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Showing posts from March, 2017

Monitor cost consumption cross Azure Subscriptions at Resource Group level

In this post we'll attack different mechanism that can be used to monitor Azure consumptions cross-subscriptions. We will take a look on the out of the box solutions that are currently available, what are the limitations and a custom solutions that could be used for this purpose.

Define the problem
There is a need of a mechanism that can offer information related to Resource Group consumptions. We need to be able to provide a total cost of all Resource Groups from all subscriptions with the same characteristic (let's say with a specific tag).
The Azure Subscriptions that needs to be monitored are under multiple EA (Azure Enterprise Agreement). Some of the Azure Subscriptions are not under EA accounts.
Out of the box solution
Microsoft Azure Enterprise content pack for Power BI
In the moment when this post was written Microsoft offers for all Azure Subscriptions that are under the same EA full integration with Power BI - Microsoft Azure Enterprise content pack for Power BI.
This p…

VM Creation: Custom Scrips vs Custom Images

When we need custom applications or configuration to be done on the VM we can do this on Azure in two ways:
Custom ISOCustom scripts extensions (known also as Formula in DevLabs context)  I noticed that a recurrent questions appears in discussions with different people: When I should use custom ISO vs custom scripts extensions?
Before jumping to a discussion where we would compare this two options and what are the advantages/disadvantages of each option, let's see what are the steps involved to create a script of an ISO.


Custom ISO We can create a custom ISO on our local machine, with all our applications installed on it. Once we have the ISO created we just need to take our VHD and prepared it for Azure. More about this steps can be found on Microsoft documentation (Capture a managed image of a generalized VM in Azure and Create custom VM images).
Custom scripts extensions
Custom scripts are executed after the VHD is deployed on the VM. Using this scripts we can push or install any k…

ARM Scripts - Extending T-shirt size concept

Working with Azure Resource Manager (ARM) deployment scripts as with any other scripts can be a challenge. Especially in the moment when you want to run a deployment script.

Why?
How often did you discover that to be able to run a script you need to specify a lot of parameters? The happy case is when a default value is already specified and even if you don't know what happens behind you don't care and only 'click next button'.
I observed that the number of parameters is directly connected with the size and complexity of the deployment. After a specific threshold, the number of parameters that don't have a default value is high, making almost impossible to run the scripts.
Because of this, complex pre-deployment steps would require a lot of time, especially when it is the first times when you make that deployment or something change.

I remember one time I saw a deployment scripts written in ARM and PowerShell that was a state of an art from the way how it was designe…

[IoT Home Project] Part 9 - Extending Azure Function to support Thieves Alarm

In this post we will discover how to
Crunch distance (sonar) information produced by a GrovePI sensor and send using Raspberry PI and Azure IoT Hub to backendAdd filters on top of Service Bus Topic Subscriptions to receive only information related to distance and temperature on each subscriptionAdd new functionality to the current portal to be able to display alarm and notify our userStory
In this moment we have a system that is able to collect metrics from Raspberry and process some of the data. We already have from GrovePI a sensor that calculate the distance from the sensor to an object. Why not to use it to detect is something is moving in front of it and create a simple alarm system.
Yes, this is not the best sensor that we could use, although this scenario is a great method to learn something new.

Previous post: [IoT Home Project] Part 8 - Connecting to Azure Function and to a virtual heat pump
GitHub source code: https://github.com/vunvulear/IoTHomeProject

What we have until now
W…

[IoT Home Project] Part 8 - Connecting to Azure Function and to a virtual heat pump

In this post we will discover how to:
Push content from Azure Stream Analytics to Azure Service BusWrite an Azure Function in Node.JS that fetch data from Azure Service Bus Topic and push it to Azure TableDevelop a ASP.NET Core application that plays the role of a heating system that start/stop the heating in a houseStory:
Use temperature data collected from sensors connected to Raspberry PI to start/shop a heating system from a housePrevious post: [IoT Home Project] Part 7 - Read/Write data to device twin
GitHub source code: https://github.com/vunvulear/IoTHomeProject 

Push content from Azure Stream Analytics to Azure Service Bus
This step is the most simple one. We just need to Add a new output to Stream Analytics and specify the Service Bus Topic where we want to push data. After this, we'll need to update the Stream Analytic query by adding: SELECT * INTO outputSensorDataTopic FROM avgdata , where 'outputSensorDataTopic' is the name of the output that we crea…

ARM and Resources Policies

Why?
Managing an Azure Subscription where 10 or 20 people have access can become a nightmare after the a few weeks. You will end up with people that creates resources will wrong name or in the right location.
You might want to have control what kind or resources can be created in specific location, what name should be used or what tags needs to be set for each resource. I remember once we even had a resource created in another subscription, that was discovered after almost one year.

What about Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)? Aren't the same...
RBAC and Resource Policies are focusing on different thing. They are complementary and together give you ability to have control at all levels. Role-Base Access is focussing on managing rights and actions that that a user can do. In contrast using resource policies you enforce naming convention at resource level, what resources can be created, in what Azure Regions and so on.
A good example of using RBAC and resource policies is when you gi…

Blue and Red Network Topology in Azure (Virtual Network without internet access)

Context
When you create the infrastructure of a system, it is common to have two separate network. One that has access to public internet where front-end system are hosted (web pages, web services). Another network is without internet access, more protected from intruders. In this kind of secure network backend services are hosted, databases and other private services.

In this post we will do the following references:

Blue Network - The network that had direct access to internetRed Network - The network that doesn't have access to internet and can be accessed only from internal systems

As we can see above, from Public Internet a requests goes to the front-end layer (Blue Network). Systems that runs in the Blue Network can make a direct call to the Red Network systems directly. But a request cannot goes from Public Internet directly to the Red Network. Red Network configuration (e.g. routers, firewalls) don't allow requests from Public Internet.

Can we have such a network topolog…

Azure Load Balancers - HTTP/External/Internal/Global load balancers

In this post we'll take a look on different types of load balancers that are available in Azure. The main scope is to understand what is the role of each load balancer and when we shall use each type of load balancer.

What is a Load Balancer?
It is a system that distributes the workload across multiple instances.
For more information related to how does it work and what are the base principles I invite you to take a look on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_balancing_(computing).

What types of Load Balancer are available on Azure?
Personally I would say that there are 4 types of load balancers that are available on Azure:

HTTP based Load BalancerInternal Load BalancerExternal Load BalancerGlobal Load Balancer Each of them can be used in different situations and they never exclude each others. This means that you might need to use multiple types of Load Balancer, based on what you want to achieve. 
HTTP based Load Balancer (Application Gateway) The most common one in our d…