August 2012 Training Catalogue

The latest technical training catalogue has been published for Windows 8, SQL Server and Windows Azure.

Product,   Technology, Solution Training title Date Time URL
Windows   8 Windows 8   Product Pricing, SKUs and SA Overview (L200) 30/07/2012 5 – 6pm Register
SQL Server Practice Accelerator:   Business Intelligence 30/07/2012 12:30 Register
Windows   8 Getting   Started:  Windows 8 Product and Program Overview 2 (L100)* 1/08/2012 5 – 6pm Register
Windows   8 Preview Ask   the Expert: Desktop 10/08/2012 10-11am Register
Visual   Studio
Windows Azure
Ask The Expert: Software   Development 14/08/2012 12-1pm Register
SQL   Server 2012 Ask   The Expert: BI and Data Platform 15/08/2012 2-3pm Register
Windows   8 Getting   Started:  Windows 8 Product and Program Overview (L100) 20/08/2012 5 – 6pm Register
Windows   8 Product   Pricing, SKUs and SA Overview 2 (L200)* 3/09/2012 5 – 6pm Register
Windows   8 Windows 8 Customer Scenarios   (L300) 5/09/2012 5 – 6pm Register
SQL Server Practice Accelerator: Business Intelligence 10/09/2012 12:30 Register
SQL Server Practice Accelerator: Datacenter Management 24/09/2012 12:30 Register
.NET Exam Prep 70-511: TS: Windows   Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 26/09/2012 3-5pm Register
SQL Server 2008 R2 Exam Prep 70-432: TS: Microsoft   SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance 27/09/2012 3-5pm Register
Visual Studio
Windows Azure
Ask The Expert: Software   Development 2/10/2012 12-1pm Register
SQL Server 2012 Exam   Preparation for 70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases 4/10/2012 3-5pm Register
SQL Server 2012 Ask   The Expert: BI and Data Platform 10/10/2012 12-1pm Register
Windows Azure Exam   Prep 70-583: PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Azure Applications 26/10/2012 2-4pm Register

Australian Windows Azure Innovation

Since joining the Partner Team to help partners adopt the Windows Azure platform, I have met many companies producing awesome apps powered by Azure. As such, I created this collection of stories to share with you. If you would like more information, or have your own story to share, please let me know.

My thanks go to the following Australian partners, who are featured in this first Windows Azure catalogue:

Download the book from:

Let me know what you think…

Summary of Azure Security Blog Posts

Hammad Rajjoub, an Architect Advisor in Singapore has collated this list of Azure security posts. Learn more at Global Foundation Services Online Security. The Global Foundation Services team delivers trustworthy, available online services that create a competitive advantage for you and for Microsoft’s Windows Azure.

Part 1: The Challenges, Defense in Depth. This post describes the threat landscape and introduces the plan for your application to employ defense in depth in partnership with Windows Azure.

Part 2: What Azure Provides Out-of-the-Box.This is an overview that security with Windows Azure is a shared responsibility, and Windows Azure provides your application with important security features. But then again, it also exposes other vulnerabilities that you should consider. In addition, I’ll explore how Microsoft approaches compliance.

Part 3: Identifying Your Security Frame. This post explores how you can examine your application and identify attack surfaces. The idea of a Security Frame is a way for you to look at your application to determine treats and your responses, before you even begin coding. He point you to checklists that you can use when you are architecting your application.

Part 4: What Else You Need to Do. In addition to protecting your application from threats, there are additional steps you should take when you deploy your application. We provide a list of mitigations that you should employ in your application development and deployment.

Part 5: Claims-Based Identity, Single Sign On. User identification represents the keys to accessing data and business processes in your application. In this section, I describe how you can separate user identity and the roles of your user out of your application and make it easier to create single sign on applications.

Part 6: How Azure Services Extends Your App Security. Finally, he shows how other services in Windows Azure provide secure identity mapping, messaging, and connection to on premises application. This section suggests how you can use Windows Azure Active Directory, Windows Azure Connect, and Service Bus for your cloud applications, on premises applications, and hybrid applications.

Part 7: Tips, Tools, Coding Best Practices. here are a few more items you should consider in securing your Windows Azure application. Here are some tools, coding tips, and best practices: running on the operating system, error handling, and how to access to Azure Storage

Moving from credit card to invoice payments

I have spoken to a few customers recently who have asked:

What’s the best way to purchase Windows Azure?

There are two ways to do this today.

  1. Pay-As-You-Go credit card payments
    this is a flexible way of paying for Azure without up front costs. There’s no long term commitment and you only pay for what you use.
  2. A subscription or invoice payments
    These come in 6, 12 and 36 month options with at least 20% discount for compute/database purchases and 39% for storage.

Visit for more information and pricing.

I am a pay as you go customer paying by credit card. Can I move my account to a subscription?

“This option is available upon request and may require a credit review.  Most Microsoft Volume Licensing customers will not require a credit review and can have this ability enabled right away. Customers can contact OCP customer service directly to request this.”

If you have been through this process, please get in touch. I’m keen to understand what the process was like… was it easy? Hard? Any tips to share with others about to embark on the same process?

Add Spending Limits For New Risk-Free Windows Azure Sign-Up

The new Windows Azure Trial accounts and MSDN Accounts are now completely risk-free given the institution of “spending limits”. By default all new trial accounts and newly provisioned MSDN benefits are created with a spending limit of $0. That means that if you exceed the monthly allotments of gratis services, your services will automatically be shut down and your storage placed in read-only mode until the next billing cycle. Then you can redeploy your services and take advantage of that month’s allotment (if any remains).

We do require you to enter a credit card (which helps verify your identity as a legitimate Azure users). But it will not be charged with the new default spending limit.

To see the steps, see Jim O’Neill’s post The New, Improved No-Risk Windows Azure Trial. He shows how you can sign up in just a few steps.

This is courtesy of the December release of Windows Azure has unveiled a new Windows Azure site and sign-up experience. In the past, one of the biggest concerns and roadblocks was that you could overspend on your free trial.