ARM Template Reference Now Available

If you’ve been tracking Microsoft’s Azure cloud offering over the past few years you’ve probably noticed that there have been a few (hundred) changes during that time period. And by hundred, I mean multiple hundreds. . .

One of those changes was to transition from the Azure Service Management interfaces to the Azure Resource Management template model. This methodology has made the development of complete environments through Infrastructure as Code significantly more manageable through resource groups using templates that can be spun up and torn down on demand.

Recently Microsoft released their Azure Resource Manager template reference which guides you from nothing to environment in a pretty rapid fashion. If you’re familiar with Infrastructure as Code using JSON notation then this will be incredibly familiar to you and you may even find yourself liking it.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-resource-manager-template-reference-now-available/

Global Azure Bootcamp 2017

Interested in learning more about Microsoft Azure? Looking for a starting point and you’ve already read all the documentation over at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/? Have a Saturday afternoon free in the latter part of April? Check out the Global Azure Bootcamp community event taking place on 22 April 2017 around the world. There are locations everywhere as the world simultaneously learns about Azure, details here:

https://global.azurebootcamp.net/locations/

Each event is unique, the speakers and organizers put together the content and determine what the talks will be as well as what their focus will be. Come learn about Azure and the ability to host nearly anything on it.

If you’re new to Azure, you’re bound to learn a ton about the platform by attending one of these events.

Brewery FM – Episode 7 – Delving About Delve… Again

MemeGenerator BreweryFMThis week has been a little hectic between work, life and community, but somehow Scott Hoag and I were still able to get together for an hour and record another session of Brewery.fm.

In this weeks episode, we call out Tim Ferro again – mostly because he asked us for some thoughts on an announcement from the Office 365 team on Azure ExpressRoute. Further, we discussed the intricacies of Azure’s RBAC features that were released a few months back (and how PowerShell is still the better way to implement RBAC if you need it with Azure) as well as a whole lot of other interesting topics.

If you’re not subscribed to the Podcast yet, point your favourite podcast software (whether that be iTunes, Podcast Lounge, DownCast, PocketCasts or OverCast over at our feed:

Brewery.fm Pub feed

Once you’ve done that, if you’re curious about something we mentioned, perhaps you should check out the show notes that Scott pulls together and publishes at http://www.brewery.fm each week with the specific episodes. If you want to get to a specific episode quickly, just use the link shortener pattern of http://pub.brewery.fm/breweryXXX where XXX refers to the episode number. This week would be http://pub.brewery.fm/brewery007.

As always, if you’ve got feedback for the show, ping us on Twitter at @breweryfm, leave a post on FaceBook or send us an e-mail at info@brewery.fm.

Oh and we double dog dare you to give us a rating on iTunes… come on you know you wanna 🙂

Needless to say, lots of exciting news in this episode! Quick download it now!

Supported Video Codes for Office 365

Office 365 recently launched their Video Portal that leverages the power of Azure Media Services as documented on the Office Blogs entry by Mark Kashman on the entry titled Introducing Office 365 Video. It’s definitely a step up compared to using something like the Digital Asset Management library that debuted in SharePoint Server on-premises many years ago.

So as you begin your movement to utilizing the Video Portal, hopefully you don’t hit any snags…

Wait, what do you mean SWF isn’t supported?

If you’ve been building videos for Adobe Flash player using SWF format or FLV, then you’re probably going to have to take a few minutes and breath. The easiest thing to do is go and download a copy of Handbrake for your Windows or Mac computing device and begin the conversion to MP4. Handbrake is available here – http://www.handbrake.fr

What are the supported file types for use on the Video Portal?

It’s actually a bit more flexible than you probably think – it’s more than just WMA and WMV file types. It would seem that Microsoft’s Office 365 group went at length to make it meet the most widely used formats…

These include:

Office 365 Video supports the following video codes:

  • H.264 (Baseline, Main, and High Profiles)
  • MPEG-1 (Including MPEG-PS)
  • MPEG-2 (Simple and Main Profile)
  • MPEG-4 v2 (Simple Visual Profile and Advanced Simple Profile)
  • VC-1 (Simple, Main, and Advanced Profiles)
  • Windows Media Video (Simple, Main, and High Profiles)
  • DV (DVC, DVHD, DVSD, DVSL)
  • Grass Valley HQ/HQX

The full list of video and audio types is available for viewing here – Video formats that work in Office 365 Video

What’s this thing you refer to called Media Services?

It’s the cloud. drops the mic and walks away

If you’re curious to learn more about Azure Media Services, there’s more information available here on the Azure Media Services page on the Azure marketing documentation portal. Mind you that Azure Media Services is highly scalable and has been used for events like the Olympics to provide for streaming media needs.

So what are your first thoughts on the Office 365 Video Portal? How are you using it in your organization today?

Rights Management Services Migration Guide

If you’re working in the cloud, then you’ve probably had a client or two request that you enable Rights Management Services. This is a fairly common task and in a Microsoft Azure cloud scenario or Office 365 scenario fairly simple to enable.

If however you’re working a hybrid configuration or with an organization that’s moving all of their core collaboration services into Office 365 and want to leverage the RMS configuration they’d already setup on-premises to make use of Azure RMS, things get a little more complicated.

Microsoft has put together an Azure Rights Management Services Migration Guidance available through the Microsoft Download Center here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45505.

The online of this document actually seems to be a little more readable available here Migrating from AD RMS to Azure Rights Management.

Migration scripts that are included in the download from the download center are also available from the online article in Step 5 that point to the Azure Rights Management Administration Tool.

Azure Preview Services

If you’re using Azure in either a PaaS or IaaS capacity, you’ve probably come to realize that there’s quite a bit of opportunity to use the platform to meet requirements that you might have for your client engagements or internal organization needs.

Keeping up to date on the platform can be difficult though – especially if you’re also the SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, CRM, or Windows Server administrator. Further being forward learning and understanding what’s coming down the pipeline is something that most of us wish we could keep a better pulse on.

Microsoft has service information available within the Azure marketing pages available here:

Azure Preview Services

This set of pages is kept up to date on a regular basis to announce new capabilities that are in “preview” capacity, meaning that they’re not quite ready for general availability, but they’re available to begin testing and integrating them into solutions.