Extracting High Resolution Icons from the Azure Portal

I found myself and friends are constantly looking for high resolution icons for various Azure products when working on design documents, presentation slide decks, or designing stickers to put on our laptops. Although Microsoft provides free download for the Azure icon set, unfortunately, the icon set does not get updated often. at the time of writing this blog, the latest version of the icon set is over 1 year old (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=41937). There are few posts out there showing you how to extract icons from the Azure portal, but they all require 3rd party tools. I had requirements for some icons

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NiCE Active Office 365 Management Pack for SCOM

If you are monitoring your Office 365 services in SCOM, you probably already know how bad the Microsoft Office 365 MP is. In my opinion, it is one of the worst written SCOM MP from Microsoft. That’s why there are many 3rd party or community solutions for monitoring O365 in SCOM. Recently, my favourite SCOM management pack ISV NiCE (https://www.nice.de) has released a MP for monitoring various Office 365 components. The NiCE Active O365 MP monitors Office 365 services using synthetic transactions by simulating activities such as user login, sending test emails etc. In my opinion, this is a very

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Upcoming Conferences and Book Release

It’s been a while since my last post. Other than the 2-week holiday I had in China around Christmas and New Year period, I spent most of my December and January working on a new book called Inside Azure Management. This book is the successor of our best selling Inside OMS book. The band (5 authors listed on the cover) got together few months ago, and started working on a new version. Since OMS doesn’t exist anymore, we have renamed the book to “Inside Azure Management”, and covered additional topics such as Azure Governance, Application Insights, Azure Monitor, Azure Migration,

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Configuring Azure Resources Diagnostic Log Settings Using Azure Policy

In an Azure Policy definition, the “effect” section defines the behaviour of the policy if defined conditions are met. For example, the “Deny” effect will block the resource from being deployed in the first place, “Append” will add a set of properties to the resource you are deploying before being deployed by the ARM engine, and “DeployIfNotExists” deploys a resource if it does not already exist. In the old days, the biggest limitation I have faced was the use of “DeployIfNotExists” effect was only limited to built-in policies. In another word, If Microsoft hasn’t already created a policy for you,

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My Journey to a Smarter Home (Part 3)

This is the 3rd part of the blog series. I have covered my home network setup using Ubiquiti Unifi devices in part 1, and Xiaomi home automation products in Part 2. In this part, I will discuss my experience with Google Home and Sonos products. It’s been over a month since the last part, this is because I was waiting for Google Home Hub to be released so I can get my hands on it and included it in this post. Google Home Speakers I bought my first Google Home speaker when they were firstly released in Australia last year

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Sneak Peak of Azure Blueprints

Azure Blueprints have been announced and made available for public preview last month at Microsoft Ignite 2018. I have been on the private preview for few months now, and I’m really excited that it’s finally gone public and we can start talking about it. If you haven’t heard of Blueprints, according to the Blueprints PM Alex Frankel, Blueprints is designed for: deploy and update cloud environments in a repeatable manner using composable artifacts. I have heard an analogy before – An Azure subscription is just like an empty canvas, and your developers are like painters. But we all know that

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My Journey to a Smarter Home (Part 2)

This is the 2nd part of the blog series. I have covered my home network setup using Ubiquiti Unifi devices in part 1, you can find it here. In this part, I will discuss the home automation solutions I have put in place using various products from Xiaomi and their Mi Home ecosystem partners. My cousin is a HUGE Xiaomi fan. Back in 2013, during my holiday in China, he showed me his Xiaomi phone and the Mi Box. I “felt in love” with Xiaomi products ever since. Xiaomi is a fairly young company, only founded in 2010. It has

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My Journey to a Smarter Home (Part 1)

Over the last month, I have published 8 blog posts. Right now, although I still have few more on my to-do list, I’m just a bit over it. I want to write something different than my usual topics. I don’t know how many I am going to write right now, but I want to dedicate the next few posts to something that I have spent a lot of time on over the last couple of years – on all the gadgets I have installed at home, especially around home automation. I will share my experience on the following product families:

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Azure Policy to Restrict Storage Account Firewall Rules

Back in the Jan 2018, I posted a custom Azure Policy definition that restricts the creation of public-facing storage account – in another word, if the storage account you are creating is not attached to a virtual network Service Endpoint, the policy engine will block the creation of this storage account. You can find the original post here: https://blog.tyang.org/2018/01/08/restricting-public-facing-azure-storage-accounts-using-azure-resource-policy/. When a storage account is connected to a Service Endpoint, you can also white-list one or more IP address ranges to allow them accessing the storage account from the outside of your Azure virtual network (i.e. the Internet). Therefore, in order

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My Views on the Native Source Control Option in Azure Automation

Few weeks ago, I saw a two separate discussions in different closed community channels regarding to the Source Control option in Azure Automation accounts, more specifically – when will the support for VSTS become available. In the Azure Portal, it has been showing “coming soon”. According to Wikipedia, “Visual Studio Online” has been renamed to Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) in November 2015: On 13 November 2013, Microsoft announced the release of a software as a service offering of Visual Studio on Microsoft Azure platform; at the time, Microsoft called it Visual Studio Online. Previously announced as Team Foundation Services,

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