Cloud Computing News #12: Secure top IT talent with cloud training

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This week we focus on cloud training.

Competition for cloud professionals is fierce so how can you ensure your company has the top IT talent? Research firm Gartner reports that “by 2020, 75 percent of organizations will experience visible business disruptions due to [infrastructure and operations] skills gaps.”

 

Talent Shortage Considered A Top Risk Among Executives

Recent Gartner survey of 400 executives (10/2018) found that a shrinking pool of qualified candidates surfaced as a top business risk for global executives in risk, audit, finance and compliance.  Cloud computing, which was ranked the No. 1 risk in 2Q18, remains a concern. Cybersecurity disclosure and the artificial intelligence (AI)/robotics skills gap round out the top five concerns among executives surveyed. Digital transformation initiatives have only increased this pressure.

“In this strong economic environment of significant business growth and record-low unemployment levels, the battle for talent is heating up as employees now have more bargaining power,” said Matthew Shinkman, practice leader at Gartner. “As a result, talent is harder to find and even more difficult to keep.”

To mitigate the risk of talent shortage, Gartner recommends a market-driven approach to sourcing strategy that ensures it adapts to evolving external labour market realities and organization needs.

Read more in Gartner

 

Train your IT professionals for cloud success with Nordcloud

As an Amazon Web Services Training Partner and Azure Training Partner, Nordcloud delivers a variety of engaging and hands-on official cloud training courses that cater to all needs. Whether you’re new to the cloud or have experience with AWS or Azure services, we have something for you. Please note that you do not have to be our customer to sign up for training – they’re for everyone!

We base our trainings on our in-depth understanding on public cloud and to the latest development of cloud. Our approach to learning is very practical, courses have lots of hands-on activities and immersive exercises. By completing introductory and advanced courses built around self-paced labs, you’ll deepen your skills and learn best-practices for architecting, developing and operating infrastructure and applications on the AWS and Azure cloud.

We also offer customised, organisation-specific training, if that’s something you’re interested in. We can significantly increase the adoption of Public Cloud usage and ensure the investments are paying off by upskilling your organization.

By attending our cloud training, you’ll guarantee your cloud success when you learn to do things right from the start.

Connect with our Cloud Training team

 

Nordcloud Talent Acceleration programme trains future cloud superheroes

The challenge at the moment is the lack of cloud natives capable of creating the solutions that enable the future. People with the skills, knowledge and ability to apply the latest tech to the most recent challenges.

As the leading cloud solution provider in Europe, we can’t wait for the world to catch up. We’ve decided to gather the most capable future cloud experts together and provide them with the opportunity to brush up their skills and join the movement toward a frictionless future.

Nordcloud Talent Acceleration programme is the gateway into the world of Nordcloud. At Nordcloud Talent Acceleration, we provide a fast-track learning program that brings forward thinking people to a visionary community.

We offer two training programs that transform IT specialists into the next generation of cloud natives. Pick from either our public cloud (AWS/Azure) ready Cloud Engineering or Cloud Development curriculum, developing your skills and completing your certificates.

Interested in accelerating your skills and becoming a cloud superhero? We are now recruiting for Microsoft Azure tracks that start in January 2019 and March 2019. We are looking joiners from Poland and Germany for both of the tracks. 

We offer you a permanent employment from day one, six weeks intensive cloud bootcamp and large variety of interesting customer projects to kick start a new cloud superhero career!

Apply here

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#NordcloudianStories: “Constant new improvements”

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Life at Nordcloud

Cloud Architect

1. Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?

I started in Storvreta, lived in Göteborg and studied in Luleå. There I started a company doing internet radio and moved to Malmö. Company unfortunately went bankrupt after six successful years, but it was one of the best learning points for my career and I got interested in cloud and AWS there. I then worked in government sector but wanted to get into a more fast paced company, so joined a start up in Denmark and worked in-house on premise to cloud implementations and automation from where I then moved again to a satellite communication company. Nordcloud then found me at the right time as I was ready for a change and it’s now been 3 years!

2.What is your role and core competence? 

Cloud architect, mostly enablement. I have also worked with implementations and automation. I advise companies how to best work with the cloud.

3. What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?

Mostly flexibility and variety of projects. We are not a big consultancy, but are one of the best working with all of the top cloud providers. I get to learn a lot and I am constantly expected to be expert. As the organisation has a flat structure you have the chance to get engaged more and you have a voice and can influence the business decisions.

4. What is the most useful thing you have learned at Nordcloud?

Communication is key both internally and externally and also to never stop learning!

5. What sets you on fire/ What’s your favourite thing technically with public cloud?

Constant new improvements. You blink and there are 10 new different things.

6. What do you do outside work? 

I have a lovely dog and partner and my current big passion are board games !

7. Best Nordcloudian memory?

Most recent one where we all planned our new office in Malmö, everyone was so engaged and involved and we got to have own voice in the decision making.

Thanks for sharing Hamin and thanks for reading!

/Anna

If you feel like you could be a good fit to the team, please have a look at our open vacancies here

Nordcloud Careers

Swedish team is also looking for more Nordcloudians!

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Cloud Computing News #11: Quantum Computing is the New Space Race

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This week we focus on quantum computing.

Classical computers store information in bits that are either 1 or 0, but quantum computers use qubits, which can be thought to exist in both states of 1 and 0 at the same time, and also influence one another instantaneously via a process known as “entanglement”. These exotic new qualities for quantum bits mean that upcoming quantum computers computing power will be exponentially larger and faster.

Quantum computing is expected to, for example, boost machine learning and have a big impact on artificial intelligence – and cloud services are being looked on as the method for providing access to quantum processing.

Now as Nordcloud´s partners Google and Microsoft are investing massively into quantum computing, we are keenly following this development to be ready to bring this power to our customers in the future.

BlackBerry races ahead of security curve with quantum-resistant solution

According to TechCrunch, Black Berry announced a new quantum-resistant code signing service that anticipates a problem that does not yet exist.

“By adding the quantum-resistant code signing server to our cybersecurity tools, we will be able to address a major security concern for industries that rely on assets that will be in use for a long time. If your product, whether it’s a car or critical piece of infrastructure, needs to be functional 10-15 years from now, you need to be concerned about quantum computing attacks,” Charles Eagan, BlackBerry’s chief technology officer, said in a statement.

While experts argue how long it could take to build a fully functioning quantum computer, most agree that it will take between 50 and 100 qubit computers to begin realizing that vision.

Read more in TechCrunch

Quantum mechanics defies causal order

Physics World highlights an experiment by Jacqui RomeroFabio Costa and colleagues at the University of Queensland in Australia, that has confirmed that quantum mechanics allows events to occur with no definite causal order. In classical physics – and everyday life – there is a strict causal relationship between consecutive events. If a second event (B) happens after a first event (A), for example, then cannot affect the outcome of A. This relationship, however, breaks down in quantum mechanics.

In their experiment, Romero, Costa and colleagues created a “quantum switch”, in which photons can take two paths. As well as making an experimental connection between relativity and quantum mechanics, the researchers point out that their quantum switch could find use in quantum technologies.

“This is just a first proof of principle, but on a larger scale indefinite causal order can have real practical applications, like making computers more efficient or improving communication,” says Costa.

Read more in Physics World

Two Quantum Computing Bills Are Coming to Congress

According to Gizmodo, quantum computing has made it to the United States Congress. China has funded a National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences, set to open in 2020, and has launched a satellite meant to test long-distance quantum secure information.

“Quantum computing is the next technological frontier that will change the world, and we cannot afford to fall behind,” said Senator Kamala Harris (D-California). “We must act now to address the challenges we face in the development of this technology—our future depends on it.”

The bill introduced by Harris in the Senate focuses on defense, calling for the creation of a consortium of researchers selected by the Chief of Naval Research and the Director of the Army Research Laboratory. Another, yet-to-be-introduced bill, seen in draft form by Gizmodo, calls for a 10-year National Quantum Initiative Program to set goals and priorities for quantum computing in the US; invest in the technology; and partner with academia and industry.

Read more in Gizmodo

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Nordcloud recognised as Google Cloud Premier Partner and Managed Services Provider

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Nordcloud is extremely proud to be nominated Google Cloud Premier Partner and Managed Services Provider (MSP).

Nordcloud is the first Finnish company ever to achieve Premier Partner status and also the first non-GSuite Premier Partner in the Nordic countries.

Google Cloud Premier Partner

Google Cloud MSP program

In 2017 Google launched the Managed Services Provider program and since then, the ecosystem of Google Cloud MSPs has continued to expand to 12 partners globally.

Today, Nordcloud is joining this very elite group of few partners globally to provide hands-on support to the ongoing operation of customer workloads and offer proactive services to both large and small cloud adopters.

With our dedicated Google Cloud experts, our projects range from cloud strategy to migration and execution, to post-planning and ongoing optimization. Nordcloud has a staff of 40 Google Cloud Professional Certified Cloud Architects and Data Engineers.

Our Google Cloud customers can improve IT operations, accelerate innovation and get solutions to market faster

“We are honored to be Google Cloud Premier Partner and one of the very few Google Cloud MSP’s worldwide. This is a key milestone on our journey to become the leading Google Cloud partner in Europe”, says Jan Kritz, CEO at Nordcloud.

Nordcloud offers 24/7 Managed Services for a customer’s cloud environments and manages Google Cloud operations so that the customer has more time to add value to their business operations. With the proven Google Cloud MSP status customers are rest assured that they can trust their Google Cloud environments are well-managed by Nordcloud’s highly skilled experts.

Nordcloud’s Managed Cloud is your full-stack life-cycling managed services solution providing flexible service bundles to fit your IT needs.

How can we help you take your business to the next level?

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Pinja’s day at Talent Acceleration

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Life at Nordcloud

Hi everybody!

You are warmly welcomed to follow my day in our Talent Acceleration team! 

Who am I and what do I actually do, besides talking a lot while waving my hands and hanging out in Linkedin? And what is talent acceleration actually? Those are the things I hope to answer with this short story.

pinja-nordcloud

First of all I’m going to tell you a bit more about myself. You may call me Pinja, one of the Talent Acquisition Ninjas of Nordcloud. I joined the company in June 2018 and jumped on a fast-forward moving train of a rapidly growing tech company with huge potential to untap. This ride has been an absolute pleasure so far and suddenly I’ve found myself in the most interesting, new and exciting situations. Our growth has been impressive, and there is still a lot to do. For a recruiter and HR person like myself, this is a very challenging but especially rewarding situation to be in. As our company’s motto states, ‘we power up our customers’ business with an unlimited source of energy: our people”. This is people business to its core. For me, the feeling of getting things done and seeing some of my recruits walking around at the office with a Nordcloud hoodie on is the best possible reward.

My background

My own background is very far from tech savvy, but I claim to know something about people. I’ve always been intrigued by all things humane and therefore studying social psychology was a perfect match for me. Recruiting was a quite natural career path to take after that, as working with people is my greatest source of motivation. Matching great talent with new opportunities, seeing people step up their game when given the right chance and seeing the sparkle in their eyes while doing so is what makes me happy. The years working with tech recruitments have also created the little engineer in me and suddenly I see myself doing bits of coding stuff, fighting with Excel and reading about all things technical – you really are the company you keep!

My regular day looks like..

Well, honestly there isn’t a regular day! I do a lot of basic recruitments stuff, such as interviews, hunt and gather CVs and send out technical assignments, job offers and take care of our new joiners. I work closely with our managers and try to solve their business needs from a resource point of view. Our talent acceleration works hard to solve the need for people in a field where there are not enough cloud-skilled people existing. We have created our own solution for this and are training our own pros.

Currently I am recruiting people for Poland and Germany, where we are offering a permanent employment and a full-time six weeks of training in Microsoft Azure to start with. This is a big project, where everything has to be orchestrated carefully, so I’ve been spending recently a lot of time networking with the right people, planning, researching and just testing things that could work out. This is ramping up growth and creating market entry at the same time, in addition to the normal recruitment activities.

What is Nordcloud talent acceleration?

The basic philosophy of this ‘talent acceleration as a strategy’ is to accelerate the skills and productivity level of new hires and existing staff too. Basically this makes it possible for you to hire into specific roles at an “underfill” level and rapidly accelerate new hires to full performance. Shortly put, it is critical for talent acquisition to create talent strategies that meet future challenges now, not next year. Job market, especially in tech, is in constant flux and shifting so fast that normal recruitment processes and traditional talent acquisition can’t catch up.

PS. You can find me at Linkedin, feel free to connect there!

Check our open positions here

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Predicting IT incidents in Financial Services

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As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, one of the UK’s biggest banks, TSB, learnt the hard way earlier this year when it came to protecting their highly valuable systems from IT failures. The BBC coined the term ‘technology meltdown’ after 2 million customers of the bank lost access to their online banking services. Since then, a second ‘meltdown’ has occurred, and TSB’s CEO has stepped down.

 

Banks have been slow to move legacy systems to cloud

Banks and FSIs around the world have been slow on the uptake to modernise infrastructure and move legacy systems to the cloud. The complexities that surround moving large amounts of secure data, constantly changing market dynamics, and a need to shift company culture (such as moving to a more agile way of working) is tantamount to redesigning an entire industry. The problem is that this failure to move forward and be relevant has proved costly, and regulatory services have made the FSIs pay out large and easily preventable fines.

Anuj Saxena, Head of FSI at Nordcloud, wrote in his blog that financial institutions often plan for highly available service operations and don’t consider potential failures. But one of the ways these businesses can improve their operational resilience is implementing automated tools and processes in order to recover from these potential incidents. Engaging with a Managed Cloud Services provider is the start of the solution.

 

Planning for failure by implementing a well-oiled machine

At the risk of sounding negative, planning for failure is the key to keeping systems up and running. Employing a DevOps function like the team at Nordcloud who have the experience in automating end to end deployments, operations & recovering cloud infrastructure, allows for flexibility and innovation, and creating runbooks and playbooks allows the teams to compare and match certain standards.

FSIs need to become operationally resilient so they are not held back when an incident happens. Having a ‘well-oiled machine’ that will be able to respond to incidents quickly and agily will improve this resilience.

 

But what’s the point of having this ‘holy-grail’ of automation unless you have someone who knows how to manage it?

 

A dedicated Managed Services Provider

Cloud experts within Nordcloud have experience in knowing what to monitor & what thresholds to configure out of the box, ensuring that problems are identified earlier and solved quicker.

Our team uses an advanced adaptive (outlier detection), automated full-stack monitoring and instrumentation platform to enable a 360-degree view of a business’s infrastructure, ensuring that potential issues are identified and resolved before they become an issue. This automated response means reactions are faster, and human error is eliminated. In the same sense, developing a comprehensive runbook promotes standardised operating procedures which can be used repeatedly, allowing you to move to market faster.

Businesses should also organise regular ‘Game Days’ where failure is simulated, and runbooks and playbooks are tested to ensure that in the event of failure, response and resolution is well rehearsed and therefore fast. Nordcloud’s team of experts can manage this and other day to day operations, helping our customers meet the regulatory compliance they require.

IT time is valuable and generally scarce and your department should be focussed on projects that improve your company’s bottom line. FSIs who engage with Managed Cloud Service providers will be able to save sizeable amounts of money on potentially avoidable fines, and in the meantime make sure their customers’ online experience is not affected.  

Realise all the benefits the public cloud has to offer FSI

 

Cloud computing is on the rise in the financial services – are you ready?

Download our free white paper Compliance in the cloud: How to embrace the cloud with confidence, where we outline some of the many benefits that the cloud can offer, such as:

  • Lowered costs
  • Scalability and agility
  • Better customer insights
  • Tighter security

Download white paper

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#NordcloudianStories: “Legends and union of cloud architects”

As a company that is rapidly growing, there are a lot of different people and new starters almost every week and as all 300+ of us are working in different cities, countries and in remote locations, communication is a massive key for success. It’s also about getting to know each and every one. We have pretty solid systems for communicating internally and people are always welcoming new joiners warmly as well as helping each other to get up and running and integrated as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

One of the first tips I got, in the beginning, was “get to know the people”.

Nordcloudians are helpful and willing to go the extra mile. By knowing our people, we build even more transparent and successful business.

I had a chat with one of our Cloud ArchitectsPeter G. Marczis, who was happy to tell about his story.

1. Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?
I am Hungarian with a background in electrical engineering, programming, software development and dev ops (for example at Nokia and Rovio). I have lived also in Finland and when Nordcloud opened an office in Denmark, I wanted to get back in the company!

2. What is your role and core competence?
Cloud Architect. I have software development background and many years with Linux. I now work mostly with AWS.

3. What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?
Flexibility and investment on our people. We have the opportunity to work remotely as well as have social and customer facing role. Our environment is never settling and always changing, so there are always new challenges. We have a very good training program – I am encouraged to take any courses and learn new things every day.

4. What is the most useful thing you have learned at Nordcloud?
To speak with both IT&Business people and being able to fill the gaps between, as you really need these social skills.

5. What’s your favourite thing with public cloud?
Nowadays it’s so easy to start new things from scratch, for example, apps from anywhere. You can learn new things quickly and anybody can start a huge journey and make a big difference without big investments.

6. What do you do outside work?
I have 2 small kids whom I spend most of my free time with. I also like to repair my car, I am also dj’ing, and I am learning to play piano.

7. Best Nordcloudian memory?
We have a lot of fun! Our amazing staff is open and friendly and we have a great team spirit. I really feel part of the family, and we are more than a company, more like “legends and union of cloud architects”. We share the same mindset and I really like our tech&beer events. Our management is always pushing us to learn the newest technology, tools and processes. Everything moves quickly, not a single day is the same, there are no limitations and communication is easy.

Sounds pretty awesome! If you feel like you could be a good fit to the team, please have a look at our open vacancies here: Nordcloud Careers

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more #NordcloudianStories

/Anna

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Cloud computing news #10: Serverless, next-level cloud tech

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This week we focus on serverless computing which continues to grow and enables agility, speed of innovation and lower cost to organizations.

Serverless Computing Spurs Business Innovation

According to Digitalist Magazine, serverless computing is outpacing conventional patterns of emerging technology adoption. Organizations across the globe see technology-driven innovation as essential to compete. Serverless computing promises to enable faster innovation at a lower cost and simplify the creation of responsive business processes.

But what does “serverless computing” mean and how can companies benefit from it?

  1. Innovate faster and at a lower cost: Serverless cloud computing execution model in which the cloud provider acts as the server, dynamically managing the allocation of machine resources. This means that developers are able to focus on coding instead of managing deployment and runtime environments. Also, pricing is based on the actual amount of resources consumed by an application. Thus, with serverless computing, an organization can innovate faster and at a lower cost. Serverless computing eliminates the risk and cost of overprovisioning, as it can scale resources dynamically with no up-front capacity planning required.
  2. Enable responsive business processes: Serverless function services – function as a service (FaaS) – can automatically activate and run application logic that carry out simple tasks in response to specific events. If the task enchained by an incoming event involves data management, developers can leverage serverless backends as a service (BaaS) for data caching, persistence, and analytics services via standard APIs. With this event-driven application infrastructure in place, one organization can decide at any moment to execute a new task in response to a given event.

Organizations also need the flexibility to develop and deploy their innovations where it makes the most sense for their business. Platforms that rely on open standards, deploy on all the major hyperscale public clouds, and offer portability between the hyperscaler IaaS foundations are really the ideal choice for serverless environments.

Read more in Digitalist Magazine

Nordcloud tech blog: Developing serverless cloud components

cloud component contains both your code and the necessary platform configuration to run it. The concept is similar to Docker containers, but here it is applied to serverless applications. Instead of wrapping an entire server in a container, a cloud component tells the cloud platform what services it depends on.

A typical cloud component might include a REST API, a database table and the code needed to implement the related business logic. When you deploy the component, the necessary database services and API services are automatically provisioned in the cloud.

Developers can assemble cloud applications from cloud components. This resembles the way they would compose traditional applications from software modules. The benefit is less repeated work to implement the same features in every project over and over again.

Check out our tech blog that takes a look at some new technologies for developing cloud components

Nordcloud Case study: Developing on AWS services using a serverless architecture for Kemppi 

Nordcloud helped Kemppi build the initial architecture based on AWS IoT Core, API Gateway, Lambda and other AWS services. We also designed and developed the initial Angular.js based user interface for the solution.

Developing on AWS services using a serverless architecture enabled Kemppi to develop the solution in half the time and cost compared to traditional, infrastucture based architectures. The serverless expertise of Nordcloud was key to enable a seamless rampup of development capabilities in the Kemppi development teams.

Read more on our case study here

Serverless at Nordcloud

Nordcloud has a long track record with serverless, being among the first companies to adopt services such as AWS Lambda and API gateway for production projects already in 2015. Since then, Nordcloud has executed over 20 customer projects using serverless technologies for several use case such as web applications, IoT solutions, data platforms and cloud infrastructure monitoring or automation.

Nordcloud is an AWS Lambda, API Gateway and DynamoDB parter, a Serverless framework partner and contributor to the serverless community via contribution to open source projects, events and initiatives such as the Serverless Finland meetup.

How can we help you take your business to the next level with serverless?

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Taking SAP to new heights – beyond hybrid

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We launched a range of Nordcloud SAP on Azure solutions, where we run your SAP on Microsoft’s public cloud, Azure, to bring you the agility and scalability your business needs. Some may ask, why only public cloud? So we felt we needed to cover why we believe so strongly that hybrid solutions are already a thing of the past.

Hybrid is a great short-term solution. With the right hybrid environment, you can enjoy the flexibility and agility of public cloud and the safety of on-premises, by deploying to your own data centre with no issues because of the continuity of the systems. Azure and Azure Stack, for example, share the same interface and most services so transitioning between the two is very easy. (If you are looking into hybrid and the systems are not completely integrated, then steer clear. Your developers will be re-building or re-coding everything multiple times for different environments.)

But there are at least two things I want you to consider, relating to the most common misconceptions:

1. Security – Is your data actually safer in your data centre than in public cloud?

All data centres can be categorised into Tiers I to IV, based on their physical components, cooling and power infrastructure, redundancy level, and promised uptime—with I being the simplest and IV being the best.

On-premises data centres are often a Tier I. This means it has a single path for power and cooling to the server equipment, typically no backup cooling system or generator, no redundant components that would start up and replace the output of a piece of failed equipment instantly, and cannot be updated and maintained easily without downtime. Basically, your on-premises data centre is likely expensive, hard to maintain and update, susceptible to downtime, and you require secondary infrastructure for a proper disaster recovery plan. Security is also layered on top, instead of built-in.

On the other hand, Azure is practically in a category of its own. Each individual data centre in Microsoft’s massive network would be categorised as at least a Tier IV. A Tier IV data centre has fault tolerant infrastructure (meaning it can function as normal even in the event of one or more equipment failures), high levels of redundancy (multiple cooling units, backup generators, power sources, chillers, etc), and maintenance can be done without downtime. The promised uptime level is 99.995%. Plus, additional layers of security and encryption are built-in to the software that powers Azure, and updated regularly by a team of architects and engineers. Migrating your SAP to this environment would not only be make it more agile and cost-effective, it could also dramatically improve security and continuity.

2. Productivity – Have you really considered the long-term effects on productivity?

Moving SAP workloads and data between clouds can waste time and money. You can rather implement a multi-cloud procurement approach, where the threat of other clouds keeps the price in check, and the best workload movement solution.

Not to mention, Azure implements hundreds of new services every year. Do you think you can keep up with a dedicated team of specialists working round-the-clock to make their cloud safer, better, and more innovative? Others already using public cloud to its full extent will benefit from that level of innovation immediately and build on top of it to create unique solutions.

If you’re still focused on maintaining your private cloud infrastructure or cloud brokerage platforms for SAP, you can’t focus on what you do best, or on growing and innovating productively.

It’s your decision, but you know where we stand

For some applications, hybrid is an easier transition. It’s a trade-off because you get less overall benefits from the cloud platform, but you start your cloud journey sooner and can decommission old, legacy infrastructure faster. So for some, it is the right choice. But we always want to bring you the best choice, and for long-term scalability and agility for your SAP systems, the best is Azure public cloud.

With SAP on Azure, you can future-proof your business by innovating in an elastic, cost-effective way, and modernise without putting your business on pause. With Azure’s network of Tier IV data centres, your SAP data and business-critical processes will most likely be safer, benefitting from built-in encryption, redundancy, and tested failover to ensure continuity. We also migrate your entire SAP infrastructure to Azure with minimal impact to day-to-day business, so you can become more productive and enjoy the hundreds of innovative services Azure has—let it become the launchpad for your business growth.

If you would like more information on how Nordcloud can help you with SAP on Azure solutions, visit our services page, or contact us here.

By providing the most agile and cost-effective platform for your SAP applications, we help you optimise and accelerate your business. Download our eBook on SAP on Azure and learn more on our services.

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How to use Azure API from Go SDK

CATEGORIES

Tech

In this post we will go through some basic example on how to use Azure SDK in Go. The example program we will go through is pretty simple. First, it gets a list of all resource groups in an Azure subscription, then it iterates over all VMs within every resource group. And guess what.. it does all of that using Go’s awesome concurrency (go go goroutines). Sounds pretty straightforward, but in fact the operations we do in the example should give you a good overview on how to use Azure’s SDKs and API in general.

The program is located in the github repository, you are free to clone it, fork it and work on it. You only need to have a working go and dep installations.

Authenticating

Let’s start ! However, before we proceed, we first need to somehow authenticate agains Azure API. For Azure this means creating a service principal account that our program will use to authenticate and assume a role with permissions needed to execute API actions.

To create a service principal, let’s use Azure CLI, as shown below. The command will output an authentication file with information such as client id, client secrets and bunch of information needed to connect to Azure. Remember to keep it secure !

az ad sp create-for-rbac —sdk-auth > my.auth

Now that we have the service principal created, clone the repo of the example

git clone git@github.com:nordcloud/azure-go-example.git

The program is super simple and consists of one file — main.go. Before we proceed, we however need to run dep ensure to have the golang SDK dependencies vendor in our program directory.

dep ensure

The code 

Let’s open the main.go file and see the main() method.

What you can spot is the general flow of what example program does. First, it authorises using service provider identity we created in previous steps, then gets a list of all resource groups in a subscription, and finally for every resource group, it lists all the VMs.

Ok, let’s see what happens in the code. Let’s look at the newSessionFromFile method. What is the interesting part is the line where we get the authorizer with SDK’s method NewAuthorizerFromFile.

func newSessionFromFile() (*AzureSession, error) {
authorizer, err := auth.NewAuthorizerFromFile(azure.PublicCloud.ResourceManagerEndpoint)
if err != nil {
    return nil, errors.Wrap(err, "Can't initialize authorizer")
}
authInfo, err := readJSON(os.Getenv("AZURE_AUTH_LOCATION"))
if err != nil {
    return nil, errors.Wrap(err, "Can't get authinfo")
}
sess := AzureSession{
    SubscriptionID: (*authInfo)["subscriptionId"].(string),
    Authorizer:     authorizer,
}
return &sess, nil
}

This method assumes that AZURE_AUTH_LOCATION env variable contains the path to the service principal auth file we created before. It reads the file and returns an authorizer that is later passed to resource API clients. We pack the authorizer into AzureSession struct, along with the subscription id. We read the id of our subscription from the same auth file file with the readJSON() method.

Let’s go back to the main() method. Now, that we have a working session, we need to get a list of resource groups. For that I let’s see thegetGroups method. It takes a session as an argument and creates a new client for the groups API. The clients is passed an authorizer we created with in the previous step.

grClient := resources.NewGroupsClient(sess.SubscriptionID)

The pattern, where you create a client and execute its methods (typically List, Get, CreateOrUpdate) will be the same for all resources in the SDK. Once you get the knack of it, you will use Azure API in Go without looking into doc.

To get the resource groups list we iterate over the list of all resource groups returned by the ListComplete method of the resource group client and add them to a list.

Azure SDKs are auto generated and more or less very RESTful. Each resource type will have the same methods, such as CreateOrUpdate, List, and so on. You can see the API description here, the methods described there will map to SDK methods and return types to Go structs.

for list, err := grClient.ListComplete(context.Background(), "", nil); list.NotDone(); err = list.Next() {
    if err != nil {
        return nil, errors.Wrap(err, "error traversing RG list")
    }
    rgName := *list.Value().Name
    tab = append(tab, rgName)
}

Ok what we have done so far is we authorised us and got a list of resource groups. Now, for every group we will list all VMs that are in the group. Moreover, we will do this concurrently using the go routines ! For loop in the main() method iterates over resource groups returned by the getGroups methods and for every rg returned, it runs a concurrent goroutine using the go keyword.

go getVM(sess, group, &wg)

The goroutine is implemented in the getVM method. The method does similar stuff to getGroups. It creates a virtual machines client (NewVirtualMachinesClient) and iterates over all VMs printing them.

for vm, err := vmClient.ListComplete(context.Background(), rg); vm.NotDone(); err = vm.Next() {
    if err != nil {
        log.Print("got error while traverising RG list: ", err)
    }
    i := vm.Value()
    fmt.Printf("(%s) VM %s\n", rg, *i.Name)
}

The main thread is waiting for the termination of all concurrent goroutines using the WaitGroup primitive and it’s Wait() method, which is used here to implement a barrier that waits for all go routines to finish. You can read more about WaitGroups and synchronization here.

Running the example

Before we run the program, we first need to export the AZURE_AUTH_LOCATION variable with the path to the my.auth file with service principal information.

export AZURE_AUTH_LOCATION=/path/to/my.auth
go run main.go

You should see something like this as an output:

(rg1) VM ubuntu
(rg1) VM ubuntutest
(rg2) VM ubuntu2
(rg2) VM ubuntu3
(rg2) VM ubuntu5
(rg2) VM ubuntu44
(rg2) VM ubuntu333
(rg2) VM ubuntu3
(myGroup) VM windows
(myGroup) VM Windas
(testGroup233) VM vm-1-west
(testGroup233) VM vm-2-west
(testGroup233) VM vm-3-west
(testGroup233) VM vm-4-west
...

In the next post we will show you how to use GCP SDK from Go 🙂

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