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Migrating SQL Server 2008 databases to Azure SQL

“This is a quick one”, I thought. A customer asked me to have a look at their old CRM environment, that was running in a local physical server in their datacenter. The plan was to decommission the server, but rescue the CRM database. I knew I could lift-and-shift the database or databases to Azure SQL quite easily. This post walks through my experience and some of the challenges I encountered. Provisioning Azure SQL I received the source database as a traditional SQL Server backup, a .BAK file. It was compressed but still considerable big at 11,6 GB. I provisioned a… Read MoreMigrating SQL Server 2008 databases to Azure SQL »
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Building a secure remote access solution for Azure-based virtual machines using Azure AD and Windows Admin Center

I’ve had some fun times lately with Azure. It seems there really is a second wave of adoption for cloud-based infrastructure and services from organizations. This is especially true in the Nordics, where Azure is commonly accepted as a trusted option for datacenters and PaaS services. This post stemmed from the idea of figuring out what options do we have for accessing and managing virtual machines remotely, while enforcing a secure approach. Ideally, we’d like to secure authentication with Azure AD, and optionally enforce Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – especially for guest users. Business problem I needed to set up a… Read MoreBuilding a secure remote access solution for Azure-based virtual machines using Azure AD and Windows Admin Center »
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An adventure in containers and command-line tools: Running MongoDB in Azure

I’ve used a Synology NAS solution at home since 2012. It’s simply great – very affordable, runs everything I need and has consistently given me uptimes of 60-90 days (I reboot it mostly to patch things up). In 2015 my Synology model (a DS412+) received an upgrade enabling it to run something called Docker containers. I’d read by then about Docker, and containers of course. It reminded me of 1996 or 1997, when VPN as a technology started to become a reality for early adopters. It was new, a bit weird and hard to understand at first. I’m proud to… Read MoreAn adventure in containers and command-line tools: Running MongoDB in Azure »
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The comprehensive licensing guide to Microsoft Flow and PowerApps

[Last update: Jan 31st, 2019: I’ve updated bits and pieces with additional details and clarification – I’ve marked those with a timestamp in the guide] In 2006 I applied to work at Microsoft, in their Dublin, Ireland office. I was offered a job and moved immediately to Ireland from Finland. On my first day I was handed a respectable pile of paper by my manager with links to all the internal and external tools I’d be needing in my job. On the last page someone had scribbled: “NEVER discuss licensing unless LCA is involved!” For those not versed in the… Read MoreThe comprehensive licensing guide to Microsoft Flow and PowerApps »

Automation made easy: Using Microsoft Visio to create Flows

One of the most anticipated features since September for me has been the ability to use Microsoft Visio to plan and create Flows. This capability is now in public preview, and part Visio. What follows is a walkthrough of my first Flow that I created with Visio. Requirements You will need the following to be able to follow up on this walkthrough: A working Office 365 tenant – if you don’t have one, provision one for free here A user account with permissions for creating Flows at https://flow.microsoft.com Visio Online Plan 2 license – if you don’t have one, continue… Read MoreAutomation made easy: Using Microsoft Visio to create Flows »

I want to become a carpenter – and here’s my plan

I’ve thought about becoming a carpenter for as long as I can remember. The idea of crafting something out of a solid block of wood is enticing, and I’m pretty sure I’d excel, or even master carpentry given some time and practice. Unfortunately, I’ve worked in all things IT for about 25 years, so there are many things I should probably unlearn, and many things I have to learn. But I’ve got a plan, so I should be good! Here it is: Basics I will dedicate several weeks, possibly even a full month in getting to know the basics. I’m… Read MoreI want to become a carpenter – and here’s my plan »

I’m done with browser bookmarks

I originally started writing this post in early 2018, when I came to the realization I have no need for browser bookmarks anymore. It’s 2019 now, and I’m still in the same situation: I don’t use browser bookmarks. Do I still have bookmarks in my browser? No. I waited for a year, but they didn’t vanish. This weekend I exported all bookmarks from my browsers and stashed the resulting .html file somewhere (should I ever need any of the old links), and then swiftly deleted them from my browser. Watching Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix gave me the inspiration to… Read MoreI’m done with browser bookmarks »

Bye, Facebook (for now)

I have mixed feelings. Mostly I’m now less anxious and feel more peaceful. At the same time I feel I’m missing out on something I’m not completely sure what that is. I deactivated my Facebook account in early January. Timing wasn’t intentional, I just had enough time to reflect and consider how I want to invest my limited time and mental energy. Note, that I didn’t delete my account, but rather made the soft deletion, or deactivation. Apparently this removes me from all threads I’ve posted in. I simply disappear. The rationale behind this is to probably enforce me to feel I… Read MoreBye, Facebook (for now) »
Books

On writing books

I spent a few days during Christmas break to map out my 2019 – goals, dreams, hopes, ambitions and fears. I also read – a lot. Perhaps not enough to claim I’m an avid reader, but enough to make my Kindle sweat when I download more books from Amazon. I love reading ebooks, printed books as well as whitepapers that I sometimes print myself. I’m very bad with audiobooks, as I seem to like the act of reading too much. I’ve written  7, or maybe 8 books during my professional career. Admittedly, I should’ve and could’ve written thrice as many, but… Read MoreOn writing books »

Hello, iPhone! (and bye, Android)

I’ve used modern smartphones for a long time. I remember purchasing the first Nokia phone with a camera (the 7650) in mid-2002, and it was fabulous. The 0.3 megapixel images I was able to capture were grainy, but I was taking pictures with a phone, so who cared about the quality of the images! Most phones I owned between 2002 and 2010 were Nokia phones, with Symbian OS. I then spent a few years with all sorts of different Windows Phones – the Lumia 800 (in 2011), the HTC HD7 (2010), the Samsung Omnia 7 (also in 2010). It finally… Read MoreHello, iPhone! (and bye, Android) »