Azure Resource Groups for Dev/Test environment in Sogeti OneShare.

With Azure Resource Manager the real power and benefit of Azure for your Development and Test environments comes to live.

Cloud for Dev/Test.

When using Azure for your development and test work you want to have the benefits of the cloud in its full potential. Lower costs by only consuming what you need at that time, less risk because the startup costs are close to zero and faster business value by having more flexibility, less overhead and restrictions. Too good to be true. With Azure Resource Manager and OneShare this close to realization.

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When using Azure for your team you can think about different environments. See Cloud usage flavors for Development and Test teams.

Azure Resource Manager.

Everything within Azure is going to be in an Azure Resource Group. A resource group can be controlled (costs and access), repeatable deployed and maintained.

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Azure Resource Manager is the technology used to deploy and redeploy the same set of resources over and over again. An Azure Resource Manager definition (JSON) contains the description of your resources. For example, a web a WebApp exists of multiple resources, like a database, some virtual machines and an Azure WebApp.

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Many examples of Azure Resource definitions can be found at: https://github.com/Azure/azure-quickstart-templates

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For more details of the Azure Resource Manager capabilities see:

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/features/resource-manager/

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2014/DEV-B224

https://azure.microsoft.com/nl-nl/documentation/articles/resource-group-overview/

https://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/en-US/training-courses/azure-resource-manager-devops-jump-start-8413?l=4oafp4Jz_8504984382

http://mitchdenny.com/what-is-azure-resource-manager/

Teams who have ARM definitions for all their environment needs can easily provision these environments when needed, being fast and flexible to the business needs. Creating definitions and link definitions together can make a test infrastructure very cost efficient. See Dev/Test Lab Management on Azure, what is your test infrastructure.

OneShare, speed up DevOps teams.

The Sogeti OneShare service helps a team using the cloud for their environment needs. It helps with insight in the usages in the context of the team activities. It provides control over costs, by setting rules and alerts on Azure resources and OneShare makes teams fast and flexibility with predefined team specific environment templates for resources. All grouped together in an O365 site easy accessible and shareable by team members.

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See : Insight and Self Servicing needs for Dev & Test Teams and OneShare promo video.

OneShare Resource Group templates.

A DevOps team needs fast and flexible environments, with Azure and ARM this can be accomplished. What slows teams down is gathering the knowledge to create the proper ARM definition for their needs. Specially this can be challenging with less-technical team members, which often are the ones with the environment need.

See: Azure Dev/Test Lab on Azure Management Knowledge needs.

OneShare abstracts technology knowledge away for the most executed tasks. For example, an ARM definition only needs to be made or adjusted once every release, while the provisioning of an environment will take place multiple times in a sprint and even multiple times a day.

Within OneShare templates can be defined for dev/test environments based on an ARM definition, making it easy for team members to re-create an environment.

In the basis there is the Azure Resource Manager JSON definition of the environment. Creating an ARM definition can be pretty complex and not something every team member is capable of.

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Within the OneShare portal a template, based on the ARM definition, can be defined specific for the team. When creating the OneShare Resource Group template parameters can be prefilled, made read-only, hide it or give the property a more clear description.

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[create OneShare RG template]

The OneShare RG template abstracts away technical details for the user, which makes the creation of the final needed Resource Group faster. For example, only a username and password is needed to create a complete SharePoint Farm.

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[user view of creating complex dev/test environment, creation progress is shown in the OneShare portal]

OneShare, keep it cheap and live the cloud dream.

A challenge when teams get the power to create environments when they need it, is that they will do it.

Happy with the flexibility but forgetting that the environments costs money.

OneShare supports team members to control the costs by providing an easy configurable scheduling mechanism for Resource Groups and a connected mobile app with geo-fence capabilities.

Not every resource type within Azure has start, stop capabilities. A network can’t be stopped, but stopping a VM is very cost efficient. For sure you easily can destroy and recreate a new Resource Group based on the OneShare template, but sometimes when a test isn’t finished completely it is easier to stop an environment. When you stop a Resource Group via the OneShare portal it will take care to stop all that is stoppable.

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OneShare support with OneDeliver.

To speed up teams and making the usages of Dev/Test environments even more comfortable the Sogeti Cloud support service (OneDeliver) monitors and helps teams based on their needs.

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The OneDeliver service can help from the creation of ARM definitions and resources in Azure till the monitoring of environments. For example, an acceptance test environment. See: www.Sogeti.com/OneShare

 

Conclusion.

Using Azure for your dev/test environments needs is very powerful. Having ARM definitions for provisioning new environments in a consistent fast way will help teams to speed up the delivery of business value. With the OneShare portal teams get a one stop view on their team resources and activities, with easy access to create new environments and configure usages to stay involved and control costs.

To get started there is a OneShare for MSDN O365 add in for ‘classic’ VM’s available. See: Organize, start, stop, schedule (and snooze) Azure VM’s and stay within your Azure MSDN benefit boundary.

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