PGA TOUR and Microsoft partner on instant insights

PGA TOUR and Microsoft partner on instant insights

“The PGA Tour will adopt Windows 10, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office to make data analysis easier to interpret and understand for every golf fan, as well as players and broadcast commentators. Microsoft will create innovative solutions by helping the PGA TOUR analyze information faster and more efficiently, giving fans instant access to insight about players, courses and conditions.”

Source: PGA TOUR and Microsoft strike three-year technology agreement to bring instant insights to golf fans everywhere | News Center

Roles Based Access Control (RBAC) out of beta

Roles Based Access Control (RBAC) out of beta

RBAC is critical for ensuring the right employees have access to the right documents.  Command line tools are the first step. However, a UI similar to Windows is needed for most IT organizations (who don’t write scripts)


Until now, to give people the ability to manage Azure you had to give them full control of an entire Azure subscription. Now, using RBAC, you can grant people only the amount of access that they need to perform their jobs. Download the generally available RBAC command-line management tools or use the Azure Management Portal (preview) to manage access for your production Azure workloads.

When it comes to identity and access, most organizations that are considering using the public cloud are concerned about two things:

  1. Ensuring that when people leave the organization they lose access to resources in the cloud.
  2. Striking the right balance between autonomy and central governance. For example, giving the project teams ability to create and manage virtual machines in the cloud, while centrally controlling the networks to which those virtual machines connect.

Full Story on Azure Blog

WordPress stats on Azure without Google Analytics

WordPress stats on Azure without Google Analytics

Visual Studio Application Insights (preview) is an extensible analytics service that helps you understand the performance and usage of your live application. It’s designed for developers, to help you continuously improve the performance and usability of your app.

This analytics service provides you with a JavaScript code to inject in your web application pages so you can start gathering telemetry about your usage. In this blog post I will show you how to configure Azure Application Insights within your WordPress app running anywhere.

Read More

WordPress on Azure with ClearDB – Not ready for prime time

WordPress on Azure with ClearDB – Not ready for prime time

I’ve spend the last month or installing and running a simple WordPress site on Azure.  My goal was to get better acquainted with Azure for a simple website. What I’ve learned is that WordPress Gallery solution with ClearDB (which costs an extra $55 a month) is an incomplete solution. It only backups the MySQL database and not any of the WordPress Admin files.  So, if you make any WordPress admin changes (like changing the domain name) you are completely out of luck.  You can’t restore and you can’t access the /wp-admin/ admin page. In summary, you just lost your entire WordPress site!

So I tried creating again on Azure.  This time I created another WordPress site on Azure and tried using a WordPress plug-in called “Backupbuddy” (before creating any new content)  Backupbuddy comes highly recommended (according to bloggers on the Internet).  However, after two day of tests, I’ve given up.  “Buddy” is slow, gives false zip errors and completely fails on full backup restore.  In addition, there doesn’t seem to be a way to do a local store to a Mac.

I tried support and described my problem to iThemes (the company that sells Backupbuddy).  The support engineer replied back asking “what is Azure?” He also included troubleshooting FAQ with over 100 links.  Thanks for “help”.

In summary, I’m going back to a simple hosting site – wordpress.com.  I’ve used that site for 4 years without any issues.

Healthcare Cloud Usage Exceeds IT Expectations, Report Finds – HealthITSecurity

Healthcare Cloud Usage Exceeds IT Expectations, Report Finds – HealthITSecurity

Healthcare collaboration tools were the most popular cloud category, according to Skyhigh’s findings. The average healthcare organization uses 188 collaboration services, such as Microsoft Office 365, Gmail, and Evernote. The next most commonly used cloud category with an average of 52 services per organization was development, including SourceForge and GitHub. Content sharing services and social media services were the next most commonly used categories, with an average of 37 and 33 services per organization, respectively.

via Healthcare Cloud Usage Exceeds IT Expectations, Report Finds – HealthITSecurity.

Azure Active Directory Join eliminates need for on premise…

Azure Active Directory Join eliminates need for on premise…

In a few weeks, Windows 10 users can bypass their domain controllers (on premise) and join their W10 computer directly to their corporate domain on the Internet.  This new feature significantly reduces the complexity (and management cost) that was first introduced with Windows 2000.

The key to this is Azure AD Join, a new Windows 10 feature for configuring and deploying corp-owned Windows devices. Like traditional Domain Join, Azure AD Join registers devices in the directory so that they are visible and can be managed by an organization. But with Azure AD Join, Windows authenticates directly to Azure AD, no Domain Controller needed (unless you want to use one of course).

Full Story: AD Blog

Competition for Tableau [from their neighbor down the street]

Competition for Tableau [from their neighbor down the street]

Microsoft makes a shrewd move with the acquisition of Datazen.  The product / technology will compete directly with the undisputed leader – Tableau (according to Gartner) .

“Datazen technology and solutions will complement Power BI, our cloud-based business analytics service, rounding out our mobile capabilities for customers who need a mobile BI solution implemented on-premises and optimized for SQL Server”

Microsoft acquires mobile business intelligence leader Datazen

Why CIOs should care about Microservices – [the future of cloud computing applications]

Why CIOs should care about Microservices – [the future of cloud computing applications]

Interesting summary from Forbes on Microsoft’s new Azure technology with comments from Azure CTO Mark Russinovich 

“Microsoft firmly believes that the future of application development for all organizations will be created using microservices. Microservices is a modern take on software architecture, in which complex applications are composed of small, independent processes communicating with each other using APIs. These services are small, highly decoupled and focus on doing a small task. The rise of Docker, the proliferation of third party developer tools and the increasing reliance on the cloud all play into the growth of microservices.”

Forbes: Microsoft Reinvents The Meaning Of PaaS–Welcome To The Microservices Future

Microsoft and Amazon’s approach to cloud computing and the road to $128 billion

Microsoft and Amazon’s approach to cloud computing and the road to $128 billion

Microsoft’s cloud growth is led by Office 365, their productivity suite that’s been around for 20+ years.  For most Microsoft’s customers, that means exporting all their existing emails / contacts / calendars that reside on their internal Exchange server to Microsoft’s cloud. All the productivity applications (i.e., outlook, excel, powerpoint, access) still run on their local PC / notebook. 

A considerable amount of Amazon’s cloud revenue is derived from moving servers run in traditional corporate datacenter to Amazon’s datacenter.  A very different model.  Both Amazon and Microsoft are working on delivering both services.

Charley Blaine provides additional insights about how both companies reported financials are leading him to predict a $128 billion cloud industry

“the market for cloud services will hit $128 billion a year “in the next few years.” I’d guess sooner rather than later.”

Forbes – Amazon And Microsoft Will Tell Us A Lot About The Cloud’s Size