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, […]

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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!

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Azure Lab Services – creating an effective and reliable testing environment

Azure Lab Services (formerly DevTest Labs) is designed to allow for the rapid creation of Virtual Machines for testing environments. A variety of purposes and use cases can be serviced using DevTest Labs, for example, Development Teams, Classrooms, and various Testing environments. The basic idea is that the owner of the Lab creates VMs or provides a means to create VMs, which are […]

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Azure CDN – Speeding up WordPress on Azure App Service and proving the results

It’s probably no secret that half of the IT blogs out there are running on WordPress or a similar Platform. WordPress is easy to use, simple, and requires little maintenance to run – what’s not to love?! As with any Website – it doesn’t matter how good the back-end code or server hosting the site is, if your user is […]

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Testing out the Azure Firewall Preview

Azure Firewall was released for preview this week, so I thought I would give it a quick try and look at some of the features available. The firewall provides the following features at the current time: Built-in high availability – built into the Azure Platform, so no requirement to create load balanced configurations Unrestricted cloud scalability – the firewall can […]

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