Azure Functions - Simple Website Demo

In this first demo post, I want to show how to create a simple website using Azure functions. This isn’t anything fancy and, more than likely, you won’t be attempting to do this in production, but it will still serve a purpose for us to get introduced to building functions. It is important to note that, when functions first became available, some people did, in fact, try to host their website(s) by using functions only. Why not? After all, they would only have to pay for the time the function actually ran. This could end up being a mere $1 or $2 each month. Microsoft got wind of this and put some mechanisms in place to prevent this sort of thing. We’re going to sidestep some of these mechanisms by hard-coding some HTTP responses. Again, this isn’t production-worthy.
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Conjunction Junction, What's Your Function: Azure Functions - Overview

So, you’ve heard about Azure Functions?  Possibly read about them somewhere?  Why all the fuss?  What exactly are Azure Functions? Well, you’ve stopped at the right place.  In this post and the next couple of posts, I’m going to talk about Azure Functions, along with their history, use cases and some tutorials.  So, let’s get started.

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Citrix Cloud with Azure using a Raspberry PI 3 VDI Client

I’ve recently had a lot of interaction with customers who have asked about Microsoft’s partnership with Citrix.  More specifically, different people have asked how Citrix Cloud can be coupled with Azure in order to deploy a Citrix XenDesktop environment into Azure IaaS.

In this video, I don’t necessarily show the setup process.  But, I do demonstrate a Raspberry PI 3 VDI client connecting to Citrix Cloud hosted Storefront and running XenDesktop/XenApp from a Windows Server 2016 machine in Azure.  One interesting thing is seeing how responsive a YouTube video is while running on a Raspberry PI.  Instead of the typical constraints imposed by the PI (e.g. processor, RAM, etc.), I’m leveraging the full resources of Windows Server while letting the VDI client simply render changes in the video to the user.  The performance, I believe, is quite good – especially, when considering the possible deployment of such a device within the enterprise.

All in all, this makes for a very secure, economical VDI client.


IoT Asset Management Starter Kit

First demonstrated at Microsoft’s 2016 Ignite Conference in Atlanta, GA, the IoT Asset Management Starter Kit is a boiler plate project comprised of Node.js and Angular 2 that facilitates the quick development of an IoT project for Asset Management. The project brings all the necessary components – Azure IoT Hub, Stream Analytics, Heroku, MongoDB and Raspberry Pi 3 – together to build a working end-to-end IoT solution.

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The Internet of Things: What You Need To Know

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of doing a live broadcast on Microsoft’s Channel 9 Developer Network.  In the broadcast, I discussed various uses for the Internet of Things (IoT) across different industries.  In particular, I followed an original story line from the previous couple of broadcasts that involved using BI for retail establishments to gather sales and marketing insights for driving revenue.

I’ve taken that story to the next level in examining some ways we can use IoT for predicting sales and being more proactive in marketing initiatives by monitoring human behavior.  If you’re interested, check out the video.


VNet Peering Makes Azure Networking Much Easier

Last week Microsoft just released Azure VNet peering – a highly-requested and long-awaited internetworking feature – into public preview. VNet peering provides the ability to join two VNet’s, or virtual networks, in the same region using Microsoft’s Azure backbone network. Because of this functionality, all resources appear to be on the same network as compared to being on two separate networks that are simply connected. VNet peering is just another giant step in making Microsoft Azure a game-changer for hybrid networks.

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Moving Hyper-V to Azure

This past week I needed to move a client’s Hyper-V machine to a Windows Azure VM.  If you haven’t figured it out already, the process isn’t as straightforward as one may hope – especially, since there’s a rather large chasm between the new and old Azure management portals as neither offer an entire end-to-end solution.  As with most things Microsoft nowadays, PowerShell seems to be the best solution for truly accomplishing your needs.

Below, you’ll find a resource for tackling all of the different components of moving a Hyper-V VM to Azure.  There are some ways to do parts of this through the various GUI’s, but, again, none of the GUI’s offer a complete solution.

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Using OLEDB with SQL Native Client

This week, while moving a client’s VM to Windows Azure, I was also required to upgrade their database from SQL 2005 to SQL Azure.  While not extremely difficult, there were a few gotcha’s along the way.  These “gotacha’s” were primarily features that had been deprecated.  Those deprecated features aren’t the purpose of blog post, however.  This post is addressing a connection string issue.

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Enabling Web Deploy Publishing With Visual Studio 2012

So after a few hours of trying to figure out how to publish my MVC project in Visual Studio 2012 to my web server running Microsoft Server 2012, I finally got it working.  I know there’s a lot of other blogs out there, but in order for me to get it working, I ended up having to take bits and pieces from multiple blogs and MSDN articles.  So, I decided to compile what I’ve learned and share here on my blog.

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