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What is Azure Resource Manager? The infrastructure that makes up your application is often composed of various different components. For instance, you might simply be running a web site, but behind the scenes you have an Azure web site deployed, a Storage account for tables, blobs, and queues, a couple of VMs running a database […]


A year ago we launched Azure Weekly, a free weekly email newsletter that covers all aspects of the Azure ecosystem: Management & Automation (Azure Automation, Azure Scheduler, Key Vault, Docker, Azure Resource Manager and PowerShell to Application Insights and Operational Insights) Compute (Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Azure Batch & RemoteApp) Networking (Virtual Networks, ExpressRoute, Traffic […]


Azure Batch – Time is Money in Big Compute

by James Broome

Earlier in the year, endjin worked with the Azure Batch Product Team to run a series of experiments against the Azure Batch service using a framework we developed for performing scale, soak and performance tests. We’ve had conversations with a number of organisations over the last 5 years who have scaled their compute intensive workloads (SAS, […]


A short while ago, I was trying to classify some data using Azure Machine Learning, but the training data was very imbalanced. In the attempt to build a useful model from this data, I came across the Synthetic Minority Oversampling Technique (SMOTE), an approach to dealing with imbalanced training data. This blog describes what I […]


Previously each component in Azure was deployed, managed, billed and monitored separately. Azure Resource Manager (ARM) is a new approach that allows you to declaratively state what a group of Azure infrastructure should look like as a template, then deploy that template in an idempotent way (i.e. you can run it multiple times and it […]


Spinning up 16,000 A1 Virtual Machines on Azure Batch

by Howard van Rooijen

Big Compute, like Big Data has a different meaning for every organisation; for Big Data this generally tends to be when data grows to a point where it can no longer be stored, queried, backed up, restored or processed easily on traditional database architectures. For Big Compute this tends to be when computation grows to […]


SpecFlow Extensions for Azure Storage Emulator

by Howard van Rooijen

In most cases, when writing an integration specifications against Azure Storage, you want to use the real thing rather than the Storage Emulator as the performance profile and behaviours are noticeably different. One exception is if you’ve hosted your code in a public repo; in this case you really don’t want to commit your real […]


A CDN, short for Content Delivery Network, is essentially a network of servers set-up, in various geographic locations, with the aim of speeding up the delivery of content to end-users across the Internet. […]


Azure Automation scheduler and daylight saving time

by Richard Kerslake

Update 18/10/16: Azure Automation schedules do now support time zones, which means they can properly adjust for daylight savings! To use this feature creating a new schedule is required – all existing schedules prior to the release of this feature will be stored in UTC. Specifying a timezone in the portal looks like this: Daylight […]


With Power BI now in public preview everywhere, you don’t need to be a “data scientist” to do data science! Power BI is a powerful tool for visualising performance, user interactions and other data for your applications. There is so much useful data sitting passively in various storage accounts, hiding interesting trends or unwanted behaviour. […]


Microsoft Azure Web Apps (formerly known as Azure Websites) has a very useful inbuilt continuous integration and deployment engine called Kudu (it’s also open source; under an Apache 2.0 license, and you can also host it outside of Azure). Kudu supports a continuous integration and deployment workflow against VSO, GitHub, TeamCity, Hudson and BitBucket. If […]


In a previous post, I showed how to report errors to New Relic from an Azure Worker Role. This Cloud Service could be deployed in a number of environments, such as Test and Production. With the NewRelic.AppName setting defined in app.config (or web.config for a Web Role), all deployments will report data under that single […]


Reporting errors to New Relic from an Azure Worker Role

by Richard Kerslake

New Relic is a great tool for monitoring applications and servers. It can integrate nicely with Microsoft Azure, especially with web/IIS based applications. For applications that run in a Worker Role, it can be a bit more tricky to get the project set up correctly and data flowing to New Relic. The following steps walk […]


When faced with the huge number of technologies and services that are now shipping under the Azure banner, it can be pretty daunting. How do you identify the choices that will be right for your solution? And are you making the right price/performance trade-offs? And what is the difference between a web role and a […]


This blog is an addendum to Richard’s recent post about using Azure Automation to run VMs during office hours only. As Richard explains, you can use Azure Automation to create runbooks which contain PowerShell Workflows with the functionality you want to implement (e.g. starting and stopping a virtual machine or cloud service), and link those […]


Diagnostic logging with Azure SDK 2.5

by Richard Kerslake

Azure SDK 2.5 was announced on November 12th 2014.  Among other changes, the SDK includes Azure Diagnostics Client Library 1.3, which has significant and breaking changes since previous versions (Azure SDK 2.4 and previous versions used Diagnostics 1.0). One of the primary reasons for the change is to move from a plugin model to an […]


Send Data into Azure Event Hubs using Web Api’s HttpClient

by Howard van Rooijen

We’ve recently been working on an Internet of Things (IoT) Proof of Concept which involved sending device telemetry into Azure to be shaped, enriched, materialized into different data formats and then computationally processed, before being ingested into PowerBI. As another part of the Proof of Concept was to design and manufacture the actual device, we […]


Using Azure Automation to run VMs during office hours only

by Richard Kerslake

There is an updated version of this post. Please read the new version, which guides you through similar steps using the latest and greatest Azure Portal and Azure Automation features: Using Azure Automation to run VMs during office hours only – using graphical runbooks   Endjin have been using Microsoft Azure to host our ALM infrastructure […]


Elasticsearch gotchas and tips – part 2

by Richard Kerslake

It has been some time since my last post giving tips on the hardware and software requirements for installing and running Elasticsearch on Azure. This post is a further series of gotchas and tips that I’ve picked up on during my journey using Elasticsearch. It is split into 3 broad categories covering various configuration items, […]


Have you signed up for the Azure Weekly newsletter?

by Howard van Rooijen

I’ve been a long time subscriber to DevOps Weekly and more recently to Hadoop Weekly; they are great services that offer a condensed, useful summary of interesting information about their subject areas, combined with items about new tools as well as user events. While reading through Hadoop Weekly last week, I wondered if anyone had created […]