During my last project I was setting up a Release Pipeline in VSTS and one of the steps was to create a Sharded MongoDB in Cosmos DB.
I am a big fan of the Azure CLI, which I use quiet often.
I started to create in bash an Azure CLI script but soon I discovered that it was not working well. The script gave no errors, everything seemed to be ok, but I was getting an error when inserting a document that the sharded key was not found/provided. Continue reading “Create a sharded MongoDB in Azure Cosmos DB”
For a demo Azure Logic App I need to setup an Azure Cognitive Services account for the Computer Vision API.
I set up the resources in Azure using an ARM template so that everything is created in a reproducible way.
My logic app needs a connection to the Cognitive Services, which consists in an API Key and an endpoint.
I was not able to find a template in the Azure Quickstart Templates repo to get this information, so I find it out myself. Continue reading “Get Cognitive Services Keys and Endpoint in an ARM Template”
I am a heavy user of the Azure Cloud Shell, I use it every day working with the CLI 2.0 to deal with my Azure Resources.
If, like me, the first time you started the Cloud Shell and followed the wizard and clicked on the button “Create Storage”, you ended up with a new Resource Group containing a Storage Account with a random name.
I don’t like random names with my resources, so I will show you how to control this and mount the Azure Cloud Shell with a Storage Account of your choice.
Continue reading “Mount your Azure Cloud Shell to another Storage Account”
I’m using more and more the Azure CLI 2.0, which makes my scripting life with Azure Resources a lot easier.
The default output of the Azure CLI is json, but you can also use other kind of output formats, as described in this blog.
I want to have some variables that I can reuse in other commands, so let’s say I want to get the name of all the Resource Groups which have a tag called Kind with a value VM, I can use the following JMESPath query:
az group list --query "[?tags.Kind=='VM'].name"
The output will be:
Continue reading “Create output variables with Azure CLI 2.0”
Today I want to show a really useful Azure feature to help you with the governance of your Azure Subscriptions: Azure Resource Policies:
Resource policies enable you to establish conventions for resources in your organization. By defining conventions, you can control costs and more easily manage your resources. For example, you can specify that only certain types of virtual machines are allowed, or you can require that all resources have a particular tag. Policies are inherited by all child resources. So, if a policy is applied to a resource group, it is applicable to all the resources in that resource group.
How Resource Policies works
First of all, you need a policy definition. Here a description of the structure.
Let’s create one!
You can create policies definitions directly with the Azure Rest API or using PowerShell, the Azure CLI 1.0 or 2.0.
I prefer using PowerShell:
First login in Azure with: Login-AzureRmAccount and if you have more subscriptions, select the right one with Select-AzureRmSubscription.
Continue reading “Azure Hidden Gems: Resource Policies”
From Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) it’s possible to deploy to an Azure Subscription using an Active Directory Service Principal.
The Microsoft documentation refers to a blog post which describes a 3-clicks and a manual way to setup this principal.
For both the suggested ways (3-clicks or manual), there are some concerns from my side about the principal setup, which I think they could be improved:
- The principal which is created during the process gets the “Contributor” role granted on the whole Azure subscription, and using the manual powershell script, the default role is even “Owner” (this can be modified).
- The name of the Active Directory Application/Principal is some random guid which is difficult to be identified, see this picture:
Continue reading “A better way (and script) to add a Service Principal in Azure for VSTS”
In this post I want to show you what I think it’s the best way to setup VSTS working with Azure Resource Manager Templates.
At the customer I am currently working for, we are setting up a new Azure Big Data ingestion environment and we wanted to do it using the Infrastructure as Code approach. With Azure this obviously goes with ARM Templates.
For source control, build and deployment we use Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS).
About VSTS, Build and Release Management
I have seen different setups with VSTS, some of them where the deployment take place from the build, or directly in Release Management without a build.
My approach is to have a clear separation of concerns between the Build and the Release Management.
The Build is for compiling, (Unit) Testing and creating artifacts for the deployment.
The Release Management’s responsibility is for deploying the artifacts created during the Build process. Continue reading “Setting up VSTS with ARM Templates”
When testing deployments of Azure RM resources (ie. using the Test-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment powershell cmdlet) an empty Resource Group is created. This Resource Group is often not needed at this point and can be deleted after you are done testing the deployment of the resources. For deleting the Resource Group you can use the VSTS task delete resource group if empty. This tasks deletes the Resource Group only if it does not contains any resources.
This week Pascal Naber, Sander Molenkamp and I started the Dutch Azure Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Dutch-Azure-Meetup/
Azure offers a lot of services and features, and this grows almost daily. It’s hard to be up-to-date on all the Azure features. This meetup gives you the opportunity to learn about Azure in a practical way.
We want to offer a platform for Azure enthusiasts, where you can get hands-on with the technology, talk with and learn from each other. The meetup will not handle customer cases in theory but instead we talk about deep technical details, real world experiences and best practices.
Our first meetup is planned for the 2nd of June and is all about Azure Container Service:
Join the first Dutch Azure Meetup!
Docker is taking the world by storm and Microsoft Azure Container Service is where Azure and Docker meet!
During this first meetup Mark van Holsteijn will give you a brief introduction into Docker and Microsoft Container Service.After which you will have ample opportunity to get hands-on with Docker, Marathon, Azure and ASP.NET core.
We will show you how Azure Container Service provides an excellent platform for creating cross-cloud applications.
About the speaker
Mark van Holsteijn is Principal Consultant at Xebia specialized in cloud software architectures with open-source technologies.
18:45: Word of welcome Dutch Azure Meetup
18:50: Azure Container Service (by Mark van Holsteijn)
19:30: Hands-on with Docker and Azure Container Service
Recently I was writing an Azure Resource Manager Template to deploy a Web App. The Web App needed some Application settings (like connection strings, etc..) which I wanted to provision during the Resource Manager Template deployment. One of the settings needed was the Azure subscription id where the Web App was created.
I didn’t want to hardcode the subscription id, or provide it through a parameter (which is a way to postpone the hard-coding), so I did a little research and I found the solution.
In Azure RM Template you can use Resource Functions which can evaluate during the deployment run-time settings.
The one I needed was subscription() which has the following structure:
This means you can use the function like this:
There are more nice functions you may need to use like: resourceGroup(), resourceId ([resourceGroupName], resourceType, resourceName1, [resourceName2]…).