My company, Aditi, and I are publishing an eight-part series on some of the newer administration features of Microsoft Azure. We will publish weekly off the Aditi site and I will provide a summary and link to it from this blog each week. So if you are following my blog you will get regular updates when it is published. Take a look at the initial overview post describing all that we will discuss over the next eight weeks. If you want more details and demos you can watch the course content (which the blog posts parallel) at the Pluralsight.com web site. Search for courses with my last name (McKeown) or for the new course entitled “Microsoft Azure Administration New Features”. This course is to be released hopefully sometime this week (week of May 19th).

Over the eight-week mini-series we will cover new features from Azure Q4 2013 leading up to the BUILD release focused on advanced topics for the administration of Microsoft Azure. Topics are primarily focused around Azure IaaS but overlap at times into the Azure PaaS space. From a backup standpoint Azure offers Recovery Services to prevent data loss via Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager and Recovery Services. Azure scheduler gives you the ability to schedule jobs that can run internal and external to Azure. Traffic Manager supports both PaaS configurations based upon round robin, failover, and performance metrics. Management Services gives you the ability to set up billing alerts, as well as service alerts for services, storage, and web sites and run queries on the results. Virtual Machine Auto-Scaling has been improved to now give you configurable options for both PaaS Cloud Services, Web sites, and IaaS VMs. Azure BizTalk Services integrates the enterprise and the Azure Cloud by configuring B2B messaging. HDInsight is Azure’s solution to bring big data processing to the Azure Cloud. Improvements to Azure Storage include read-only access to geo-replicated storage, improved storage analytics, and allowing the transfer of large amounts of data via physical drive using the Azure Import and Export Service. For Web sites we look at the recent enhancements of AlwaysOn Support, Web Jobs, and Staged Publishing.

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