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Posts Tagged ‘azure’

Moving to the Cloud with Confidence

Do you remember your very first airplane ride? I do, I was eight and I was headed to Disney World. So a double whammy of happiness – first time on a plane and first time to Disney. I don’t recall being scared to get on the plane, or being nervous when landing, or even when in the air for that matter. The only thing that scared me was take off, and I think that is how a lot of organizations still feel about putting their data in the cloud. It’s nerve wracking to take something that is important to you and your organization and put it someplace where you can’t have 100% control over it.

Why is it so scary to move to the cloud? Why is security still a check box on the list of concerns in moving data to the cloud? Is it really any different or less secure than keeping company and customer data on-premises?

Let’s find out.

The truth is moving your data and services to the cloud is no less secure than keeping it on-premises. Both come with pros and cons, and honestly your data may be even safer in the cloud. A few key items to think about before moving any data or services to the cloud:

  • If you currently have an on-premises server what does your life cycle road map look like in terms of integrating cloud services as the on-premises server ages out?
  • What is your SLA with the cloud provider?
  • What devices and people are you allowing to have access to the data; and what data can they see?
  • Are you planning to move to a private, public or a hybrid cloud environment?

Read the rest of this post »

What Does Azure Stack Mean for the Enterprise?

At the Ignite 2015 conference Microsoft had announced a few details about what Azure Stack is, and that at its most basic level it’s Azure Services that run in the On-Premises, Enterprise Data Center. Back when Microsoft Azure launched in 2010, there was a promise of Azure in your Data Center, that wasn’t talked about for a couple years. Thankfully they’ve brought it back as Azure Stack, and it’s proven to be quite a large effort for Microsoft to plan, implement and integrate with Windows Server. Now that the initial Technical Preview of Azure Stack is available for download, what exactly does Azure Stack mean for the Enterprise? This article will outline the details to answer that question. Read the rest of this post »

“Cloud is Strong” according to Microsoft Q2 2016 Earnings

I’ve previously blogged about Azure being the future of the Enterprise data center. Some times it can be difficult to tell how well Microsoft’s Cloud business (Azure and Office 365) are doing. Good news for us is that when Microsoft releases their earnings, they do give a glimpse of how well the different divisions of the business are doing in the form of dollar ($) signs. Microsoft’s Q2 2016 ending Dec. 31, 2015 shows strong growth in their cloud service offerings.

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Perficient’s Microsoft Practice is Ready to ‘Rise’ and Shine

Agility in any marketplace requires a willingness to evolve. With the acquisition of Rise Foundation, Perficient’s Microsoft practice is positioned to create, market, and sell products of its own.

Rise Foundation is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that transforms SharePoint for Office 365 or SharePoint 2013/2016 on-premises into an easy-to-use intranet or portal for the business user. But Perficient did not just pick up the application; it acquired the product development team as well. This allows Perficient to develop and support the product in ways that add value to the company’s core services business.

“We have been working with clients to make the most of their investments in Microsoft technology on their own digital transformation journeys, and adding Rise Foundation to our portfolio provides a way to expedite that,” said Matt Morse, General Manager, Microsoft Modern Apps business unit. Read the rest of this post »

Importance of the Cloud: Scaling, IaaS, PaaS

There’s always been a level of redundancy built into large Production or even smaller mission critical systems. Scaling out is the answer to both by adding additional compute resources as well as increase the overall uptime reliability of a system. This principle is no different when it comes to the cloud, than it is on-premises. The terms “cloud scale” and “internet scale” are thrown around a lot without really defining what they mean. In this article we’ll discuss what the aforementioned terms mean and how they relate to cloud computing. Read the rest of this post »

Perficient to Speak at Nintex’s Inaugural InspireX

Nintex, a valued partner of Perficient, is hosting its first customer and partner event February 22-24, 2016 at ARIA Resort in Las Vegas.

Matt Morse, general manager of modern applications within the Microsoft group at Perficient, will lead a breakout session on hybrid solutions using Nintex and Office 365. Most organizations with investments in Office 365 and Nintex have needs provided by other cloud platforms, as well as business applications that run within their own data centers. This session will show how Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms can help bridge this heterogeneous environment, creating seamless user experiences that cross application and platform boundaries. Perficient will:

  1. Communicate the tenet that success in a process-oriented environment is driven more by user experience than by where the software is running.
  2. Demonstrate the ability of the cloud-based version of Nintex to integrate with other cloud platforms and with on-premises scenarios.
  3. Demonstrate the ability of Microsoft’s Azure platform to provide a vehicle for extending Nintex capabilities beyond Office 365 and other cloud platforms.

InspireX will provide customers and partners with valuable best practices, inspiring customer success stories, and fun networking opportunities.  Register today to see how Perficient and Nintex work together.


Using Azure AD Domain Service for SharePoint IaaS Deployments

Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a great option for SharePoint Server deployments for those use cases and/or organizations where SharePoint Online is not appropriate or sufficient.  IaaS can be used for dev/test scenarios or a part of a production, cloud-based infrastructure.

With SharePoint Server 2016, deployment without Active Directory is no longer supported;  Active Directory is mandatory for any scalable version of SharePoint Server.  Until now, the requirement for an Active Directory Domain was satisfied by provisioning a Windows Server Virtual Machine (VM) and configuring the server as a Domain Controller.

The Azure Active Directory Domain Services (currently in preview) offers an alternative. Rather than deploying and configuring a VM, the Domain Service could be enabled within an Azure Active Directory instance and associated with a new or pre-existing Virtual Network. Once the initial setup is complete, virtual machines deployed into the virtual network can be joined to the Active Directory domain. Once the machines are joined to the domain, the domain can be utilized as if it was being provided by an On-Prem or IaaS Windows Server.

The advantage? Simpler, more cost-effective Active Directory Domain management without the need to configure and run an additional server.

Since the Azure AD Domain Service is in preview, I decided to test the service within the context of a SharePoint IaaS-based deployment. In my testing, I chose to use the SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 image (see SharePoint 2016 Install ), but the results are applicable to any SharePoint version (e.g. 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016) using an Active Directory based deployment

The end result – a domain that can be used to support SharePoint Active Directory users and groups! For example, a domain name of can provide a SharePoint setup login of sp2016ad\sp_setup.  (As of this writing, the service is only supported in “classic” mode, with support of Azure Resource Management forthcoming.)

The detailed instructions can be found below. Read the rest of this post »

Azure DevOps: Predictability in the Cloud with Azure Automation

Azure automationWhy to automate anything should be obvious. In addition to efficiency, there are also considerations on consistency, repeatability, and predictability to programmatically carry out tasks. Considering DevOps, automation is an effective vehicle to minimal user interventions from both Dev and Ops for establishing application infrastructure, configuring run-time, and deploying a target application. This automation provides consistency and predictability of application deployment with transparency to both Dev and Ops. The theme is that DevOps calls for automation and automation sets DevOps in motion.

Microsoft Azure Automation allows you to automate the creation, monitoring, deployment and management of cloud resources in your Microsoft Azure subscription using a highly-available workflow execution engine.  Azure Automation provides an orchestration feature set for public cloud resources that is similar to what the Service Management Automation (SMA) engine provides for on-premises private cloud resources via the Windows Azure Pack and System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator. Orchestrator as the name suggests is a powerful component in System Center to for automating and orchestrating a data center. You can consider it as a turbo DevOps engine leaning towards the Ops side. Read the rest of this post »

Introduction to Microservices using Azure Service Fabric

Azure_LogoToday’s Internet scale services are built using microservices. Example microservices are protocol gateways, user profiles, shopping carts, inventory processing, queues, caches, etc. Microservices can further be defined by:

  • Is (logic + state) independently versioned, scaled, and deployed
  • Has a unique name that can be resolved
  • Interacts with other microservices over well-defined interfaces like REST
  • Remains logically consistent in the presence of failures
  • Hosted in a container (code + config)
  • Can be written in any language or framework

The Microsoft Azure Service Fabric is a microservices platform giving every microservice a unique name that can either be stateless or stateful.

Stateless microservices (e.g. protocol gateways, web proxies, etc.) do not maintain any mutable state outside of any request and its response from the service. Azure Cloud Services worker roles are an example of stateless service. Stateful microservices (e.g. user accounts, databases, devices, shopping carts, queues etc.) maintain mutable, authoritative state beyond the request and its response. Today’s Internet scale applications consist of a combination of stateless and stateful microservices. Read the rest of this post »

Azure: Did You Know? Azure Storage Explorer

This week at the Microsoft Connect() 2015 conference there were many new features and updates Microsoft Azure and rest of the Microsoft developer stack. Among these updates was the announcement of the all new Azure Storage Explorer being added to the set of Azure SDK tools. The Azure Storage Explorer is a stand-alone application that allows for Azure Blob Storage to be worked with in a similar fashion as using Windows File Explorer to browse and manage a file system. This enables you to create and delete Blob containers; upload, download and delete Blobs; as well as enables searching across all containers and blobs within your Azure Subscription. Additionally, the new Azure Storage Explorer runs on both Windows and Mac OSX.

Azure Storage Explorer screenshot

Previously, since the beginning of the Microsoft Azure platform, it was a bit cumbersome to work with Azure Blob Storage, as you pretty much needed to use the .NET SDK to write an application to manage your Blobs and Containers. This works well for making an application upload, download and delete the Blobs it needs behind the scenes. But what about the instances where an Admin or Developer needs to just look at what’s out there in Blob Storage? Well, now thanks to the new Azure Storage Explorer, you can just browse and manage Blob Storage with ease.

Azure Storage Explorer can be downloaded here: