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 […]

Read More →

Introducing PowerScale – a community driven Smart Scale alternative!

As you may know, Smart Scale has been discontinued as of 31/05/2019. But – fear not, a community project now provides the same functionality. This project is the brainchild of Leee Jeffries (twitter/blog – well worth a follow/read for anyone working in the EUC space by the way!), and provides a simple to use solution, that provides a great replacement method that can save VM cost in Cloud Environments, with an on-premises control place. PowerScale can carry out the following […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

Smart Home tinkering – Using Stringify, Nest Cameras, and TP-Link Plugs to simulate house activity based on camera detections

First of all – Happy New Year, I hope 2019 is already going great for you! This write up focuses on the use and integration of three things; Nest Cameras, TP-Link Smart Plugs and Lights, and Stringify (a tool that allows the creation of IOT Flows). The combination of all three provides a powerful way to create security routines and outcomes based on various triggers. I should point out, I’m fairly wary of the security implications of IOT devices in general, […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

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 driven by settings and policy, all of which is configurable via the Azure Portal. The key capabilities of Azure Lab […]

Read More →

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 half way around the globe from where your site is hosted, the experience may not be that great… and not […]

Read More →

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 scale to meet your requirements and meet changing traffic demands FQDN filtering – outbound HTTP/S traffic can be filtered on […]

Read More →

Azure VM Scale Sets and Remote Desktop Services?

When using any environment that provides virtual desktops at scale, it makes sense to have only the required number of resources running at the right time – rather than all of the resources all of the time. The usual approach to this is to use power management – so unused virtual machines are shut down when not in use. With Azure we have another potential option designed for large workloads – to use Virtual Machine Scale Sets. This allows us […]

Read More →

Azure Traffic Manager for NetScaler Gateway Failover

Azure Traffic Manager is designed to provide traffic routing to various locations based on a ruleset that you specify. It can be used for priority (failover), weighted distribution, performance, and geographic traffic distribution. The failover option is similar to GSLB – and works in a similar way, so I am going to demonstrate that in this post. I’ve started with the following environment already configured: Two Azure Locations (East US and South Central US), with a VPN between the sites […]

Read More →