My Meetup Recording–Developing Your OWN OMS Solutions

Last month, I presented at the Melbourne Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Meetup on the topic “Developing Your OWN OMS Solutions” (https://www.meetup.com/Melbourne-Microsoft-Cloud-and-Datacenter-Meetup/events/233154212/). I recorded the session but then realise the recording had some technical errors due to the change of screen resolution without restarting Camtasia. This morning, I re-recorded the session and uploaded to the Meetup’s YouTube Channel. If you are interested, you can watch the recording here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUzI31iIcTk): And you can also download the slide deck HERE.

Feeding Your Power BI Reports from Azure Functions

Background Few days ago my good friend and fellow CDM MVP Alex Verkinderen (@AlexVerkinderen) had a requirement to produce a Power BI dashboard for Azure AD users. so Alex and I started discussing a way to produce such report in Power BI. After exploring various potential possibilities, we have decided to leverage Azure Functions to feed data into Power BI. You can check out the Power BI solution Alex has built on his blog here: http://www.mscloud.be/retrieve-azure-aad-user-information-with-azure-functions-and-publish-it-into-powerbi In this blog post, I’m not going to the details of how the AAD Users Power BI report was built. Instead, I will focus

Making PowerShell Based Azure Functions to Produce HTML Outputs

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working with my MVP buddy Alex Verkinderen (@AlexVerkinderen) on some Azure Function related stuff. We have both written few PowerShell based functions that output a HTML page. These functions use the ConvertTo-HTML cmdlet to produce the HTML output. For example, here’s a simple one that  list 2 cars in a HTML table:

Today we ran into an issue while preparing for our next blog posts, after some diagnostics, we realised the issue was caused by the HTML output returned from the PowerShell based functions. If I use Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet in Powershell to

Securing Passwords in Azure Functions

09/10/2016 – Note: This post has been updated as per David O’Brien’s suggestion . As I mentioned in my last post, I have started playing with Azure Functions few weeks ago and I’ve already built few pretty cool solutions. One thing that I’ve spent a lot of time doing research on is how to secure credentials in Azure Functions. Obviously, Azure Key Vault would be an ideal candidate for storing credentials for Azure services. If I’m using another automation product that I’m quite familiar with – Azure Automation, I’d certainly go down the Key Vault path because Since Azure Automation

Using Custom PowerShell Modules in Azure Functions

Like many other fellow MVPs, I have started playing with Azure Functions over the last few weeks. Although Azure Functions are primarily designed for developers and supports languages such as C#, Node.JS, PHP, etc. PowerShell support is currently in preview. This opens a lot of opportunities for IT Pros. My friend and fellow CDM MVP David O’Brien has written some really good posts on PowerShell in Azure Functions (https://david-obrien.net/). Although the PowerShell runtime in Azure Functions comes with a lot of Azure PowerShell modules by default (refer to David’s post here for details), these modules are out-dated, and some times,

Squared Up Upcoming V3 Dashboard with Distributed Application Discovery Feature

Squared Up is set to release the version 3 of their dashboard next week at Ignite North America. One of the key features in the v3 release is called the “Visual Application Discovery & Analysis” (aka VADA). VADA utilise OpsMgr agent tasks and netstat.exe command to discover the other TCP/IP endpoints the agents are communicating to. You can learn more about this feature from a short YouTube video Squared Up has published recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJK_3SritwY I was given a trail copy of v3 for my lab. After I’ve installed it and imported the required management pack, I was able to start

Pushing PowerShell Modules From PowerShell Gallery to Your MyGet Feeds Directly

Recently I have started using a private MyGet feed and my cPowerShellPackageManagement DSC Resource module to manage PowerShell modules on my lab servers. When new modules are released in PowerShell Gallery (i.e. all the Azure modules), I’d normally use Install-Module to install on test machines, then publish the tested modules to my MyGet feed and then my servers would pick up the new modules. Although I can use public-module cmdlet to upload the module located locally on my PC to MyGet feed, it can be really time consuming when the module sizes are big (i.e. some of the Azure modules).

Scripting Azure Automation Module Imports Directly from MyGet or PowerShell Gallery

There are few ways to add PowerShell modules to Azure Automation accounts: 1. Via the Azure Portal by uploading the module zip file from local computer. 2. If the module is located in PowerShell Gallery, you can push it to your Automation Account directly from PowerShell Gallery. 3. Use PowerShell cmdlet New-AzureRmAutomationModule from the AzureRM.Automation module. One of the limitation of using New-AzureRMAutomationModule cmdlet is, the module must be zipped and located somewhere online that Azure has access to. You will need to specify the location by using the –ContentLink parameter. In the past, in order to script the module

PowerShell DSC Resource for Managing Repositories and Modules

Introduction PowerShell version 5 has introduced a new feature that allows you to install packages (such as PowerShell modules) from NuGet repositories. If you have used cmdlets such as Find-Module, Install-Module or Uninstall-Module, then you have already taken advantage of this awesome feature. By default, a Microsoft owned public repository PowerShell Gallery is configured on all computers running PowerShell version 5 and when you use Find-Module or Install-Module, you are pulling the modules from the PowerShell Gallery. Ever since I started using PowerShell v5, I’ve discovered some challenges managing modules for machines in my environment: Lack of a fully automated

PowerShell Module for OMS HTTP Data Collector API

Background Earlier today, the OMS Product Group has released the OMS HTTP Data Collection API to public preview. If you haven’t read the announcement, you can read this blog post written by the PM of this feature, Evan Hissey first. As a Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP, I’ve had private preview access to this feature for few months now, and I actually even developed a solution using this API in a customer engagement with my friend and fellow CDM MVP Alex Verkinderen (@AlexVerkinderen) just over a month ago. I was really impressed with the potential opportunities this feature may bring

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