Using Azure Key Vault as the Password Repository For You and Your Team

Over the past decade, I have used several password management applications such as Password Safe, KeePass and LastPass. Out of these products, only LastPass is cloud based. I have been hesitate to use LastPass over the last few years and stayed with KeePass because of the LastPass data breach back in 2015. Few months ago, my friend Alex Verkinderen finally convinced me to start using LastPass again. But this time, in order to be more secure and being able to use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), I have purchased a premium account and also purchased a YubiKey Neo for MFA. I understand

Managing Azure Automation Module Assets Using MyGet

Background Managing the life cycle of PowerShell module assets in your Azure Automation accounts can be challenging. If  you are currently using Azure Automation, you may have already noticed the following behaviours when managing the module assets: 1. It is difficult to automate the module asset deployment process. If you want to automate the module deployment to your Automation Account (i.e. using the PowerShell cmdlet New-AzureRmAutomationModule), you must ensure the module that you are trying to import is zipped into a zip file and located on a public location where Azure Automation can read via HTTP (i.e. Azure Blob storage).

PowerShell Script to Import and Update Modules from PowerShell Repositories to Azure Automation

PowerShell Gallery has a very cool feature that allows you to import modules directly to your Azure Automation Account using the “Deploy to Azure Automation” button. However, if you want to automate the module deployment process, you most likely have to firstly download the module, zip it up and then upload to a place where the Azure Automation account can access via HTTP. This is very troublesome process. I have written a PowerShell script that allows you to search PowerShell modules from ANY PowerShell Repositories that has been registered on your computer and deploy the module DIRECTLY to the Azure

PowerShell Module for Managing Azure Table Storage Entities

Introduction Firstly, apologies for not being able to blog for 6 weeks. I have been really busy lately.  As part of a project that I’m working on, I have been dealing with Azure Table storage and its REST API over the last couple of weeks. I have written few Azure Function app in C# as well as some Azure Automation runbooks in PowerShell that involves inserting, querying and updating records (entities) in Azure tables. I was struggling a little bit during development of these function apps and runbooks because I couldn’t find too many good code examples and I personally

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,

Calculating SQL Database DTU for Azure SQL DB Using PowerShell

over the last few weeks, I have been working on a project related to Azure SQL Database. One of the requirements was to be able to programmatically calculate the SQL Database DTU (Database Throughput Unit). Since the DTU concept is Microsoft’s proprietary IP, the actual formula for the DTU calculation has not been released to the public. Luckily, Microsoft’s Justin Henriksen has developed an online Azure SQL DB DTU Calculator, you can also Justin’s blog here. I was able to use the web service Justin has developed for the online DTU Calculator, and I developed 2 PowerShell functions to perform

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