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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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Doing sales as a techie: Efficient strategies for sales

By now, if you’ve read any of my posts in the past few years, it should be obvious I’m a geek, nerd, and techie by heart. I love building and learning new stuff – be it a custom connector to my smart ring, figuring out containers for my specific use-cases or configuring backups to the cloud. I’m also a bit extrovert. Not too outspoken though, at least not in a Dutch directness kind of way (for now, at least), but more in the way that I enjoy interacting with people. It has helped me immensely when I deliver training and talks, and also when meeting with companies and running workshops. Early in my career, I often joined salespeople in meetings… Read More »Doing sales as a techie: Efficient strategies for sales
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Learning quickly as a consultant: Efficient learning strategies

In my role as an architect, I’m often faced with limited time, scarce resources and considerable expectations on how I deliver my services. It isn’t uncommon that within a single day working with a customer we work through Microsoft Teams implementation Azure AD security settings Office ProPlus rollout strategies Fixing a legacy script Perhaps this is also my handicap – I refuse to say “No, that’s somebody else who works on that” when I have a customer in need. Admittedly I’m also very transparent and open about things I don’t know enough to justify charging for my services – Dynamics 365 CRM comes to mind, as an example. Sure, I can do creative googling but it’s haphazard and only results… Read More »Learning quickly as a consultant: Efficient learning strategies
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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

What’s up?

It’s been a few very busy months for me, and instead of writing a deeply technical article on something esoteric I thought I’d update you a bit on what’s going on. I wrote earlier about starting school to eventually graduate as an Executive MBA. It’s almost time for Summer break, yet I’ve enjoyed every hour in the classroom and while working on assignments. Some have been very challenging, others have been mostly fun but still time consuming. It’s an intricate balance between work, school, hobbies, family and finding time to think. I spent a few days in Prague, the Czech Republic late April to plan, discuss and produce the 2019 program for the European SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Conference.… Read More »What’s up?

Five indispensable gadgets I use in my home office

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I love gadgets. There has been a time in my life I accidentally landed with some surplus money, and while many people wiser than me would probably have invested said money in mutual bonds or stock portfolios, I invested in gadgets. One of those was the worst gadget I’ve ever bought – a set-top DVD burner. For use when you record TV shows and want to have them stored for a longer time. It cost me the equivalent of 1300 € ($1450). But this post is not about my poor purchases (of which there are plenty) but about the better purchases. Things that I feel are valuable enough for me to… Read More »Five indispensable gadgets I use in my home office
Microsoft Regional Director

I’m renewed as Microsoft Regional Director

I received great and satisfying news in early May – I am renewed as a Microsoft Regional Director for another two years (2019-2021)! It’s my second term, as I was initially nominated and accepted to this elite group of people in 2017. Microsoft Regional Directors (RDs) are trusted advisors, but we do not work for Microsoft. I think this is important to mention, as sometimes people assume that I’ve joined Microsoft as a full-time employee. We are non-paid and provide advisory capacity with Microsoft. In a way, the RD role shares some similarities with Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP). Where MVPs are nominated and chosen based on their technical merits, RDs provide a deeper and more strategic approach and are… Read More »I’m renewed as Microsoft Regional Director