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AZ-305 Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

Title: Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions (AZ-305)

Test Detail:
The Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions (AZ-305) exam is designed to validate the knowledge and skills required to design secure, scalable, and reliable Microsoft Azure infrastructure solutions. This certification is intended for professionals who work with Azure and are involved in the design and implementation of Azure infrastructure solutions.

Course Outline:
The Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions course provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of Azure infrastructure design principles and best practices. The following is a general outline of the key areas covered in the certification program:

1. Designing Azure Identity and Security:
- Designing Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and identity solutions
- Implementing Azure AD authentication and authorization
- Designing and implementing Azure AD security and governance

2. Designing Azure Networking:
- Designing virtual networks and subnets
- Implementing Azure DNS and network security groups
- Designing and implementing Azure VPN and ExpressRoute connectivity

3. Designing Azure Compute:
- Designing Azure virtual machines (VMs) and VM scale sets
- Designing for availability, scalability, and resilience
- Implementing Azure App Service and container solutions

4. Designing Azure Storage Solutions:
- Designing Azure Storage accounts and Azure Blob storage
- Designing and implementing Azure Files and Azure Disk Storage
- Designing Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery solutions

5. Designing Azure Monitoring and Data Protection:
- Designing Azure monitoring and diagnostics solutions
- Designing Azure log analytics and Azure Monitor
- Designing and implementing Azure backup and disaster recovery

Exam Objectives:
The Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions (AZ-305) exam assesses candidates' knowledge and skills in designing Azure infrastructure solutions. The exam objectives include, but are not limited to:

1. Designing Azure identity and security solutions.
2. Designing Azure networking solutions.
3. Designing Azure compute solutions.
4. Designing Azure storage solutions.
5. Designing Azure monitoring and data protection solutions.
6. Implementing design principles for Azure infrastructure solutions.

The Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions (AZ-305) certification program typically includes comprehensive training provided by Microsoft or authorized training partners. The syllabus provides a breakdown of the topics covered throughout the course, including specific learning objectives and milestones. The syllabus may include the following components:

- Introduction to Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions (AZ-305) exam overview and certification process
- Designing Azure Identity and Security
- Designing Azure Networking
- Designing Azure Compute
- Designing Azure Storage Solutions
- Designing Azure Monitoring and Data Protection
- Exam Preparation and Practice Tests
- Final Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions (AZ-305) Certification Exam
Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions
Microsoft Infrastructure information source

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Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions
Question: 83
Topic 1, Litware, Inc
Case Study
This is a case study. Case studies are not timed separately. You can use as much exam time as you would like to
complete each case. However, there may be additional case studies and sections on this exam. You must manage your
time to ensure that you are able to complete all questions included on this exam in the time provided.
To answer the questions included in a case study, you will need to reference information that is provided in the case
study. Case studies might contain exhibits and other resources that provide more information about the scenario that is
described in the case study. Each question is independent of the other questions in this case study.
At the end of this case study, a review screen will appear. This screen allows you to review your answers and to make
changes before you move to the next section of the exam. After you begin a new section, you cannot return to this
To start the case study
To display the first question in this case study, click the Next button. Use the buttons in the left pane to explore the
content of the case study before you answer the questions. Clicking these buttons displays information such as
business requirements, existing environment, and problem statements. If the case study has an All Information tab,
note that the information displayed is identical to the information displayed on the subsequent tabs. When you are
ready to answer a question, click the Question button to return to the question.
Overview. General Overview
Litware, Inc. is a medium-sized finance company.
Overview. Physical Locations
Litware has a main office in Boston.
Existing Environment. Identity Environment
The network contains an Active Directory forest named Litware.com that is linked to an Azure Active Directory
(Azure AD) tenant named Litware.com. All users have Azure Active Directory Premium P2 licenses.
Litware has a second Azure AD tenant named dev.Litware.com that is used as a development environment.
The Litware.com tenant has a conditional acess policy named capolicy1. Capolicy1 requires that when users manage
the Azure subscription for a production environment by
using the Azure portal, they must connect from a hybrid Azure AD-joined device.
Existing Environment. Azure Environment
Litware has 10 Azure subscriptions that are linked to the Litware.com tenant and five Azure subscriptions that are
linked to the dev.Litware.com tenant. All the subscriptions are in an Enterprise Agreement (EA).
The Litware.com tenant contains a custom Azure role-based access control (Azure RBAC) role named Role1 that
grants the DataActions read permission to the blobs and files in Azure Storage.
Existing Environment. On-premises Environment
The on-premises network of Litware contains the resources shown in the following table.
Existing Environment. Network Environment
Litware has ExpressRoute connectivity to Azure.
Planned Changes and Requirements. Planned Changes
Litware plans to implement the following changes:
Migrate DB1 and DB2 to Azure.
Migrate App1 to Azure virtual machines.
Deploy the Azure virtual machines that will host App1 to Azure dedicated hosts.
Planned Changes and Requirements. Authentication and Authorization Requirements
Litware identifies the following authentication and authorization requirements:
Users that manage the production environment by using the Azure portal must connect from a hybrid Azure AD-
joined device and authenticate by using Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
The Network Contributor built-in RBAC role must be used to grant permission to all the virtual networks in all the
Azure subscriptions.
To access the resources in Azure, App1 must use the managed identity of the virtual machines that will host the app.
Role1 must be used to assign permissions to the storage accounts of all the Azure subscriptions.
RBAC roles must be applied at the highest level possible.
Planned Changes and Requirements. Resiliency Requirements
Litware identifies the following resiliency requirements:
Once migrated to Azure, DB1 and DB2 must meet the following requirements:
Maintain availability if two availability zones in the local Azure region fail.
Fail over automatically.
Minimize I/O latency.
App1 must meet the following requirements:
Be hosted in an Azure region that supports availability zones.
Be hosted on Azure virtual machines that support automatic scaling.
Maintain availability if two availability zones in the local Azure region fail.
Planned Changes and Requirements. Security and Compliance Requirements
Litware identifies the following security and compliance requirements:
Once App1 is migrated to Azure, you must ensure that new data can be written to the app, and the modification of
new and existing data is prevented for a period of three years.
On-premises users and services must be able to access the Azure Storage account that will host the data in App1.
Access to the public endpoint of the Azure Storage account that will host the App1 data must be prevented.
All Azure SQL databases in the production environment must have Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) enabled.
App1 must not share physical hardware with other workloads.
Planned Changes and Requirements. Business Requirements
Litware identifies the following business requirements:
Minimize administrative effort.
Minimize costs.
You need to ensure that users managing the production environment are registered for Azure MFA and must
authenticate by using Azure MFA when they sign in to the Azure portal. The solution must meet the authentication
and authorization requirements.
What should you do? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE: Each correct selection is
worth one point.
Graphical user interface, text, application
Description automatically generated
Box 1: Azure AD Identity Protection
Azure AD Identity Protection helps you manage the roll-out of Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
registration by configuring a Conditional Access policy to require MFA registration no matter what modern
authentication app you are signing in to.
Scenario: Users that manage the production environment by using the Azure portal must connect from a hybrid Azure
AD-joined device and authenticate by using Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
Box 2: Sign-in risk policy
Scenario: The Litware.com tenant has a conditional access policy named capolicy1. Capolicy1 requires that when users
manage the Azure subscription for a production
environment by using the Azure portal, they must connect from a hybrid Azure AD-joined device.
Identity Protection policies we have two risk policies that we can enable in our directory.
risk policy
User risk policy
Question: 84
Note: This question is part of a series of questions that present the same scenario. Each question in the series contains
a unique solution that might meet the stated goals. Some question sets might have more than one correct solution,
while others might not have a correct solution.
After you answer a question in this section, you will NOT be able to return to it. As a result, these questions will not
appear in the review screen.
Your company deploys several virtual machines on-premises and to Azure. ExpressRoute is being deployed and
configured for on-premises to Azure connectivity.
Several virtual machines exhibit network connectivity issues.
You need to analyze the network traffic to identify whether packets are being allowed or denied to the virtual
Solution: Use Azure Traffic Analytics in Azure Network Watcher to analyze the network traffic.
Does this meet the goal?
A. Yes
B. No
Answer: B
Instead use Azure Network Watcher IP Flow Verify, which allows you to detect traffic filtering issues at a VM level.
Note: IP flow verify checks if a packet is allowed or denied to or from a virtual machine. The information consists of
direction, protocol, local IP, remote IP, local port, and remote port. If the packet is denied by a security group, the
name of the rule that denied the packet is returned. While any source or destination IP can be chosen, IP flow verify
helps administrators quickly diagnose connectivity issues from or to the internet and from or to the on-premises
Question: 85
You need to recommend a notification solution for the IT Support distribution group.
What should you include in the recommendation?
A. Azure Network Watcher
B. an action group
C. a SendGrid account with advanced reporting
D. Azure AD Connect Health
Answer: D
Question: 86
You plan to create an Azure Storage account that will host file shares. The shares will be accessed from on-premises
applications that are transaction-intensive.
You need to recommend a solution to minimize latency when accessing the file shares.
The solution must provide the highest-level of resiliency for the selected storage tier.
What should you include in the recommendation? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE:
Each correct selection is worth one point.
Box 1: Premium
Premium: Premium file shares are backed by solid-state drives (SSDs) and provide consistent high performance and
low latency, within single-digit milliseconds for most IO operations, for IO-intensive workloads.
Box 2: Zone-redundant storage (ZRS):
Premium Azure file shares only support LRS and ZRS. Zone-redundant storage (ZRS): With ZRS, three copies of each
file stored, however these copies are physically isolated in three distinct storage clusters in different Azure availability
Question: 87
A company has an on-premises file server cbflserver that runs Windows Server 2019.
Windows Admin Center manages this server. The company owns an Azure subscription.
You need to provide an Azure solution to prevent data loss if the file server fails.
Solution: You decide to register Windows Admin Center in Azure and then configure Azure Backup.
Would this meet the requirement?
A. Yes
B. No
Answer: A
Question: 88
You need to implement the Azure RBAC role assignments for the Network Contributor role.
The solution must meet the authentication and authorization requirements.
What is the minimum number of assignments that you must use?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 5
D. 10
E. 15
Answer: B
Scenario: The Network Contributor built-in RBAC role must be used to grant permissions to the network
administrators for all the virtual networks in all the Azure subscriptions. RBAC roles must be applied at the highest
level possible.
Question: 89
Your company has the divisions shown in the following table.
You plan to deploy a custom application to each subscription.
The application will contain the following:
A resource group
An Azure web app
Custom role assignments
An Azure Cosmos DB account
You need to use Azure Blueprints to deploy the application to each subscription.
What is the minimum number of objects required to deploy the application? To answer, select the appropriate options
in the answer area. NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
Box 1: 2
One management group for East, and one for West.
When creating a blueprint definition, youll define where the blueprint is saved. Blueprints can be saved to a
management group or subscription that you have Contributor access to. If the location is a management group, the
blueprint is available to assign to any child subscription of that management group.
Box 2: 2
Box 3: 4
One assignment for each subscription.
"Assigning a blueprint definition to a management group means the assignment object exists at the management group.
The deployment of artifacts still targets a subscription. To perform a management group assignment, the Create Or
Update REST API must be used and the request body must include a value for properties.scope to define the target
subscription." https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/governance/blueprints/overview#blueprint-assignment
Question: 90
A company has an existing web application that runs on virtual machines (VMs) in Azure.
You need to ensure that the application is protected from SQL injection attempts and uses a layer-7 load balancer. The
solution must minimize disruption to the code for the existing web application.
What should you recommend? To answer, drag the appropriate values to the correct items. Each value may be used
once, more than once, or not at all. You may need to drag the split bar between panes or scroll to view content.
NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
Graphical user interface, text, application
Description automatically generated
Box 1: Azure Application Gateway
Azure Application Gateway provides an application delivery controller (ADC) as a service. It offers various layer 7
load-balancing capabilities for your applications.
Box 2: Web Application Firwewall (WAF)
Application Gateway web application firewall (WAF) protects web applications from common vulnerabilities and
This is done through rules that are defined based on the OWASP core rule sets 3.0 or 2.2.9.
There are rules that detects SQL injection attacks.
Question: 91
You plan to migrate App1 to Azure.
You need to estimate the compute costs for App1 in Azure. The solution must meet the security and compliance
What should you use to estimate the costs, and what should you implement to minimize the costs? To answer, select
the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
Description automatically generated
Box 1: The Azure Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator
The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator estimates the cost savings you can realize by migrating your workloads
to Azure.
Note: The TCO Calculator recommends a set of equivalent services in Azure that will support your applications. Our
analysis will show each cost area with an estimate of your on-premises spend versus your spend in Azure. There are
several cost categories that either decrease or go away completely when you move workloads to the cloud.
Box 2: Azure Hybrid Benefit
Azure Hybrid Benefit is a licensing benefit that helps you to significantly reduce the costs of running your workloads
in the cloud. It works by letting you use your on-premises Software Assurance-enabled Windows Server and SQL
Server licenses on Azure. And now, this benefit applies to RedHat and SUSE Linux subscriptions, too.
Litware identifies the following security and compliance requirements:
Once App1 is migrated to Azure, you must ensure that new data can be written to the app, and the modification of
new and existing data is prevented for a period of three years.
On-premises users and services must be able to access the Azure Storage account that will host the data in App1.
Access to the public endpoint of the Azure Storage account that will host the App1 data must be prevented.
All Azure SQL databases in the production environment must have Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) enabled.
App1 must not share physical hardware with other workloads.
Question: 92
You plan to deploy an application named App1 that will run on five Azure virtual machines.
Additional virtual machines will be deployed later to run App1.
You need to recommend a solution to meet the following requirements for the virtual machines that will run App1:
Ensure that the virtual machines can authenticate to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to gain access to
an Azure key vault, Azure Logic Apps instances, and an Azure SQL database.
Avoid assigning new roles and permissions for Azure services when you deploy additional virtual machines.
Avoid storing secrets and certificates on the virtual machines.
Which type of identity should you include in the recommendation?
A. a service principal that is configured to use a certificate
B. a system-assigned managed identity
C. a service principal that is configured to use a client secret
D. a user-assigned managed identity
Answer: D
Managed identities for Azure resources is a feature of Azure Active Directory. User-assigned managed identity can be
shared. The same user-assigned managed identity can be associated with more than one Azure resource.
Reference: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/managed-identities-azure-resources/overview
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2023 was the year of generative AI. However, as every company moved to strengthen their AI strategy, they also realized the value of clean and high-quality data — circling back to the need for robust infrastructure into the mix. From Snowflake to Microsoft, data ecosystem vendors cashed on this opportunity and moved, sometimes even acquired notable players, to give their customers the ability to tap their data for various AI applications as well as implement various AI capabilities into their products. 

These are VentureBeat’s top 5 data stories of 2023

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In May, Microsoft announced Fabric – an end-to-end, analytics platform that combines all the data and analytics tools organizations need, including Azure Synapse Analytics and Power BI, into a single unified product. We spoke with analysts to understand what makes this offering, which aims to unlock the potential of data and lay the foundation for AI, unique and might help Microsoft “leapfrog” Amazon and other cloud providers, such as Google. At least when it comes to serving large enterprise companies.

“With all these capabilities coming together, Microsoft definitely has a slight advantage over the other hyperscalers at the moment,”  Noel Yuhanna, an analyst at Forrester, told VentureBeat.

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Databricks made headlines ahead of its annual summit in June when it announced the acquisition of AI company MosaicML for $1.3 billion. The idea was to bring MosaicML’s entire team and AI models under its umbrella, providing enterprises with a unified platform where they could manage data assets and use them to build secure generative AI applications. 

“Every organization should be able to benefit from the AI revolution with more control over how their data is used. Databricks and MosaicML have an incredible opportunity to democratize AI and make the lakehouse the best place to build generative AI and LLMs,” said Ali Ghodsi, cofounder and CEO of Databricks.

4. Salesforce partners up for stronger data foundations

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The move allows joint customers of the companies to enrich their datasets and power additional use cases, including building and deploying more capable models targeting different business-critical problems.

Snowflake made waves in June with the launch of Document AI, a new large language model (LLM) tool that allows enterprises to quickly extract value from their barrage of unstructured documents (imagine PDF invoices). The move marked a major development for the company — which started with a focus on structured data — by giving teams an easy way to mobilize useful unstructured information that often remains scattered across silos.

“We’re unlocking a new data era for customers, leveraging AI and eliminating silos previously bound by format, location and more to revolutionize how organizations put their data to work and drive insights with the Data Cloud,” said Snowflake SVP of product Christian Kleinerman.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.

Fri, 29 Dec 2023 11:46:00 -0600 Shubham Sharma en-US text/html https://venturebeat.com/data-infrastructure/top-5-data-stories-of-2023-microsofts-play-in-cloud-war-databricks-acquisition-and-more/
SolarWinds Hackers Gain Access To Microsoft’s Source Code

One Microsoft account compromised by suspected Russian hackers had been used to view source code in a number of source code repositories, but none of the code itself was altered, Microsoft disclosed Thursday.


Microsoft admitted Thursday that the suspected Russian government hackers’ presence in its environment went beyond the software giant simply downloading malicious SolarWinds Orion code.

“We detected unusual activity with a small number of internal accounts and upon review, we discovered one account had been used to view source code in a number of source code repositories,” the Microsoft Security Response Center wrote in a blog post Thursday.

The compromised Microsoft account didn’t have permissions to modify any code or engineering systems, and an investigation confirmed no changes were made, according to the company. Microsoft said it investigated and remediated the internal accounts with unusual activity.

[Related: CrowdStrike Fends Off Attack Attempted By SolarWinds Hackers]

Microsoft didn’t indicate what type of source code was accessed. The company’s stock was up $0.74 (0.33 percent) in trading Thursday to $222.42 per share.

“We do not rely on the secrecy of source code for the security of products, and our threat models assume that attackers have knowledge of source code,” Microsoft wrote in its blog post. “So viewing source code isn’t tied to elevation of risk.”

Microsoft’s disclosure comes a week after CrowdStrike said hackers believed to be with the Russian foreign intelligence service unsuccessfully attempted to hack the endpoint security firm via a Microsoft reseller’s Azure account. The reseller’s Azure account was used for managing CrowdStrike’s Microsoft Office licenses, and the hackers failed in their attempt to read the company’s email, CrowdStrike said.

Microsoft told CRN Dec. 24 that if a customer buys a cloud service from a reseller and allows the reseller to retain administrative access, then a compromise of reseller credentials would grant access to the customer’s tenant. The abuse of access would not be a compromise of Microsoft’s services themselves, according to the company.

Reuters reported Dec. 17 that Microsoft was compromised via SolarWinds, with suspected Russian hackers then using Microsoft’s own products to further the attacks on other victims. Microsoft said at the time that sources for the Reuters report are “misinformed or misinterpreting their information,” but acknowledged the software giant had “detected malicious SolarWinds binaries” in its environment.

Microsoft reaffirmed Thursday that it’s found no indications that its systems were used to attack others. The company additionally hasn’t found any evidence that the SolarWinds hackers gained access to Microsoft’s production services or customer data.

Then on Dec. 21, The New York Times reported that the SolarWinds hackers had seized upon a Microsoft flaw to infiltrate the email system used by the U.S. Treasury Department’s senior leadership. The hackers performed a complex step inside Microsoft Office 365 to create an encrypted “token” that tricked the Treasury’s system into thinking the hackers were legitimate users, The New York Times said.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said Dec. 17 it had observed the hackers adding authentication tokens and credentials to highly privileged Microsoft Active Directory domain accounts as a persistence and escalation mechanism. In many instances, CISA said the tokens enable access to both on-premise and hosted resources.

One of the principal ways the hacker is collecting victim information is by compromising the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) signing certificate using their escalated Active Directory privileges, CISA said. Hosted email services, hosted business intelligence applications, travel systems, timecard systems, and file storage services (such as SharePoint) commonly use SAML, according to CISA.

Microsoft, however, said Thursday that it hasn’t any found any evidence that the SolarWinds hackers abused forged SAML tokens against the company’s own corporate domains. All malicious SolarWinds applications in Microsoft’s environments have been isolated and removed, according to the company.

“This activity has not put at risk the security of our services or any customer data, but we want to be transparent and share what we’re learning as we combat what we believe is a very sophisticated nation-state actor,” Microsoft wrote in its blog.

Thu, 31 Dec 2020 07:17:00 -0600 text/html https://www.crn.com/news/security/solarwinds-hackers-gain-access-to-microsoft-s-source-code
Microsoft’s Digital Crime Unit Goes Deep on How It Disrupts Cybercrime

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Still, the DCU's particular progression was the result of Microsoft's unique dominance during the rise of the consumer internet. As the group's mission came into focus while dealing with threats from the late 2000s and early 2010s—like the widespread Conficker worm—the DCU's unorthodox and aggressive approach drew criticism at times for its fallout and potential impacts on legitimate businesses and websites.

“There's simply no other company that takes such a direct approach to taking on scammers,” WIRED wrote in a story about the DCU from October 2014. “That makes Microsoft rather effective, but also a little bit scary, observers say.”

Richard Boscovich, the DCU’s assistant general counsel and a former assistant US attorney in Florida’s Southern District, told WIRED in 2014 that it was frustrating for people within Microsoft to see malware like Conficker rampage across the web and feel like the company could improve the defenses of its products, but not do anything to directly deal with the actors behind the crimes. That dilemma spurred the DCU’s innovations and continues to do so.

“What’s impacting people? That’s what we get asked to take on, and we’ve developed a muscle to change and to take on new types of crime,” says Zoe Krumm, the DCU’s director of analytics. In the mid-2000s, Krumm says, Brad Smith, now Microsoft’s vice chair and president, was a driving force in turning the company’s attention toward the threat of email spam.

“The DCU has always been a bit of an incubation team. I remember all of a sudden, it was like, ‘We have to do something about spam.’ Brad comes to the team and he’s like, ‘OK, guys, let’s put together a strategy.’ I’ll never forget that it was just, ‘Now we’re going to focus here.’ And that has continued, whether it be moving into the malware space, whether it be tech support fraud, online child exploitation, business email compromise.”

Wed, 13 Dec 2023 22:22:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-digital-crime-unit-2023/
Journey to Scale: Overcoming the Challenges of Managing AKS Infrastructure as You Scale

Journey to Scale: Overcoming the Challenges of Managing AKS Infrastructure as You Scale


Organizations are quickly coming to rely on Microsoft's Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) to handle critical functionality in their organizations—everything from deploying to scaling and managing Docker containers and container-based applications. When an AKS cluster is first deployed, typically only a handful of apps are involved, with a few hundred pods on a small set of nodes. Initially, it may seem easy for an operations team, including DevOps and SREs, to manage it all manually. But sooner or later applications will become more dynamic as they scale up with more users, and more applications will come from multiple teams, leading to more clusters to manage with hundreds of nodes and thousands of pods.

So, it's not surprising that many application developers become overwhelmed with the need to develop a high level of Kubernetes expertise while also managing their daily tasks.

In this podcast, veteran technology journalist John K. Waters talks with two subject matter experts, Shon Harris of Spot by NetApp and Ayo Ayodeji, Senior Program Manager in Microsoft's Azure Technology Strategy group, to clarify the common challenges faced by app dev teams working with AKS—challenges that can lead to overwork and real burnout, even among the members of the most sophisticated teams. And they'll outline the best practices for scaling AKS infrastructure and keeping costs in check.

The conversation will cover:

  • The key challenges organizations face when it comes to selecting the right infrastructure at the right time for their AKS clusters.
  • How Microsoft has embraced the open-source mentality through Kubernetes.
  • Where most Azure customers are with Kubernetes right now.
  • The new AKS Node Auto-provisioning feature.
  • Spot Ocean for AKS: how it expands on Microsoft’s Node Auto-provisioning use case.

Watch now!

About the presenters:

Shon Harris, DevRel Lead, Spot by NetApp

Shon W. Harris is a dedicated technologist and ultra-geek. He came to NetApp after almost a decade working in cloud-native roles such as Principal Cloud Architect and DevOps Engineering Lead, where he took complex software packages and processes, shifting them into a cloud-first mindset, building secure, highly available systems to enhance the way customers run their business. He also has a background in digital forensics and incident response. Shon advocates for customers to assist the developers and technologists who use Spot solutions to release faster running their workloads on optimized infrastructure and see value in maximizing cloud spend.

Ayobami Ayodeji, Senior Program Manager, Customer Success, Microsoft

Ayobami Ayodeji is a Senior Program Manager for the Customer Success technical strategy team at Microsoft. he has been in the role for the last 3 years, running programs that help accelerate the adoption and scaling of AKS and other cloud native Azure services for thousands of customers via Microsoft’s cloud solutions architects around the world. His work contributed to AKS becoming the fastest growing Azure service. Prior to that, he worked as a data scientist, project manager and manufacturing engineer in the financial and automotive manufacturing industries. he owns a master of engineering in industrial engineering, specializing in data analytics and a PMP certification. Prior to joining Microsoft, he started a non profit organization called BlackMINT which powers the risingstar platform, where underrepresented middle and highschool students can learn about various career options in tech and get inspired to pursue a career in this industry. He was also VP of technology at the non profit organization CAUFP. He has been driven throughout his career by his passion for empowering organizations and individuals to amplify their impact and his present role in the field of Kubernetes and DevOps helps him fulfil that goal.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 03:50:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://mcpmag.com/Webcasts/2024/01/NETAPP-MICROSOFT-Podcast-Journey-to-Scale.aspx Microsoft's Brad Smith on "real concern" about Chinese malware targeting infrastructure Microsoft's Brad Smith on "real concern" about Chinese malware targeting infrastructure - CBS News

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The hacking operation code-named "Volt Typhoon" that targeted critical infrastructure in Guam and other locations in the United States is of "real concern," Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith tells "Face the Nation." Watch more of Margaret Brennan's interview with Smith Sunday on "Face the Nation."

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Fri, 26 May 2023 10:42:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.cbsnews.com/video/microsofts-brad-smith-on-real-concern-about-chinese-malware-targeting-infrastructure/
LinkedIn open sources its Developer Productivity and Happiness Framework

Looking back on 2023, two key themes underlaid much of what drove the new tools and technologies across the entire development ecosystem. One was artificial intelligence, both using and building it, and the other was making developers more productive.

That last one was perhaps the hardest to quantify and describe. For one thing, developer productivity came in many forms, from new design patterns and practices that simplified cloud-native and mobile development, to tools that codified years of experience, providing ways for different engineering disciplines to collaborate and deliver consistent results.

Some of productivity’s prominence may have come from the rough economic waters that drove engineering teams to deliver more with less. Other reasons included the ongoing “app gap” and a growing need to deliver cross-platform solutions. The result is a more mature approach to engineering, treating it more as a science and less as an art.

Measuring productivity

A focus on productivity demands that we answer the key questions: What is productivity? How do we measure it? We all know the apocryphal stories of companies that measure developer productivity by either the number of lines of code written or the number of bugs fixed, and how these metrics fail to deliver the expected results (or how engineers game them to their own benefit).

For one thing, developer productivity mixes tangible and intangible conditions. What do we know about how well a project was defined, or if there were personal conflicts inside a team? And perhaps more important, are those developers actually happy?

That all adds up to a big issue. How can we track developer productivity, and can we do it without affecting that productivity by adding more stress to developers?

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

Tue, 26 Dec 2023 19:59:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.infoworld.com/article/3711880/linkedin-open-sources-its-developer-productivity-and-happiness-framework.html
How Microsoft's Booming Cybersecurity Business Hit A Speed Bump No result found, try new keyword!Cybersecurity Leadership Shake-Up In addition, this month Microsoft shook up its security leadership team, naming Igor Tsyganskiy as chief information security ... best practices and infrastructure ... Tue, 26 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ Microsoft Ignite 2023: The Biggest News In Data, Cloud, Security

Microsoft Fabric, immersive Teams spaces and a unified platform of Microsoft Sentinel and Defender XDR were some of the biggest data, cloud and security news at Ignite 2023.

The general availability of Microsoft Fabric. Three-dimensional Teams spaces where users can roast marshmallows and throw beanbags. And a private preview for a unified security operations platform combining Microsoft Sentinel and Defender XDR—formerly known as Defender 365.

This is some of the biggest news in data, cloud and security to come out of the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant’s annual Ignite conference, being held in Seattle and online this week.

Some of the main themes for the conference included new Microsoft tools for developers, more access to cutting-edge technology including generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) and mixed reality, and working more closely with rivals including Oracle and Amazon Web Services.

[RELATED: Microsoft Q1 2023 Earnings: CEO Nadella ‘Very Pleased’ With Early AI Rush]

Microsoft Ignite 2023 On Security, Cloud

Even though it is early days for the Fabric data analytics platform, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella revealed on the company’s latest quarterly earnings call that more than 16,000 customers actively use the platform, including more than 50 percent of the Fortune 500.

During Ignite, Microsoft also noted the opportunity for solution providers working with Fabric. Accenture and Capgemini have trained more than 4,200 individuals on the platform, according to the vendor.

For Teams, Nadella revealed that the collaboration application has more than 320 million monthly active users and its premium offering has more than 10,000 paid customers.

And for Sentinel, the CEO said that the cloud-native security information and event management (SIEM) tool now has more than 25,000 customers with revenue surpassing a $1 billion annual run rate.

Read on for more of the biggest unveilings at Ignite 2023.

Azure Boost Goes GA

Microsoft has made its Azure Boost system GA, the vendor said during Ignite 2023.

Azure Boost promises to speed up storage and networking by moving those processes onto purpose-built hardware and software instead of host servers, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft said Boost allows for the fastest remote and local storage performances in the market with a remote storage performance of 12.5 Gbps throughput and 650K input/output operations per second (IOPS), and a local storage performance of 17.3 Gbps throughput and 3.8M IOPS.

Azure Boost also powers the Azure M-series Mv3 family for up to two times throughput to Azure premium solid-state drive (SSD) disk storage and up to 25 percent improvement in network throughput over Mv2, according to the vendor.

Oracle Database@Azure Goes GA

Oracle Database@Azure, an offering that gives users direct access to Oracle database services running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) deployed in Microsoft Azure data centers, will go GA for the U.S. East Azure region in December, according to Microsoft.

The offering promises to deliver all the performance, scale and workload availability advantages of Oracle Exadata Database Service on OCI combined with the security, flexibility and services of Microsoft Azure, according to Microsoft.

The vendors will expand to additional regions starting in the first quarter of 2024. Oracle Exadata Database Service is the first Oracle database service to benefit from the offering.

Azure Kubernetes Service Updates

Microsoft has made Azure Kubernetes Fleet Manager GA, allowing for multicluster and at-scale Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) clusters scenarios.

Administrators can manage workload distribution on a global scale across clusters. Plus, they can facilitate platform and app updates, according to the vendor.

Confidential containers on AKS is in preview. This cloud service aims to provide pod-level isolation and memory encryption in a managed Kubernetes service based on the open-source Kata containers project.

In preview, AKS on VMware should give users the same AKS in the cloud and AKS on-premises experience in VMware environments, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft Dev Box

New capabilities in preview for Microsoft Dev Box promises developers more granular control over images and the ability to connect to hosted networks, according to the vendor.

The capabilities also include templates to speed up getting started and the ability to limit the number of dev boxes each developer can create within a project to help manage costs and ensure efficient use of resources.

Docker now provides Dev Box-compatible preconfigured images on the Azure Marketplace that have everything needed to build containers with Visual Studio and Docker Desktop, according to Microsoft.

.NET 8

During Inspire 2023, Microsoft introduced .NET 8, with the goal of more performance and productivity for .NET developers.

Microsoft services that support .NET 8 include Azure Functions and Azure App Service for Linux and Windows. AKS and Azure Container Apps also support the new iteration of .NET.

Updates to Visual Studio and GitHub and Microsoft Dev Box enhancements should help developers take full advantage of .NET 8, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft has launched a preview of Windows App, which connects users to Windows in the cloud from a device of choice across Windows 365 (W365), Azure Virtual Desktop, Remote Desktop, Remote Desktop Services, Microsoft Dev Box and more.

W365 users can preview new GPU support for graphics design, rendering, 3-D modeling, data processing, visualization apps and other workloads, according to Microsoft. W365 is also now available in a 16vCore offering for high-capacity computing.

In private preview is Windows Autopatch firmware and driver update management granular controls, with third-party app support possible in the future.

In public preview is W365 Customer Lockbox to help block Microsoft support engineers from accessing content to do service operations without explicit approval.

Another public preview is MSIX app attach assignment flexibility in AVD. This enables the installation of modern apps on any session host, per user, without needing a maintenance window or session interruption.

Coming soon to public preview is W365 Customer Managed Keys, which allow for encrypting W365 Cloud PC disks with a user’s own encryption keys.

W365 and AVD now have single-sign on (SSO) and passwordless authentication support and third-party IDP support. Microsoft is “actively working” to bring the same capabilities for AVD-approved providers.

Now GA in W365 and AVD is watermarking, screen capture protection and tamper protection support.

AVD Personal Desktop Autoscale is GA. With this, users can automatically start session host VMs according to a schedule or using Start VM on Connect and then deallocate or hibernate session host VMs based on the user session state.

Windows Autopatch for frontline workers is GA and included in Microsoft 365 F3 subscriptions. Microsoft will also unify Windows Update for Business and Autopatch into a single solution for PC update management.

Microsoft also added 500 hours of Test Base for Microsoft 365 use without expiration for Windows Enterprise E3, Windows Enterprise E5, M365 E3 and M365 E5 users. Users can leverage this offering for testing apps against Windows 11.

Microsoft Clipchamp, Designer

Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Business suites now have access to the Clipchamp video editor.

Premium features for Clipchamp will launch in December, including 4K exports, organization brand kit capabilities and premium stock content such as audio, video and graphics.

A stand-alone license for Clipchamp outside of M365 will also become available.

A preview of the Designer image creator app is coming, according to Microsoft. It will go GA later in 2024. And the vendor is at work integrating Designer in various M365 apps.

In the coming weeks, Teams users can leverage Designer to make announcement banners. Copilot in Microsoft Designer for Word, PowerPoint and Whiteboard will be available by the end of 2023.

Microsoft Mesh, Teams Immersive Spaces

Microsoft’s Mesh 3-D immersive experience will become GA in January, according to the vendor.

Users will have the ability to experience Mesh with PCs or Meta Quest virtual reality devices, according to Microsoft.

Users can leverage Mesh to build spaces for employee events, training, guided tours, product showcases and other scenarios with a no-code editor.

Event organizers will have the ability to conduct question-and-answer sessions, see a list of hands raised in order and call on participants, whom everyone in the event can hear.

Mesh will power the Microsoft Teams immersive spaces feature that goes GA in January. Immersive spaces will include custom avatars, spatial audio and audio zones and spaces to roast marshmallows, throw beanbags, answer icebreaker questions and more.

Azure Arc

During Ignite 2023, Microsoft said that VMware vSphere enabled by Azure Arc is now GA.

The offering promises developers the ability to use Azure technologies with their existing server-based workloads and new Kubernetes workloads.

Microsoft also revealed a preview of Azure IoT Operations enabled by Azure Arc. The offering should allow users to reduce the complexity and time for building services for near-real-time decisions backed by AI-driven insight for agile, resilient and sustainable operations with Microsoft and partner technologies, according to Microsoft.

In preview is monitoring for SQL Server enabled by Azure Arc, which promises insight into an entire SQL Server estate across on-premises data center and the cloud, for better database performance and faster problem diagnosis.

Now GA is System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) self-service capabilities in Azure with Azure Arc. Users can manage and control VM environments on Azure and perform VM self-service operations from the Azure portal.

Microsoft Fabric

Microsoft has made its Fabric analytics platform GA for purchase, with pricing plans around capacity, storage and with hourly or monthly pay-as-you-go models.

The vendor also noted Fabric as an opportunity for services partners, with Accenture and Capgemini training more than 4,200 individuals on the platform.

“Our Microsoft engineering team worked closely with these partners to enhance their capacity and capabilities on Microsoft Fabric, ensuring the successful delivery of customer implementations,” according to Microsoft. “With the surge of customer demand for Microsoft Fabric, many partners have already completed the first wave of pilot projects during Fabric’s preview—helping customers unlock the early potential of Fabric.”

A free trial of Fabric is available, with users getting 64 capacity units (CUs)—the billing unit—to use against any workload for 60 days.

For Fabric skilling, Microsoft will launch the Microsoft Certified: Fabric Analytics Engineer Associate certification. The beta Exam DP600: Implementing Analytics Solutions Using Microsoft Fabric is expected in mid-January.

New Microsoft Applied Skills credentials are coming soon for Fabric scenarios.

Fabric Integrations

Microsoft also unveil more integration between Fabric and Purview, allowing for manual application of Purview Information Protection sensitivity labels to classify sensitive Fabric data.

Purview’s Sensitive Information Types (SIT)-based data loss prevention (DLP) policies are now infused into Fabric. Also, every Fabric instance will auto-attach to a preview version of Microsoft Purview, and Fabric artifacts now flow into the Microsoft Purview data catalog.

In public preview is Purview Hub, a centralized page with insight into item inventory, sensitive data and endorsement.

Microsoft has made GA shortcuts for OneLake, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, Amazon S3 and Microsoft Dataverse, allowing users to virtualize data in OneLake without having to move and duplicate the data.

The vendor also added a “link to Microsoft Fabric” feature in Power Apps to help low-code app builders.

Mirroring is a new feature for Fabric users to add and manage existing cloud data warehouses and databases in Synapse Data Warehouse. Mirroring works with Azure Cosmos DB, Azure SQL DB, Snowflake and MongoDB, with more data sources coming in 2024.

Fabric also has native integration into Microsoft Graph, simplifying analysis with data from Teams, Outlook, SharePoint, Viva Insights and more, according to Microsoft. M365 data used to only be offered in JSON. Now, users can natively integrate that data to OneLake in Delta Parquet.

Direct Lake mode in Power BI is now GA, speeding up real-time data connection. Direct Lake has also been expanded to support Power BI semantic models on Fabric Warehouses. In public preview is support for stored credentials for Direct Lake semantic models, according to Microsoft.

OneLake has a public preview feature called Explore that aims to help users create a matrix or visual view on the fly for semantic models like PivotTables in Excel.

Microsoft launched a public preview of DAX Query View in Power BI Desktop for faster querying.

Fabric is also now part of the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform (MIDP).

End Of Azure Synapse Analytics?

With Microsoft Fabric, the vendor has now teased an eventual end of Azure Synapse Analytics.

“Rest assured; we have no current plans to retire Azure Synapse Analytics,” according to the vendor. “We will continue to fully support the PaaS Azure Synapse Analytics product and our customers, fix product bugs, and make no compromises to the security of this platform. Customers can continue to deploy, operate, and expand Azure Synapse Analytics.”

The vendor continued: “Should these plans change, Microsoft will provide you with advanced notice and adhere to the support commitments in our Modern Lifecycle Policy to ensure our customers’ needs are met.”

Microsoft has an online guide for Synapse users to migrate workloads to Fabric.

Windows For Developers

Microsoft has released Dev Home v0.7 with Azure DevOps (ADO) support.

This offering is powered by a new Dev Home Azure extension used for cloning Azure repositories.

Users can pin ADO widgets to display query results and query tiles to provide glanceable information for projects. And organizations can use Dev Home to on-board new employees and projects faster, according to Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) has been updated with enhanced security and simpler deployment, according to Microsoft.

Universal Print Updates

Microsoft has a public preview for Universal Print macOS device support.

A pull printing feature is in preview, allowing users to print from any device or app, go to any corporate printer and securely release the print job without having to choose the printer beforehand. Users also get the option to use a mobile device or PIN code for authentication.

Microsoft also added new columns to the printer’s “print jobs” page in the Universal Print portal with information on how the print job traverses through different stages.

The vendor will publish more guidance meant to help print administrators troubleshoot common print issues before reaching out to support.

Unified Security Operations Platform

Microsoft has a private preview available for a unified security operations platform that combines Sentinel, Defender XDR and Microsoft Security Copilot. The platform is expected to enter public preview next year.

This platform has a unified incident experience for triaging, with a view of threats across the digital estate. Users have a single set of automation rules and playbooks powered by GenAI and the ability to query all SIEM and extended detection and response (XDR) data in one place to find threats and take remediation actions.

Users can ask Copilot in natural language to analyze malicious scripts or craft Kusto Query Language (KQL) queries to hunt across data in Microsoft Sentinel and Defender XDR, for example, according to the vendor.

Users can also instantly generate an incident report that summarizes an investigation and the remediation actions that were taken. The platform works on SAP signals and alerts.

New Defender for Endpoint deception capabilities promise to automatically generate authentic-looking decoys and lures to entice attackers with fake, valuable assets. These assets should deliver high-confidence, early stage signals to a Security Operations Center and trigger automatic attack disruption faster.

More Security Updates

Microsoft will expand Defender for Cloud Apps’ discovery capabilities to support more than 400 GenAI apps, the vendor said during Ignite 2023.

Purview has gained new ways to secure data in Microsoft Copilot and non-Microsoft AI applications. Users gain visibility into risks associated with sensitive data use and user activity context in AI applications. They also get compliance controls to help meet business and regulatory requirements, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft has a public preview of a Defender for Cloud integration with Microsoft Entra Permissions Management, which allows users to apply the least privilege principle for cloud resources.

Users can also see links between access permissions and potential vulnerabilities across Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

Another public preview is for a GitLab Ultimate integration that provides a view of application security posture and promises to simplify code-to-cloud remediation workflows across GitHub, Azure DevOps, GitLab within Defender for Cloud and other major developer platforms

Intune Suite adds three new capabilities in February, with the capabilities coming to Government Community Cloud in March. One capability is Microsoft Cloud PKI, which offers a cloud-based public key infrastructure and certificate management for authentication, Wi-Fi and VPN endpoint scenarios.

Microsoft Intune Enterprise Application Management marries third-party app discovery, packaging, deployment and updates with a secure enterprise catalog, according to the vendor. And Microsoft Intune Advanced Analytics promises to expand Intune Suite’s anomaly detection with deep device data insight and battery health scoring.

Wed, 15 Nov 2023 02:00:00 -0600 text/html https://www.crn.com/news/cloud/microsoft-ignite-2023-the-biggest-news-in-data-cloud-security
What comes after open source? Bruce Perens is working on it No result found, try new keyword!Interview Bruce Perens, one of the founders of the Open Source movement, is ready for what comes next: the Post-Open Source movement. Wed, 27 Dec 2023 07:12:00 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ LinkedIn shelved planned move to Microsoft Azure, opting to keep physical data centers

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella arrives at federal court in Washington on Oct. 2, 2023.

Nathan Howard | Bloomberg | Getty Images

LinkedIn has set aside an effort to relocate its data center technology out of its physical facilities and into Microsoft's Azure cloud, according to people familiar with the matter.

The decision not to proceed with the project, code-named "Blueshift," marks a major reversal for LinkedIn, which announced its plan to move to Azure in 2019, three years after Microsoft acquired the company for $27 billion. LinkedIn had been using Azure for specific tasks.

The U-turn represents a setback for Microsoft, which is chasing Amazon Web Services in the lucrative cloud infrastructure market and has been counting on cloud technology and services to fuel much of its growth. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella ran the cloud business before elevation to his current job in 2014.

Mohak Shroff, LinkedIn's vice president of engineering, wrote in a 2019 blog post announcing Blueshift that "moving to Azure will give us access to a wide array of hardware and software innovations, and unprecedented global scale."

Staffers started to learn of the decision not to follow through with the Azure migration last year, said the sources, who asked not to be named because of confidentiality. Executives stressed that the project was being put on hold, rather than getting canceled altogether, they said.

In a memo to research and development employees in June 2022, LinkedIn Chief Technology Officer Raghu Hiremagalur said LinkedIn would continue to use some Azure services and will "focus our efforts on scaling and innovating our on-prem infrastructure." A different internal document, viewed by CNBC, says LinkedIn and Microsoft together agreed to hold off on trying to get LinkedIn's website running on Azure.

"With the incredible demand Azure is seeing and the growth of our platform, we've decided to pause our planned migration of LinkedIn to allocate resources to external Azure customers," Hiremagalur wrote in his memo.  

A LinkedIn spokesperson confirmed that the Microsoft subsidiary changed direction on Blueshift and said LinkedIn continues to use Azure.

"We are using both Azure to complement our infrastructure needs and further investing in our data centers," the spokesperson said in an email. "This includes our running 100 employee-facing applications on Azure, leveraging Azure FrontDoor and ongoing work to consolidate our datacenter locations that are currently spread across multiple buildings under a single roof. Azure has been crucial to support and scale collaboration and productivity for our teams and to deliver value to our members." 

Azure Front Door is a content delivery network that keeps information stored in a variety of places around the world so it can quickly be sent to devices.

Issues with the planned migration arose from LinkedIn attempting to use its own software tools instead of those readily available on Azure, one of the people said. LinkedIn is in the process of constructing an additional data center to handle its computing needs, the person said.

Under the leadership of Nadella, Microsoft has moved some of its acquired assets to Azure, including GitHub and Minecraft developer Mojang.

More recently, Azure has gained attention because of Microsoft's investment in OpenAI, which uses Azure infrastructure for running the large language models powering ChatGPT and other products. Nadella told Wired that he first saw the GPT-4 LLM from OpenAI in the summer of 2022, a few months before OpenAI released the ChatGPT chatbot.

Microsoft said in October that third-quarter revenue from Azure and other cloud services grew 29%, while LinkedIn revenue was up 8%. LinkedIn said in November that it had reached 1 billion members.

WATCH: January's hiring rate is expected to be down from previous years, says LinkedIn's Karin Kimbrough

January's hiring rate is expected to be down from previous years, says LinkedIn's Karin Kimbrough

watch now

Thu, 14 Dec 2023 00:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.cnbc.com/2023/12/14/linkedin-shelved-plan-to-migrate-to-microsoft-azure-cloud.html

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