We released the first version of our Media Center App for SharePoint 2013 almost eighteen months ago. In building this app we wanted to bring the functionality of Azure Media Services– support for complete media lifecycles, from ingestion to streaming— to SharePoint. You can read a detailed summary of the design decisions that went into building the first version here. In a nutshell, our goal was to build a SharePoint hosted app, working both in the cloud and on-premise, which provides seamless access to the media assets hosted in Azure Media Services. Furthermore, the access is enabled via a SharePoint construct such as the asset library. This setup allows the users to leverage search, custom views, and a built-in player – all the SharePoint functionality that they are already familiar with. However, as you may have guessed, the asset library only holds the metadata about the assets: the assets themselves are streamed from the AMS origination servers. Read More…
No lengthy commentary is needed to communicate the growing importance of big data technologies. Look no further than the rounds of funding  that companies like Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR have attracted in recent months. It is widely expected that the market for Hadoop will likely grow to $20 Billion by 2018.
The key motivations for the growth of big data technologies includes:
- The growing need to process ever increasing volumes of data. This growth in data is not limited to web scale companies alone. Businesses of all sizes are seeing this growth.
- Not all data conforms to a well-defined structure/schema, so there is a need to supplement (if not replace) the traditional data processing and analysis tools such as EDWs.
- Ability to take advantage of deep compute analytics using massively parallel, commodity based clusters. We will see examples of deep compute analysis a little bit later but this is a growing area of deriving knowledge from the data.
- Overall simplicity (from the standpoint of the analyst/ developer authoring the query) that hides the non-trivial complexity of the underlying infrastructure.
- Price-performance benefit accorded due to the commodity based clusters and fault tolerance.
- The ability to tap into fast paced innovation taking place within the “Hadoop” ecosystem. Consider that Map Reduce, which has been the underpinning of Hadoop ecosystem for years, is being replaced by projects such as Yarn in recent months. Read More…
Question: “How does an admin protect their SharePoint farm from poorly written custom code?” Answer: “Force custom code to run in the SharePoint sandbox mode.” Not quite! Turns out that running in a sandbox mode (as the name suggests, it is a restricted execution mode within SharePoint) is not very productive because of the performance penalty and very limited capabilities available to code running in it. A better approach is to move the code “outside” of SharePoint and into a “private” execution environment (so that the errant developers can shoot themselves in the foot, but not everyone else). Read More…
During this discussion I talk about how the cloud influences application design, focused on more asynchronous, scalable and flexible messaging focused architecture. While the patterns could be applied to any cloud technology, Microsoft Azure is particularly well-suited to these architectural patterns, providing services that cover each pattern approach for optimal results.
Click here to listen to “Cloud Patterns with Vishwas Lele.”
Our first presentation date is Wednesday, January 29. You won’t want to miss this session, as we’ll cover both updates to Azure and new ways to extend your data center.
In this session we will share an example Platform as a Service (PaaS) Web Role workload in Azure. This workload will help you understand how Azure constructs can be used in support of different scenarios.
The workload we’ll discuss makes use of the following Constructs:
- A private data center extended into multiple Azure Regional Data Centers (East Coast / West Coast) with IPSEC tunnels
- The on-premises AD / DNS infrastructure extended into Azure IaaS
- An on-premises SQL Server 2012 Server database supporting a High Availability Group (Synchronous) with a local primary and a remote secondary located in Azure IaaS
- The PaaS Web Role Load Balanced across data centers using Azure Traffic Manager
“We want the cloud to be a seamless extension of our data center, not a walled garden. We want to use our existing IT setup and tools to manage on-premises and cloud-based applications.”
“We want to seamlessly move virtual machines from on-premises to the cloud and back.”
“We want to move existing applications to the cloud without the need to change the applications in any way.”
…then our upcoming Introduction to Windows Azure IaaS session is for you.
This free half-day session is for anyone who wants to better understand the Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering. After a brief overview of the Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS) model, we will focus on key IaaS concepts. Additionally, we will walk you through a number of scenarios enabled by Azure IaaS and several demonstrations. Learn about the new generally available features including virtual machines (with more size options), virtual networks, new image types (including SQL Server and BizTalk), lower pricing and much more. Read More…
In other words, automate every aspect of your (cloud-based) infrastructure.
Given AIS’ years of experience with SharePoint, we are always looking for ways to make the underlying infrastructure more cost effective, scalable and robust. Fortunately, the benefits of automation apply equally to a SharePoint 2013 farm hosted in the cloud — whether it’s the ability to dynamically provision a SharePoint 2013 farm on the fly, or the ability to scale up and down based on load, or the ability to make the SharePoint 2013 farm more fault-resilient.
We’ve written about two automated deployment approaches to SharePoint 2013; one for Amazon Web Services and one for Azure. In case you missed them…
Our work with Rolling Stone and Bondi Digital Publishing is yet another example of how AIS can develop technology that creates new revenue streams for publishers. We built a digital distribution platform to usher print publications like Rolling Stone into the digital age – by providing them with a turnkey solution to deploy print magazine archives online for viewing on desktops, laptops and mobile devices. For Rolling Stone, the initial launch included more than 1,000 issues from 1967 to the present.