Webinar Follow-up Q&A: Future-Proofing your Datacenter with Microsoft Azure Stack

Webinar Follow-up Q&A: Future-Proofing your Datacenter with Microsoft Azure Stack

Hello once again everyone! Back on August 28th, Thomas Maurer and I put on a webinar centered around the topic of Microsoft Azure Stack. The webinar served as an introduction to the topic and spoke to how Azure stack will integrate into your existing datacenter.

As is our norm after putting on a big webinar, we always like to do a follow-up blog post, that includes several things:

  • A full recording of the webinar
  • A copy of the slide deck for download
  • Full list of the questions and their associated answers.

Let’s get started with the list!

Revisit the Webinar

Download a Copy of the Slide Deck

The Slide Deck can be downloaded HERE

Q&A from the Webinar

Q. If you’re new to Azure Stack, what are some good resources for learning more about it (Other than this webinar)

A. If you’re looking to learn more about Azure Stack, it would be best if you start by learning more about Azure. This is because managing Azure Stack is so similar to Azure, learning how to handle Azure, will help you with Azure Stack when you’re ready to deploy it. If you’re looking to focus on individual features, it is recommended that you focus on ARM (Azure Resource Manager) before focusing on other items. With that said, Microsoft has a lot of training materials about Azure and ARM, and even has an online virtual academy with some resources HERE

Q. Microsoft has already talked about scaling the solution up from the existing planned deployments, are there any mentioned plans to scale the solution down?

A. The smallest that Azure Stack scales down too is 4 nodes, with no mentioned plans to go below that. Due to the nature of the solution and what it’s capable of delivering, if 4 nodes is not small enough, it’s recommended to host the workloads directly in Azure instead.

Q. Will it be more resource efficient to host PaaS workloads of IaaS workloads in Azure Stack?

A. While the final numbers and pricing would tell you for sure, at this point it looks like PaaS will be the more efficient route (Like Public Azure). This is because PaaS services are inherently more efficient than IaaS as you’re not having to support an individual underlying OS for each workload.

Q. What are the differences between the different switch types in Azure Stack.

A. The Aggregate switch acts as an aggregation layer for all the different TOP switches to connect to. The TOR Switch is a top-of-rack switch that the physical hosts connect to, and the BMC switch is a switch that is used by the baseboard management controllers in the hosts for things like auto-power-on and power off, and patching.

Q. Can I use Altaro VM Backup to protect workloads running on Azure Stack?

A. At release Microsoft is not opening APIs or providing a way for 3rd party vendors to provide backup services inside of the stack. However, it is suspected (but not confirmed) that they will open a marketplace for MAS, much like they have for Azure. Through this backup vendors could deploy methods for protecting Azure Stack based workloads. We will be watching this closely and will be sure to notify you via the Altaro blog of any major product enhancements centered around this.

Q. Am I able to use an Azure Stack based storage account for hosting offsite backups with Altaro VM Backup?

A. Yes! You can connect to an Azure Stack based storage account just as you would connect to a storage account hosted in public Azure. All you need to do is follow the instructions posted in the offsite backup location section of the application and cut and paste in your connection string for the storage account.

Wrap-Up

Well that wraps up things for August’s webinar! Be sure to keep an eye out on this space, as we’ll be posting more information about Azure Stack as our authors find it interesting and of use to you!

As always, if there was a question you have that wasn’t answered, or you thought of a follow-up question, be sure to use the comments section below and we’ll be sure to get you your answer ASAP.

Thanks for attending, and we hope to see you for the next one!

4 Important Azure IaaS features Webinar – Q & A Follow-Up

4 Important Azure IaaS features Webinar – Q & A Follow-Up

Hello Everyone!

On July 18th, we put on a webinar with Aidan Finn regarding Azure IaaS and Hybrid Cloud. The webinar was well attended, and we got some great questions and feedback throughout the session. As is our norm for webinars this post contains the following below:

  • A recording of the webinar in it’s entirety
  • A link to the slide deck used
  • A full list of the questions and their associated answers.

If you have any follow-up questions be sure to use the comments section below and we’ll be sure to get you an answer!

Watch Webinar – 4 Important Azure IaaS Features for Building your Hybrid Cloud

Get a Copy of the Slide Deck

A copy of the slide deck can be found HERE

Q & A

Q: If there is a trackable pending disaster such as a hurricane or a war, will Microsoft proactively move data and workloads to another Azure Datacenter Region?

A: The short answer here is no, that is because Microsoft leaves it up to the customer to design and architect the solutions over several datacenter regions yourself if you need that kind of failover and redundancy. Microsoft will do no syncing of data between datacenters on their own in this regards. You have to set it up yourself.

Q: Is it possible to select managed or un-managed for disks during the creation of a new VM in Azure?

A:  It is. In the storage section under step 3 of the VM’s creation you have the option of selecting managed or unmanaged storage.

Q: Is it possible to change from un-managed to managed storage at a later time?

A:  Yes! There are a few powershell cmdlets that can do this and the process is fairly quick. More information on this can be found HERE.

Q: Does an MSDN subscription allow you to do some testing with Azure?

A: Yes. You get various credits depending on your subscription level. You can find more information on this HERE

Q: When a host “warm reboots” in Azure, how do the VMs stay online? How do they get resources?

A: The answer here is they don’t stay online, however the downtime is only 15 to 30 seconds, so it’s nearly unidentifiable unless you’re running a very connectivity sensitive application.

Q: How can I keep track of which services are available in what regions?

A: Microsoft keeps a list of this HERE.

Q: Is it possible to use Nested Virtualization in Azure?

A: It is! This feature is usable with the newly available D_v3 and E_v3 VMs. (NOTE: May only be available in certain regions at this time)

 

Thanks for all your questions! See you at the next webinar!