Technology, Infrastructure and Cloud Focused.

Father of 3 lovely children, geek, infrastructure expert, technical architect and all round technologist.

Microsoft cloud Consortium – Digital Transformation Wrap Up

As some of you remember I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at a recent Microsoft event around their cloud stack, you can view the post here http://www.keithbucknall.co.uk/realising-digital-transformation-microsoft-technology-event/ I wanted to share with you some key points I took away from the delegates and the Cloud Consortium companies that were present:

Cloud Adoption

My slot was the down to earth realisation of moving work loads to the cloud, the pitfalls and challenges compared to the marketing view point of just right click and move.  I have always had a preconceived view that topics such as governance, application architecture and analysis and cost control is common sense when thinking of cloud migrations, however this was not the case and was surprised to get a warm reception that the slot was very interesting.  In summary the audience were split into the people that had some work loads in the cloud (test/dev or proof of concept) but only for the want of understanding, seeing how the IT governance or architecture would look, network security and then see how they need to adapt their IT organisation and culture to the cloud mindset.

The other side of the audience wanted to look into cloud transformation but either didn’t know were to start, what type of workloads to put in a cloud and then how the operational, cost and security model would look.

Another question I always ask is that the cloud is not the answer to everyone, it is not the silver bullet people think about, in fact most people just focus on that “lift and shift” of IaaS models rather than the true power and scale of PaaS.

Acknowledgement

When speaking with people on their cloud views the general consensus is trending towards my thoughts on Infrastructure that Infrastructure Ops is a thing of the past having big Infrastructure teams to manage the hardware, updates etc…

Interest

So many people appear to be interested in different cloud models, the issue for them is trying to work out a strategy and identifying the quick wins or the non-cloud ready applications (generally legacy applications).

Will it last

Of course the issue with a number of clouds is the perception that the SLA’s will be 100% and never have any outage, I guess my concern here is no one can really provide that SLA and outages will always occur it boils down to your HA design and continuity plans.

The presentations can be downloaded from clicking on this link with a summary of the different tracks and topics covered in the picture below.  I urge you to take advantage of these excellent set of companies all ranked very high and very competent within their own areas:

Cloud Consortium presentation tracks

What is the Cloud Consortium?

Microsoft decided to form a group of top ranked Microsoft partners that specialise in Office 365, SharePoint, Azure, Skype for Business, M/S Project, BI and Unified Communications to enable its customers to seamlessly migrate to the cloud.  This gives customers the benefit of managing a single point of contact and single supply chain.

Let me know your thoughts, experiences and views on the different types of cloud.

Why you cannot backup Azure VMs created in the V2 Portal with Azure backup

Microsoft Azure

Hi, just a brief post for those of you that are wondering why Azure backup (at time of publishing this post, Feb 2016!) cannot discovery your IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) virtual machines you may have created within the same region but on the V2 portal – https://portal.azure.com/

Over the last few months I have been spending a bit of time setting up some labs in Azure both in the “classic” portal and the “v2” portal as Microsoft calls it.  The difference being the classic portal is the old fashion (and in my opinion easy to use) portal, while the v2 portal is where all the new development and features are.  Microsoft’s best practise is to try and ensure you are using the new v2 portal for all you IaaS build outs but the issue here is backwards compatibility.

So the use case – I have created a new IaaS environment within the v2 portal using Resource Manager and would like to use Azure’s VM Backup service, i.e. adding a new Recovery service and backup fault (which of course has to be in the same region) and discovery the virtual machines to carry out the backup – NOTE: this is different to the file level backup where you download the Azure Backup agent and carry our file level backups and restores.

Well……..

It turns out that you will be presented with the below error, the reason for this (and confirmed with Microsoft support) is this functionality is not currently supported!!!

Azure Backup Service Error

Yes I know, no notifications or advisory notes when you create these virtual machines nothing it simply does not work.  THE ONLY way to backup virtual machines in Azure with the Azure backup / recovery services is to carry on building your IaaS environment in the classic portal, end of – check this for more details – https://feedback.azure.com/forums/258995-azure-backup-and-scdpm/suggestions/8369907-azure-backup-to-support-iaas-vm-v2 

Limitations of Synology DSM 5.2 Backups to Microsoft Azure

Now I am a big fan of both Qnap and Synology Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, but recently I have moved a number of people over that own Synology devices from a local USB disk backup to a cloud backup, be it OneDrive or Azure.  For the small businesses these devices make a great all in one device but the Azure cloud backup has a number of limitations that Synology should address.

I am not going to cover off how to configure the backups as one of the excellent selling points of these NAS devices is the beautiful intuitive GUI, but Baris Eris has a great blog post on how to configure a backup job to an Azure storage account here – https://bariseris.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/attaching-synology-dsm-5-1-to-an-existing-azure-backup-store/ 

If you own any of these devices you will understand the concept of “Shared Folders” which are top level folders that can be shared over the network for people or companies to consume over their local (or cloud / internet with the cloud station apps) network.  Generally speaking people would use create sub-folders and files under the shared folder and this is where Synology need to change the functionality, you can backup all the files and folders under a shared folder (including multiple shared folders) but you cannot restore files or sub-folders if you have backed up your data to your Azure Storage Account.

When you go into the restore section it does not give you the option to browse any further down to select individual files or folders and on another point does not allow you to restore to an alternative location – I find this very frustrating for such a good piece of hardware – come on Synology.

screesnhot-synology

 

 

Having received confirmation from Synology support this is by design (ummm!) I am now left to revert back to the USB method.  Synology please provide granular restore options for this service it would seem that your restore functions are lacking compared to Qnap.

If you or anyone need assistance then please leave a comment and I will come back to you.