Azure This Week

NGINX Plus for Azure, Stream Analytics no code editor & Microsoft Draft 2

Episode description

Erik Gross is back with your weekly Azure news! NGINX Plus is now a native SaaS offering on Azure. You can now drag-and-drop your data, without writing code, with the new public preview of Azure Stream Analytics. And last up, Microsoft Draft 2 has been released to help you work with Kubernetes containers without being an expert! Oh, and try our free IAM course:

0:29 NGINX Plus native on Azure
1:35 Stream Analytics no code editor
3:00 Microsoft Draft 2

Free course:
Introduction to Networking on Azure

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Series description

Azure This Week is your weekly news roundup for all things Azure. Join our expert hosts as they cover everything you need to know about the past week’s developments, keeping it short, fun and informative. Whether you’re just beginning your cloud journey, or you know your stuff, there’s something for everyone!

NGINX Plus is now a native SaaS offering on Azure, designing analytics for your streaming data gets a drag-and-drop experience, and a revamped version of the Draft tool makes your move to Kubernetes even easier. In the week leading up to Build, Azure dropped a lot of new tools and features for cloud developers. Hi, I'm Erik Gross, and I'm really excited to share just a bit of what's going on in the Azure world. From its humble beginnings 20 years ago, as a web server designed to handle a tremendous number of concurrent requests to the Russian search engine Rambler, NGINX has become one of the most popular web servers in the world. Now managed by the F5 organization, their flagship NGINX Plus product is a highly-used tool for managing distributed applications.

Until now though, using NGINX Plus in the Azure ecosystem was a bit of a challenge. After a two year joint effort, however, Azure and F5 have released NGINX Plus as a full SaaS product on Azure. This new SaaS offering doesn't just let you make use of NGINX Plus' powerful features as reverse proxy and a load balancer, you can also leverage your existing assets with its BYOC or 'bring your own configuration' feature. One of the biggest advantages here is the lowered learning curve as you migrate your workloads to the cloud. You'll spend less time struggling with wiring everything together and more time on optimizing your cloud architecture, and optimizing your system for your unique needs.

This is really big news as the IT world moves to distributed computing systems, and I think you'll really enjoy working with it. The Azure Event Hub service is a powerful, real-time ingestion service. It is increasingly useful in today's world of IoT devices and distributed applications that operate at high scale and generate a ton of data. That data is only as valuable as your ability to analyze it, though. And Azure has just released a tool to make that process a lot easier for you, with the public preview of the new Stream Analytics no code editor.

Using its drag-and-drop interface, you can quickly create analytics jobs without writing any code. Whether you need to filter and adjust data to your Azure Synapse SQL service, put your data into the Apache Parquet tabular form and dump it into your data lake, or materialize your data into an Azure Cosmos DB, you can get started in minutes. This new service essentially gives you a canvas to view all your incoming data streams, and then transform them in any way you need before you write them to your destination of choice, all in a no code way. You get to leverage the deep knowledge Azure's data experts have developed over the years, and spend your time thinking about the best ways to shape your data instead of being mired in the syntax of devising your own data query and transform operations. Your data ingestion, transformation, and loading tests just got a lot easier.

I guess the next step is building AI to tell you what the data really means, but that sounds a little too much like The Singularity. So hopefully Azure will hold off on that for a bit. The learning curve to working effectively with containers and Kubernetes can be kind of tough. In 2017, Microsoft launched Draft: an open source tool to help developers build applications destined for the container world, even if their skills weren't quite there yet. They've learned a lot in the five years Draft has been in use, and now they've released a redesigned version as Draft 2.

The Draft 2 tool lets you write your app without a deep knowledge of containerization concepts and artifacts. And it actually creates all the artifacts you need to easily deploy those apps to Kubernetes. Using your finished app, it will make everything you need: a Dockerfile, Kubernetes manifests, helm charts, and more. Having a finished, working deployment system for your app that you can tweak to your particular needs, makes the transition to containers and Kubernetes a lot easier. So if you're not already diving deep into the container pool, this is a great way to get your feet wet.

And even if you are, why not make your job a little bit easier by having Draft 2 make everything for you. Thinking of getting on board the NGINX train? Wanna try out a drag-and-drop experience with your streaming data? Join our Discord channel, let me know what you think. While you're there you can also chat with our students and ACG people, and get help for your cloud journey. You'll find a link below in the description. See you next week, and keep being awesome Cloud Gurus.

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