Marco Obinu

Information & Communications Technology

Azure Microsoft Azure Azure IaaS Azure Functions Azure BCDR Azure Security Azure SQL Server Azure SQL Database Azure PaaS sql server Azure SQL Managed Instance Infrastructure as Code

Arenzano, Liguria, Italy

Marco Obinu

Azure MVP, Advisory Engineer @ Softjam S.p.A, Geek to the bone

Curious by nature, talkative geek who can speak in front of a public or a camera, in love with technology, especially Azure and SQL Server.
I want to understand how things work and to solve problems by myself during work as in my many hobbies.

Current sessions

Myth-busting Azure SQL VMs

Often, during lift & shift migrations, customers ask me to move their SQL Server workloads to Azure VMs.
I love Azure VMs in all their aspects, but in a whole lot of scenarios, Azure SQL Database in one of its different flavors can make the difference.
When are you supposed to deploy a VM, and when should you embrace the PaaS way?
In this session, we will discuss the key aspects you should consider to perform a conscious design choice, and explore the common misconceptions about Azure IaaS and PaaS when talking about SQL Server performance, high availability, security, licensing, and costs.


IaaS vs PaaS: myth-busting Azure SQL VMs

I've participated in several migrations between on-premises data centers and Azure, where SQL Server workloads had a significant impact on the overall picture.
Customers often ask me for VM-based SQL Server deployment: they seem to be more comfortable with them for various reasons. I love Azure VMs, but I recognize they can bring complexity in the architecture. At the same time, the PaaS approach, based on Azure SQL Database in its different flavors, can keep things incredibly simple.
Like Myth Busters, let's go through different aspects like performance, availability, security, manageability, and costs to discuss whether an Azure SQL VM is the right target for your migration, or you should evaluate Azure SQL PaaS services.


IaC on Azure: show your Bicep!

ARM Templates are the native IaC solution for Azure deployments. They have a great potential, but their JSON can be difficult to read and maintain.

Bicep is the new open-source Domain Specific Language, created by the same team that maintains ARM Templates, that aims to reduce the JSON complexities.

It's a newly-created language, and it has to grow a lot to become production-ready, but it's very promising.

What can we already convert from JSON, and what is still missing in this initial phase? What's the benefit in doing this?
Let's discuss how we can migrate our ARM Template know-how to Bicep.


Azure VM 101

Anche se il punto di arrivo di una migrazione verso Azure dovrebbe tendere il più possibile all'utilizzo di servizi gestiti, le VM in IaaS hanno spesso un ruolo fondamentale all'interno delle nostre architetture. Data la loro importanza, vediamo insieme quali sono i criteri che determinano dimensionamento e disponibilità delle macchine, e qualche suggerimento per contenere i costi della nostra infrastruttura.


What's new on Azure IaaS for SQL Server

SQL Server VMs are more alive than ever. They're still the cornerstone that may drive our Azure migrations to success in complex scenarios, thanks to their customizability. On the other hand, configuring and managing an articulated IaaS architecture can be challenging.
The latest additions to the SQL Server VMs world on Azure IaaS can reduce the effort you have to sustain while designing and administering your solution.
What are the current best practices you have to follow to deploy a performant and highly available SQL Server system on Azure IaaS? Are there any new VM series you can leverage to maximize the performance? What about shared storage for our clusters? What is the SQL VM resource provider, and how could it help us?
In this session, we'll discuss all the topics above, including some hints about how to automate various configurations.


Azure and SQL Server: Distaster Recovery for everyone!

Thanks to Azure, you can easily design Disaster Recovery solutions that are affordable also for small and medium-sized companies, leveraging on several Microsoft technologies. During this session, we'll discuss all the possibilities, with a particular focus on Always On Availability Groups. We'll also see how easy it is to extend an existing failover cluster to Azure with Availability Groups, thanks to PowerShell.


SQL Server: journey to the cloud

SQL Server proposition on Azure cloud is full of options: we can create a SQL Server VM, as well as we can take advantage of PaaS benefit by using Azure SQL Database in different flavours and tiers.
Let's have a quick overview of different implementation, talking about single or pooled DBs, managed instances, hyperscale and so on, and how to migrate our on-prem DBs to Azure.


Deploy and manage your SQL Server instances with PowerShell!

When you have to deploy and manage several SQL Server instances, it's difficult to maintain an homogeneous approach between them, applying settings in a constant way: misalignments are just around the corner!
Let's see togheter how to mitigate this problem with PowerShell, thanks to apposite modules that can help us both in delivery and operations tematics.


SQL Server HA solutions for Azure IaaS

If you're deploying a SQL Server VM on Azure into your production environment, you'll probably need to build an high availability solution to minimize downtime for your application.
In the past it was a goal achievable only by using SQL Server Enterprise edition and Availability Groups; now, with Basic Availability Groups or hyperconverged failover cluster, it's possible to implement it also on Standard edition.
Let's see together all the options we have!


Serverless automation with Azure Function and PowerShell

PowerShell support in Azure Function allows ITPros to implement automation tasks in a scripting language they're familiar with.
Let's see together how to move the first steps in this new world, having a look at the instruments we need to use and to some real-world use cases.


Automate the creation of Azure Resources with ARM Templates and PowerShell

On Azure, you can create resources via JSON templates, that allow you to standardize and quickly deploy your environments. In this session, we'll see an overview of their potential, and how we can extend their capabilities with Custom Script and PowerShell Desired Configuration extensions.


SQL Server Lift & Shift on Azure!

You (or your customer) have finally decided to adopt Azure as a public cloud provider, and for some reason, you have to migrate your SQL Server workloads quickly. You've heard about lift & shift migrations, but you're not sure if this approach is the right one for you.
Do you need a quick and dirty migration to IaaS VMs, or should you spend some more effort to embrace PaaS services? Should you move all the databases to the same target instance, or should you use a different approach for each one? What about networking, security, and costs?
Let's talk about all these drivers, which usually lead us during our migration journey, with a particular focus on the assessment phase that, in my experience, may transform a trivial rehosting into a database modernization project.