I had a quite complicated period of my life and I’m finally back in the field with my blog and all my passion for technology.
First of all, I like to thank the company and my dear friends for the kind support in that period. I am a lucky guy having such nice people closed to me, now let go back to the techy stuff.
I hope this article can support people that are approaching on Azure and make the life easier, I will write more about that.
In the last year, I had the opportunity of working in Azure in a very intensive way, in my company we use any technology, we are always looking for right technology for the right solution.
Microsoft Azure is a vast environment, and it offers an enormous number of components, for a single component I mean for example Active Directory, now I think it is over the 650.
Before joining this amazing company, I was using Azure especially in the integration area, which was my specialisation.
My role requires me to be able to work in any area of Azure, from the infrastructure, security, integration, operational, governance, data and more, it is extremely challenging and it is extremely interesting because I am able to build a clear wide vision of this amazing technology environment.
A couple of months ago, during the Global Integration Bootcamp in London, I presented a session in which I was explaining my personal experience on Azure, and I received so many amazing feedbacks, so I decided to share more about that.
Before joining this company, I was working in the integration space, and I was focused on that area only, I realised just now that I was using a very little part of Azure and how much huge is it.
In this article, I’d like to provide the most important advice and tips about Microsoft Azure, these are good for any level, for the beginner who needs to start working in Azure and to the most experienced who can take some useful notes and ideas.
For the person who is starting, you cannot start reading the documentation about the Azure Scaffold without any idea about what it is speaking about, for that reason I recommend you to take a couple of training before.
Azure is huge, if you don’t have a clear idea about the base then you may have many problems in the future, I reccomend to start from the bottom, the infrastructure and networking.
For example, you cannot have an idea why you have performances problem on your service/VM or web site without an idea about how the networking works, and you cannot work with your data in a good way without a clear idea about the storage system in Azure.
You can use many resources but, like me, you don’t have any time to waste, watching sessions or webcast can be a solution when you are already familiar and you like just to check if any update, but in my opinion are not the solution, I recommend you these options that I normally use.
– Microsoft Academy
It is free and very well organised, nothing to say about it, you can find very good material.
in my opinion a top-class service, and the pricing it is very cheap for the great quality of the content, I recommend you to start with very basic courses like below.
To start infrastructure.
and networking I recommend to start with the bases, it is not about Azure, it is focused on networking, I personally recommend these two courses to anybody at any level.
When networking concept is good then I recommend these
Yes, definitely a top resource for learning, there are different options, the top one is the Microsoft Azure channel and the Azure Friday with a lot of very well done short videos able to explain you in a minute any component.
an example about Azure Friday below
– Microsoft MSDN
The team provides great material, you cannot start working on Azure without a reading of these documents.
Before to start any action on Azure you need to have a look at the Azure OnBoarding documents here..
Especially for the Azure Enterprise Scaffold.
The critical thing to know before the start working on Azure
There are some important things to know, below my personal top list:
Use PowerShell, organize your job using it, it is important to know that Microsoft works a lot on the portal UI and it changes frequently, sometimes a feature changes places because is more convenient and usable, in other words, sometimes you can face some changes in the UI.
Using PowerShell and scripting you will be more consistent.
The Azure quick start template is what you need to keep in mind
No many words to say here, AzureDockit is the top tools, it is not expensive and it provides you a fantastic documentation, the time you save using it is huge.
There is one important thing to know about that and many people miss, the Azure backbone is the main Microsoft network infrastructure behind any virtual network and all Microsoft traffic goes across it.
The Azure Backbone is a very high-performance network, in order to use the Azure Backbone you need to use Peering or VPN Gateway, without using these features you are travelling outside the backbone.
– Naming Standard
Don’t start working on Azure without a clear naming standard, this is a MUST.
The most important areas to know before starting are the Azure scaffold areas and, one of this is exactly the naming standard.
See below the Azure Scaffold Areas.
As you can see, there are other areas like Tags, Resource groups and so on, read this document and you need to have clear each of these and especially the importance of these areas.
– Multiple Subscriptions vs Resource groups.
This is a very old story, there is a very good reason to use multiple subscriptions and, in the same case, it is the only one and best option, some of these below.
Microsoft creates a unique billing for subscription, for example, if you need to charge in different subsidiaries and companies.
You need to use different tenants per subscriptions.
Some services like ExpressRoute are a lot more manageable per subscription.
In any Azure infrastructure, at an Enterprise level, you should have multiple subscriptions.
I like to organise in multiple subscriptions and I like the idea of using the main Base subscription, as you can see below, a structure like that is extremely extendable and able to provide a lot more control, below a little example.
You can connect the subscription by peering or VPN gateways.
This is a community project I started time ago, at the moment is an area in my blog where I collect the most important information about my job and I share what I think it is very important and critical to know for the everyday job.
I am keeping update this area.