Azure

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Building a custom Twitter Analytics tool using .NET Core, Azure Storage, and Power BI

This week has been very productive for me. I’ve been running and thinking, and in the mornings I’ve written about my thoughts. Today is no different! I’ve been a Twitter user for 10 years now – I joined in May 2009. At first, I was a passive user, but in recent years I’ve given it more effort and I’ve found Twitter quite useful and valuable for myself. One thing that’s kept me awake all these years is statistics on Twitter. A simple analytics page is provided at https://analytics.twitter.com, but that’s about it. I get core metrics through this page, such as how actively I’m tweeting and how many times I’m mentioned. Unfortunately, this is a rolling 28-day summary, and it’s… Read More »Building a custom Twitter Analytics tool using .NET Core, Azure Storage, and Power BI
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A look at Azure costs based on a real solution

I’ve used and worked with Microsoft Azure for a decade now. Often I’m working in customer subscriptions, and don’t have to worry about the cost that much. Obviously many times customers are querying about long-term cost, and what operating expenses they should plan and budget for. My own Azure subscriptions are financed by myself, and I get some credits through the Microsoft MVP program also. I try to minimize services that cost more, and often use free tiers or shutdown and destroy instances I don’t need for a few weeks. I wrote about tracking and working with AKA.MS URLs in March this year. In essence, it’s a small solution that triggers whenever someone tweets anything that matches http[s]://aka.ms, resolves the… Read More »A look at Azure costs based on a real solution
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Getting started with Windows Terminal

About three months ago, Microsoft announced a new command-line interface for Windows called Windows Terminal. Occasionally I am seeing it being called Microsoft Terminal also. The announcement was done during Microsoft Build 2019 in May, and you can view that introductory session here: There is also an amazing video, which I think is called a sizzle video, here: The idea with Windows Terminal is to go beyond the traditional Command Prompt, that has been around in Windows (and before that, in MS-DOS) for decades. We got PowerShell in late 2006, and that’s a very capable and viable alternative to Command Prompt. But then again, PowerShell is still very much a management and task automation framework with a scripting language. Windows… Read More »Getting started with Windows Terminal
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Thoughts from Microsoft Inspire 2019 announcements

Microsoft Inspire (formerly Worldwide Partner Conference, or WPC) was held in Las Vegas in mid-July. I didn’t attend, as the event overlaps heavily with the Finnish summer holiday season, where Finland practically shuts down between midsummer’s eve (late June) to early August. Thankfully Microsoft is doing a tremendous job in sharing the news and announcements that were made during Inspire. It’s also the start of Microsoft’s new fiscal year; thus, it’s an optimal time for Microsoft to tweak, fine-tune, and change partner incentives, licensing plans, and other partner-related practices. Instead of merely recapturing what was announced, I wanted to dive a bit deeper and think about what the announcements and initiatives mean for Microsoft Partners. I’ll keep the focus on… Read More »Thoughts from Microsoft Inspire 2019 announcements
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Becoming passwordless in Microsoft 365 using Surface Go and a FIDO2 key

I purchased a Surface Go device in the summer of 2018 while I was visiting New York City. It was also the same weekend when Surface Go was made available, so I opted for the 8 GB/128 GB model, without LTE. I figured I would use the device on the road, and when writing in coffee shops. Almost a year later, I find I haven’t had too much use for the device. In my daily routines, I use my workstation PC at home and my Lenovo laptop when on the road. I rarely, if ever, take the Surface Go with me, even if it now shares the same charging capability via USB-C with my Lenovo Thinkpad. It’s a little bit… Read More »Becoming passwordless in Microsoft 365 using Surface Go and a FIDO2 key
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Azure Lighthouse – managing customer Azure tenants as a Service Provider

Yesterday, Microsoft announced Azure Lighthouse. This post will walk you through what the service is, what benefits it brings, and why you should start using it. What is Azure Lighthouse? Azure Lighthouse is a new service from Microsoft, released on July 11th, 2019. It brings better management capabilities and flexibility for managing multiple Azure tenants through delegated access. It’s intended primarily for Managed Service Partners (MSPs), or companies that provide support, service desk and similar services for businesses. Others can – of course – use and benefit from it, but it’s essential to understand that the usage scenarios relate heavily to MSPs and multiple Azure tenants they need to access. Companies with multiple separate Azure subscriptions can also benefit from… Read More »Azure Lighthouse – managing customer Azure tenants as a Service Provider
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Building a Raspberry Pi 4-based weather monitoring solution using Ruuvitag sensors, Azure IoT Hub and Azure Functions

The Raspberry Pi organization announced Raspberry Pi 4 just a few weeks ago. I had to get one, and after placing an order, I received my RPi4 in only a few days. It’s a powerful little computer, with 4 GB of RAM and dual-HDMI outputs. It powers through USB-C, which is an excellent addition. I installed Raspbian on it and connected it to one of the 4K displays I use at my home office. I also had a spare RuuviTag Bluetooth beacon I haven’t really used in recent months. It’s a small plastic puck that is weather-proofed, and lightweight. It has all sorts of sensors, including an accelerometer, temperature, humidity, and air pressure sensor and an NFC antenna. It uses… Read More »Building a Raspberry Pi 4-based weather monitoring solution using Ruuvitag sensors, Azure IoT Hub and Azure Functions
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Running a static site in Microsoft Azure using WordPress for content management

I’m currently running my blog (the one you’re reading, thanks!) in Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. For the longest of times — which is maybe five years — I ran multiple WordPress sites in Azure using the PaaS offering. This includes the Azure Marketplace-based template, that provisions a Web App and MySQL database with a few simple clicks. I also had our company website, e-commerce services and a few different blogs on this same setup — all on separate Web App Plans and in a few different Azure regions. Back in the day hosting WordPress on Azure meant you had to resort to using ClearDB’s MySQL hosting. Your website would run on Azure, and for database services, it would connect to… Read More »Running a static site in Microsoft Azure using WordPress for content management
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional

I’m renewed as a Microsoft MVP!

I’m renewed as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional today, for the sixth time in a row! I started my journey in 2014, and I’m again honored to be chosen as part of this elite community of enthusiasts and professionals around the globe. Every year has been great, and I’m anticipating for the next 12 months to be even greater! Microsoft MVP is a non-paid advocate and community role, consisting of technology experts who share their knowledge. You can view all current MVPs here. For the first five years, I was recognized for my contributions to Office Apps & Services, which includes Office 365, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams, to name a few. You can view the award structure here. This year… Read More »I’m renewed as a Microsoft MVP!
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Building a simple and secure DNS updater for Azure DNS using Raspberry Pi and Azure Functions

Almost exactly a year ago I blogged about building a simple and secure DNS updater for Azure DNS using PowerShell. If you didn’t read that post, it’s a solution for keeping my dynamic IP updated with a static DNS name using a little bit of automation from PowerShell. This tool is useful for when I VPN back home, the dynamic IP has often changed and without a pointer (with DNS) it’s impossible to know where to connect. I hinted in the summary of that previous post that I already had more ideas on how to make this, even more, simpler and lightweight. It took a year but here I finally am – building this very same solution using Raspberry Pi… Read More »Building a simple and secure DNS updater for Azure DNS using Raspberry Pi and Azure Functions