New Book Release: Inside Azure Management

I have been pretty busy over the last few months, largely because I was working on the new book titled Inside Azure Management with few MVP friends. We have finally got to a stage to publish the preview version few days ago. The Inside Azure Management book is the successor of our popular book Inside Microsoft Operations Management Suite. It contains 16 chapters and covered the following areas: Implementing Governance in Azure Migrating Workloads in Azure Configuring Data Sources for Azure Log Analytics Monitoring Applications Monitoring Infrastructure Alerting and Notification Monitoring Databases in Azure Monitoring Containers in Azure Implementing Process

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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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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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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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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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Pester Test Your ARM Template in Azure DevOps CI Pipelines

Introduction It is fair to say, I have spent a lot of time on Pester lately. I just finished up a 12 months engagement with a financial institute here in Melbourne. During this engagement, everyone in the project team had to write tests for any patterns / pipelines they are developing. I once even wrote a standalone pipeline only to perform Pester tests. One of the scenario we had to cater for is: How can you ensure the ARM template you are deploying only deploys the resources that you intended to deploy? In another word, if someone has gone rogue

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Enforcing Code Signing for Azure Automation Runbooks on Hybrid Workers

Towards the end of last year, in order to solve a specific issue, we were planning to introduce Azure Automation Hybrid Workers to the customer I was working for back then. We planned to place the Hybrid Workers inside the on-prem network and execute several runbooks that required to run on-prem. The security team had some concerns – what if the Automation Accounts or Azure subscriptions get compromised? Then the bad guys can run malicious runbooks targeting on-prem machines. long story short, in the end, we managed to get the Hybrid Worker pattern approved and implemented because we can configure

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Azure Policy–Restrict NICs From Connecting to Particular Subnets

I wrote this policy definition for a customer few weeks ago – to restrict VMs from connecting to particular subnets. The customer has several subnets that should not be used by VMs, i.e. dedicated subnet for Azure ADDS (which is not associated to any NSGs), or subnets that are using different NSGs, which normal users should not be using. Since the intension is not restricting users from using the entire VNet, but only particular subnets, we could not apply such restrictions using custom role definitions. Here’s the policy definition: { “properties”: { “displayName”: “Restrict subnet for VM network interfaces”, “description”:

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Azure Policy Definition – Restricting Public IP for NIC

It has been a while since my last blog post. There were a lot going on outside of work, I couldn’t find time to write, and my blog to-do list is getting longer. Finally things are settled down a little bit. I will try to tackle my list in the coming days. To get started, I will target the easiest ones first. Few weeks ago, I had to write several custom Azure Policy definitions for a customer. One of them is to restrict Public IPs being provisioned for VMs in particular resource groups. I found a similar definition from the

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