17 February 2020

Space Direct and Serverless computing with Azure

Azure Storage Introduction | Blob, Queue, Table and File Share - 4 powerful services in one

Choosing the right storage solution is critical part of every application design. Azure Storage is one of the most flexible and powerful, yet simple services in Azure. With its four services (file, blob, queue and table) it can feed most of common needs. This video covers basics of App Storage and show quick demo where I provision the service and upload some data using portal and tools.

Serverless computing

An introduction to serverless technologies

Serverless Security: Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) by Niels Tanis

What is serverless computing?

Serverless computing enables developers to build applications faster by eliminating the need for them to manage infrastructure. With serverless applications, the cloud service provider automatically provisions, scales, and manages the infrastructure required to run the code.
In understanding the definition of serverless computing, it’s important to note that servers are still running the code. The serverless name comes from the fact that the tasks associated with infrastructure provisioning and management are invisible to the developer. This approach enables developers to increase their focus on the business logic and deliver more value to the core of the business. Serverless computing helps teams increase their productivity and bring products to market faster, and it allows organizations to better optimize resources and stay focused on innovation.

Storage Spaces Direct - the new Microsoft SDS star - Carsten Rachfahl

Serverless application patterns

Developers build serverless applications using a variety of application patterns—many of which align with approaches that are already familiar—to meet specific requirements and business needs.

Serverless functions

Serverless functions accelerate development by using an event-driven model, with triggers that automatically execute code to respond to events and bindings to seamlessly integrate additional services. A pay-per-execution model with sub-second billing charges only for the time and resources it takes to execute the code.

Serverless Computing in Azure

Serverless Kubernetes

Developers bring their own containers to fully managed, Kubernetes-orchestrated clusters that can automatically scale up and down with sudden changes in traffic on spiky workloads.
Serverless workflows

Serverless workflows take a low-code/no-code approach to simplify orchestration of combined tasks. Developers can integrate different services (either cloud or on-premises) without coding those interactions, having to maintain glue code, or learning new APIs or specifications.
Serverless application environments

Introduction to serverless computing with Azure

With a serverless application environment, both the back end and front end are hosted on fully managed services that handle scaling, security, and compliance requirements.
Serverless API gateway

A serverless API gateway is a centralized, fully managed entry point for serverless backend services. It enables developers to publish, manage, secure, and analyze APIs at global scale.

Azure serverless architectures

Why an end-to-end serverless platform is important

A serverless approach offers developers, teams, and organizations a level of abstraction that enables them to minimize the time and resources invested in infrastructure management. Every component of an application benefits from this approach, from computing and the database engine to messaging, analytics, and AI. Using an end-to-end serverless platform that provides a comprehensive set of serverless technologies is the best way to ensure that the organization gains the maximum benefit from going serverless.

Azure Serverless

Build, deploy, and operate serverless apps on an end-to-end platform

Deliver more value to the core of your business by minimizing the time and resources you spend on infrastructure-related requirements. Use fully managed, end-to-end Azure serverless solutions to boost developer productivity, optimize resources, and accelerate the pace of innovation.

Azure functions - Build apps faster with serverless architecture

Why choose Azure serverless solutions?

Increase developer velocity
Reduce the time spent on tasks that are non-core to the business by freeing developers from infrastructure provisioning and management. Build and deploy faster using developer-friendly APIs, low-code/no-code services, and ready-to-use machine learning and cognitive models.

Boost team performance
Improve team agility and performance by using a fully managed platform to build, deploy, and operate applications. Build for any application pattern and environment—hybrid, cloud, and edge. Proactively manage applications with intelligent monitoring and analysis tools.

Improve organizational impact
Accelerate time to market with Azure serverless solutions that help your organization clear the path to innovation and new revenue opportunities. Reduce your infrastructure total cost of ownership and minimize risk with intelligent security management and advanced threat protection.

Hybrid enterprise serverless in Microsoft Azure

Build with end-to-end Azure serverless solutions

Enjoy freedom from infrastructure management no matter what type of application you’re building or technologies you’re using. Choose from a range of serverless execution environments, fully managed services, and a comprehensive set of developer tools and services to build your applications.

What's new for Serverless Computing in Azure

Azure serverless compute

Build applications faster by eliminating the need to manage the infrastructure that runs your code and containers

Serverless Kubernetes

Elastically provision pods inside container instances that start in seconds without the need to manage additional compute resources. Create serverless, Kubernetes-based applications using the orchestration capabilities of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and AKS virtual nodes, which are built on the open-source Virtual Kubelet project. Get the best of an event-driven approach by adding KEDA event-driven autoscaling to your AKS cluster. KEDA is an open-source component that enables containers to process events directly from event sources, and it provides the ability to scale to zero.

Serverless functions

Execute code—written in the language of your choice—with Azure Functions, an event-driven compute experience. Scale on demand and pay only for the time your code is executed. Available as a managed service in Azure and Azure Stack, the open source Functions runtime also works on multiple destinations, including Kubernetes, Azure IoT Edge, on-premises, and even in other clouds.

Serverless web apps with Blazor Azure Functions and Azure Storage

Serverless application environments

Run and scale web, mobile, and API applications on the platform of your choice—in a high-productivity, fully managed environment—with Azure App Service.
"When we can develop a solution in a week using Azure Functions versus four months using traditional methods, that represents a drastic improvement in our ability to solve business-critical problems and focus our developer talent wherever it's most needed."
Hristo Papazov, Senior Software Engineer

Introduction to serverless compute with azure functions

AI and machine learning for serverless

Infuse your serverless applications with ready-to-use AI and machine learning algorithms. Improve productivity and reduce costs with autoscaling compute and DevOps for machine learning.

Cognitive computing

Enable your serverless apps to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret your user needs through natural methods of communication using Azure Cognitive Services via an API or deployed as containers on Kubernetes.

Conversation bots

Use Azure Bot Service to build intelligent bots that interact naturally with your users through channels such as text/SMS, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Office 365, and Twitter.

Machine learning models

Build, train, and deploy models on Azure Machine Learning, from the cloud to the edge.

"Azure Cognitive Services and the easy integration offered by Azure help us build solutions and onboard new customers in just four to six weeks."
Sanjoy Roy, Cofounder at AskSid.ai

Azure serverless database

Build serverless apps with low-latency access to rich data for a global user base. Use Azure Cosmos DB, a globally distributed, massively scalable, multi-model database service, to create database triggers, input bindings, and output bindings.

Azure serverless storage

Build static web applications on Azure Blob storage or use it as massively scalable storage for unstructured data. Leverage storage events to respond to operations on blobs with multiple serverless architectures. Blob events are pushed through Event Grid to subscribers using Functions, Logic Apps, or even your own custom HTTP listener.

Explore Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Software Defined Data Center

Event-driven analytics with Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2

Sumant Mehta Senior Program Manager, Azure Storage

Most modern-day businesses employ analytics pipelines for real-time and batch processing. A common characteristic of these pipelines is that data arrives at irregular intervals from diverse sources. This adds complexity in terms of having to orchestrate the pipeline such that data gets processed in a timely fashion.

The answer to these challenges lies in coming up with a decoupled event-driven pipeline using serverless components that responds to changes in data as they occur.

An integral part of any analytics pipeline is the data lake. Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 provides secure, cost effective, and scalable storage for the structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data arriving from diverse sources. Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2’s performance, global availability, and partner ecosystem make it the platform of choice for analytics customers and partners around the world. Next comes the event processing aspect. With Azure Event Grid, a fully managed event routing service, Azure Functions, a serverless compute engine, and Azure Logic Apps, a serverless workflow orchestration engine, it is easy to perform event-based processing and workflows responding to the events in real-time.

Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2016

Today, we’re very excited to announce that Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 integration with Azure Event Grid is in preview! This means that Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 can now generate events that can be consumed by Event Grid and routed to subscribers with webhooks, Azure Event Hubs, Azure Functions, and Logic Apps as endpoints. With this capability, individual changes to files and directories in Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 can automatically be captured and made available to data engineers for creating rich big data analytics platforms that use event-driven architectures.

The diagram above shows a reference architecture for the modern data warehouse pipeline built on Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 and Azure serverless components. Data from various sources lands in Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 via Azure Data Factory and other data movement tools. Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 generates events for new file creation, updates, renames, or deletes which are routed via Event Grid and Azure Function to Azure Databricks. A databricks job processes the file and writes the output back to Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2. When this happens, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 publishes a notification to Event Grid which invokes an Azure Function to copy data to Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Data is finally served via Azure Analysis Services and PowerBI.

Going Serverless with Azure Functions in .NET

The events that will be made available for Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 are BlobCreated, BlobDeleted, BlobRenamed, DirectoryCreated, DirectoryDeleted, and DirectoryRenamed. Details on these events can be found in the documentation “Azure Event Grid event schema for Blob storage.”

Some key benefits include:

  • Seamless integration to automate workflows enables customers to build an event-driven pipeline in minutes.
  • Enable alerting with rapid reaction to creation, deletion, and renaming of files and directories. A myriad of scenarios would benefit from this – especially those associated with data governance and auditing. For example, alert and notify of all changes to high business impact data, set up email notifications for unexpected file deletions, as well as detect and act upon suspicious activity from an account.
  • Eliminate the complexity and expense of polling services and integrate events coming from your data lake with third-party applications using webhooks such as billing and ticketing systems.

Storage Spaces Direct overview
Storage Spaces Direct: Be an IT hero with software-defined storage!

Storage Spaces Direct uses industry-standard servers with local-attached drives to create highly available, highly scalable software-defined storage at a fraction of the cost of traditional SAN or NAS arrays. Its converged or hyper-converged architecture radically simplifies procurement and deployment, while features such as caching, storage tiers, and erasure coding, together with the latest hardware innovations such as RDMA networking and NVMe drives, deliver unrivaled efficiency and performance.

Software Defined Storage with Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2016

Storage Spaces Direct is included in Windows Server 2019 Datacenter, Windows Server 2016 Datacenter, and Windows Server Insider Preview Builds.
For other applications of Storage Spaces, such as Shared SAS clusters and stand-alone servers, see Storage Spaces overview. If you're looking for info about using Storage Spaces on a Windows 10 PC, see Storage Spaces in Windows 10.

Lenovo Servers and Microsoft Azure: the future of the stack

Storage Spaces overview 

Storage Spaces is a technology in Windows and Windows Server that can help protect your data from drive failures. It is conceptually similar to RAID, implemented in software. You can use Storage Spaces to group three or more drives together into a storage pool and then use capacity from that pool to create Storage Spaces. These typically store extra copies of your data so if one of your drives fails, you still have an intact copy of your data. If you run low on capacity, just add more drives to the storage pool.

New in Windows Server 2016 -Software Defined Storage

There are four major ways to use Storage Spaces:

  • On a Windows PC - for more info, see Storage Spaces in Windows 10. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12438/windows-10-storage-spaces
  • On a stand-alone server with all storage in a single server - for more info, see Deploy Storage Spaces on a stand-alone server. Deploy standalone storage spaces
  • On a clustered server using Storage Spaces Direct with local, direct-attached storage in each cluster node - for more info, see Storage Spaces Direct overview. Storage Spaces Direct Overview
  • On a clustered server with one or more shared SAS storage enclosures holding all drives - for more info, see Storage Spaces on a cluster with shared SAS overview.  Storage Spaces on a cluster with shared SAS overview

Be an IT hero with Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2019

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