Azure Gives Storage the Cold Shoulder!

In an exciting turn of events toward the “Chilly”, side the Azure Storage team has made some big changes this week allowing for a new way to store your data!

The newly released Azure Cool Storage allows for you to choose a different tier of storage where you can store data in Azure that isn’t accessed frequently, but the difference is you still can access it using all of your familiar APIs and access points without a waiting time for it to un-thaw like in AWS.  Keep in mind that if you store your data over in Glacier you better have your mittens on because it can take as long as 5 hours to get your data out of the freezer…

Here are the details from Microsoft’s own:  Sriprasad Bhat Senior Program Manager – Azure Storage, but also I’ve included some high-lights below.

“Data in the cloud is growing at an exponential pace, and we have been working on ways to help you manage the cost of storing this data. An important aspect of managing storage costs is tiering your data based on attributes like frequency of access, retention period, etc. A common tier of customer data is cool data which is infrequently accessed but requires similar latency and performance to hot data.

Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of Cool Blob Storage – low cost storage for cool object data. Example use cases for cool storage include backups, media content, scientific data, compliance and archival data. In general, any data which lives for a longer period of time and is accessed less than once a month is a perfect candidate for cool storage.

With the new Blob storage accounts, you will be able to choose between Hot and Cool access tiers to store object data based on its access pattern. Capabilities of Blob storage accounts include:

  • Cost effective: You can now store your less frequently accessed data in the Cool access tier at a low storage cost (as low as $0.01 per GB in some regions), and your more frequently accessed data in the Hot access tier at a lower access cost. For more details on regional pricing, see Azure Storage Pricing.
  • Compatibility: We have designed Blob storage accounts to be 100% API compatible with our existing Blob storage offering which allows you to make use of the new storage accounts in existing applications seamlessly.
  • Performance: Data in both access tiers have a similar performance profile in terms of latency and throughput.
  • Availability: The Hot access tier guarantees high availability of 99.9% while the Cool access tier offers a slightly lower availability of 99%. With the RA-GRS redundancy option, we provide a higher read SLA of 99.99% for the Hot access tier and 99.9% for the Cool access tier.
  • Durability: Both access tiers provide the same high durability that you have come to expect from Azure Storage and the same data replication options that you use today.
  • Scalability and Security: Blob storage accounts provide the same scalability and security features as our existing offering.
  • Global reach: Blob storage accounts are available for use starting today in most Azure regions with additional regions coming soon. You can find the updated list of available regions on the Azure Services by Regions page.”

So, my goal in this post is to help you get started with your first run at using Azure Cool.

I put together a quick lab for you to do in which you will create a new Storage Account where you can embrace your inner hoarder, and be able to keep data for only $0.01 a GB forever and access it only every once in a while…

Let’s do this!








Building an Azure Cool Storage Account

1.  Point your web browser to and login using your Microsoft Account that already has an Azure Subscription. 

2.  Click +New

step 2



3.  Type Storage Account in the Search Box.

step 3




4.  Next Select the Storage Account.

step 4



5.  This will open the Storage Account Information Blade.  Click Create.

step 5












6.  The Create storage account blade will then open.  Complete the first half of the blade with these settings:

a:  Storage Account Name:  This will need to be unique 3-24 characters’ alpha-numeric.
b:  Deployment Model:  Resource Manager
c:  Account Kind:  Blob Storage
d:  Replication: Read-Access Geo-Redundant Storage

step 6

7.  Next Compete the Create storage account blade using these details:

e:  Access Tier:  Cool
f:  New Resource group name:  ArcticStorageRG
g:  Location:  East US 2

step 7













8.  The Portal will start the deployment and a tile will be placed on the Dashboard while the Storage Account would be deployed.

step 8

After the Cool Storage Account is deployed you can interact with it the same way you have with the Blob endpoint of any Azure Storage Account. 



9.  Notice that the Performance/Access Tier is set as Standard/Cool and the endpoints for the two locations East US 2 and Central US.

step 9

Well that’s it!  You did it!  The data in this account will be using the new Azure Cool Blob Storage tier!




New Course! Azure Infrastructure as a Service with Resource Manager

Hot off the presses! We have a brand new course on Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) with Resource Manager delivered by our own Steve Ross.

This course is meant for new users of Azure IaaS to learn how to deploy VMs using the Azure Resource Manager deployment model. 

Course Description:
This course provides an in-depth examination of Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Services (IaaS); covering Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks starting from introductory concepts through advanced capabilities of the platform. The student will learn best practices for configuring virtual machines for performance, durability, and availability using features built into the platform. This course is designed using the Azure Resource Manager architecture and does not focus on the Azure Classic Architecture.

Course Modules:

  • Module 1: Azure Virtual Machines
  • Module 2: Virtual Machine Storage
  • Module 3: Virtual Machine Networking
  • Module 4: Implementing Hybrid Connectivity
  • Module 5: Managing Virtual Machines with Resource Manager

Upcoming Virtual Deliveries – Dynamics CRM Online and Azure!

We have several new open enrollment virtual deliveries coming up focused on Azure Developer and CRM Online (Developers, Administrators, and End Users).

If you are interested in a private delivery of any of these courses or any other training on Microsoft Cloud Technologies please .

Course Audience Dates
Microsoft Azure for the Enterprise – Free Webinar Technical Decision Makers and IT Professionals 4/28/2016 (1 hour)
Developing Enterprise Cloud Solutions with Azure .NET Developers 6/13/2016 – 6/16/2016 (4 days)
Dynamics CRM Online Customization and Configuration Dynamics CRM Online Administrators 6/13/2016 – 6/15/2016 (3 days)
Dynamics CRM Online Customization and Configuration Dynamics CRM Online End Users 6/27/2016 – 6/29/2016 (3 days)
Dynamics CRM Online for Developers .NET and Dynamics CRM Online Developers 6/27/2016 – 6/29/2016 (3 days)

New Azure AD Course

We have just launched a new course focused on Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). This is a very hands-on course, with 7 hands-on labs that explore many of the key features of Azure AD and Azure AD Premium. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Course Agenda

Module 1: Introduction to Azure AD

  •  Lab 0: Create a Lab VM for the Course (optional) and download Student Files
  •  Lab 1: Creating an Azure AD Tenet and setting the Default Directory of a Subscription

Module 2: Azure AD integration with Active Directory

  • Lab 2: Integrating an Azure AD with an On-Premise Active Directory via AD Connect

Module 3: Simplify User Access to Cloud Applications

  •  Lab 3: Enabling the use of SaaS applications through Password Single Sign-On

Module 4: Empower Users and Protect sensitive data and applications

  • Lab 6: Empowering Users through self-service Password Resets
  • Lab 7: Implement Multi-Factor Authentication to the My Applications Portal

Module 5: Introduction to Preview Features of AzureAD B2C and Domain Services

3 New Online Courses – OMS, EMS, and Azure Storage

We’ve got our subject matter experts hopping when it comes to delivering you training on the latest and greatest from Microsoft Cloud!

Hopping Subject Matter Expert

Check out our 3 newly published courses:

Course Title



Introduction to Log Analytics with OMS 1+ hours of video and 7.5 hours of lab exercises Samuel Erskine
Azure Storage for IT Professionals 6+ hours of video and almost 10.5 hours of lab exercises Robin Shahan
Using Enterprise Mobility Suite in the Real World 4+ hours of video and 5.5 hours of lab exercises Peter De Tender

As always, your comments and feedback are most appreciated!  Get in there and start learning!

Reset the Password on Azure VM – ARM

We’ve all been there.  You have an old VM that you haven’t booted up for a while, and you need to use it for something.  You open the Azure Portal, find it in a Resource Group and Click Start.

Without fail your trusty VM starts and then you click the Connect Button, but when you try to log in nothing.  You try over and over…NOTHING!


So, you wonder to yourself “Can’t I just reset the password on my Azure VM”?  You look in the portal at your VM and your dreams are coming true!  You see that there is a button named “Reset Password”.

resetpasswordSo you click the click the link, and your dreams are dashed…Seriously?!

dangAt this point it seems that the only thing you can do would be to just delete the VM and start over.

Don’t!  You can use some simple PowerShell to reset the the Administrator Account Name and Password.  Below are the instructions to make this happen.

Hope you enjoy this!







Renaming the Administrator Account and Resetting the Password on an Azure VM using PowerShell

1.  Open a PowerShell ISE Window and in the Console Pane Login to Azure Resource Manager. (Note:  This doesn’t work on Classic VMs.)


loginarmps2.  Once logged into Azure paste this code into the console pane (or download the script here)

$rgName = “RgNameHere”
$vmName = “VmNameHere”
$extName = “MyVMAccessExt”
$userName = “NewUserName”
$password = “!MyNewPasswordHere911″

Set-AzureRmVMAccessExtension -ResourceGroupName $rgName `
                                                          -VMName $vmName `
                                                          -Name $extName `
                                                          -UserName $userName `
                                                          -Password $password

3.  You will need to update the variables with the information for your VM.

  • $rgName  - This is your Resource Group where the VM is located.
  • $vmName – The Name of your VM.
  • $userName – The User Name that the built-in Administrator account will become.
  • $password - The new password for the above user account.

4.  This is how the script will look in the Console Pane once you have updated all of the variables.


5.  Once you have updated the variables you can go ahead and run the script by pressing the Green Play button.  (Note:  you will be prompted to save the script)


6.  While the script is running your VM’s Status will show as “Updating”.


7.  After the script has completed this should be the return that you receive from Azure.



You can now go back to the portal – Click Connect and use the username and password that you just put into the script and log back into your VM.

Couple of important points:

A:  The script that you just used has a password in it and when you pressed the play button it prompted you to save that file.  That means you just saved a file on your hard-drive with a clear text password.  Go change varible to something other than your password and save that file again.

B:  This post only works on Azure Resource Manager VMs.

C:  I didn’t try this on a Domain Joined VM, so not sure how it will react.  I would assume it would change the local administrator password.

Take Care,



5 New Online Courses – Docker, Azure Logic Apps, Developing in Azure Cloud Services, Web Apps w/Redis and Azure Search

The Opsgility team has been busy since the beginning of the year, working diligently to deliver you the best in Microsoft Azure training!

Super Man on computer Photo

Check out our newly published courses:

Course Title



Introduction to Docker on Microsoft Azure 1+ hours of video and 2 hours of lab exercises Manesh Raveendran
Integrating Applications with Azure Logic Apps 1+ hours of video and almost 3.5 hours of lab exercises Manesh Raveendran
Introduction to Developing Cloud Services 1 hour 49 minutes of video and 6 hours 44 minutes of lab exercises Manesh Raveendran
Building Scalable Web Apps with Redis Cache 1+ hours of video and 2 hours and 22 mins of lab exercises Manesh Raveendran
Building Search Aware Apps With Azure Search 1+ hours of video and 3+ hours of lab exercises Manesh Raveendran

We appreciate your feedback so please be sure to comment in each course!  Happy learning!

Install the Azure CLI Tool on ubuntu

Welcome back to the series I’ve been doing on OSS Tools in Azure.  The Azure CLI tool is extremely powerful and available on both the Windows and Linux Platforms.  In this Blog post I’m going to help you install the Azure CLI tools on the LinuxVM that we built in the last post.

These same steps will work on your local Ubuntu Machines I just happen to be installing it on a VM that is already running in Azure.

Let’s do this!







Task 1:  In this exercise you will install the Azure CLI Tools for Linux using the advanced packaging tool (apt).

After logging into the Unbuntu VM first you should go ahead an do a quick update to the VM.  To update the machine running the following command:

sudo apt-get update


 Next you will install the nodejs-legacy tools by running:

sudo apt-get install nodejs-legacy


NOTE:  You will be prompted with an amount of diskspace that will be used by the installation.  Simply press ‘Y’. 

Then you will see an output of many screens that looks like this:


 Next install the Node Package Manager Tools with this command

sudo apt-get install npm

You will see many screens of output such as this during this part of the installation.

NOTE:  You will be prompted with an amount of diskspace that will be used by the installation.  Simply press ‘Y’.

Final step is to use the Node Package Manager or npm to install the Azure CLI Tools.

sudo npm install -g azure-cli

You will see many screens of information as the npm is running the installation.


After a successful installation run the Azure CLI Tool using the Azure command



Now that you have installed the tool let’s get logged into Azure!

Task 2:  Logging into Azure with the CLI Tool

At the Linux command Prompt type the following Command:

azure login

You will see a screen that asks you to open a web browser and navigate to an Azure Web Page to authenticate and a code to enter.  In my case the code is AUFNCWJD8.  When you arrive at the screen you will enter the code and then be asked to login to your Azure Subscription.


Once you have logged into your Azure Subscription Successfully you will be directed to this webpage.


You can then close this page and move back over to your puTTY session still connected your LinuxVM.

You will now see that your Login was successful and that your Azure Subscriptions was added.


You have now successfully logged into Azure via the CLI tool on your VM running in Azure!

Task 3:  Run some Azure Commands

Here are some commands that you can run to see items that are in your Azure subscription.  Take note that the Azure CLI tool by default is in Service Management Mode, but can see Azure Resource Manager items by changing modes.

Get a help with the Azure CLI Tool:

azure –help


List your Azure Accounts

azure account show


List Virtual Machines using this command:

azure vm list


List Virtual Networks using this command:

azure network vnet list


Well I hope this helped you get to know the Azure CLI on Linux.


Creating and Deploying a Linux VM using Azure Resource Manager Templates

Creating an ARM Template

In this post I’m going to show you how to create a simple ARM template using Visual Studio.  The template you create will deploy an Ubuntu Linux VM along with all other pieces required to make the VM functional.




First things first…

Task1: Create a new ARM Template:

Launch Visual Studio 2015+ (with the 2.8.1+ Azure SDK and tools installed).

Click File, New, Project

1LinuxArmSelect Template, and then click Azure Resource Group.

2LinuxArmSelect Blank Template

3LinuxArmOpen the DeploymentTemplate.json file.


NOTE:  If you do not see the JSON Outline window, click View -> Other Windows -> JSON Outline.

Right click on resources, and click Add New Resource.

5LinuxArmChoose a Storage Account resource, and name it linuxvm, and then click Add.


Note:  Make sure to use only lowercase letters in the storage account name here and keep it short.

Right click on resources, and Add New Resource.

8LinuxArmSelect Virtual Network, and name the resource armVNET. Click Add to add the resource.

9LinuxArmAgain, Right Click on Resources and choose Add a new resource.


This time, select Ubuntu Virtual Machine and name the resource linuxVM. Specify the vmStorageAccount, and the first subnet in the armVNET virtual network.

11LinuxArmAdd another resource.


Here add a Public IP Address resource. Name the resource linuxPubIP and ensure the linuxVMNic network interface is selected.


 Save the DeploymentTemplate.json file.

Ok, so you have done it! You created your first ARM Template using Visual Studio!  That’s a pretty big deal for an IT guy like me, so I’m sure you are felling excited.

Now, with the ARM template you created we are half way there to creating our brand new Linux VM in Azure.  You are going to build an infrastructure with code!

The next steps will take you through the process to use the template you just created to now deploy all of those resources into Azure.  You might be familiar with doing this from the Azure Portal, but now using templates we can actually run the deployment from Visual Studio.

Task 2:  Deploy the LinuxVM to Azure using Visual Studio

In Visual Studio Click VIEW, and then click Server Explorer.

14LinuxArmIn Server Explorer, right click on the Azure node, and then click Connect to Microsoft Azure Subscription. When you are prompted, login with the account for your Azure Subscription.

15LinuxArmRight click on the ARMLAB project, click Deploy, and then select New Deployment.

16LinuxArmClick the Resource group drop down and select <Create New>.


 Specify the Resource group name as ARMLAB and click Create.

 18LinuxArmClick the Edit Parameters button.


 Specify the following configuration settings and click Save:

  1. linuxVMName: ubuntuvm
  2. linuxVMAdminUserName: demouser
  3. linuxVMAdminPassword: demo@pass1
  4. linuxPubIPDnsName: a unique name for the DNS name of the public IP. This should be a globally unique value.


NOTE:  You can use PowerShell to determine if the DNS name is available for use.  Open a PoweShell window and Run the following two commands:

Add-AzureAccount – enter your Azure Credentials.


Next run Test-AzureName -Service -Name YourVMNameHere if the return from Azure is False then the Name is unique and can be used.


 Click Deploy to deploy the template.


You will be prompted for the password that should be assigned to the username that you entered. Use the password of demo@pass1


Switch to the Output tab and wait until the template has successfully been deployed before proceeding.


 Alright!  Now our Linux VM is deployed and up and running!  Let’s get connected to the VM and see how it runs!

Task 3: Validate that the template deployed by connecting to your VM

Download putty from: to your desktop.


 Launch the Azure Preview Portal

Click Virtual Machines.


Click the virtual machine LinuxVM


 Copy the PUBLIC IP ADDRESS to the clipboard.

110LinuxArmLaunch Putty by double clicking the icon on your desktop. Paste the IP address into the host name field and click Open.

36LinuxArmClick Yes when prompted.


 Login using the previously used credentials:

  • User: demouser
  • Password: demo@pass1


There you go!  Now you are connected to your LinuxVM that you created in Azure.

In my next post I will show you how to install the Azure CLI tools to get up and running with managing Azure in Linux.  Until then enjoy your new OSS machine in Azure.