Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Basic and architecture Windows and SQL Azure interview questions and answers...

Here is the list of basic and architectural Windows Azure interview questions and answers. Will uncover and add some more as we move along and learn. Intend to grow this list further....

What are the services provided in Cloud Computing/Azure?
Services provided would be basically three fundamental models: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS).
What are the steps involved in creating a Windows Azure Project with Visual Studio?
Refer for detailed steps here -http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee405487.aspx 

What are various roles available in Windows Azure?
There are three roles (Web, worker, VM) available. Web and Worker roles are nearly identical: With Web and Worker roles, the OS and related patches are taken care for you; you build your app's components without having to manage a VM.

What are the three main components of Windows Azure Platform?  
  1. Compute
  2. Storage
  3. AppFabric
What are the benefits of Azure?
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) / Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) / Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Variable pricing - see here (Azure retail subscription pricing calculator
  • On demand and simple service procurement
  • More predictable solution environments
  • Small infrastructure management responsibility
  • Scalability with Global model - 15 global data centers (to date) and growing...
  • Security/privacy compliance – HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27007
  • Compatibility with existing development tools
What are the capabilities that are provided with Visual Studio?
  • Windows Azure Cloud Service Visual Studio Template
  • http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee405487.aspx
  • ASP.Net web role
  • WCF Service web role
  • Worker Role with Service Bus Queue
  • Worker Role
  • Cache Worker Role – provides a dedicated cache
  • Integration with Emulators
  • Sophisticated debugging and tracing capability including remote debugging w/- SDK 2.2
  • Publish capability
  • Basic Azure component management in Server Explorer
  • Azure storage error log and application diagnostic analysis
What is Windows Azure compute emulator? 
The compute emulator is a local emulator of Windows Azure that you can use to build and test your application before deploying it to Windows Azure. 
What is the difference between Web Sites versus Web Roles (Azure Compute Services)?
  • Web site uses .azurewebsites.net versus .cloudapp.net for web roles
  • Web sites offer very quick deployment, scaling and rollback
  • Web sites have out of box support for Git and other continuous publishing tools
  • Web sites have less capability than web roles e.g. no remote management, no traffic manager
  • Web sites are good for a 2-tier application architecture
  • 10 per region multi-tenant web sites are free
Which is the latest version of Microsoft Windows Azure? (March 2014) and what are some of the key features/capabilities that come along with SDK v2.2?

SDK v2.2 -
BizTalk Services: EDIFACT protocol support, Service Bus Integration, Backup and Restore
Web Sites: Backup and Restore Support
HDInsight: Hadoop 2.2 support
Mobile Services: .NET support, Notification Hub Integration, PhoneGap support
Management: Co-admin limit increased from 10->200 users
Monitoring: Service Outage Notifications Integrated within Management Portal
Virtual Machines: VM Agent and Background Information Support
ExpressRoute: Dedicated, private, high-throughput network connectivity with on-premises.
Pricing - $5000 per month for 10GBps connection 
Active Directory: More SaaS apps, more reports, self-service group management
What are Windows Azure Data Services? 
Windows Azure SQL Database Service provides -
  • Data replication – backups are only required for user / application errors
  • Relational data structures
  • Only SQL authentication
  • No always-on availability groups
  • SQL Data Sync for mirroring
  • No SQL Server Agent – use worker roles and windows workflow foundation (WWF)
  • Data Sharding – SQL Azure Database federation:
  • http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/hh597452.aspx
  • Database backup and auomatic scheduled data backup to Azure Storage
What is Blob?
BLOB stands for Binary Large Object. Blob is file of any type and size.
The Azure Blob Storage offers two types of blobs –
1. Block Blob
2. Page Blob 
What is Windows Azure AppFabric? What are various services provided?
  • Windows Azure AppFabric is a part of the Microsoft Windows Azure Platform. Positioned by Microsoft as middleware, it provides several cloud computing services:
  • Access Control Service: Provides an easy way for web applications and web services to identify users, and grant access control to the applications and services.
  • AppFabric Applications: Provides tools and APIs for developing and hosting a composite application expressly for deployment through the service.
  • Service Bus: Provides secure connections between distributed and disconnected applications in the cloud.
  • Caching: Provides a distributed, in-memory, application cache service for Windows Azure and SQL Azure applications.
  • Integration: Leverages several capabilities of Microsoft BizTalk Server such as transforming messages from one format to another, or providing a queue for message passing.
What is a Queue in Azure terminology?

Features provided by HDInsight?
Here's a quick start tutorial to get started and learn basics on HDInsight - http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/documentation/articles/hdinsight-get-started/
  •  Provides nice way to also use Microsoft Office tools like Excel to view output using power query and more with power BI features.
  • HDInsight is our 100% compatible Apache Hadoop-based distribution for Windows Azure.  With HDInsight you can leverage data stored in Windows Azure Blob Storage or the native HDFS file system local to the compute nodes and crunch massive amounts of data.
    We now support Hadoop 2.2 clusters (in preview mode) with our HDInsight service.  This new update provides an order of magnitude (up to 40x) faster query response times, much better data compression (up to 80%), and enables you to leverage the benefits of YARN.
What are Azure app Services?
1 Media Services
.Net libraries (Media Services SDK) for uploading, storing, encoding, format converting, protection and delivery of media
2 Azure content delivery network (CDN) for Azure storage accounts -
3 Service Bus Explorer- .Net library and components for message communication processing. Architecture approach for communicating between on premise and private cloud to Azure Components.

4 Queues (FIFO)  -

5 Topics and Subscriptions – Topic filters– Special implementation of a queue that uses a subscriber model -
6 Relays – provides capability to communicate to existing WCF corporate domain web services
7 Notification Hubs – pushing cross-platform back end notifications to mobile clients. Get started building these applications on Windows Azure and learn about notification hubs here -
8 Scheduler (new) -
This is an exposed API for job operations and helps create jobs on a schedule:
9 BizTalk Services -B2B EDI in Azure
EAI in Azure
10 Active Directory -
Identity management in Azure
Can sync with access control service (ACS)
Can sync with on premise Active Directory
11 MSFT Active Directory Federated Services - https://corp.sts.microsoft.com/Onboard/ADFSOnboard.htm

.... Cheers - DJ


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