This week in the cloud – 18th June 2018

There’s so much happening in the cloud space at the moment that I thought it would be good for my own reference as much as anyone else’s to produce a summary of some of the big changes that have happened this week. This week has been particularly busy with the Microsoft Build Conference.

The compute decision tree

The first resource that I found wasn’t new this week but will be quite useful. There’s so many different types of compute services but choosing the wrong one can be catastrophic when migrating on-premises resources to the Azure cloud.

This and additional information is located at

The new DEV lab

Next up is a look at the DEVTest Lab function in Azure. If you haven’t heard of this it’s a great way to spin up a new environment to do some testing without having that old hardware around or having to bother with building all the boring stuff.

With this you can deploy templates with multiple machines which can include different components. This allows you to do things like deploy an SCCM environment , even though these include multiple servers and services. Deploy multiple VMs with domain controllers (including standing up a new forest) SQL services and the SCCM services all using a automated process.

Then you can minimise costs by automating the shutdown of the environment so that an idle DEV machine isn’t costing money for idling.

A great resource about this is found here.

PSTN Services in Teams getting closer

Here in NZ we will be holding our breaths for a while longer before PSTN services are available in Office 365 but things are looking a little easier with the introduction in preview of Direct Routing. This is only available in teams *sigh* but will allow a on-premises telephony gateway to directly integrate with Teams. No more Skype for Business on-premises environment or multi-VM cloud connector. Just install a supported physical or even virtual telephony gateway and away you go.

Let’s just hope that Teams can improve to the point that we will all accept them taking Skype for Business off us in the future.

Linux Everywhere even in your Azure AD

Microsoft now loves Linux. Really loves it. Loves it so much that they have now released a Linux distro in the form of Azure Sphere. This is a new IoT operating system which Microsoft will support for 10 years, While it has built-in integration with Azure there appears nothing to stop it from connecting to another cloud service or even a on-premises environment.

Next up is a boring old Linux VM running in Azure. Fairly boring now but now you can integrate it with Azure AD as the Identity Provider. This will enable you to log on to a Linux machine in Azure using on-premises credentials.

Another Azure AD Service

Just because there are not enough ways to use the words Azure Active and Directory in a product name there is now also Azure Active Directory Domain Services. This isn’t a really new service but I have to admit I totally missed it and must have thought it was just one of the other Azure Active Directory services.

This time though it’s a full on Active Directory service without the VM. This Azure service uses the Azure AD directory service to stand up a full Active Directory service in Azure complete with the features that Azure AD doesn’t include such as Group Policy, Organisational Units and NTLM/Kerberos Authentication.

To be clear this is still NOT your on-premises domain but another domain with the same users, passwords and groups.

Details can be found here.

This is just a taster of some of the changes that have been introduced recently. Microsoft announced at Build that they had introduced 170 different new functions in Azure in the last year. Keeping up with these changes is going to get very difficult without even including AWS.