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Windows Azure administration: Useful resources

Here are some useful links for Windows Azure administrators

Windows Azure service dashboard: 

http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/support/service-dashboard/

This dashboard gives a general overview of the Azure services across the world. You will get a region wise status of various service offerings , say Compute, Storage, Active directory etc. If Microsoft has detected any issues with any of its datacenters you will find it here. The data is refreshed every 10 mins. Also there is an option to view the historic data as well. This would be one of the first places to check if you feel that Azure is not behaving as expected.

Azure powershell cmdlet reference:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/jj554330.aspx


If you are an automation enthusiast and would like to automate your Azure management chores, Azure powershell cmdlets opens a world of opportunities. Of  course you need to install them first. Please refer my blogpost here for getting started. The link above provides you the complete powershell cmdlet reference for Azure.

Azure guest OS Releases :

http://sxp.microsoft.com/feeds/3.0/msdntn/WindowsAzureOSUpdates

If we use PAAS from Azure, Microsoft will take care of the guest OS update procedure(is if you set the oS system version as automatic) . Guest OS update is similar to the monthly patch update on your on premises computers. What if you suspect that something is broken because of a recent OS update? The above RSS feed provides you a brief of what all went into the  latest OS update of Azure.

Azure SDK compatibility matrix & guest OS families:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee924680.aspx

This link provides comprehensive details of the Azure SDK versions and the guest OS families in Azure that they are compatible with. Additionally it provides information on the latest OS familly versions, when they will expire etc.

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