What Azure Virtual Machine size should I pick?!?

Introduction

Remember the last time you went shopping for a shirt? Then you surely also recall the moment in time when you were looking to find the right shirt size for yourself…

You probably also noticed that sizes might differ a bit depending on the context. A  woman’s size vs & men’s size is totally different. There are geographical differences… and some people just like to wear cloths that have more “free space”.

So is today’s post about buying cloths? Hell no… 😉 But it’s to point out that there are analogies between finding the right shirt for you, and finding the right Azure Virtual Machine. Today we’ll delve into the aspects that will guide you a given T-shirt size in Azure ; for instance, why choose an FS1 above an A1_V2, where they both have 1 core & 2GB of memory. Though there is a price difference of 10€ per month on them.

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Azure : IT Governance in the cloud

Introduction

During the weekend I saw the following tweet passing by …

Apparently, a hosting company (allegedly) got all their data wiped by an ex-admin. Now I can imagine people thinking that this is something that is part of the territory when it boils down to cloud. So I wanted to write a blog post entailing what you do to set up a governance structure in Azure. Here I’m aware that the above tweet is more related to the security aspect of governance, it’s a part of it nevertheless.

 

Governance?!?

Let’s get started on our scope… IT Governance can cover a lot of ground. In essence, the goal is to assure that the investment in IT generates business value and the risks that are associated with IT projects are mitigated. Though I found that CIO.com has a nice definition on it ;

Simply put, it’s putting structure around how organizations align IT strategy with business strategy, ensuring that companies stay on track to achieve their strategies and goals, and implementing good ways to measure IT’s performance. It makes sure that all stakeholders’ interests are taken into account and that processes provide measurable results. An IT governance framework should answer some key questions, such as how the IT department is functioning overall, what key metrics management needs and what return IT is giving back to the business from the investment it’s making.

So let’s take a look at how we can put an enterprise-grade structure around the management of Azure!

 

TL;DR = Azure Enterprise Scaffold

For those who want to skip the post below… When talking about governance in Azure, the best place that summarizes it the following page in our documentation ; “The Azure Enterprise Scaffold“.

Continue reading “Azure : IT Governance in the cloud”

Comparing Costs : Is Cloud more expensive than an On Premises setup?

Introduction

In my role as a Cloud Solution Architect, I’m often faced with the statement that cloud is expensive. My reply is always that Cloud is not expensive (more expensive than On Premises) if you take into account all the costs involved. As this is an easy statement to make… I made an effort to create a cost comparison for four different scenario’s (in term of deployment size) and stacked “OnPremises” vs “Cloud”.

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In this post we’ll discuss this calculation and ensure that we are comparing apples to apples!

 

Design Decisions

Continue reading “Comparing Costs : Is Cloud more expensive than an On Premises setup?”

Azure : Auto Shutdown of Servers

Did you know that the “Dev/Test Labs” service in Azure had a neat feature where you could schedule the shutdown of servers? No, or yes… Now this features has been integrated in all virtual machines. Nice!

So just go to the details blade of a virtual machine and click on the “Auto-Shutdown”-tile. Here you can enable / schedule a shutdown.

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Via this method, you configure it per VM. You can always use Azure automation / runbooks and do it per resource groups.

Why do this? In Azure you are billed per minute for your compute runtime. So shutting down (and deallocating) will safe you a great bunch!

Azure : Billing Automation / Integration via the REST

Introduction
If you are an internal service provider needing to do chargebacks, or get an insight into your spending. Or if you are a cloud service provider in need to bill your customers for their Azure usage… You’ll find your self in need to get the raw usage data of your subscription(s). So today we’ll delve into getting your usage data from Azure via the REST api.

kvaes-azure-billing-consumption-usage-pricing-data-information

 

Environment Setup
For today’s post, we’ll be using “postman“. A very nice tool suggested by a co-worker of mine (Robin) and it’s really user-friendly to work with! What does the tool do? Basically it’ll let you craft REST calls without the need for custom scripts / coding effort. Why do we need it? Because we’re going to need to do authentication with each call, and let’s say… It isn’t that straightforward if you aren’t accustomed with it (like me at this time). 🙂

In order to set up your environment, I would suggest that you go through the following guide. So basically setup your environment …
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Lingo Explained : ROI, NPV, IRR

When talking about projects, you often see the following terms popping up ; ROI, NPV & IRR. Yet what do they mean?

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ROI

  • Abbreviation : Return On Investment
  • In Short : The ROI will give you an indication how fast you will have a return on your investment. It’s mostly expressed in a period of years, when calculating with costs related to a year.
  • Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_on_investment
  • Formula :

    return on investment = (gain from investment – cost of investment) / cost of investment

  • Video : Youtube

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NPV

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IRR

  • Abbreviation : Internal Rate of Return
  • In Short : The IRR will indicate the “interest” you get from an investement. It’s often used as a metric to see if money shouldn’t be kept with the finance institution instead of within a (risky) investment.
  • Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_rate_of_return
  • Formula :

    Check here…

  • Video : Youtube

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And how does that related to decision making?

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