Azure Building Blocks – The Forgotten IaC Tool

Whilst researching Infrastructure as Code alternatives to Azure Resource Manager templates I stumbled across the Azure Building Blocks (AZBB) tool. It’s not widely adopted and you’ll see why later on this in blog.

Because I’m not keen on authoring large JSON files (aka ARM templates) for IaC I’m going to put Azure Building Blocks to the test with a simple Hub & Spoke VNET deployment. Later on I’ll also demonstrate the same deployment using an AzureCLI script – my current preferred alternative to ARM Templates – so you’ll see the differences.… [Keep reading] “Azure Building Blocks – The Forgotten IaC Tool”


My experience at Microsoft Containers OpenHack featuring Kubernetes challenges

Azure consultants are constantly looking to expand our scope of expertise and aligning to this I’ve recently attended a Microsoft Containers OpenHack in Sydney. This event was a huge success for me and a rapid introduction to Kubernetes (K8s) and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) through a series of challenges over 3 days.

OpenHack Logo

Microsoft OpenHack is a developer-focused engagement where a wide variety of participants (Open) learn through hands-on experimentation (Hack) using challenges based on real-world customer scenarios designed to mimic the developer journey – Source: Microsoft

My experience at OpenHack

About 80 attendees were split up between the 20 tables in the room.… [Keep reading] “My experience at Microsoft Containers OpenHack featuring Kubernetes challenges”

Your 2020 Study Guide to Azure DevOps Solutions (AZ-400)

With Microsoft announcing sweeping changes to a few Azure exams later in March 2020 the time is ripe to blog about an exam I’ve had my eye on for a while: Azure DevOps Solutions (AZ-400). This is an advanced exam that targets professionals familiar with Azure administration and Azure development. I can see this exam providing value to engineers, consultants, and architects who are driving for increased adoption of Agile practices and Infrastructure as Code.

After doing a few of these exams over the years you’ll find a rhythm that works for you.… [Keep reading] “Your 2020 Study Guide to Azure DevOps Solutions (AZ-400)”

Sending and Querying Custom Log Data to Azure Monitor Logs

Recently for a customer engagement we had the requirement to take log data from a 3rd party application and ingest it into Azure Log Analytics to make the data available in Azure Monitor. Sending Custom Log Data to Azure Monitor Logs is currently in Public Preview. This Microsoft article provides an overview of the capability.

In addition to the standard tiers of an application, you may need to monitor other resources that have telemetry that can’t be collected with the other data sources.[Keep reading] “Sending and Querying Custom Log Data to Azure Monitor Logs”

0.09 ms latency using Azure Proximity Placement Groups

Reducing network latency for critical apps running on Azure IaaS has become easier since Microsoft’s announcement of General Availability for Proximity Placement Groups (PPG) on Dec 2019.

Today I’ll give you a quick intro to Proximity Placement Groups demonstrating how to deploy a test environment into your Azure Subscription using one of my favourite tools AzureCLI. I’ll also test network latency with a PPG and without to show you the difference.

If you’re undecided about using AzureCLI or ARM templates for your Azure deployments have a look @ Pascal Naber’s post

[Keep reading] “0.09 ms latency using Azure Proximity Placement Groups”

Azure Backup PowerShell removal of backup protection of a Azure VM

Originally posted on Lucian.Blog. Follow Lucian on Twitter: @LucianFrango.

I’ve been looking at Azure Backup and migrating some Windows VM’s from one Recovery Services Vault to another. This is mainly because I’ve taken a look at some production deployed VM’s and found they were aligned to the reference architecture Disaster Recovery and Backup policies. Long story short, 6 VM’s needed to be moved to maintain consistency.

Things get interesting in that my previous level of access at a customer has changed and I’m time poor, so I thought I’d use PowerShell to achieve this faster.… [Keep reading] “Azure Backup PowerShell removal of backup protection of a Azure VM”

Azure Front Door with WAF Policies – An overview

If you have been working with Azure Infrastructure services, then you would have come across Core Network offerings such as Azure Traffic manager, Azure Load balancers & Application Gateways. These network services provide solutions for applications that require high availability, security & scalability, but they also come with their own limitations.  One such limitation is that they primarily exist in single regions (regional services). Azure Traffic manager for instance, which works at the DNS level for cross region support, cannot perform path-based routing and the failover time is based on TTL of the DNS record.… [Keep reading] “Azure Front Door with WAF Policies – An overview”

Automating Azure Instrumentation and Monitoring – Part 5: Log Alerts

In the previous part of this series, we looked at the basic structure of Azure Monitor alerts, and then specifically at metric alerts. In this part we will consider other types of alert that Azure Monitor can emit. We will first discuss application log alerts – sometimes simply called log alerts – which let us be notified about important data emitted into our application logs. Next we will discuss activity log alerts, which notify us when events happen within Azure itself.… [Keep reading] “Automating Azure Instrumentation and Monitoring – Part 5: Log Alerts”

Microsoft Teams and IOT controled Robotics — The IOT device

This is the third installment of a four part series on using Microsoft Teams and Azure services to collaborate with machines and devices. In the previous posts, I described how Teams and the Azure BOT services work to send commands to the IoT device attached to the RoboRaptor. This post will describe the IoT hardware and connection on the RoboRaptor to the MXCHIP.

To recap, Teams messages are sent from the Teams user interface to our Azure BOT for analysis.… [Keep reading] “Microsoft Teams and IOT controled Robotics — The IOT device”

Plugging the Gaps in Azure Policy – Part Two


Welcome to the second and final part of my blogs on how to plug some gaps in Azure Policy. If you missed part one, this second part isn’t going to be a lot of use without the context from that, so maybe head on back and read part one before you continue.

In part one, I gave an overview of Azure Policy, a basic idea of how it works, what the gap in the product is in terms of resource evaluation, and a high-level view of how we plug that gap.… [Keep reading] “Plugging the Gaps in Azure Policy – Part Two”