Azure Changes, While I’m Working

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SignInMy laptop is out for repair. I’m working currently on a Surface Pro instead. It’s spurred me to do something I’ve been meaning to do anyway. I’ve started setting up a full demo & testing VM on Azure. I already had the VM up and running (it takes 5 minutes for crying out loud), but I hadn’t bothered setting up Red Gate software on it and getting it fully prepped to support my work, demos, or whatever else I might need. But, I finally did. It’s working out surprisingly well. I just have to remember to shut the silly thing down when I’m done with it or it does start to bite into my MSDN credit. Anyway…

I was working on the VM for a big chunk of the day yesterday. I decided to shut down, so I opened the Management Portal tab on my browser when I saw a message I had never seen before. I didn’t think ahead far enough to get a screen capture, but paraphrasing and probably misquoting, it went something like this:

The Management Portal has been updated. To use the new Management Portal you must refresh your browser

COOL! I thought and clicked the button (then thought of my faithful blog readers, all six of you, Hi Mom!). But too late. I got a new portal that looked… Just like the old one. Luckily for me, Scott Guthrie posted the updates to his blog (subscribe if you haven’t).

Exciting stuff (assuming you read Scott’s blog), especially if you’re looking at Azure VMs as a mechanism for setting up Availability Groups with your on-premises machines. And if you’re not a giant shop that can afford to pay for multiple co-lo hosting systems, why would you not be? But, the really cool bit for me is that I think that’s the first time, that I know of, when I was online, connected, working, and they released an update. It demo’ed for me, in a really small way, how the release of these updates is a rolling thing. Meaning, if I were to immediately go and create a new VM, the functionality described by Scott would be available. But, while I was working, my VM was online, therefore not updated yet. One of two things will happen here. If I had left my server online, when I went back to it, it might be offline, or, have had a reboot event while I was gone because they updated it. Or, while it was offline it would get updated and when I bring it back online, it may need to get rebooted after the updates are applied (a lot like a local machine). Here, I thought ahead. I left the machine off until this morning so I could see if the update was put in place.

The new login screen is WAY too cheery for 6:30AM. Microsoft. Please fix that.

And nothing. No new updates. No indications that any have been applied. Hmmm… Maybe the machine where my server is hosted hasn’t been updated yet. I’ll have to keep an eye on it.

That’s the good news. The bad news is, I need to rebuild my demos and some of my slide deck (again) in preparation for the PASS Summit. Setting up Availability Groups between a local system and an Azure VM is one of the things we’ll be covering in the full day pre-conference seminar. If you’re interested and want to learn about this and a whole lot more about Azure Infrastructure and Platform services as they relate specifically to relational data storage, go here to register.

Let’s just hope there are no more changes to SQL Server in VMs or Windows Azure SQL Database between now and the Summit. Ha! Who am I kidding? They’re updating this platform all the time.

OK, fine, but what do you think?