An open-source initiative needed a solution to add Azure IaaS support for their existing cross-cloud library to support bioinformatic research.

Genomics Virtual Laboratory provides cloud-based analysis tools that help in genomics research. As a part of this tool suite, they created an open-source Python library called CloudBridge that provides a uniform and extensible API layer for supporting multiple clouds. The library supported only AWS and Open Stack. AIS was approached to provide Microsoft Azure support to the library with limited changes to their existing interfaces.

Challenges: With all the cloud providers having their own proprietary vendor APIs/approach (and not having common standards remains an issue in this modern era of cloud usage), it is becoming more common nowadays to utilize multiple cloud providers to support application deployments, and it is left to developers to author (ex: conditional code) the different infrastructure deployments and testing to support each of the providers.

In order mitigate the mentioned issues, CloudBridge came with a simple consistent interface depicted below.

Solution: Azure Python SDK was used to interface with Azure, and the necessary to and fro mapping to the CloudBridge and Azure models was done in the resource layer. The high-level architecture is depicted in the image below.

The API revolves around three concepts: (1) providers; (2) services; and (3) resources. The providers encapsulate connection properties for a given cloud provider and manages the required connection. Services expose the IaaS provider functionality, offering the ability to create, query and manipulate resources (e.g., images, instance types, key pairs, etc.). Resources represent a remote cloud resource, such as an individual machine instance (Instance) or a security group (Security Group). (Read more here.)

Technologies/Tools

  • Jet brains Pycharm community version
  • Azure Python SDK
  • Python 3.6 and 2.7

 

AIS is proud to announce we’ve officially joined the Microsoft FastTrack for Azure program! Microsoft FastTrack for Azure provides direct assistance from Microsoft and a Microsoft partner to help customers build their desired cloud-based solutions with maximum speed and confidence. AIS will work side-by-side with Microsoft engineers to guide our mutual customers from setup, configuration, and development to production, focusing on the following Azure solutions:

  • Development and test
  • Backup and archive
  • Disaster recovery
  • Line of business applications (database migration, app modernization, app “lift and shift”)

The FastTrack program will guide you through the three key phases of a successful cloud journey: Envisioning, onboarding, and deployment to quickly realize the business benefits of moving to Azure. It’s a process we here at AIS know very well, so we’re looking forward to helping even more customers take their first steps into the cloud.

Ready to get started?

FastTrack for Azure is available to select Azure customers in the United States, Canada and Australia. You can find out more here or contact us for more information.

 

 

Previously in another blog post, I laid out a quick summary of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) in Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS). Today we’re going to expand a bit on those DevOps processes to better suit your (or your clients’!) needs.

With CI and CD, a build agent is required—that is, a place where your code is sent to be compiled and then subsequently deployed. By default, VSTS gives you the option to use a hosted agent. This is an entirely a cloud solution; you can just choose one of the hosted agents to build and deploy your code and you’re all set. But there are a couple of drawbacks with this…

Read More…

Recently we collaborated with Microsoft and Prospect Silicon Valley (ProspectSV) on a project to assess the viability and value of several Azure services. Specifically, we were asked to demonstrate how the cloud-based platform could be used to retrieve, store, visualize and predict trends based on data from multiple sources. In order to demonstrate these capabilities, we built an ASP.NET MVC application leveraging the following Azure components:

  • Azure App Services
  • Azure Machine Learning
  • Azure Power BI Embedded
  • Azure Storage

Figure 1: ProspectSV Application Architecture depicts how the system uses these four Azure components. This diagram also describes which external data sources are used and where that data is stored.
Read More…

It’s no secret that cloud computing empowers organizations to deliver better government. While cloud adoption is still in its early stages, how to take advantage of these new technologies is already at the forefront of every government IT department.

This month’s #AzureGov Meetup was content packed and highly interactive, with the following speakers and presentations:

82 Days: How SBA Went from Cloud Launch to ATO in Less Than 3 Months
Guy Cavallo, deputy CIO of the Small Business Administration @guycavallo

Emerging Tech: How Blockchain is a Powerful Tool for Government
Susie Adams, CTO, Microsoft Federal @AdamsSusie

Red Pill or Blue Pill? Hybrid Cloud, Multi-Cloud, or Both?
Colin Stevenson, Senior Manager, Pivotal @cwsteve

(FULL presentation videos are now available on the Microsoft Azure Government Meetup’s YouTube channel! Check them out here.)

Don’t miss next month’s Meetup! These events are FREE and open to the public. Great food and beverages are provided, along with ample networking time. RSVP online for the August 30th event! If you can’t make it, be sure to follow @aisteam on Twitter for photos, videos and other insights throughout the night.

At the Microsoft BUILD 2017 Day One keynote, Harry Shum announced the ability to customize the vision API. In the past, the cognitive vision API came with a pre-trained model. That meant that as a user, you could upload a picture and have the pre-trained model analyze it. You can expect to have your image classified based on the 2,000+ (and constantly growing) categories that the model is trained on. You can also get information such as tags based on the image, detect human faces, recognize hand-written text inside the image, etc.

But what if you wanted to work with images pertinent to your specific business domain? And what if those images fall outside of the 2,000 pre-trained categories? This is where the custom vision API comes in. With the custom vision API, you can train the model on your own images in just four steps: Read More…

It’s another great day at Microsoft Inspire at the D.C. Convention Center! Lots of great sessions and keynotes are coming up today, but here’s a glimpse of some of the sights and sounds from yesterday! Read More…

It’s another great day at Microsoft Inspire at the D.C. Convention Center! Lots of great sessions and keynotes are coming up today, but here’s a glimpse of some of the sights and sounds from yesterday! Read More…

Members of the @aisteam are attending Microsoft Inspire in Washington, D.C. this week! More than 16,000 Microsoft Partners from around the globe have come together for a week of networking and learning. The theme for day one at #MSInspire was all about empowerment: How we can use the Microsoft mission to empower every person and every organization to achieve more.

We’ll be posting some more in-depth blogs about the keynotes and other highlights soon, but for now, please enjoy some videos and photos from yesterday. As always, please follow @aisteam on Twitter for live updates from this amazing event!