Traffic Light Protocol alike Security Reference Architecture for Azure

Introduction

The way how organizations categorize/handle classified information can vary significantly. Where it can go from about 6 categories towards a more “limited” set of 3 to 4 categories. Where you see that some government organizations have even tried to reduce this in an effort to make it more accessible.

 

So for today, we’ll be looking at how we can handle sensitive/classified information in Azure. And to ensure you that you Azure implementations can facilitate sensitive data.

 

Side Story : Security should be like a roundabout

Though I don’t remember which conference talk it was… One visual has always stuck with me when talking about security. Imagine security like road infrastructure. Having a complex situation might be needed at times, though it will increase the risk that the drivers (~users) will make mistakes.

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Putting Azure FrontDoor in front of your webapp

Introduction

Today we’ll be going through the process of putting Azure FrontDoor in front (pun intended!) of a web app.

 

Step One) Adding the custom domain

The first step  is to add a new custom domain to your Frontend hosts ;

Now if you go through this, you’ll see that AFD expects you to link the custom domain to the azurefd.net domain in order to proceed.

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Using Azure DevOps to deploy your static webpage (SPA) to Azure Storage

Introduction

To, without shame, grab the introduction of the “Static website hosting in Azure Storage” page ;

 

Azure Storage now offers static website hosting, enabling you to deploy cost-effective and scalable modern web applications on Azure. On a static website, webpages contain static content and JavaScript or other client-side code. By contrast, dynamic websites depend on server-side code, and can be hosted using Azure Web Apps.

As deployments shift toward elastic, cost-effective models, the ability to deliver web content without the need for server management is critical. The introduction of static website hosting in Azure Storage makes this possible, enabling rich backend capabilities with serverless architectures leveraging Azure Functions and other PaaS services.

 

Which, to me, sounds great! As one of my projects (VMchooser) is actually a static site (VueJS based Single Page App) that could just as well run on Azure Storage (thus reducing my cost footprint). So today we’re going to test that one out, and afterwards integrate it into our existing CI/CD pipeline (powered by Azure DevOps).

 

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XenData : When a Windows Volume suddenly gets hybrid towards an Azure Storage Account

Introduction

Today I took the Xendata Cloud File Gateway out for a spin… Why? This little piece of software allows a windows volume to be extended by an Azure Storage Account. And from a technical level, we are talking about blob storage here. So you can leverage hot & cold storage, and even archive storage in the long-term. Imagine that huge exploding file server? Suddenly we can extend our typical Windows File Server with an seamlessly unlimited cloud tier. Whoppah!

Let’s take a look shall we!

Continue reading “XenData : When a Windows Volume suddenly gets hybrid towards an Azure Storage Account”

Azure Container Service : Using the Azure File Storage as a persistent (kubernetes) volume

Introduction

Today’s post is a brief one… Though it packs some punch! In the past I talked about storage patterns for docker/containers. Today we’ll touch how you can leverage the Azure File Storage as a shared & persistent storage for your container deployments. Kubernetes has been gaining a lot of traction, and that one has support for the Azure File Storage as a persistent volume too.

 

Demo Files

Want to run this yourself? Check out the following GitHub repository!

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Extending a Storage Spaces Direct pool on Azure

Introduction

Yesterday we talked about the combination of Azure+S2D+SOFS+MSSQL. Here we had a cluster where each node had two P20 disks. What if at a given point we would need more than 1TB of disk space? We’ll be extending the pool (and virtual disk etc). So let’s take a look what that would look like?

 

Adding the disks

First part… Let’s add the disks (note : even entire hosts is possible!). Browse to both VMs and press “attach new” in the disks section ;

2017-02-01-15_57_08-disks-microsoft-azure

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Ever tried the mix of Azure, SQL Server, Storage Spaces Direct & Scale Out File Server?

Introduction

A while back I posted a blog post how to setup a High Available SQL cluster on Azure using SIOS Datakeeper. As I’m an avid believer of storage spaces, I was looking for a moment to test drive “storage spaces direct” on Azure. The blog post of today will cover that journey…

UPDATE (01/02/2017) ; At this point, there is no official support for this solution. So do not implement it for production at this point. As soon as this changes, I’ll update this post accordingly!

UPDATE (08/02/2017) ; New official documentation has been released. Though I cannot find official support statements.

UPDATE (30/03/2017) ; A few days after the previous update, the following post was made => Deploying IaaS VM Guest Clusters in Microsoft Azure

 

Solution Blueprint

What do we want to build today?

  • A two node cluster which will be used as a Failover Cluster Instance for MSSQL.
  • As a quorum, we’ll be using the cloud witness feature of Windows 2016 in combination with an Azure storage account.
  • In regards to storage, we’ll create a Scale Out File Server setup which will leverage the local disks of the two servers via Storage Spaces Direct.
  • To achieve a “floating IP”, we’ll be using the Azure LoadBalancer setup (as we did in the last post).

kvaes-sql-cluster-s2d-sofs-azure

 

Continue reading “Ever tried the mix of Azure, SQL Server, Storage Spaces Direct & Scale Out File Server?”