Tuesdays with Corey: More about Docker

Corey Sanders, Principal PM on the Azure Compute team brings us up to date on all the recent Azure IaaS and Docker news.

As per Corey’s comments: here is that awesome link to documentation about Azure VMs, Docker and Swarm courtesy of Ralph Squillace

Post any questions, topic ideas or general conversation here in the comments OR online on Twitter using #AzureTwC. You never know – you might make it to an upcoming episode and be a virtual star of the show.


Countdown to Microsoft Ignite: Craft Beers and Bacon

The Countdown Show continues, with Episode 8! Rick and Joey cover the details of remote badge pickup, which is our Hot Tip of the week. They also fill you in on some agenda updates and hopefully inspire you to get on stage with us at Ignite Rocks! They saved the best for last, as they take you to our final four “Best of Chicago” establishments. Beer and bacon, anyone?

Keep watching the Countdown Show! Next week’s episode will feature more news and tips. If you have specific questions (or suggestions), we’d love to hear them, so please share on the Forums at http://channel9.msdn.com/Forums/MicrosoftIgnite.

Microsoft Ignite is May 4–8 in Chicago at McCormick Place. Register today.

Top 5 Reasons why you should pay attention to Containers on Microsoft Azure

In the continually changing world of IT – it is vital to stay on top of new trends as they are identified. Something that has popped up on my radar over the last year and has been gaining in popularity around dev circles is a cool technology called containerization.  Have you heard about it?  Like most trending technologies – it has reached a level of awareness that everyone needs to know about what it is and how it works.

Sounds like a nice topic for a “Top 5 reasons” you should pay attention to this and understand how it works – so you are informed when a CxO type comes up and asks you about it.  Here is my list in no particular order.

  1. Containers “compartmentalize” components or portions of apps / whole apps for use on any platform that supports the same containerization technology.  That means that you could have a developer working on a dev machine creating a multi-stage app / system and could deploy it to an internal cloud or public cloud. Same code, same containers – just literally changing deployment target. Kind of eliminates the “works on my workstation” syndrome, right?
  2. Containers can be shared privately or publically for reuse as building blocks for other applications by other developers. This generates a large wealth of reusable blocks that should make development time decrease and creativity grow with all sorts of rich community involvement.  You can take one public container and modify / enhance it for your needs and then share it back to the community for use.  It’s really cool – nurture the community by making it simple to share, things start to take off with regards to adoption and market share.
  3. Small footprint in order to be able to host the containers.  Think of a purpose built OS running the containerization runtime on which sit the containers.  Unlike a whole VM to run EACH container just for it’s app, you now just run the container sitting on top of this purpose built OS.  You don’t get 13 OSes with duplication overhead to run 13 containers – just need one to run. Better resource utilization = greater possible density of containers = less cost due to more efficient use of available resources.
  4. Scale, scale and more SCALE. Along with that – fast and consistent deployment as you need it.  Obviously you have to construct your app to work at scale – but now the deployment vehicle is consistent and identical when deployed in multiple locations. Oh – did I mention it is lightweight and small compared to full VMs.
  5. I alluded to it above when talking about the concept – “portability” and all that it brings (including cross-platform).  You don’t need to worry about setup of specific environments with identical configurations or specific editions of different supporting software.  You just worry about the container engine running correctly on your ON-Premises or public cloud / hosted cloud infrastructure.

don’t be fooled – this is not something that is “just for devs”… this is something that you should spend some time with to understand it’s architecture, how it is installed, how containers are managed and deployed to different environments.  Start small – then work your way up.

I have been playing around with Docker – just starting to get my feet wet. You Should Too! Great information about them and containerization technologies on their main site.  Everything from what this is and how their solution of containerization works.  You can try it out on their site with a little help and get up and running. Once you get a bit of an understanding – you can fire it up on Azure – we have docker ready images in the marketplace gallery!

Need a primer on Open Source technologies on Azure and want some Docker pieces added in as a bonus?  I did four modules on OpenSource and containerization technologies (Docker) in last Decembers Level Up Azure live stream.  You should check out the replay.

Countdown to Microsoft Ignite with newbie tips and more colour!

While we will definitely have a show dedicated to tips for Conference Newbies, Joey and I share some quick tips as questions have been coming up in the CH9 forums.  We add in some more Colour about our host city of Chicago – this time visiting the landmark Wrigley Field, Navy Pier and jamming with some cool blues at Buddy Guys.

Have you registered yet? Why not?  Get in there – http://ignite.microsoft.com/register

Catch more questions and answers on the CH9 Forums and also on twitter with the #msignite hashtag.



Tuesdays With Corey: VM Size Update. #AzureTwC

In this episode of “Tuesdays With Corey”, Corey Sanders – Principal PM on the Azure Compute team brings us up to date on all the recent Azure IaaS VM Size options that are generally available.

Post any questions, topic ideas or general conversation here in the comments OR online on Twitter using #AzureTwC. You never know – you might make it to an upcoming episode and be a virtual star of the show.

Tuesdays with Corey Sanders re-launch. #AzureTwC

A while back Corey Sanders and Cameron Rogers created a video series called “Tuesdays With Corey” which was featured on Facebook – usually every Tuesday. It was good fun, informal and short bite sized chunks of info.  As with most regular video episodes, as time progressed – it got harder and harder to get these out on a regular basis. I sit in meetings with Corey every week where he would get asked about kicking this thing off again – so I approached him about rebooting the series and offered to help produce these on a more regular basis.

Same format, same “gorilla style” shooting – only change is hopefully some better audio and hosting the files on Channel 9.

Well…. what do you think?

The plan is to have these ready to go and you’ll see the episodes up on Facebook and socialized on a variety of networks on Tuesdays – starting on March 17th… I’ll post them here as well.

Got any questions? Any things you’d like to know or see about Azure? Use the comments here or tweet out using the #AzureTwC hashtag.

Microsoft Ignite Conference Bag reveal

OK – believe it or not, people really, REALLY like to know what kind of swag you are going to get when attending a conference. One of the items that gets asked about A LOT is will there be a bag and what will it look like? Joey and I got our hands on the Microsoft Ignite conference BAG(s) and will give you a tour of what they are like and how they are constructed.   We’ve got all things bag covered.  My question to you is are you an #IgniteBlue, #IgniteYellow, #IgniteGreen or #IgniteOrange?

Interoperability? Azure is open for business

You don’t go building a table with only a Hammer, do you? You need a diverse set of tools and materials to make any kind of project, be it furniture or advanced infrastructure. We’ve come to recognize this and have been working hard to ensure you have an awesome heterogeneous experience both on premises and in Azure.

To be completely honest, most of my professional career has been in the Windows world with the last 10 ish years working AT Microsoft.  I’ve supported projects that included Linux or OSS tech/apps here and there – generally involving whatever the developer / infrastructure folks liked to use and were comfortable working with at the time.  I am a big believer in the philosophy of “If you work in the IT space, you should keep your options open and work with as many technologies as you can”.


I have to update the numbers on this slide constantly when talking about Azure. The one square that gets a lot of attention is the Linux one. Approximately 20% of Azure IaaS workloads are running on Linux which is able to take advantage of all of the infrastructure and capabilities Azure has to offer – just like Windows VMS. If your on-premises environment isn’t an “All Windows” shop – DON’T WORRY… Microsoft Azure is ready and waiting for your heterogeneous Hybrid datacenter.

If you are looking for information about how to work with Azure and deploy Linux and OSS workloads on our cloud platform – the first place you will probably look is to your search engine of choice.  You are not alone. I was chatting with a documentation writer on our Azure team who mentioned while most enterprises rely on support contracts to gain access to resources and information when working on projects, Open Source folks tend to rely on community posts, support forums and online documentation when things go south.  We weren’t doing a great job with keeping up with all the updates and changes in a timely fashion, especially with our Linux and OSS docs. It was getting so bad that people were thinking we didn’t care.

Well – that is starting to change.

We recently announced a change to our documentation portal- opening it up for ANYONE to contribute, correct or author their own docs that will be found on Azure.com. All you need is a GitHub account, some guidance on how to contribute and know where our repository is found.  I recently shot a video during an internal Hack-A-Doc event where some folks from the Azure Virtual Machine team were participating in a mass GitHub and documentation process training. We are serious about wanting help to make this experience better – have a look at the video below:

As you can see, all of our investments in our cloud services is available equally to both Microsoft and Linux/OSS operating systems.  We’re getting our act together when it comes to documentation. I’ll be doing my part here by writing posts that include both Microsoft and Non Microsoft technologies – running on Azure.

When you are ready to run your heterogeneous on-premises workloads in a hybrid environment, we’re ready to support your efforts whole heartedly.

Live PatchAndSwitch episode Friday 27/2/2015 9 am PST


UPDATE: Hey @PatchAndSwitch fans… Due to unfortunate circumstances, we’re going to have to RESCHEDULE tomorrows episode. 

It’s a little wonky, but a good laugh to enjoy and listen to Patch and Switch over a coffee or a beer on a Friday. It’s that time again, albeit a little late with getting the episode posted. This will be OUR LAST episode using the old technologies.


(I’m sorry – I had to use the cheesy gifs…)

But fear not – we shall be back, hopefully while staying on schedule.  Our new solution should be ready now that we have moved into the new Bunker 2 weeks ago.

Countdown to Microsoft Ignite – Forum Q&A, Zambonies, The Bean and MORE

Here is the 4th installment of the Countdown to Microsoft Ignite show. Joey and I decide to take some Q and A from the Channel 9 forum and from “The Twitters” in order to answer your questions about Microsoft Ignite. You are welcome to post more questions here, in the forums or using the #MSIgnite hashtag on twitter and we’ll do our best to keep on answering them!

Of course we also include some more colour of Chicago in this one, including ME fulfilling every Canadian’s dream of riding a Zamboni on an NHL playing surface.

What else can I say.

Don’t forget to REGISTER for Microsoft Ignite - taking place May 4th to 8th in CHICAGO!