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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Azure Questions & Answers - 4

I liked reading through the book Exam Ref 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions and there were some questions in the quizzes that stood out. Rather than go through the entire book again, I thought I'll compile the ones I found useful.

1. Which Azure Services can help you connect to on-premises resources?

* BizTalk API Apps Hybrid Connections
* Service Bus Relay
* Azure Application Proxy
* Azure Virtual Network

2. What are the evaluation criteria you would use while choosing SaaS offerings to integrate with your applications?

QoS is an obvious metric for evaluating services. When evaluating a service, its scalability, availability, reliability, manageability, and security need to be evaluated to verify that the service matches with your application requirements. In addition, its simplicity and extensibility are also important aspects to consider in terms of productivity. On the business side, the service’s price, SLA agreements, and even level of customer supports should also be examined. The bottom line is that using an external service takes effort. As a manager, you should budget enough time and resources to ensure that the service is a real match. As a technical lead, you should not be over-optimistic just because some prototype works

3. How do you prepare for the case in which a SaaS offering can no longer satisfy your requirement?

Adopting an external service has its inherent risks. There’s no guarantee that the chosen services will have the same lifespan of your own applications. Although an exit strategy isn’t always practical, some architecture patterns such as loose coupling, MicroServices, and SOA can help to control such risks

4. What is the impact of running WebJobs on multiple instances of a website

Continuous WebJobs run on every instance on which the website is running. You will need to ensure that if you scale-up to more instances, your WebJob can handle being run more than once at a time. If you are running the WebJob on demand or on a schedule, it only runs in a single instance selected for load balancing by Azure.

5. What are the parameters that the autoscaling feature of Azure Websites looks for to scale up or down?

The Standard level is the only one to support autoscaling of the instances. The autoscaling feature can use CPU, Memory Percentage, Disk Queue, Length, Http Queue Length, Data In, and Data Out to determine if the website needs to be scaled up or down

6. What is the maximum number of cores per instance that you can scale website instances to?

Azure websites can scale up only to a large-sized instance (four cores). To scale beyond four cores, you could set up the website as a Web Role that can scale beyond four cores.

7. What factors must be considered when estimating cost with Azure Media Services?

Encoding, data storage, streaming, content protection

8. Is there a way to see and manage all infrastructure, both that which is on-premises and that which in the cloud?

System Center is built for managing, monitoring, and protecting on-premises, cloud and hybrid infrastructure and services

9. What type of backup and restore is possible with Azure Backup?

Block-level backup with file-level restore

10. How does Data Protection Manager differ from StorSimple?

StorSimple is a device that has internal drives; Data Protection Manager is software that is part of System Center & it integrates directly with Azure Backup. StorSimple provides much lower RPO and RTO capabilities than Data Protection Manager. StorSimple can do instant restores to reduce RTO.

11. What is Desired State Configuration designed to do?

* Install or remove Windows roles and features
* Manage files and directories
* Start, stop, and manage processes and services
* Deploy new software
* Discover the actual configuration state on a given node
* Fix a configuration that has drifted away from the desired state

12. What is the difference between Push notifications & Notification hubs?

Push notifications are included in Azure Mobile Services directly. You also can implement push by using notification hubs, which is an extra cost.

The push notification in Mobile Services would be a cheaper solution, but all of the tags to say what location and stores need to be sent to a user are then stored in your back-end code. Using notification hubs, tags are set with the service, and then sending is much simpler.

The push notification and notification hub systems talk to the separate notification systems of each mobile platform

13. Which protocols are supported by Azure AD? 

ws-Federation & SAML 2.0

14. What techniques can be used to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of security tokens 

Transmitting them over HTTPS to prevent eavesdrops and man-in-the-middle attacks, Digital signature to ensure the authenticity and nonrepudiation of security tokens, encryption, Token expiration to reduce risks of threats such as play-back attacks

15. What are the available options to interact with Azure AD objects?

Graph API, ADAL and Azure AD Graph Client Library

16. What are the different techniques for directory synchronization 

DirSync, AAD Sync, Azure AD Connector

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