Nano Server Management

Where has the time gone? I looked up from my computer and the summer is nearly over! One of the things I’ve been tinkering with as of late with some of my “infrastructure as code” projects is Nano Server. Not only is Nano Server gearing up to be a great Hyper-V host and a cool…

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Deconstructing JSON: Super Secrets

“Psst… Hey buddy, want to keep your plain text password in your source control?” Hopefully, you answer is “No”, but if you’d been following along with this JSON/ARM template series of posts, you will have noticed that I’ve defaulted to deployments with straight up, plain text, username/passwords in my template examples. So before we go…

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Getting Started with Azure Automation

As a regular use of an MSDN account with Azure credits, I often find myself running out of credit before I expect and it’s often my own fault. It’s really easy to spin up a server or start experimenting with a service and forget to turn it off or delete it when done. If only…

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Deconstructing JSON: Counting On

So here I am, in JSON-land, working on my deployment for VMs. But so far, I’ve only deployed one VM in my network. But one VM is boring. I want to be able to rack and stack more than one machine at a time! 🙂  Enter the copy object and the copyIndex function!  You can read the official documentation…

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ARM Templates: What Error?!?

There is more than one way to deploy an ARM template once you’ve created or edited on to your liking. The first way is to copy the code into a blank template deployment in the Azure portal. This has a few benefits, primarily that it gives you the option to edit any parameters in the…

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How Microsoft IT does the Cloud

One of the things that is fascinating about working at Microsoft is watching how we function internally as our own “customer”. This is very apparent when it comes to integrating with cloud solutions like Azure. We have the same challenges as any other external customer, with the added bonus of developing, testing and implementing our…

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A May Shower of Resources for IT Pros

It’s May (already!!) and with it brings a bunch of good resources for IT Pros looking to refresh their skills this spring.  Your first two stops should be the new IT Pro Cloud Essentials and IT Pro Career Center, which provide access to some great tools and features to help you tune up your skill…

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Deconstructing JSON: Adding a Network Security Group

If you’ve come from the Service Manager days of Azure, you’ll be familiar with the endpoints that came with each Cloud Service, handling the port forwarding needed to RDP to your server or to connect with PowerShell (port 5986). You could add or remove endpoints as need to provide access to whatever service you desired…

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Deconstructing JSON: Anatomy of a VM

While the Azure VM on has two official dependencies, the storage account and the network interface, there are a variety of properties that you need to gather or determine ahead of time in order for your deployment to be successful.  If you were doing the manual creation of the VM in the Portal, the properties…

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Deconstructing JSON: Bring on the NICs

One of the final dependencies for deploying a server on a network is a network card.  For Azure, networking is crucial for VMs so you can remotely access and control your VM after deployment. Now here’s the thing about JSON… The dependencies.  The resource dependencies allow you to basically pack all your resources, parameters and…

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