A Simple Dynamic DNS Solution Based on Azure PaaS Services

Background Many of us have used some kind of dynamic DNS services in the past. It is particularly useful for home network since it is very rare that ISPs provide static IP addresses free of charge nowadays. Most of the home broadband modem and routers support some kind of dynamic DNS services. I’ve used a popular dynamic DNS provider many years ago. Back then, it was free. Then they started charging people for using their service. I think having to pay $50+ per year is too much for such simple service. Luckily my home broadband plan came with a static

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Updated Azure Policy for Azure Diagnostic Settings

Few months ago, I published a set of Azure Policy definitions to configure Azure resources diagnostic settings. You can find the original post here: https://blog.tyang.org/2018/11/19/configuring-azure-resources-diagnostic-log-settings-using-azure-policy/. The definitions were offered in the form of an ARM template. Since then, I have updated these policies, with the following updates: Additional policies for connecting Diagnostic Settings to Azure Event Hub In addition to policies to connect diagnostic settings to Log Analytics, I have added another set of policies to connect diagnostic settings of applicable resources to Azure Event Hubs Added ExistenceCondition in policy definitions ExistenceCondition detects if the resource you are trying to

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New Azure Policy Definition: Deploy Microsoft IaaSAntimalware extension with custom configurations

Microsoft provides a built-in Azure Policy definition for deploying Windows Defender VM Extension. The name of this policy definition is Deploy default Microsoft IaaSAntimalware extension for Windows Server (id: /providers/Microsoft.Authorization/policyDefinitions/2835b622-407b-4114-9198-6f7064cbe0dc) This policy definition has many limitations: It does not support Windows 10 VMs It does not support custom VM images It does not support customization of the Windows Defender configurations (i.e. scan exclusions, etc.) I had a requirement to automatically deploy this VM extension with customised configuration. So I have re-written this policy, addressed all the limitations listed above. You can find it at my Azure Policy GitHub repo: https://github.com/tyconsulting/azurepolicy/tree/master/policy-definitions/deploy-windows-defender-vm-extension-custom-config.

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New Azure Policy Definition: Deploy VM Shutdown Schedule

I wrote an Azure Policy definition few days ago, it deploys VM shutdown schedule together with VMs using deployIfNotExists effect. You can find it at my Azure Policy GitHub repo: https://github.com/tyconsulting/azurepolicy/tree/master/policy-definitions/deploy-vm-shutdown-schedule. This policy will be very useful when managing non-production workload. Input parameters: Deployed schedule:

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Deploying Azure Policy Definitions via Azure DevOps (Part 3)

This is the 3rd and final installment of the 3-part blog series. You can find the other parts here: Part 1: Custom deployment scripts for policy and initiative definitions Part 2: Pester-test policy and initiative definitions in the build pipeline Part 3: Configuring build (CI) and release (CD) pipelines in Azure DevOps In this part, I will walk through how I configured the build and release pipelines for deploying policy and initiative definitions at scale. Pre-requisites The following pre-requisistes are required before start creating the pipelines: 1. Creating Azure AD Service Principals We need to create service principals in each

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Deploying Azure Policy Definitions via Azure DevOps (Part 2)

This is the 2nd installment of the 3-part blog series. You can find the other parts here: Part 1: Custom deployment scripts for policy and initiative definitions Part 2: Pester-test policy and initiative definitions in the build pipeline Part 3: Configuring build (CI) and release (CD) pipelines in Azure DevOps In this part, I will walk through the PowerShell module I have developed to pester-test policy and initiative definitions. My intention is to uses these tests to perform syntax validation in the build pipeline, ensure all the definition files are valid before being deployed in the release pipelines. You can

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Deploying Azure Policy Definitions via Azure DevOps (Part 1)

Introduction Recently I needed to deploy a large number of Azure policy and initiative definitions at customer’s environments using Azure DevOps. These definitions needed to be deployed to different environments (different Management Group hierarchies in different Azure AD Tenants). I faced some difficulties when working on this solution, due to the following limitations: 1. Currently templates do not support Management Groups So I can’t use ARM templates in this case. But, I still needed to develop a solution no matter where should the definitions being deployed (either to a management group or a subscription). 2. Limitations in Azure PowerShell cmdlet

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PowerShell Module For JSON Schema Validation

Background Few days ago, I needed to validate JSON files against a predefined schema in a build pipeline in Azure DevOps. The validation needed to be performed using the Pester framework, and fail the build if the validation failed. In the past, I’ve always used this script (https://gist.github.com/JamesNK/7e6d026c8b78c049bb1e1b6fb0ed85cf) from James Newton-King, which leverages the JSON.Net libraries he developed. However, this time, I couldn’t it the script working on my Windows 10 laptop. I tried different versions of the DLLs, some won’t load, and the version that loads fine on my laptop threw some errors about System.Runtime library not referenced in

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Sharing My Azure Resource Graph Resources

I have created a public GitHub repo to store and share resources I created around Azure Resource Graph: https://github.com/tyconsulting/AzureResourceGraph I have add queries, scripts I have developed over the last few months, as well as few how-to articles. I will continue updating this repo whenever I have developed new contents to add. Feel free to clone it, fork it, and submit issues, PRs if you’ve spotted any errors.

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New SCOM Management Pack: Easy Tune from Cookdown

Squared Up should not be a stranger for any seasoned SCOM administrators. For me, it is absolutely my favourite ISV when it comes to SCOM. Recently, at Experts Live USA, Squared Up has announced a new brand name called Cookdown, which is focused on extending the capabilities of SCOM (i.e. management packs development). When we firstly heard the name “Cookdown” at Experts Live USA, all the SCOM folks in the room laughed (in a good way). You must be a hardcore SCOM person to understand and appreciate the name. Originally in SCOM, the term“Cookdown” refers to a process that you

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