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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Azure Q & A - ExpressRoute, Hybrid Use Benefit

As I'm more heavily involved in Azure now, I thought I'll post about my learnings from online resources under a dedicated tag - TWILIA - This Week I Learnt in Azure. It will feature annotated bookmarks and paraphrased content I run through each week.

1. Is my data encrypted in transit when I use ExpressRoute?
No

2. Can you have both ASM (classic) and ARM VNets connected to a single ER circuit?
Yes

3. Can I use a single ExpressRoute circuit with multiple subscriptions?
Yes, you can leverage a single ER circuit with as many subscriptions as VNets supported by the ER circuit. The standard ER circuit allows for a maximum of 10 VNets so if you have 1 VNet per subscription you can support 10 subscriptions.

4. Can I use the new VNet peering with ExpressRoute?
Yes. This is very useful feature since it can help to provide support for more than the default 10 VNet limit placed on the standard ExpressRoute circuit by leveraging true meshed VNets via VNet peering.

5. Can I have both ExpressRoute ARM and S2S VPN as a failover connection?
Yes and it is a good best practice for Azure Private peering traffic. The Azure Public peering traffic can failover to a standard Internet link.

6. Are there Egress charges for ExpressRoute?
Yes, if you use the ‘metered plan’ there is an egress cost of about 2 cents per GB. If you use the ‘unlimited plan’ there is not charge for egress. The education Internet egress waiver does not apply to ExpressRoute circuits.

7. Can I customize or bring my own algorithms?
Yes, if the provided list of Microsoft Azure ML algorithms in a cheat sheet here are not ones you would like to leverage you can bring your own.

8. What is the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit?
The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit (HUB) lets you convert or re-use your Windows Server Datacenter and Standard edition licenses covered with Software Assurance, to run Windows Server virtual machines in Azure and pay a lower base compute rate (Linux virtual machine rates).

9. How to take advantage of HUB?
Enterprise Agreement customers can deploy pre-built Azure Hybrid Use Benefit Windows Server images that they can access straight from Azure Marketplace or deploy them using their favorite client tools such as Azure PowerShell, Azure Command Line Interface, or through the Azure SDKs. Customers without Enterprise Agreements can upload custom images and deploy using a Resource Manager template or Azure PowerShell.

10. What is the Azure Compute pre-purchase plan?
The Azure Compute pre-purchase plan offers you discounts up to 63 percent off standard prices on virtual machines in Azure, for an upfront pre-purchase of 12 months of a particular instance (instance family, size, region, and operating system). Customers with steady state or predictable workloads, and who are looking for pricing that reflects their deployment profile, are best suited for the Azure Compute pre-purchase plan

The Enterprise Dev/Test offer provides access to special Dev/Test images in the Gallery, such as Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, which are unavailable in the standard Enterprise offer. Dev/Test Azure offers are the only way to run Windows client in the cloud. The Enterprise Dev/Test offer is not covered by Service Level Agreements.

With Pay-As-You-Go Dev/Test offer, each active Visual Studio subscriber on your team can use the Microsoft software included with their subscription on Azure Virtual Machines for dev/test at no extra charge—you will just pay the Linux rate for VMs you run, even VMs with SQL Server, SharePoint Server or other software that is normally billed at a higher rate. Upload custom virtual machine images yourself or use one of our pre-configured images from the Azure Gallery.

Currently you can only migrate from one region to another. You can fail over VMs from one Azure region to another, but you can't fail them back again.

* Hidden Facts about ExpressRoute
- When you order ExpressRoute it come with redundant circuit by  nature, so you  don’t have to order 2 for redundancy and that’s how Microsoft provides SLA behind it.
- Size of ExpressRoute can range from as small as 50mbps to 10gbps and once circuit is up and running , You can increase the bandwidth of an ExpressRoute circuit without having to tear it down.
- Elasticity of ER bandwidth – basically bandwidth limit is a software defined config the customer controls on the Azure side and the network provider controls on their end.  Changes up or down should take few hours/days, not weeks to provision.
- ExpressRoute Plan can be changed anytime from Metered to Un-metered.

*Azure Site Recovery can protect physical servers, Hyper-V virtual machines, VMWare virtual machines, Amazon EC2 instances, and several other workloads. Replication is fully configurable across 30 second, 5 minute, and 15 minute recovery point objectives.

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