Tags: 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 […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

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 […]

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 →

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 →