Microsoft Azure Services by Region

Have you ever wondered what Microsoft Azure services were available in what regions?  Well Microsoft has a webpage showing what services are available in what regions.  I highly recommend reviewing the chart as some services are not in all regions.  An simple example of this is not all VM instances are available in all regions.  It’s good to know this BEFORE you start designing and building Azure resources.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/regions/#services

2016-05-24-09_13_03-azure-cloud-services-by-location-or-region-_-microsoft-azure-1

My Microsoft Shared Web Hosting Plan was Suspended!

Update November 19, 2014

Either the upgrade to the latest version of WordPress solved my issue or whatever was causing spikes in CPU time and traffic stopped.  There my upgraded there hasn’t been any spikes.  I knew my personal site was low traffic so those spikes were odd. 

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Original Post November 15, 2014

My personal website is hosted on Microsoft Azure as a shared web hosting plan using WordPress.  Since my WordPress database is over 20MB I do pay $9.99 a month for a larger DB through ClearDB.  Yesterday I went to post a blog to both Catapult’s website and my personal website.  When I attempted to post it to my personal website I received a 402 error in Windows Live Writer.  When I browsed to my personal website the page said it was temporary unavailable and to check back soon.  I’m sorry that I didn’t get a screenshot.  I wasn’t planning on blogging about this.  Knowing something wasn’t right I logged into Azure to manage my website and I noticed it was was suspended for excessive CPU cycles.  I guess your only allowed 4 hours of CPU time every 24 hours.  There are also quotas but since my personal website isn’t visited much I didn’t understand why I was hitting any quotas.  I’ve never had this problem in the past and if I have I didn’t know about it.  Sure enough everything eventually went back to normal but it looks like there are spikes every few days that might be suspending my account.  Since then I updated WordPress to version 4 and I’m going to monitor everything.  Hopefully that fixes this problem.  If it doesn’t I need to look at other things.  I could upgrade to a dedicated VM or add support but my personal website isn’t worth $30-$50 a month. 

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My Microsoft Shared Web Hosting Plan was Suspended!

My personal website is hosted on Microsoft Azure as a shared web hosting plan using WordPress.  Since my WordPress database is over 20MB I do pay $9.99 a month for a larger DB through ClearDB.  Yesterday I went to post a blog to both Catapult’s website and my personal website.  When I attempted to post it to my personal website I received a 402 error in Windows Live Writer.  When I browsed to my personal website the page said it was temporary unavailable and to check back soon.  I’m sorry that I didn’t get a screenshot.  I wasn’t planning on blogging about this.  Knowing something wasn’t right I logged into Azure to manage my website and I noticed it was was suspended for excessive CPU cycles.  I guess your only allowed 4 hours of CPU time every 24 hours.  There are also quotas but since my personal website isn’t visited much I didn’t understand why I was hitting any quotas.  I’ve never had this problem in the past and if I have I didn’t know about it.  Sure enough everything eventually went back to normal but it looks like there are spikes every few days that might be suspending my account.  Since then I updated WordPress to version 4 and I’m going to monitor everything.  Hopefully that fixes this problem.  If it doesn’t I need to look at other things.  I could upgrade to a dedicated VM or add support but my personal website isn’t worth $30-$50 a month. 

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Microsoft Azure Websites and ClearDB’s free MySQL database

A few weeks ago I used Microsoft Live Writer to create and post a blog article.  When I posted it to Catapult’s blog it worked.  When I posted it to my personal blog it failed.  I won’t discuss Catapult’s setup but my personal blog is WordPress running on Azure websites with ClearDB’s free MySQL database.  When I tried to post it to my personal blog I ended up getting some 500 error or something like that in Live Writer and it wouldn’t post.  When you’re in technology one question you always have to ask yourself is what changed between when something was working and when it stopped working.  That was pretty simple in this case.  My workstation crashed and I had to reload the operating system, software, and re-configure Live Writer on the new machine.  I was pretty sure that was the problem but I blew it off at the time since I had more important things to work on.  Today while trying to edit text in a WordPress tile it kept resorting back to what it originally was before I hit the update button.  That’s when I knew there was a problem bigger than an incorrect setting in Live Writer.  First I couldn’t post anything and now I can’t change a single word in a tile.  Now I was forced to troubleshoot my personal website.

I logged into my Azure account and clicked link to take me to my ClearDB account.  It turns out my free MySQL database was over the free 20MB limit.  Azure doesn’t tell you this but you’ll see it on your ClearDB page.  When you’re over your limit the database goes into a read only mode and nothing can write to it.  This explains the vague error when posting a new blog article and also why I couldn’t make any changes to the website from the WordPress admin site today.  It also explained why I couldn’t delete spam comments in the WordPress admin site today.  I’d hit delete and they’d come right back! 

Using guidance from the websites below I tried to clean it up through the MySQL workbench but it still didn’t take me below the 20MB limit.  I ended up having to upgrade my account from the free version to a paid version adding $10 a month to my budget for a 1GB database. 

I’m a little upset that I now have to spend more money on a DB for my website but overall the Azure website has been flawless.  I’ve never seen it offline unlike where I had my website hosted in the past.  Going from 20MB to 1GB hopefully I’ll never hit THAT database limit.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/onemicrosoftvoice/archive/2013/01/02/using-mysql-workbench-with-windows-azure-web-sites.aspx

http://www.johnpapa.net/azurecleardbmysql/

Microsoft Azure Open Licensing for partners

“Microsoft Azure will be available for partners to resell in the open licensing programs on August 1st of this year(2014)”. 

 

This is great news as can be one less bill for companies to pay that are looking for a partner to implement and then manage certain aspects of IT.  It also combines the consulting and service fees in setting up a solution with ongoing costs.  I see this as a way for partners to keep a long term open relationship with a client. 

http://www.digitalwpc.com/Community/Perspectives/Pages/Announcing-Microsoft-Azure-in-Open-Licensing-for-partners.aspx#fbid=Ws6bDC9pQn-

Two new compute-intensive instances are now generally available for use with Windows Azure Cloud Services

I received an email from Microsoft yesterday introducing two new compute-intensive instances in Windows Azure.  They’re pretty powerful, and expensive.  Not only is the processor and RAM way up there but you get a 40 Bbit/s InfiniBand network with RDMA!  If your company needs this kind of server it’s available now in Windows Azure. Remember, if you deallocate a VM you don’t have to pay for the compute cycles.  I do this often in my lab up in Azure to save money when I’m not doing anything.

 

Dear Customer,

Two new compute-intensive instances are now generally available for use with Windows Azure Cloud Services: 8 virtual cores with 56 GB of RAM, and 16 virtual cores with 112 GB of RAM.

Today we’re announcing the general availability (GA) of two new instances for use with Windows Azure Cloud Services. Called A8 and A9, they feature 8 virtual cores with 56 gigabytes (GB) and 16 virtual cores with 112 GB of memory, respectively.
A8 and A9 belong to a new category of instances called compute-intensive instances that provide faster processors and more virtual cores for higher compute power, larger amounts of memory, and a 40 Gbit/s InfiniBand network that includes remote direct memory access (RDMA) technology for maximum efficiency of parallel Message Passing Interface (MPI) applications.
The pricing for these new instances is shown in the table below.

Compute instance GA price per hour
Cloud Services A8 $2.45
Cloud Services A9 $4.90

Compute-intensive instances are optimal for running compute and network-intensive applications such as high-performance cluster applications, applications using modeling, simulation and analysis, and video encoding. Please consider using the new A8 and A9 instances for running your compute and network-intensive applications.
For more information on using Windows Azure Cloud Services and pricing, please visit the Cloud Services website.
Thank you,
Windows Azure Team

 

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