MCS UK Solution Development Team

The blog of the UK Solutions Development Team of Microsoft Consulting Services.

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  • Blog Post: Creating a DNS Server in Azure IaaS

    Scenario I have multiple Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas) Virtual Machines (VMs) running under multiple Cloud Services, within one Virtual Network. I need these VMs to resolve each other based on hostname as well as be able to resolve public websites. If these VMs were all running in one...
  • Blog Post: FloodHack

    On Friday evening (14th Feb 2013), as I was walking out the building for the weekend, I was grabbed by a colleague and asked if I’d fancy giving up my Sunday. It transpires that earlier in the day Microsoft and a whole load of other tech companies had a call from 10 Downing Street asking if we’d...
  • Blog Post: Hosting a TFS Build Controller on Windows Azure and connecting to Visual Studio Online

    The Visual Studio Online Hosted Build Controller will serve you well for 90% of scenarios, but there are occasions when you’ll want to use your own Build Controller. Examples include complex build scenarios such as SharePoint or BizTalk, or where you have a large development team (or lots of smaller...
  • Blog Post: Azure: Knowing the limitations with Point-to-Site VPN connections via Authenticated Proxies

    There are two options currently available for secure cross-site VPN connectivity between a virtual network hosted within Windows Azure and a client machine, namely Site-to-Site connectivity and Point-to-Site connectivity. An overview of these can be read here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library...
  • Blog Post: Azure: Calling the Azure Management Rest API

    The Azure Management REST API exposes a series of endpoints that allow you to perform various operations against your Azure subscription. This is documented at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee460799.aspx . You can do many things with the REST API – the majority of Azure management...
  • Blog Post: Azure PowerShell: Provisioning Multiple VMs

    To create new VMs for use with the Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks preview feature for Azure, you can use the Azure PowerShell Commands available at https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/downloads/ . The specific commands to provision a VM are… New-AzureVMConfig - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library...
  • Blog Post: Access to an ASP.NET website via multiple authentications

    Background Is it possible to secure a website using Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) without interfering with an existing authentication method? e.g. – Could a website secured using an ASP.NET membership provider, with all the code and configuration that entails, be layered with additional code and...
  • Blog Post: Generic based Framework for .Net Hadoop MapReduce Job Submission

    Over the past month I have been working on a framework to allow composition and submission of MapReduce jobs using .Net. I have put together two previous blog posts on this, so rather than put together a third on the latest change I thought I would create a final composite post. To understand why lets...
  • Blog Post: Hadoop Binary Streaming and F# MapReduce

    As mentioned in my previous post Hadoop Streaming not only supports text streaming, but it also supports Binary Streaming. As such I wanted to put together a sample that supports processing Office documents. As before the code can be downloaded from: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Hadoop-Streaming-and...
  • Blog Post: Hadoop Streaming and F# MapReduce

    As you may know Microsoft has recently announced plans for a Hadoop adoption for both Windows Server and Windows Azure . You can find out more about Hadoop and Windows Azure at Apache Hadoop-based Services for Windows Azure and Availability of Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Hadoop based Service...
  • Blog Post: Understanding and Using OData – OData Publication (2 of 4)

    This article is part of a series: Understanding and Using OData (1 of 4) OData Publication (2 of 4) – This article Analysing OData Feeds (3 of 4) Creating a Windows Phone 7 OData Client Application (4 of 4) Hopefully these articles will show you how to produce and publish an...
  • Blog Post: Eye On Earth update

    So, we’ve just released an update to Eye On Earth that adds in Birdseye support, the new style Bing Maps navigation controls, and also moves the system to the latest release of the Windows Azure SDK.  Check it out at http://www.eyeonearth.eu The new Bing Maps style navigation Viewing an air station...
  • Blog Post: Interrole Communication Example in Windows Azure

    There are many scenarios where you will need to do interrole communication when creating a solution using Windows Azure platform such as multiple web roles that need to recycle when a controller triggers an event. One way to achieve this goal is to create an event queue, modify the controller to enqueue...
  • Blog Post: Common Problems Collecting Azure Diagnostics

    Windows Azure Diagnostics enables you to collect diagnostic data from a service running in Windows Azure. The data collected is highly configurable and can include Windows Azure logs, IIS 7.0 logs, Windows Diagnostic infrastructure logs, Failed Request logs, Windows Event logs, Performance counters,...
  • Blog Post: Security Best Practices in Azure

    Recently the Azure and security community published the “ Security Best Practices for Developing Windows Azure Application ” paper outlining the security considerations developers should consider when building a service on Windows Azure. As I have worked on Azure before and have an interest in security...
  • Blog Post: How does Azure identify a faulty role instance?

    The Azure platform in the form of the Fabric Controller (FC) provides monitoring for a health of a role instance. The table below summarises common problems, their detection mechanism and the action taken by the fabric controller: Problem How Detected Fabric Action Role crashes Guest FC agent monitors...
  • Blog Post: Using Microsoft Dallas as a data source for a Drupal Module

    As I get more and more familiar with the Azure platform, one thing that strikes me more than anything else is that Azure is is not an all or nothing thing. You can use the Azure platform as a component of your overall solution, or you can take advantage of individual services provided by the platform...
  • Blog Post: Ruby on Rails on Windows Azure with SQL Azure

    I was recently talking to a customer about the possibility of moving a web site from Linux to Windows Azure . The hosting costs of the application are not excessive, and the customer is happy with the service received. Nevertheless they were very interested in exploring the hosting costs and potential...
  • Blog Post: Running Memcached in Windows Azure

    Memcached is a distributed cache used to help speeding up large scale web applications by taking pressure off the database. Memcached is used by many of the internet’s biggest sites. A distributed cache is one of the things that I’ve been hoping to see released for Windows Azure for quite a while...
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