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 toΒ #cloudmarathonerΒ LinkedInΒ tagΒ πŸ‘πŸ‘€
Stay tuned for more Azure, Automation & Security related posts.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴑ ᴍᴇ 🎯 α΄€Ι΄α΄… become α΄€Β #cloudmarathonerΒ β›…πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 π‚πŽπππ„π‚π“ πŸ‘

Microsoft Ignite 2021 – Cloud Skills Challenge is back

Hello Cloud Marathoners,

As it was the case last year,Β Microsoft IgniteΒ is back and held digitally free of charge, during Nov 2-4 πŸŽ‰ πŸŽ‡

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

That’s it friends, buckle up to complete your challenge before Nov 30, 2021 to earn new skills and receive a complementary Azure exam award πŸ†.

Good Luck 🀞 in your new Cloud Skills Challenge !

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.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴑ ᴍᴇ 🎯 α΄€Ι΄α΄… become α΄€ #cloudmarathoner β›…πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 π‚πŽπππ„π‚π“ πŸ‘

How to create a free, Azure Active Directory developer tenant? πŸ€”

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.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴑ ᴍᴇ 🎯 α΄€Ι΄α΄… become α΄€ #cloudmarathoner β›…πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 π‚πŽπππ„π‚π“ πŸ‘

Hardening parameter inputs on Azure Bicep files

Hello Cloud Marathoners,

In my previous Azure Bicep post, I wrote about four parameterization options that could be used with Bicep language. We also looked into the Azure Bicep resource templates, and how they help to author and manage Azure resources more cleanly and easily.

Azure Bicep Tips – Hardening parameter inputs

Now, I would like to share a couple tips on how to harden your parameter inputs. This will help you to avoid deployment errors that you could easily prevent by restricting and checking Bicep parameter values.

Tip # 1: Min and Max length of resource names

In our previous post, we have built and demoed the webapp-service-w-param.bicep file. It had no parameter input validation. Thus, that template is open for failures when you enter 'a' for the appServiceAppName input parameter. Here is the link to the repo.

webapp-service-w-param.bicep

However, it is pretty straightforward to avoid such false entries by checking the allowed name length of the Microsoft.Web/serverFarms resource in the Microsoft docs Resource name rules page.

Based on “Resource name rules” page we can add following functions:

The @minLength and @maxLength function are going to define and enforce min and max length of the parameter, while @description will help to define the purpose of the parameter.

Tip # 2: Defining purpose of the parameter

It is always helpful to add meaningful description to your parameters, even though it is not required by Azure Bicep template. Believe it or not, people who are new to your code will appreciate it. For example: we have a location parameter in our template, and adding the following description clarifies the purpose of this parameter for everyone, including myself, later in a month when I am re-visiting my code.

Tip # 3: Restricting parameter value entries that match your organization’s policy

The final tip is already revealed in our screen-shot above. It makes a valid and important sense to enforce your organization’s Azure policies on any provisioning scripts, in addition to the Azure Policies.

In our example: we are restricting deployment of Azure resources only into the following Azure regions to comply with the company policy to make every party happy.

Thus, I have shared a few tips that you could use to harden your Azure Bicep code and avoid some common deployment errors in advance.

Here is the complete view into our hardened webapp-service Bicep file:

Summary

Preventing deployment failures, especially the once that are caused by invalid input parameters are an easy fix on an Azure Bicep language. Checking the resource name restrictions and allowed values is one easy tip to prevent those errors. I would recommend checking the Microsoft documentation on “Naming rules and restrictions for Azure resources” and bookmark it for your reference.

Thank you πŸ™ for reading this post and learning how to prevent Azure Bicep deployment failures by hardening the input parameter values.

Please check out the Learn Bicep GitHub repo, and follow it.
Thanks, πŸ™ πŸ™Œ!

Stay tuned for more Azure automation & Azure Bicep posts.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴑ ᴍᴇ 🎯 α΄€Ι΄α΄… become α΄€ #cloudmarathoner β›…πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 π‚πŽπππ„π‚π“ πŸ‘

Four parameterization options for your Azure Bicep deployments

Hello Cloud Marathoners,

In my last posts, I wrote about Azure CL and a Bicep language. The Azure Bicep language, helps to author and manage Azure resources more cleanly and easily on your Azure subscription.


The parameterization of infrastructure deployment files is an important skill where true power of automation and code reuse comes forward.
Let’s learn about different parameterization options that you could use in your Azure Bicep deployments. As an example, we will examine the following parameterization options on an Azure Bicep web app deployment file.

βœ”οΈ Using Bicep file as is

βœ”οΈ Using default parameters on your bicep file

βœ”οΈ Simply adding parameters into your command line

βœ”οΈ Using a separate file for parameters, per environment

Option 1: Using Bicep file as is

This first option is the most straightforward way to declare your parameters. However, you would have to enter each parameter name, every time you are deploying the Azure resources.

Following screenshot is a default Bicep web app declaration with parameters. Check the Learn Bicep repo here πŸ‘


Now, let’s declare an Azure CLI command that will deploy our Azure Bicep file into a Resource group.

# Create a rg-test-deploy RG
az group create -l eastus -g 'rg-test-deploy'

# Option-1: Run deployment file as is
az deployment group create -g 'rg-test-deploy' -f .\param-files\webapp-service-w-param.bicep

# List all webapps in the subscription
az webapp list --query [].name -o table

Option 2: Using default parameters on your bicep files

The second option will allow us to deploy our Bicep file without entering the default values each time. However, it would require an update on file each time you want to change parameter values 😒

Now, we can take the previous webapp-service Bicep file, and add its default values. The updated Bicep file will look like the following screenshot:


Our Azure CLI deployment script would just get a new file name

# Option-2: Run deployment with default values
az deployment group create -g 'rg-test-deploy' -f .\param-files\webapp-service-default-param.bicep

# You could also add preflight check with "-c" at the end of each deployment script

Option 3: Simply adding parameters into your command line script

If you would prefer to type parameters and values on a terminal then third option can deliver it for you. That script will look like the following sample:

# Option-3: Run deployment with inline parameters
az deployment group create -g 'rg-test-deploy' -f .\param-files\webapp-service-w-param.bicep -p location='eastus' appServiceAppName='param-demoapp18' appServicePlanName='asp-param-demo'

Option 4: Using a separate file for parameters, per environment

The last option has multiple advantages over prior options. As you could create separate environment parameters in their own dedicated files and manage them accordingly.
For example: You can create a separate param file for “Dev” environment deployments; like in the following screenshot.

Note: parameter files for Bicep language are using a JSON notation, similar to the way how ARM JSON declares parameter files with a following schema.

"https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentParameters.json#"

And our deployment script will look like the following sample:

# Option-4: Run deployment with a separate parameter file
az deployment group create -g 'rg-test-deploy' -f .\param-files\webapp-service-w-param.bicep -p .\param-files\webapp-service-parameters-dev.json

# List all webapps in the subscription
az webapp list --query [].name -o table

# Clean all resources from RG
az group delete -n 'rg-test-deploy' --yes

Summary

Thank you πŸ™ for reading this post and learning about four different options to deploy your Azure Bicep files using Azure CLI.

Please check out the Learn Bicep GitHub repo, and follow it.
Thanks πŸ™ πŸ™Œ !

Stay tuned for more Azure automation & Azure Bicep posts.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴑ ᴍᴇ 🎯 α΄€Ι΄α΄… become α΄€ #cloudmarathoner β›…πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 π‚πŽπππ„π‚π“ πŸ‘

How to check and update Azure CLI version on your workstation?

Hello friends,

I was prompted to update my CLI and wanted to share this easy experience with everyone.


There is an easy straightforward process to check & update your favourite Azure CLI in a few minutes without leaving the command line tool of your choice.

There are 2 commands that you would ever need going forward, assuming that your version of CLI is already “2.x”.

Check your az cli version

Just run the az version --help command first.

Check the AZ CLI version

Running update on AZ CLI

Next, run the az upgrade command and press key Y when prompted to continue.

Upgrade the AZ CLI version

And finally, check the updated version and its extensions if needed.

Verify upraded version and Bicep

In case your AZ CLI is up to date, you could always run az bicep upgrade command and get the job done.

Stay tuned for more Azure automation & Security related posts.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴑ ᴍᴇ 🎯 α΄€Ι΄α΄… become α΄€ #cloudmarathoner β›…πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 π‚πŽπππ„π‚π“ πŸ‘

Azure introduced new Fusion Detection for Ransomware!

Hi Cloud Marathoners,

This week a new service – Fusion Detection for Ransomware has been announced. These Fusion detections correlate alerts that are potentially associated with ransomware activities that are observed at defense evasion and execution stages during a specific timeframe.Β 

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware attack is a type of attack that involves using specific types of malicious software or malware to make a network or system inaccessible for the purpose of extortion – β€˜ransom’.

There is no doubt that ransomware attacks have taken a massive turn in being the top priority as a threat to many organizations. AΒ recent reportΒ released byΒ PurpleSecΒ revealed that the estimated cost of ransomware attacks was $20 billion in 2020 and with downtime increasing by over 200% and the cost being 23x higher than 2019.

Preventing such attacks in the first place would be the ideal solution but with the new trend of β€˜ransomware as a service’ and human operated ransomware, the scope and the sophistication of attacks are increasing – attackers are using slow and stealth techniques to compromise network, which makes it harder to detect them in the first place.

AI in action with Azure Sentinel for help!

Good new is that #azuresentinelΒ πŸ”₯ is constantly getting more efficient by introducingΒ #AIΒ in action – SentinelΒ #fusion!

In order to help your analyst quickly understand the possible attack, Fusion provides you with a complete picture for the suspicious activities happened on the same device/host by correlating signals from Microsoft products as well as signals in network and cloud. Supported data connectors include:

”With Fusion detection for ransomware that captures malicious activities at the defense evasion and execution stages of an attack, it gives security analysts an opportunity to quickly understand the suspicious activities happened around the same timeframe on the common entities, connect the dots and take immediate actions to disrupt the attack.”

Microsoft is commited to release new multistage attack scenarios detected by Fusion in Azure Sentinel. You could keep an eye on thereΒ Azure Sentinel FusionΒ page and get latest updates there πŸ™‚

Stay tuned for more Azure automation & Security related posts.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴑ ᴍᴇ 🎯 α΄€Ι΄α΄… become α΄€ #cloudmarathoner β›…πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 π‚πŽπππ„π‚π“ πŸ‘

#microsoftsecurity
#security
#infosec
#cybersecurity

Essential Azure cloud transformation handbook – for everyone

Hi Cloud Marathoners,

There might be some technical knowledge gaps when we start to learn a new cloud service or its features. One way to minimize it – is to study for a certification exam or read a book that has a more holistic approach into the technology.

Well, while not all of you might agree with this approach of reading the book, certain books can open a completely new perspective into your vision. Of course, there is a risk that over-time, the cloud services described in the book might be phased out, merged or re-named (like, Azure Data Warehouse service got evolution into Azure Synapse Analytics) into some other services.

In addition, hands-on learning is the recommended approach to masterΒ your knowledge and get technical depth into the subject matter area.


Anyway, no matter what approach works best for you, the “Azure Strategy and Implementation Guide 4th Edition” is an essential handbook to cloud transformation with Azure that you don’t want to miss out on.

As it is a common case in technology, there are many different scenarios for running your workloads on Azure to meet your company’s business needs. This book puts renewed emphasis on the importance of using design principles and how crucial planning is – when moving resources to Azure.

The authors of the book use the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework, and recommend to adopting best practices to improve the quality of your workloads in the cloud.

That said, let’s have a look into the chapters:

βœ”οΈ Introduction to Azure
βœ”οΈ Automation and governance in Azure
βœ”οΈ Modernizing with hybrid cloud and multicloud
βœ”οΈ Cloud migration: Planning, implementation, and best practices
βœ”οΈ Enabling secure, remote work with Microsoft Azure AD and WVD
βœ”οΈ Security fundamentals to help protect against cybercrime
βœ”οΈ Offers, support, resources, and tips to optimize cost in Azure

I hope those listing sparkled your interest to read the book.
Well, without any overdue check the download link and put it on your device.

Hopefully, you could get solid Azure cloud understanding from this book and lighten-up your cloud transformation journey.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴑ ᴍᴇ 🎯 α΄€Ι΄α΄… become α΄€ #cloudmarathoner β›…πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 π‚πŽπππ„π‚π“ πŸ‘

#microsoftazure
#cloudskills
#multicloud
#cloudtransformation
#bestpractices
#wellarchitected #framework
#continuouslearning

Start your Azure Certification today with easy steps 1..2..3

TheΒ #tokyoolympics2021Β is over – so you can start your ownΒ #certificationΒ Olympics withΒ MicrosoftΒ Azure forΒ #freeΒ πŸ’ͺπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈ

How to get your Azure & Data Fundamentals (AZ-900 + DP-900) β‰πŸ€”

(Attention:Β you could get aΒ free training + Azure exam voucherΒ by the end of this article)

Microsoft Azure is one of the fastest growing cloud solution providers in the world. It has an “Azure Fundamentals” certification – an entry level cloud certification. Candidates for this exam (AZ-900) should have foundational knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure.

Azure Fundamentals exam is an opportunity to prove knowledge of cloud concepts, core Azure services, Azure pricing, SLA, and lifecycle, and the fundamentals of cloud security, privacy, compliance, and trust.

Are you excited to start your Azure study?

Check these absolutely free resources below and get ready for this exam then πŸ™‚

Well, next step will be the exam registration, that has a $99 cost in the USA. You could take this exam online, proctored through Pearson VUE or other exam providers.

I have a good news for you – for limited time, Microsoft generously provides complementary exam vouchers for its virtual event attendees. Thank you Microsoft for empowering people on their #cloudjourney!

After completing one of these free training below, you’ll be eligible to take theΒ Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification examΒ at no cost.

Updated with new #free training opportunities + exam

First Option (AZ-900): After completing one of the free training below, you’ll be eligible to take the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification exam at no cost.

Second Option (DP-900): Completion of a free Data training below, will make you eligible to take the  Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals certification exam at no cost.

Well, don’t look further, just register and guarantee your spot for this event and receive your complementary voucher after the event.

Hopefully, these tips will be an encouragement wave to start your #cloudjourney.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴑ ᴍᴇ 🎯 α΄€Ι΄α΄… become α΄€Β #cloudmarathonerΒ β›…πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™€οΈ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 π‚πŽπππ„π‚π“ πŸ‘

Good Luck in your first steps!