Archives for posts with tag: Azure

I use the Azure CLI for much of what I do in Azure now – true, the same things can usually be achieved through the portal or by using PowerShell, but I just prefer the Linux / Bash nature of the CLI.

One of the things that makes the CLI so nice to use is the powerful query language that it has available – this language is called JMESPath. JMESPath isn’t specific to the Azure CLI though – it’s a query language for JSON ( so it can be used whenever you need to manipulate or query JSON data. Read the rest of this entry »

A few months back, I created a lab workshop focused around building virtual data centres in Azure (see here for more details). Given how successful this workshop has been when running it with partners, I’ve now recorded a video with my colleague Dan Baker that takes viewers through the whole process of building the VDC environment. The video is less than an hour long and will walk you through the entire lab build, explaining each step along the way.

The video is available on YouTube, or you can view it directly below.


A question I’ve heard a few times recently is “if I have services running in an Azure Virtual Network, how do I securely connect that VNet to Azure public services, such as Blob Storage?“. Microsoft have this week announced a couple of features designed to help with this scenario, but before delving into those, let’s look at the issue we are actually trying to solve.

First, a few basics: a Virtual Network (VNet) is a private, isolated, network within Azure into which you can deploy infrastructure resources such as virtual machines, load balancers and so on:


Although these VMs can (and very often do) have direct Internet access, it is of course possible to restrict connectivity into and out of this VNet according to your requirements. Read the rest of this entry »

Azure has a number of ways in which to run containers, ranging from simple IaaS VMs running Docker, to Azure Container Service (a service that provisions a full container cluster using Kubernetes, Swarm or DC/OS) and Azure Container Instances. One of the characteristics of these services is that when a container is provisioned, it typically has an IP address allocated to it from within the local host, rather than from the Azure virtual network to which the host is connected. As an example, consider the following scenario where we have a single Azure IaaS virtual machine running Ubuntu and Docker:

Container-net1 Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve just finished working on a new self-guided lab that focuses on the Azure ‘Virtual Data Centre’ (VDC) architecture. The basic idea behind the VDC is that it brings together a number of Azure technologies, such as hub and spoke networking, User-Defined Routes, Network Security Groups and Role Based Access Control, in order to support enterprise workloads and large scale applications in the public cloud.

The lab uses a set of Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates to deploy the basic topology, which the user will then need to further configure in order to build the connectivity, security and more. Once the basic template build has been completed, you’ll be guided through setting up the following:

  • Configuration of site-to-site VPN
  • Configuration of 3rd party Network Virtual Appliance (in this case a Cisco CSR1000V)
  • Configuration of User Defined Routes (UDRs) to steer traffic in the right direction
  • Configuration of Network Security Groups (NSGs) to lock down the environment
  • Azure Security Center for security monitoring
  • Network monitoring using Azure Network Watcher
  • Alerting and diagnostics using Azure Monitor
  • Configuration of users, groups and Role Based Access Control (RBAC)

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s been some time since I last posted a blog – I’ve been spending the majority of my time settling in to my new role at Microsoft and learning as much as I can about the Azure platform. Considering my background, it seems fitting that my first “Azure related” blog post is all about….ACI! In this case however, ACI stands for Azure Container Instances – a new Azure offering announced this week and currently in preview. So what are Azure Container Instances? Read the rest of this entry »