Azure

Image by Hannah Joshua @hannahjoshua / Unsplash.com

Mastering Azure CLI

I grew up with Perl, tcsh, bash, sh, awk, sed, grep, pico, vi, command.com and cmd.exe. Building scripts, batch files and little automations here and there was the norm for me and many others of that era. I’m especially proud for a set of .BAT files and VBScripts that connected to one of the very first Logitech USB webcams to retrieve a near real-time image of the coffee pot. “Yup, still coffee left I better hurry.” I ran this between 2002 and 2004 until someone dropped the webcam and broke it. We then got a proper GUI with Windows 95.… Read MoreMastering Azure CLI »
Photo by @russn_fckr / Unsplash.com

Anonymizing and masking sensitive data in SQL databases before migrating to Azure SQL

Many companies I interact with have expressed an interest in migrating their legacy SQL Server databases to Azure. Typically this is due to End of Life for SQL Server 2008 (and 2008 R2) and other times it’s a desire to perform reporting and analytics on existing data in the cloud. (I wrote about migrating to Azure SQL previously here) Mostly this is all documented nicely on docs.microsoft.com (Dynamic Data Masking, Static Data Masking) but what isn’t clear to me is how to best anonymize and/or mask sensitive data before migrating to Azure. This is typically something that companies need to… Read MoreAnonymizing and masking sensitive data in SQL databases before migrating to Azure SQL »
Photo by Dan Gold @danielcgold / Unsplash.com

Tracking, resolving, storing and presenting AKA.MS short links from social media using Serverless capabilities in Azure

I think I’ve written once or twice I’m a great fan of building Proof of Concepts and prototypes. This allows me to rapidly learn without fear or risk of failing in front of an important customer. And all customers who pay for your time are important, of course. I’ve long admired the fantastic AKA.MS short links service Microsoft has internally created for their employees. Or that’s my understanding, as I see only Microsoft FTEs posting shortened URLs such as http://aka.ms/surfacethewomen (a great campaign, by the way!) on social media and sometimes also on docs.microsoft.com. Note: I have no access, direct… Read MoreTracking, resolving, storing and presenting AKA.MS short links from social media using Serverless capabilities in Azure »
Photo by Arya Meher @aryamehe / Unsplash.com

Fun with Azure Functions: Building a lookup tool for Azure AD tenant IDs

I sometimes find myself struggling with a technical issue that I just can’t seem to resolve in a timely manner. Over the years I’ve learned that once you’ve spent maybe 15 to 30 minutes troubleshooting without any noticeable progress, there’s only two things that will help you: a huge cup of fresh coffee or working on something else for a while. Some people claim asking for help from others is also beneficial, but I haven’t dared to go that far yet. I started working on something else. I found a problem where an external consultant working on a project for… Read MoreFun with Azure Functions: Building a lookup tool for Azure AD tenant IDs »
Image by Samuel Zeller @samuelzeller / Unsplash.com

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 »
Photo by @florianklauer / Unsplash.com

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 »
Photo by @frankiefoto / Unsplash.com

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 »

Building a simple and secure DNS updater for Azure DNS with PowerShell

(or: making life better by fixing one small issue at a time) I love designing and building solutions for my customers. Lately they’ve been more on the Microsoft Azure side, especially with serverless and security. The problems I encounter are interesting, require me to dive deep into certain aspects of the customer’s business domain and they enforce me to become a better professional. I truly think being able to work with cloud-based architectures is the best job on the planet right now. Then there are the times when I have a small but itching problem at home, that I really… Read MoreBuilding a simple and secure DNS updater for Azure DNS with PowerShell »

Managing your costs in Microsoft Azure with Sharegate’s Overcast

I started using Microsoft Azure in the very early days in 2008, when the whole idea with cloud computing was something very different than it is today. During recent years I’ve found myself working mostly with Azure-related architectures, deployments and governance projects as the platform has matured to fit any type of customer need. One recurring challenge I find many organizations facing is the shift from capital expenditures (CAPEX) to operational expenditures (OPEX). Traditional IT has always relied on a 12-36-month investment cycle, and one the decision for investment has been made, it’s mostly a sunken cost. Afterwards the cost… Read MoreManaging your costs in Microsoft Azure with Sharegate’s Overcast »

Thoughts on Microsoft ❤ GitHub announcement

By now, it is old news that Microsoft officially announced they will acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion. Rumors started swirling on Sunday, and as is often the case, they are more or less to the point. I’ve been following with interest the different takes on this deal. First, Slashdot. I regularly check the news on Slashdot, mostly for the commentary. Unfortunately many people still post as Anonymous Cowards, so you have to filter out a lot to get to the thought-provoking comments. There’s a petition to stop Microsoft in finalizing the deal (which presumably takes until the end of the… Read MoreThoughts on Microsoft ❤ GitHub announcement »