Use Azure AD Apps to connect with Office 365 and Cloud Services securely

Azure AD apps provide a faster and secure way to connect to the Office 365 tenancy and carry out automation tasks. There are many advantages of using Azure AD apps and could be used to authenticate for various Microsoft services such as Graph, Office 365 Management Api, SharePoint etc.

In this blog, we will look at the steps to set up an Azure AD app for Office 365 Management API, however the steps are mostly the same for other Office 365 services too.… [Keep reading] “Use Azure AD Apps to connect with Office 365 and Cloud Services securely”

Retrieve Office 365 Audit logs using PowerShell and store in Azure table for quick retrieval

To create custom reports for Office 365 events, we could use the Audit logs from Security and Compliance center. The process is quite simple and could be implemented easily using PowerShell. In this blog, we will look at the steps for the same.

Later we will also see how we could store this data in a Azure Storage Table, so it is easy to fetch the data available.

Steps to fetch data from Office 365 Audit log using Exchange Online PowerShell

The first step in the process is to import the commands from Exchange online PowerShell.… [Keep reading] “Retrieve Office 365 Audit logs using PowerShell and store in Azure table for quick retrieval”

Overcoming Issues Installing Azure Active Directory Connect

AzureADConnect

Having recently gone through the process of implementing a custom AADConnect staging installation for a large enterprise customer with more than 30,000 users, with a view to it serving as a fall back to an existing production AADConnect installation.

The requirement being to setup an Azure virtual machine running Windows 2016 Datacentre, AADConnect and SQL Server Standard 2017 (locally installed). Rather than SQL Express which comes by default but suffers limitations which preclude its use in large environments.… [Keep reading] “Overcoming Issues Installing Azure Active Directory Connect”

Dependency Injection In Azure Functions V2

With the Azure Functions v2 runtime, supporting .NET Core it has become easier to do dependency injection. It can be done in a similar way that ASP.NET Core does via Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection.

ASP.NET Core encourages the use of dependency injection by the built-in DI container. This feature of ASP.NET Core is very handy as many extensions such as logging and configuration via IOptions pattern are registered using during startup in Startup.cs. ASP.NET Core registers these services, along with any custom services you need using the built-in DI container via IServiceCollection.… [Keep reading] “Dependency Injection In Azure Functions V2”

Set up Accounts and secure passwords to run automation workloads in Azure Functions

In some of my previous blogs here, we have seen how we could use Azure Functions to to automate processes and SharePoint workloads.

Most of these jobs run using elevated or stored privileged accounts as the Azure Function is in a different context than the user context. There are various ways we could setup these accounts. Some of these approaches are below:

  1. Azure AD Service Accounts
    • Suitable for all operations
    • Need access to resource
    • Reusable across multiple workloads
  2. Azure AD Apps
    • Suitable for Graph Access
    • Need exact permissions set up
    • Might need Tenant Admin authentication
  3. SharePoint App Accounts
    • Suitable for SharePoint workloads.
[Keep reading] “Set up Accounts and secure passwords to run automation workloads in Azure Functions”

Microsoft Azure Consumption Insights with Power BI

In a recent engagement I was tasked to assess the Azure consumption for a customer, they have been exceeding their forecasted budget for last several months. In a short timeframe I had to make sense out of the recon files provided via the Azure Enterprise Portal and present that in a decision-making format that is business understandable and easy to consume. To understand and optimise the cost, it is important to identify and understand where the cost originated, i.e.… [Keep reading] “Microsoft Azure Consumption Insights with Power BI”

Processing Azure Event Grid events across Azure subscriptions

Consider a scenario where you need to listen to Azure resource events happening in one Azure subscription from another Azure subscription. A use case for such a scenario can be when you are developing a solution where you listen to events happening in your customers’ Azure subscriptions, and then you need to handle those events from an Azure Function or Logic App running in your subscription.
A solution for such a scenario could be:
1. Create an Azure Function in your subscription that will handle Azure resource events received from Azure Event Grid.… [Keep reading] “Processing Azure Event Grid events across Azure subscriptions”

Hub-Spoke communication using vNet Peering and User Defined Routes

Introduction

Recently, I was working on a solution for a customer where they wanted to implement a Hub-Spoke virtual network topology that enabled the HUB to communicate with its Spoke networks via vNet Peering. They also required the SPOKE networks to be able to communicate with each other but peering between them was NOT allowed.
Drawing1
As we know, vNet peering is Non-Transitive – which means, even though SPOKE 1 is peered with the HUB network and the HUB is peered with SPOKE 2, this does not enable automatic communication between SPOKE 1 and SPOKE 2 unless they are exclusively peered which in our requirement we were not allowed to do.… [Keep reading] “Hub-Spoke communication using vNet Peering and User Defined Routes”

Why is the Azure Load Balancer NOT working?

Context

For most workloads that I’ve deployed in Azure that have required load balancing, for the Azure Load Balancer (ALB) used in those architectures, the out of the box experience or the default configuration was used. The load balancer service is great like that, whereby for the majority of scenarios it just works out of the box. I’m sure this isn’t an Azure only experience either. The other public cloud providers have a great out of the box load balancing service that would work with just about any service without in depth configuration.… [Keep reading] “Why is the Azure Load Balancer NOT working?”

Querying against an Azure SQL Database using Azure Automation Part 1

What if you wanted to leverage Azure automation to analyse database entries and send some statistics or even reports on a daily or weekly basis?
Well why would you want to do that?

  • On demand compute:
    • You may not have access to a physical server. Or your computer isn’t powerful enough to handle huge data processing. Or you would definitely do not want to wait in the office for the task to complete before leaving on a Friday evening.
[Keep reading] “Querying against an Azure SQL Database using Azure Automation Part 1”