Testdriving the Azure-to-Azure (A2A) variant of the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) services

Introduction

About two weeks ago the public preview was announced for an Azure-to-Azure site recovery service (DR). This was a highly anticipated service to me. So I’m glad it was announced! Today’s post will be on doing a quick setup of the service to get an insight into the look & feel.

 

Topology

What will we be doing today? We’re going to replicate a machine from “West Europe” to “South UK”.

What will the flow be? We’ll have a “Site Recovery Vault” in the target destination. Why? This to ensure that we can leverage the service when the source region went offline. In the source region, we’ll have our VM + Storage Account / Disks, but also a storage account used for caching. All changes make to the disk, will be stored in that cache. On the target side, we’ll have a storage account where a replica (and retention points) of the VM will be kept. Sound pretty easy? Let’s find out…

Continue reading “Testdriving the Azure-to-Azure (A2A) variant of the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) services”

Azure : IT Governance in the cloud

Introduction

During the weekend I saw the following tweet passing by …

Apparently, a hosting company (allegedly) got all their data wiped by an ex-admin. Now I can imagine people thinking that this is something that is part of the territory when it boils down to cloud. So I wanted to write a blog post entailing what you do to set up a governance structure in Azure. Here I’m aware that the above tweet is more related to the security aspect of governance, it’s a part of it nevertheless.

 

Governance?!?

Let’s get started on our scope… IT Governance can cover a lot of ground. In essence, the goal is to assure that the investment in IT generates business value and the risks that are associated with IT projects are mitigated. Though I found that CIO.com has a nice definition on it ;

Simply put, it’s putting structure around how organizations align IT strategy with business strategy, ensuring that companies stay on track to achieve their strategies and goals, and implementing good ways to measure IT’s performance. It makes sure that all stakeholders’ interests are taken into account and that processes provide measurable results. An IT governance framework should answer some key questions, such as how the IT department is functioning overall, what key metrics management needs and what return IT is giving back to the business from the investment it’s making.

So let’s take a look at how we can put an enterprise-grade structure around the management of Azure!

 

TL;DR = Azure Enterprise Scaffold

For those who want to skip the post below… When talking about governance in Azure, the best place that summarizes it the following page in our documentation ; “The Azure Enterprise Scaffold“.

Continue reading “Azure : IT Governance in the cloud”

Setting up Azure MySQL with CodeIgniter by having SSL enforced

Introduction

In my previous post I talked about integrating Azure MySQL with a PHP webapp. Today we’ll elaborate on that one a bit further and see how we can setup CodeIgniter to use the Azure MySQL.

 

Prep the webapp

First thing, set all your database variables as app settings (read: environment variables) ;

That’s it as preparation 😉

Continue reading “Setting up Azure MySQL with CodeIgniter by having SSL enforced”

How to integrate Azure MySQL with PHP (on an Azure Webapp)

Introduction

When you deploy a MySQL in Azure, you should know that by default this enforces the usage of SSL on your connection.

And this is for due reason! You really do not want to create your database connection unencrypted. Though this is something that comes as something new to most PHP deployments, so let’s take a look at how to tackle this!

Continue reading “How to integrate Azure MySQL with PHP (on an Azure Webapp)”

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!

Continue reading “Azure Container Service : Using the Azure File Storage as a persistent (kubernetes) volume”

Azure : Pushing Azure Resource Manager Templates through a CI/CD (release) pipeline with Visual Studio Team Services

Introduction

From template code to deployment… If we really want to control this, then we’ll be pushing these templates through a CI/CD (continuous integration / continuous deployment) pipeline. What does that mean? We are going to put our template in a source code repository (like Github). Everytime we update the code, we’ll going to kick in a “build”. During this build we’ll be packaging it (read : create a zip file of it) and it is also strongly advised to do testing here too. Next up, if all goes well, we’ll be using that package to deploy to all our environments. And in the end, we want to be able to have a nice view on this too…

Why do it like this? Quality! We all make mistakes. We want to detect them early and not repeat them. And every change, we want to put it through the exact same process… time and time again!

 

Prerequisites

Starting off, I’m assuming you already have VSTS (Visual Studio Team Services) in place. If not, register for it! It’s free up till 5 users. And let’s be honest, at about 5€ per user / month & 8€ per build agent per month, … it’s still a steal! 😉

Continue reading “Azure : Pushing Azure Resource Manager Templates through a CI/CD (release) pipeline with Visual Studio Team Services”

10 years… Time goes fast!

WOW, really… WOW! It has been 10 years since I started my blog…! And here we are… more than 500 posts later. With more than 300 comments being posted. At the moment this blog has about 7000 visitors per month. My head still cannot fanthom this.

birthday-cake-ideas-for-10-year-old-boys-14

When I first started it was a kind of attempt to document things I discovered. As someone who has been an active member of the OSS community, I’ve always seen given back to the community as a task of everyone. I often joke that my job is “google premium”. Though when looking at ourselves, we must admit that a big chunk of our job relies on finding the right information. Therefore I always publish my findings online, in the hope that it might help someone else out there. That way we can keep evolving at a great pace. 🙂

 

Anyhow, as closing thought of today ;

Thanks to every single visitor out there!