Access Azure linked templates from a private repository

I recently was tasked to propose a way to use linked templates, especially how to refer to templates stored in a private repository.  The Azure Resource Manager (ARM) engine accepts a URI to access and deploy linked templates, hence the URI must be accessible by ARM.  If you store your templates in a public repository, ARM can access them fine, but what if you use a private repository?  This post will show you how.

In this example, I use Bitbucket – a Git-based source control product by Atlassian.  … [Keep reading] “Access Azure linked templates from a private repository”

WORKAROUND / FIX: Login to Azure with certificate as Service Principal

This blog post describes my recent experience with an Azure AD service principal authentication with a certificate. The process is well documented and seemed quite straightforward, however this was not my experience.

The issue

I was able to successfully follow the process to setup Azure AD service principal until the step where I granted the service principal with a role (using PS cmdlets). When I tried to login as the service principal, I encountered the issue below.… [Keep reading] “WORKAROUND / FIX: Login to Azure with certificate as Service Principal”

Break down your templates with Linked Templates (Part 2)

Continued from part 1

The 2nd part of the series will describe how we construct Azure Resource Manager linked templates.

Quick Recap

In the first part, we set up the first template which deploys the storage, virtual network, and subnets. This will be our “master” template where we will link all our related templates.


Linked templates.png

  • 1st template: master template – we will modify this template slightly to capture parameters and the linked templates
  • 2nd template: two web servers (IIS) – this is a new template
  • 3rd template: DB server (MySQL) – a new template

We will use the Azure quickstart templates on GitHub as the basis for the second and third templates.… [Keep reading] “Break down your templates with Linked Templates (Part 2)”

Break down your templates with Linked Templates (Part 1)

Templated deployment is one of the key value propositions of moving from the Azure classic to Resource Manager (ARM) deployment model.  This is probably one key feature that made a big stride towards Infrastructure as a Code (IAC).  Personally, I have been looking forward to this feature since it’s a prominent feature on the other competing platform.

Now that this feature is live for a while, one aspect which I found interesting is the ability to link templates in Azure Resource Manager. … [Keep reading] “Break down your templates with Linked Templates (Part 1)”

Create AWS CloudFormation Templates with Visual Studio


AWS CloudFormation is a wonderful service for automating your AWS builds – my colleagues have done a number of detailed walk-throughs in other blog posts.

AWS also provides a toolkit for Visual Studio as an extension of the IDE.  To get started, configure the extension with your AWS IAM Access Key ID and Secret Key and you will be able to use the new AWS explorer pane to explore all AWS services such as VPC, EC2, RDS, etc.… [Keep reading] “Create AWS CloudFormation Templates with Visual Studio”

Remote desktop client randomly unable connect to the RDS farm

Recently I ran into a problem with an existing Remote Desktop Services 2012 R2 at a client site. The error occurred intermittently and after a number of retries, client could establish connection normally making the issue not always reproducible.  This blog summarises the process of identifying the symptoms, possible causes, and the resolution steps.

Some Background

The RDS farm consisted of two connection broker servers and two session hosts.  The Remote Desktop Connection Broker is configured in HA mode using two DNS records pointing to two broker nodes for round robin. … [Keep reading] “Remote desktop client randomly unable connect to the RDS farm”

Easily connect to your AWS VPC via VPN

This blog post will explain the process for setting up a client to site connectivity on AWS. This allows you to connect to your AWS resources from anywhere using a VPN client. There are several ways to do this but this post shows you one of the quickest ways to do it using a pre-built community image by OpenVPN available in AWS.

AWS Marketplace

AWS Marketplace is a great place to find any pre-built solutions created by AWS ISV’s or enthusiasts for a wider community benefit.… [Keep reading] “Easily connect to your AWS VPC via VPN”

ELBs do not cater for your environment? Set up HAProxy for your IIS servers

Recently we encountered a scenario where we needed to look for an alternative for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) due to an existing IIS configuration used in an organisation.  We found that HAProxy was the best candidate in terms of simplicity & the suitability for scenario we were addressing.

This post will show you how you can leverage HAProxy to load balance IIS web servers hosted in AWS EC2 and explain briefly why HAProxy is best suited to address our scenario.… [Keep reading] “ELBs do not cater for your environment? Set up HAProxy for your IIS servers”

Australian IaaS players – a comparison

UPDATE (21/05/13) : Azure announced their plans to expand to the Australian shore yesterday. This blog was updated to include the key changes.

UPDATE (22/10/13) : Updated workload size specification in the IaaS specification comparison table.

There are many blogs comparing the major IaaS providers – however this post focuses more on the Australian market IaaS providers. Organisations of all sizes have begun adopting or investigating Cloud computing making it essential for decision makers to look into what they offer.[Keep reading] “Australian IaaS players – a comparison”