned messages from the parent queue. Those messages then can be retrieved for further investigations. Dead letter queues need not be created manually but are automatically created with the queue.2. TransactionsService bus provides transactions to group multiple operations together into one execution scope. This ensures that all the operations within a group either succeed or fail together.3. Duplicate detectionEnabling Duplicate detection helps to identify duplicate messages added on the basis of the unique message id. The duplicate message could be added by an application on restart of unexpected failure or exception scenarios not handled. Such messages need not be handled manually by the application because the service bus automatically handles those messages.4. Batch processingBatch processing feature of Azure service bus helps to add and retrieve messages in batch instead of one by one message. This extends help to the systems that have to process bulk messages.5. SessionsSometimes the messages are bigger in size say more than 1 MB (maximum message size capacity of queues). Sessions help in such scenarios by sending the message in parts and allowing the processing of the same only when all the parts are received at the consumer end.SummaryMicrosoft’s PaaS offering, Azure Service Bus is really helpful in developing and implementing highly scalable services without even care about infrastructure. It provides asynchronous communication and ensures greater reliability.Azure also lets you select from different options in service bus - for brokered and one directional message we have Queues and Topics and for non-persistent and bi-directional messages we have Relays.
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Delivering Messages Made Easy With Azure Service B...

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Cloud’s Achilles’ Heel Of Growth Is People Skills

Cloud is undoubtedly the driver of the new tech economy. Be it SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, Public, Private or Hybrid clouds, E-Commerce, IOT (Internet of Things), Big Data or some iteration that at the back of it is supported by cloud technologies. Technology is both enhancing and reducing in cost at such a speed, that it is no longer the entitlement of only the large firms, but can empower any organization from small to large, from startup to established, to be able to revolutionize their customer offering and to elect to disrupt or be disrupted.With this speed of technology, change comes a need for those supporting the business to adapt quickly and adopt new methodologies, knowledge, and skills to empower a company to take advantage of these new possibilities. Switching from Waterfall to Agile, from networking to virtualization to Docker, from hosting to IaaS & PaaS and from C, through Java into Swift, Hack, and Dart.Usage of AWS, Azure and Traditional ArchitecturesTake Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure as examples. It is extremely easy now to spin up these cloud offerings to run applications or to act as a temporary testing environment. However whilst easy, there is also complexity to address, from modules, security model, and storage approach to utilizing through to managing the user of these across an organization to ensure optimization commercially and that security is not compromised.Why Cloud Technology is slowly taking overA wide range of firms still relies on traditional IT infrastructure (locally deployed server applications and databases) despite the increasingly rapid rate of companies migrating to cloud-based systems.  Digital Transformation seems to be on the agenda of most enterprise organizations, banded about as if it’s a switch to flick and a fast thing to undertake. However, the reality is far from the truth and accepting the change required and building the cloud computing skills at hand to achieve it, are barriers impeding a growing number of companies.Change and Migration to CloudChange is hard to accept at the best of times, particularly if you have previously been the subject expert on a vendor/technology for a long period, to now find that is being disrupted at pace and your worth is diminishing either in your own firm or to the general market. Being prepared to let go of many years of acquired skills and accept the need to re-start and learn a whole range of new skills is hard to accept and many will resist, defending the status quo and hindering business change and their own personal progress.For companies moving applications and services to cloud platforms, migration challenges are one of the top constraints affecting IT, as there are no automated switchovers on offer and customized internal or external migrations vary from mild to heavy development changes.A strategic approach for organizations looking to scale its migration to the cloud platform quickly for business needs.A quick exampleMigrating a homegrown or proprietary application requires new application development and testing. However, if taken on with commitment, the move can provide faster more agile application development through DevOps and utilization of enhanced cloud features and API’s leading to improved application lifecycle management.Cloud computing skills are in demandAs the demand for cloud computing is increasing there is a tremendous need for professionals to keep up with the knowledge and skills of the chosen cloud platform to propel their career and to deliver the migration project in a structured effective manner. Cloud continues to enhance quickly and even those in the cloud a decade ago are finding they are needing to continue to learn new cloud computing skills, such as the usage surge in containers, for which a Robin Systems Survey recently cited that 81% of organizations are planning to increase their use.Big Data has introduced new approaches, tools, skills and with an expected annum growth of 60% (IDC), it cannot be ignored. With the increased volume of data and continual crunching, demands databases are going to live in the cloud and demand new platforms and approaches.Security, Security and Security!With the plethora of changes from new coded applications and architectures holding vast data stores in the cloud, the need for greater cybersecurity expertise is an essential requirement. With the human element recognized as the most vulnerable area of security, the introduction of so many new skill areas will introduce increased risk of new security exposures. Software developers in the cloud must understand and treat with extreme caution,  as there is a need for increased responsibility for security assurance and compliance. With the heightened awareness of security threats and breaches and the introduction of the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe with far heftier and damaging fines, getting this wrong is now going to be catastrophic. It is estimated that less than 5% of cloud applications are ready for GDPR, leading to a vast breadth of enhancement In a very short period.Reasons for new security threatsThe perfect storm circling this comes from the expectation that 30-40% of the corporate workforce will retire in the next decade, combined with a reduction in those studying relevant ICT subjects and the reduction in educations capability to provide effective education in the required areas. We have a rapidly increasing demand for cloud computing skills (to both support new technologies and to support the digital transformation from old to new) and a big % of those with technology backgrounds retiring rather than reskilling, backed a reduction in educations capability to attract and educate to the level of need required.Businesses now have pressures upon them like never before!  Markets that shift quicker, more fickle and demanding customers, users being influenced by or becoming millennials (who expect faster, quicker, easier, cheaper from the world they have grown up within) and disruption all around them from newborn firms who can attack with the gusto of using all the new world tech and methods, with no legacies to unchain themselves from.SummaryCompanies MUST have access to the skills required to be able to employ the full scope of new tech on offer to their business advantage, to move old creaking applications to newer form factors and to deliver a better quality of service and user experience to the demands of any device, any place, any time working for both their employee and their increasingly new breed of customer.Unless the issue is addressed quickly, you can expect ‘Supply & Demand’ for these new skills is going to simultaneously implode and explode, creating a chasm between need and affordability, as those who can do become scarce and valuable commodities, available to the few who can afford!
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SSHing into Ubuntu EC2 instance post blocking port 22 with UFW - Cloud Computing

IntroductionThis blog is in reference to a troubleshooting situation in Amazon Web Services when you have configured firewall setting in your ubuntu ec2 or remote instance and is not able to login via PuTTY through SSH as the instance. Here, we will see how to insert SSH into the instance in a certain situation when you are logged out of that instance.During configuration of SSL security, we may accidentally or purposely block SSH for the instance to make the instance secure. But, what if we again want the same instance to SSH for certain changes.  Below is the highlighted configuration of the instance. Here, you can see that all the instances have all ports opened to everything.Here are the configuration changes which you have made on the login into instance:$ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install nginx $ sudo apt-get install ufw  Check UFW Status and Rules At any time, you can check the status of UFW with this command:$ sudo ufw status verbose By default, UFW will be disabled so you should see something like this:Output: Status: inactive If UFW is active, the output will say that it's active, and it will list the rules that are set. For example, if the firewall is set to allow SSH (port 22) connections from anywhere, the output might look something like this:Output: Status: active Logging: on (low) Default: deny (incoming), allow (outgoing), disabled (routed) New profiles: skip To                         Action      From --                         ------      ---- 22/tcp                     ALLOW IN Anywhere $ sudo ufw deny ssh $ sudo ufw status verbose Output: Status: active Logging: on (low) Default: deny (incoming), allow (outgoing), disabled (routed) New profiles: skip To                         Action      From --                         ------      ---- 22/tcp                     DENY    Anywhere If you kicked or logged out of the instance once the changes are done, you will be seeing the below results.On SSH into the instance with your Public DNS through PuTTY below are the results which you are seeing as an error i.e. Network error: Connection Timed Out  Below error shows that even after all ports were opened outside, the instance is not able to SSH because of firewall software of Ubuntu at the system level. Let’s see how to resolve this kind of system related issue.Solution to the issue:Step 1: Take an image of the EC2 instance by selecting the instance ->Image-Create ImageStep 2: Provide specification Image name, tick on no reboot and push the create image buttonStep 3: Then Select the image and click on launchStep 4: Go to instance type, select and click on NextStep 5: In the configuration instance, write the below commands under Advanced Details and click on next:#!/bin/bash sudo ufw allow ssh sudo ufw allow 22 sudo ufw allow 443 sudo ufw allow 8080 sudo ufw allow 80 sudo ufw status  sudo ufw enable Step 6: Click next and next tab and add security group similar as providedStep 7: Review and launch the instance and then try to SSH to the instance through PuTTY. You will be now able to add SSH inside the instance with this and you can terminate the old instance as the new instance with all the setup same as that of the old instance without any issue except the public IP and private IP change.Best Practices of Firewall Configuration & Port Blocking:Ensure that the Security Groups will allow a specific IP addresses which are within the VPN Range of the Environment.Use of NACL for allowing and blocking the IP addresses or subnets for a specific Port by using allow and deny rules. A network ACL contains a numbered list of rules that we evaluate in order, starting with the lowest numbered rule. This helps to determine whether traffic is allowed in or out of any subnet associated with the network ACL. The highest number that you can use for a rule is 32766. We recommend that you start by creating rules in increments (for example, increments of 10 or 100) so that you can insert new rules.Use of Bastion Host for accessing critical servers and environment is always a better option to increase the security of the system or environment. 
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Cloud Networks: Benefits and Savings For Businesses of All Sizes

Cloud networks and storage solutions can provide companies of any size with an outsourced infrastructure that can facilitate strategic growth and create opportunities with clients and customers across the world. With solutions that include content management along with internal and external communications, businesses can find scalable solutions that can enable their team to work remotely and across a variety of devices. With insight from key market research studies, cloud solutions can reduce a company’s TCO (total cost of ownership) by reducing their reliance on traditional brick & mortar spaces, limited markets, and inefficient operations. This can translate into six key benefits for businesses, including Improved collaboration, strategic and managed growth, lowered operational costs, secure data backup, greater reliability, and eased resource management. Through standardized, more efficient solutions and infrastructure, companies can grow on their own terms, which can allow organizations to reinvest in their future success. Learn more about these tangible benefits.  As businesses adapt to new technologies and changing markets, their daily operations and data storage solutions need to evolve as well. In previous generations, a company’s core functions, including communication and record-keeping, were a logistical feat often requiring the acute focus of a dedicated operations manager to oversee multiple, non-standardized processes running concurrently across multiple platforms. More often than not, these processes required manual input and countless hours to update, leaving key areas vulnerable to human error or oversight. Apart from inefficient time use, manual operations often required physical data storage, meaning separate filing cabinets or rooms full of servers just to keep tabs on valuable information. Benefits For Businesses of Any Size That’s where cloud networks come in. By outsourcing basic functions like communication and data storage, companies stand to save significantly in terms of time and resources that would have normally been simply spent on maintaining current projects. Let’s say that you run an advertising firm in southern California. How much of your day would be eaten up by rote, mundane tasks related to intra-office communications and project management? By subcontracting emails, content management, and network security to a Los Angeles IT services firm, your company would be able to focus on core functions, strengthened client relations, and strategic reinvestment in growth that includes attracting larger accounts as well as promotional efforts. Six Key Benefits According to American Express, the benefits of cloud computing can be broken down into six key areas: Improved collaboration Strategic and managed growth Lowered costs Secure data backup Greater reliability Eased resource management These benefits are applicable to companies of all sizes across industries and sectors, even small startups that are just getting their footing. Because cloud resources can be accessed remotely, team members have the opportunity to work from anywhere across a range of devices. Content and Communications Management Let’s look at a startup advertising firm as an example again. Using a content management system (CMS) such as Trello or Basecamp, account managers would be able to liaise with writers, graphic designers, and even clients from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. With both collaboration and growth in mind, this would allow the firm to connect innovative and creative talent with clients from anywhere in the world while allowing management to work remotely. This remote workforce would render a traditional office space obsolete, possibly eliminating real estate or rental costs. Hosting content on a CMS in addition to a cloud document tool such as Google Docs would also provide a low-cost, secure data backup. All in all, an agency that utilized this model would be primed for as much growth as it would be able to handle, without being weighed down by overhead costs with which traditional brick & mortar firms would have to contend.  Savings For Any Company In terms of financial benefits, Forbes has some insight into projected savings. Louis Columbus, a contributor specializing in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and cloud software, discussed these potential savings in a column on how cloud computing could be a viable investment for any company. With data from a study conducted by market research firm, Vanson Bourne, 1300 businesses across multiple industries in the UK and the US were surveyed on the cost benefits of cloud networks and computing solutions for their organizations. Cost reduction averaged about 23% since companies were able to save on infrastructure, both physical and technical. Further, 62% of firms surveyed were able to invest these saved funds back into their businesses. Continued Innovation and Growth  Based on the data and findings from market researchers and media outlets alike, being less reliant on costly hardware and physical space can enable any organization to streamline operations and reduce their total cost of ownership as explained in another analysis from a Forbes contributor. While cloud networks and services are being provided by industry behemoths like Amazon and Microsoft, the emergence of many startups in the retail and services sectors is leveling the playing field among smaller and medium-sized businesses in many communities worldwide. Along with reduced costs and more intuitive communication and management, cloud networks help companies to innovate beyond the expectations of their local markets. It’s clear that advances in network and data storage solutions will continue to facilitate the growth of small and medium sized businesses in the digital space.
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