Category: Microsoft

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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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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Azure Front Door – Azure Advent Calendar!

Overview This year I have had the pleasure of taking part in the Azure Advent Calendar, a community driven event that runs throughout December 2019. The calendar is brought to us by MVPs, Gregor Suttie and Richard Hooper. A huge shout out to Anthony Mashford for letting me know about it too! The idea is simple – each day throughout December a series of Blog Posts and Videos about different Azure topics are released, by people who work with these […]

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Microsoft Flow, Microsoft Forms and Azure AD – what can we do?

Recently, I have been playing around more and more with Microsoft Flow – which is a tool designed to Automate processes and tasks. In a previous post I used a tool called Stringify to automate a number of Smart Home actions. Microsoft Flow provides a similar environment and allows integration between processes and tasks. I was impressed from the first time I played with Microsoft Flow at how powerful the tool could be – and immediately set to work creating […]

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Azure Storage Sync – the easiest branch office file sync solution?

Azure Storage Sync provides the means to synchronise files from various locations into an Azure Storage account and to endpoints running the Azure Storage Sync agent. In this post I will give a quick overview of how it can be setup to service branch office requirements whereby VPN connectivity does not exist. For further information see here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/files/storage-sync-files-planning. Here’s my environment which I will be testing with: Both of my “Branch offices” are actually VMs running on my home lab – but on isolated […]

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