What is the AWESOME Azure Bicep ? ๐Ÿ’ช

Hello Cloud Marathoners!

I have been getting many questions on how to start an Azure Bicep journey – in a special and AWESOME way ๐Ÿ˜€ – which brought an idea to create the AWESOME Azure Bicep GitHub repo for the community ๐ŸŽ‰

Long story short, this has been on ideation for few days and is life now, as of Jan 18, 2022 ! ๐Ÿ˜

Now, I have started gradually adding important official and community resources to help new #Azure learnersย and #cloudmarathoners!

AWESOME Azure Bicep repo

Please, share โญ and fork ๐Ÿด this repo and make your contributions.

I really ask you ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™ to make your contributions and help maintain and grow this repo going forward.

Thank you for all your ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ continued support!

 269 Reads

Welcoming the Microsoft Exam Simulator โœ”๏ธ

Hi Cloud Marathoners!

It is pretty common for every new student to be worried about exam software โš™๏ธ and its user expereince, in addition to being prepared for the exam. However, this is not an issue anymore.

Microsoft Learn has introduced a demo exam simulator that looks, works and feels like you are having a real Microsoft exam. This news was just announced by Microsoft Learn Blog.

I believeย this is an important help for all the #cloudmarathoners and friends who are just starting their Microsoft Azure journey.

Why is it helpful?

Well, using this new exam sandbox should better prepare you for the exam experience. This should also increase your familiarity with the user interface, how to navigate between exam sections, pages and Q&A.

This simulator also shows you what actions are required to answer each of the different question types, where information about the exam is located, how to mark questions for review and how to provide comments at the end of the exam.

Important

Keep in mind that a secure browser that will be launched during a real exam will block all third-party applications running on your computer. Thus, I would strongly advise youย to install and run the exam provider’s (like, Pearson VUE or any other) simulator on your local computer a day or two before the actual exam date. This will be an additional peace of mind to have in your checklist for a pleasant exam experience.

Conclusion

I sincerely wish you Good Luck โค๏ธ in your upcoming exam(s) !

Are you ready to give it a try ?
Then check it out for #free >> https://aka.ms/examdemo

References: New to Microsoft certification exams?

 981 Reads

Happy to join the #OpenHack Containers coaches club ๐ŸŽ‰

Hello Cloud Marathoners!

Few weeks ago, I participated in the Microsoft OpenHack Containers event. This was an awesome event where I had a chance to coach a team of professionals to tackle containerization challenges.

What is Microsoft OpenHack

Microsoft OpenHack is a developer-focusedโ€ฏengagement that connects development teams (Open)โ€ฏwith experts to tackle a seriesโ€ฏof real-world challenges through hands-onโ€ฏexperimentationโ€ฏ(Hack) in person or online (Virtual).

What was in the challenge?

We started with good old docker tooling for containers and ended up migrating those several containers and dependencies to the Azure Kubernetes Services. However, the most interesting part was applying best practices and security configurations to the migrated workloads.

Due to participation disclosure agreement, I would not be able to detail each team challenge (about 7-8). However, this was real teamwork that required learning and experimenting for all the team members.

My team went throughย ups and downs while trying to complete the necessary number of challenges to earn the badge. I am very happy that my team was able to complete the required challenges, learn important hands-on skills, and get theirย well deserved badges.

I was very pleased to help my team along their containerization journey. At the end, I feel very honored and appreciated to receive an OpenHack Containers Coach badge.

OpenHack: Containers Coach

Interested to get started with containers in Azure ?

Check out the following #free resources to start your own containerization learning path in Azure:

Thank you  ๐Ÿ™Œ for reading this post and checking the learning resources above.

Please, feel free to share your experience with the #cloudmarathoner community.
I will be happy to share your experience and tips here as well. ๐ŸŽ‰

I am planning to keep this post up to date with your valuable contributions going forward!

 826 Reads

Study guide DA-100: Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI

Hello Cloud Marathoners!

I am very happy to announce my next Microsoft certification badge!.
This time, I was able to pass the DA-100: Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power ๐Ÿš€ BI.

Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate

If you are looking forward to get prepared for this exam, then check out the following resources:

๐Ÿ“Œ Microsoft Learn modules:
โžŸ Get started with Microsoft data analytics
https://lnkd.in/g9_bfRhR

โžŸ Prepare data for analysis
https://lnkd.in/gguGnTzw

โžŸ Model data in Power BI
https://lnkd.in/gnXrGhRS

โžŸ Visualize data in Power BI
https://lnkd.in/gCr72iuH

โžŸ Data analysis in Power BI
https://lnkd.in/g4s4NGan

โžŸ Manage workspaces and datasets in Power BI
https://lnkd.in/gCRRAFDX

๐Ÿ“Œ YouTube courses:
โžŸ Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI | DA-100 Certification Exam Prep
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyiCeP6JxaU

โžŸ DA-100: Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI โ€“ FULL COURSE in 2 hours
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tfk3ae0qz3A

๐Ÿ“Œ Udemy Course:
โžŸย DA-100 certification: Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI byย Phillip Burtonย atย https://lnkd.in/gH5SuQ2F

Microsoft Learn Updates Jan 14, 2022

If youโ€™ve already earned the Data Analyst Associate certification, you will see the new name in your Certification Dashboard on February 28, 2022.

If youโ€™ve been studying for Exam DA-100, no worries. You have until March 31, 2022, to take it.ย 

If youโ€™ve just started preparing for Exam DA-100, consider reviewing the skills requirements for new Exam PL-300 and switching your focus to the new exam because the exams are very similar.ย  However, between February 28 and March 31, 2022, learners can pass either exam to earn their Power BI Data Analyst Associate certification.

Microsoft Lean blog
thumbnail image 1 of blog post titled 
	
	
	 
	
	
	
				
		
			
				
						
							Announcing a new name for the Data Analyst Associate certification

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this post and checking the preparation resources.

Please, feel free to share your experience, as i am planning to keep this post up to date with your valuable contributions going forward. #keeplearning

 2,171 Reads

Azure Bicep First Look course is released!

Happy Friday friends,

Are you looking for a simpler, more efficient way to author infrastructure resources in Azure?

Azure Bicep First Look course


If so, youโ€™re in luck. Azure Bicep is here to help. Bicep is a new domain-specific language (DSL) for deploying resources in Azure. Itโ€™s also a much cleaner, more concise language than ARM JSONโ€”cloud admins and DevOps professionals, rejoice!

Please, let me know if you need any help with my new Azure Bicep First Look course.

I am here to help you in your Cloud journey!
Stay tuned for more Azure content!

 2,024 Reads

What are the good options to manage sensitive info in Azure Bicep?

Hello Cloud Marathoners,

Every seasoned IT professional knows that sensitive information should not be exposed as a clear text on any code. This is especially true for infrastructure-as-code (aka, IaC) scenarios where passwords and keys are part of the deployment.

One way to stay compliant in accomplishing this goal is the integration of an Azure Key Vault service into your deployment code. This Azure security service is primarily intended to store sensitive information like password, keys, certificates, connections, etc.

In this post, we will look into two different ways how we could integrate Azure Key Vault services in our Azure Bicep code.


Option – 1: Using getSecret() function

Our first option is to delegate this important work to a getSecret() function. This option could be used with an existing Azure Key Vault resource that is declared in your Azure Bicep code.

Let’s look into an example where an existing Azure Key Vault service is referenced to provide administrative password for SQL server deployment.

Deploying Azure SQL instance with Azure Key Vault

This sample Bicep code is using sqldb.bicep file as a module, where parameters; such as sqlServerName and adminLogin are passed through with a secret name of ExamplePassword.

The ExamplePassword secret name should be already set and ready in the referenced Key Vault service above. Here is the view of this secret on Azure portal.

Azure Key Vault with secretes in portal

Let’s have a quick view into the sqldb.bicep file, as it is referenced in the main Bicep file.

sqldb.bicep file

Now, let’s deploy these resources with a secret value from Key Vault resource that has a secret name ExamplePassword.

What happened? I am getting an error on my first deployment execution ๐Ÿ™

Error on deploying Bicep code with SQL server provisioning

Upon carefully analyzing error, I see the following reason for this error:

At least one resource deployment operation failed. Please list deployment operations for details. Please see https://aka.ms/DeployOperations for usage details.”,”details”:[{“code”:”RegionDoesNotAllowProvisioning”,”message”:”Location ‘East US 2’ is not accepting creation of new Windows Azure SQL Database servers at this time.

Azure deployment error

Based on the error message, we change the location to eastus and re-run the script. Now, we got the following positive result in console and portal:

Deployment results in Azure Portal RG

Next, we will attempt to login into a SQL Server instance.
A successful login will look like the following screen:

Successful login into the SQL instance

Important Note:

If you are getting an error during the login then try to check the following steps:

  • adminLogin name is entered correctly
  • your IP address is added to the SQL server firewall rules
  • grab a cup of coffee and check back in 5 minutes

Description of a typical login error into a SQL server instance is provided below. I checked the firewall rules and made a cup of coffee => before getting a successful log-in ๐Ÿ™‚

Requires your location IP activation

Option -2: Referencing as a secretName in parameter

The second option is pretty straightforward, if you have already used it on ARM template deployments.

Note: Please check out the following post – Four parameterization options for your Azure Bicep deployments for detailed information on available options.

We just need to reference Azure Key Vault secret like in the following example:

Using a parameter file and referencing the Key Vault secretName will do the trick in extracting the value and provisioning your resource.

Let’s run the bicep file that deploys multiple RGs and an Azure VM that uses VMPassword secret.

Running deployment with Bicep parameter file

A successful deployment provisions following RG with the VM resources:

Next, we should smoke test our deployment by locating the resource group “rg-demo-vm-1116” and using deployment parameters to RDP into Windows server:

Finally, we are able to see that secret and admin user name pair worked as expected

Azure VM deployed using Key Vault secret

Summary

In this post, we looked into two available options that harden our infrastructure code by removing hard-coded sensitive information and replacing it with Azure Key Vault reference. Thus, avoiding any potential leaks of passwords, secrets, etc.

IMHO, first option is better than the later one, because it does not expose subscription id and other small details.

What will be your choice? Please, share on LinkedIn post comments section.

Thank you for your interest my #cloudmarathoner friends!
Please, check other Azure Bicep posts and let me know your feedback.

What is next?

All code samples and presented Bicep files are placed in “Learn-Bicep” GitHub repo ๐Ÿ‘‰ https://lnkd.in/ds-h9VQx

Please, join me to learn more about Azure Bicep ๐Ÿ’ช on an Omaha Azure User Group meetup scheduled to happen on November 17th.

 3,496 Reads

Azure Bicep presentation for Omaha Azure User Group

Hello friends,

I am very excited to see you all in the next Omaha Azure User Group meetup. This time we will speak about the latest advancements and use cases you could apply in your Azure resource authoring toolkit.

This meeting will take place on November 17th, starting at 6 PM CST. Details of the event are posted here: https://lnkd.in/gzh_sF8e and on my LinkedIn post.

Please, make your registration at the meetup website here.


Support & Subscribe toย #cloudmarathonerย LinkedInย tagย ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘€
Stay tuned for more Azure, Automation & Security related posts.

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก แดแด‡ ๐ŸŽฏ แด€ษดแด… become แด€ย #cloudmarathonerย โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ – ๐‹๐„๐“’๐’ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐๐„๐‚๐“ ๐Ÿ‘

 1,382 Reads

Microsoft Ignite 2021 – Cloud Skills Challenge is back

Hello Cloud Marathoners,

As it was the case last year,ย Microsoft Igniteย is back and held digitally free of charge, during Nov 2-4 ๐ŸŽ‰ ๐ŸŽ‡

Microsoft Ignite is a signature event and held virtually for a global audience across a variety of industries to experience the latest and greatest technologies. It is an event where you could get a sneak peek at new products and services that will be coming in the future.

image
Microsoft Ignite 2021 – Cloud Skills Challenge

Cloud Skills Challenge

This year you could choose from 12 tech challenges and select the one that is right for you. Once you complete that challenge you will earn a free Microsoft Certification exam that can be applied to your choice from a select list of options:

  • Azure Developer Challenge
  • Azure Admin Challenge
  • Identity + Information Protection Challenge
  • Teams Admin Challenge
  • Teams Voice Engineer Challenge
  • Azure Database Admin Challenge
  • Desktop and Device Management Challenge
  • Windows Server Hybrid Admin Challenge
  • Dynamics 365 Sales Consultant Challenge
  • Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Mgmt Challenge
  • Power Platform Developer Challenge
  • Security Operations Analyst Challenge

When does the challenge begin?

The listed challenges will begin on November 2, 2021 and end on November 30, 2021. You can start your registration here to join the challenge.

What happens when I complete my Cloud Skills challenge?

According to the guidelines from official Cloud Skills Challenge website:

If you complete your challenge before it ends, one Microsoft Certification exam will be associated with your Learn profile on December 7, 2021. You will be notified via email when it becomes available.

A Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge character displays their awarded medals.

What are the Terms and Conditions?

Check out the Official rules; including Terms and Conditions with FAQ in this web page.

Summary

Thatโ€™s it friends, buckle up to complete your challenge before Nov 30, 2021 to earn new skills and receive a complementary Azure exam award ๐Ÿ†.

Good Luck ๐Ÿคž in your new Cloud Skills Challenge !

 1,565 Reads

Festive Tech Calendar 2021 event

Hi Cloud Marathoners,

As you may know, it is that time of a year when great content will be coming to the town! You could enjoy and learn throughout the month of December, as people behind the #festivetechcalendar will be bringing you lots of new content from different communities and people around the globe.

https://festivetechcalendar.com/

This year, I have submitted two sessions and have been nicely surprised yesterday. Both sessions have been accepted and I am looking forward to deliver following sessions for the community:

Session # 1: What you need to know about Azure AD security defaults?

Accepted session – “What you need to know about Azure AD security defaults?


In this session above, we will discuss about how to get started with Azure security on right foot and its challenges. We will focus on importance of a strong Identity and Access in any cloud solution that we are creating for our customers. One simple way to get started is review and adjustment of security default options in Azure AD. We will also look into the set of practices to get you started with Azure AD setup and learn about the benefits of Azure Security Benchmark.

Session # 2: All you need to know about Azure Bicep configurations

Accepted session -“All you need to know about Azure Bicep configurations”

In the second session, we will talk about Azure Bicep – a new language that aims to ease Azure resource authoring and management. This new language comes with a powerful VS Code extension and config file options.
In this session, we will unveil dozens of powerful features in our config file to suit your style of coding on VS Code and cheer up our productivity skills. We will apply our fresh skills by creating several Bicep demos in the process. 

Conclusion

I sincerely hope that these sessions will spark your interest and I am looking forward to see you all during this event. But most importantly, I hope you could have lots of fun during this festive month.

Stay tuned for more Azure AD, Automation & Security related posts.

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก แดแด‡ ๐ŸŽฏ แด€ษดแด… become แด€ #cloudmarathoner โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ – ๐‹๐„๐“’๐’ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐๐„๐‚๐“ ๐Ÿ‘

 939 Reads

How to create a free, Azure Active Directory developer tenant? ๐Ÿค”

Hi Cloud Marathoners!

It is a pretty common situation when as a Developer you are not granted access to work with company Azure AD. And there are many reasons why corporate security / IT would be hesitant to provide that access.

However, this situation should not discourage you from experimenting and prototyping solutions that you have.

Let’s consider following two easy options to create a free Azure Active Directory with Premium (P1 or P2) trial licenses. This will enable you to install/create an app that requires Azure AD license, and start testing and validating your workloads right away:

Azure Active Directory voor Developers - ppt download

Option # 1: Microsoft 365 Developer Program

Join a free Microsoft 365 Developer Program and get a free sandbox, tools, and other resources you need to build solutions for the Microsoft 365 platform. Resources like an Azure AD with Premium licenses, pre-configured users, groups, mailboxes and etc.

Option # 2: Create an Azure trial account

Create a new free Azure AD account with a tenant and activate your Premium licenses in your new tenant. This is a classic option for anyone who is trying to learn Azure for the first time.

The Azure trial account will give you one month to play with Azure and Azure AD services, where you will get certain credits to spend on Azure resources. You will get an option to convert this trial subscription into a paid one at the end of the trial period.

How to Join Microsoft 365 Developer Program

My recommendation would be to sign up for the free Microsoft 365 developer program that gets renewed automatically, if you are using that account. Check out the following instructions on how to set-up one:

1. Click on the Join Now button on the screen

2. Sign in with a exisiting or new Microsoft Account you already have

3. On the signup page, fill the form and accept the terms and conditions of the program, and click next

4. Continue with a subscription set-up. You should specify the region where you want to create your new tenant, create a username, domain and enter a password. This step will create a new tenant and an administrator account of the tenant.

5. Enter the security information which is required to protect the sensitive administrator account. Complete this step by setting up MFA authentication for your admin account.

6. Link your developer account with your GitHub account for an easy renewal. You should see the following GitHub account link blue banner, once the linking operation succeeds.

Congratulations!
You have created a new Azure AD tenant with 25 E5 user licenses. This also includes Azure AD Premium licenses.

As an additional perk, you can also add sample data packs with users, Mail & Events and SharePoint, as sample data for your development environment.

Good Luck on your next M365 project!

Stay tuned for more Azure AD, Automation & Security related posts.

FแดสŸสŸแดแดก แดแด‡ ๐ŸŽฏ แด€ษดแด… become แด€ #cloudmarathoner โ›…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ – ๐‹๐„๐“’๐’ ๐‚๐Ž๐๐๐„๐‚๐“ ๐Ÿ‘

 3,080 Reads