Saturday, April 21, 2018

I saw a talk on App Services for developers today.

The speaker was an R. Michael Querimit of Microsoft and the event was the 2018 Global Azure Bootcamp, a Microsoft sponsored community event designed to promote Azure. Michael Querimit asked the room "Who here is a developer?" or something like that and a lot of us put our hands up. He built on top of that by suggesting that if we do all of the things that distract us from development, such as prepping a machine to host the code, the Azure way, at the cloud, that an immense amount of time will be saved allowing us to really focus on the real work and be more productive. He went out to the Azure Portal and showed us a lot of tricks and, yes, it all seemed pretty easy. There is a distinction between Web Apps, API Apps, Mobile Apps, and Logic Apps with the last of these being workflows and the first three being very similar variants of IIS hosted applications in the cloud with only the included-by-default .dlls changing up across the three. Michael focused on Web Apps and made one and went on to show off how if a processor rose above 80 percent (or whatever percentage you'd like) usage that a new instance of the app could be set up to offset the heavy traffic. You can write your own rules (all in the labyrinth-deep cockpit of controls that is the Azure Portal) that kick in for as much while allowing yourself to otherwise have as few instances as possible to save costs. There is a brief cool down period when a spike or a drop happens before a rules-based addition or reduction kicks in to make sure the phenomenon is the new normal and not just a fluke. In Michael's words, this, and similar features, allow the little guy to be just as flexible and robust in the DevOps sphere as major enterprises. All of the settings you might put in a Web.config file can just get stored in the various settings in Azure Portal if you'd like. You can push an app to a staging deployment before really rolling it live to troubleshoot and test. There may be times that you will need to talk to on-premise data, for example if your organization is just afraid to have its sensitive data out in the wild, and that is all doable too. Telemetry data (data gathered from endpoint interactions) gets sent to Application Insights and Application Insights can tell you all sort of metrics on what is going on with your stuff. There are helpers for HIPAA and PCI compliance.

This event was at St. Louis Community College in Bridgeton, Missouri which is a St. Louis border town. Microsoft held similar events today in other U.S. Cities and I believe also beyond the states in the world at large. I guess that would make the "Global" part of 2018 Global Azure Bootcamp make sense.

There are a lot of ugly brown buildings in St. Louis. Many of them were once-upon-a-time, one hundred years ago, beautiful red brick buildings which have turned brown over time, but today's building was just built with an ugly brown exterior to begin with. Inside however, you would not believe how over-the-top posh things were. Just look at that fountain! This is kinda a good analogy for Azure itself. I've never warmed to it because it seems ugly from the outside looking in. I am surprised by how beautiful it gets upon closer inspection.

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