Ansible and Azure – 30 minute quickstart!

Recently I’ve been introduced to Ansible, and have therefore been seeing what I can automate with it. I know that when testing things out and learning new things if there are challenges I have faced, or issues getting a test environment setup, having the setup stage automated can really help out. This means you can focus on learning the basics of operation, and then go from there. So this post is exactly that – a quick lab environment that gets […]

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Exploring Azure Bicep

Recently I have been exploring Azure Bicep and the benefits it provides. Azure Bicep is a Domain Specific Language that allows the rapid creation of ARM Templates, in an easier manner. I’ve previously found ARM templates challenging, especially with the complexity that can arrive with deployment at scale. Bicep aims to improve this, providing a simpler way of authoring templates, with additional benefits like dependency resolution, and flexibility in where we declare parameters, variables, and resources. Getting Started: To install […]

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UK Windows Virtual Desktop User Group – Landing Zones and Enterprise Scale considerations for WVD

This week I presented at the UK Windows Virtual Desktop User Group February Meeting. My presentation focused on Landing Zones (and their importance) and considerations around Scale for Windows Virtual Desktop. Thanks to Neil and Kirk for organising the meetup! My slides are available here.

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Introducing my Terraform Azure base Lab Environments

Recently I have been working more and more with Terraform – and seeing the benefits to what I can do in a short space of time within Azure, using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) methodologies. I’m now using Terraform for all my Azure lab needs – it’s so fast and easy to deploy just what I need, and tweak from there or test new features/requirements out. The speed and ease of deployment means I often spin up a brand new lab […]

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Automating Azure Key Vault and Secrets using Terraform

One area that always need focus is around security and managing credentials. Using Terraform, and the method in this blog post, you can help build Azure Key Vault and create a secure secret to use when creating VMs, automatically. To keep things secure, my method uses a combination of randomised password values, and Azure Key Vault. This post explains how to automate the creation of both of these, and use the Secret when setting up a Virtual Machine. This code […]

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Automating NSG rules with an external IP in Terraform

For some time, I have been using Terraform to create environments – and it’s something I rely on heavily for my own Azure lab environment. My lab is an ever changing picture – and thus I regularly create and destroy resources and environments, to test new things. I usually just run Terraform locally and have it spin up specific lab environments as and when I need them. One thing I often do to make my lab environments easy to access […]

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Enterprise Scale considerations for Windows Virtual Desktop

In my previous post I talked about Landing Zones and why they are an essential part of the Cloud Adoption Framework. Following on from that post, I wanted to elaborate on some of the considerations around Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) in particular. WVD brings with it several unique elements that benefit from additional consideration and planning – particularly when designing for Enterprise Scale. A pragmatic way of looking at this, is that if you are considering Windows Virtual Desktop, it […]

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Why you need an Azure Landing Zone

A defined and structured Landing Zone is key component of the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework. But what exactly is a Landing Zone, and why is using one important? I’ll try and provide an overview and give some specific examples of the Design Areas, as well an overview of options around enterprise scale in this post. What is a Landing Zone? A Landing Zone is a method of achieving scalable and modular growth within Microsoft Azure. A Landing Zone does this by providing common design […]

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Azure Automanage Preview

Hello! In this post I’ll be covering an overview of the Azure Automanage Preview – and giving an overview of how it can be used to simplify management, achieve best practice, and provide automation of Virtual Machines in a few quick steps. What is Azure Automanage? Azure Automanage is a service that removes the need to “discover, know how to onboard, and how to configure certain services in Azure that would benefit your virtual machine.” (Microsoft Docs – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/azure/automanage/automanage-virtual-machines) Essentially […]

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Creating a secure Home/Guest/IOT Wifi environment with Ubiquiti

As many of my friends and colleagues will know, I am a big fan of Smart Home/IOT technology – plugs, lights, sensors, cameras… I like automating things around the house – partly for security reasons, partly for reasons of making my life easier, but mostly because I enjoy working with technology! 🙂 However, I am well aware of the security implications of Smart Technology – and in particular the risks associated with placing devices onto a home network, where devices […]

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