New four services added to “Azure free services” catalog

Hi Cloud Marathoner friends!

Who would resist to learn Azure cloud and utilize free services that have been annnces this month?

Yes, you have read this correct, there are 4 more servics added to exisiting 25+ always free and 12 months set of free products, up to the monthly limits. 

Those services are listed on the infographic:

✔️ Azure Key Vault
✔️ Azure Database for PostreSQL
✔️ Azure Media Services
✔️ Azure Database for MySQL

Have you used these new services in your labs or projects yet?
If not, that is okay. Here is the brief description what you can do with these services listed above:

Azure Key Vault – helps teams to securely store and manage sensitive information such as keys, passwords, certificates, etc., in a centralized storage which are safeguarded by industry-standard algorithms, key lengths, and even hardware security modules.

Azure Database for PostreSQL – with Azure you can run your  PostgreSQL Server workloads in a hosted virtual machine infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or as a hosted platform as a service (PaaS). The PaaS option has multiple deployment choices, each with multiple service tiers that you can use with Azure Database for PostreSQL.

Azure Database for MySQL – take the model tha we described above and apply it to MySQL. That how simple it is..

Azure Media Services – lets you deliver any media, on virtually any device, to anywhere in the world using the cloud. The collection of services provide encoding, live or on-demand streaming, content protection and indexing for video and audio content.

Which products are free for 12 months?

These products are free for 12 months, up to the monthly limits. Availability is based on resource and region.

Check out the details about each of these services on Microsoft Azure’s website.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become ᴀ #cloudmarathoner ⛅🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍

#microsoftazure 
#free #cloudservices 
#cloudskills 
#continuouslearning

 1,025 Reads

What are the Microsoft Azure’s Multi-Cloud and Cross-Platform Capabilities?

Hello cloud marathoners,

There are many security and multi-cloud capability services under Microsoft Azure umbrella of services. In this post, I will reference the Microsoft documentation to clarify those capabilities on high-level.
I hope this post will clarify intent and purpose of these capabilities for you.

Important: Please zoom into a infographic – as it is of a high quality and can be very informative in understanding the article.

Microsoft’s cross-platform or cloud security starts with endpoints and cloud visibility and controls: namely Endpoint management and Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) that provides insight across your multi-cloud and on-premises datacenter estate as well as Cloud Workload Protection capabilities

Next are the SIEM and XDR Strategy – where Microsoft provides integrated capabilities for the Security Operations / SOC to get the broad and deep visibility needed to rapidly detect, hunt for, and respond/recover to threats across clouds and platforms.

The following capability on the infographic is – Infrastructure Extended Detection and Response (XDR). These capabilities are provided through set of services, namely Azure Defender, Azure Arc, Microsoft 365 Defender with number of features combined under the suit of services.

Next set of capabilities are Identity Enablement and Security – where Azure Active Directory provides comprehensive solutions, including Zero Trust access control that explicitly verifies trustworthiness of devices (via XDR) and users via native UEBA, Threat Intelligence and analytics.

And finally, Information Protection capabilities – utilize the Microsoft Information Protection and Azure Purview services that provide a full lifecycle approach to discovering, classifying, protecting, and monitoring structured and unstructured data as your organization generates and leverages more data. These capabilities provide insights to drive mission completion and competitive advantage.

What would be your approach?
Please, share in the comments section 👍
#SharingIsCaring❤️️

Important: Please zoom into the infographic – as it is of a high quality and can be very informative in understanding this article.

#microsoftazure
#multicloud
#crossplatform
#endpointmanagement
#SOC
#securityengineering
#identityaccessmanagement

 1,749 Reads

Protecting against compromised user devices with Zero Trust Access Control?

Hello Cloud Marathoners,

I have been asked to expand upon set of available Microsoft Azure services that could help with compromised user devices. One way to deal with such scenarios is to temporarily suspend user access until endpoint is cleaned.

Taking into account that your user’s device is compromized, you can automate response either to restric or restore the access to the endpoint.

Option#1 – Retrict Access

To help with this scenarious you could use the Azure AD’s Conditional Access features. The Conditional Access knows about the device risks because Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MDE) notified Intune, who then updated the compliance status of the device in Azure AD.

During this period, the user is restricted from accessing corporate resources. These applies to all new resource requests and will block any current access to resources that support continuous access evaluation (CAE).

Your user will still be able to do general internet productivity and research (like Wikipedia, external web resources and anything else that doesn’t require corporate authentication), but won’t have access to corporate resources.

Option#2 – Restore Access

The second option (illustrated on infographic) mitigates the “Access restored” scenariou. This correspondce to sceanriou wher threat has been remediated and cleaned up, MDE triggers Intune to update Azure AD and Conditional Access restores the user’s access to corporate resources.

Described two scenarious above, mitigate the risk to the organization by ensuring attackers who may be in control of these devices cannot access corporate resources, while minimizing the impact on user productivity to minimize disruption of business processes.

What is next?

Check this interesting references on Microsoft docs and learn about Continue Access Evaluation (CAE) – and other Common Conditional Access policies.

Fᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴍᴇ 🎯 ᴀɴᴅ become ᴀ #cloudmarathoner ⛅🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ – 𝐋𝐄𝐓’𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐍𝐄𝐂𝐓 👍#microsoftazure 
#conditionalaccess 
#compromiseduser
#continuouslearning

 2,251 Reads

Azure IoT Specialty exam certification Tips + Study Guide

Hello cloud marathoners,

Two weeks ago, I was able to clear the Azure specialty exam – “Azure IoT Developer” and get certified. More importantly, this was a good opportunity to learn about IoT technologies and services in Azure platform.

What is IoT?

An “Internet of Things” (IoT) device is typically made up of a circuit board with sensors attached that use WiFi to connect to the internet. Here are some examples of IoT devices and use cases:

  • A pressure sensor on a remote oil pump.
  • Temperature and humidity sensors in an air-conditioning unit.
  • An accelerometer in an elevator.
  • Presence sensors in a room.

The Azure Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of Microsoft-managed cloud services that connect, monitor, and control billions of IoT assets. In simpler terms, an IoT solution is made up of one or more IoT devices that communicate with one or more back-end services hosted in the cloud.

Check out the following short video, if you never hear about applications of Internet of Things (aka, IoT).

Is there a comprehesive study guide to follow?

The short answer is YES!

As always start with simple and straight forward Microsoft Learn modules on IoT learning path. But that is not the only resource that i have used.

I personally found it very useful to check the Microsoft Tech community blog posts. The IoT sub-section has many tricks and trips and recommendations. Thus, check the following post that has very good information on exam resources:

AZ-220 IoT Developer Certification Study Guide – is an awesome post from Microsoft employee Paul DeCarlo. By following this post I got many answers on the following questions:

  • How do I know which topics to focus on, what skills does the AZ-220 exam measure?
  • Where can I learn how to apply the concepts measured on the AZ-220 exam in a practical / hands-on manner?
  • I prefer to learn at my leisure with video content, are there any resources that cover the materials in the official docs and Microsoft Learn that I can watch?
  •  Any thoughts on paid courses / practice exams, are there any recommendations?

Where can I get Azure IoT Samples in C# ?

I have used the following GitHub repo in order to get hands-on expereince with Azure IoT. Azure IoT Samples for C# (.NET)

What is next?

Check this awesome IoT Event Learning Path.

It is designed for Solution Architects, Business Decision Makers, and Development teams that are interested in building IoT Solutions with Azure Services. The content is comprised of 5 video based modules that approach topics ranging from IoT device connectivity, IoT data communication strategies, use of artificial intelligence at the edge, data processing considerations for IoT data, and IoT solutioning based on the Azure IoT reference architecture.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this post till this point.

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

 943 Reads

How to become a Microsoft Security🛡️ Ninja ⚔ ???

Hello friends,

Recently, I have been asked about good refences to master security echo-system on Microsoft technologies, especially in Cloud security products and services. Thus, I dived into references and compiled following resources for everyone to enjoy 👍👌

Learn about basic to advanced scenarios on network security, MCAS, Defender, Office365 and other security🛡️🔐 services on Microsoft Azure – from following collection of blog posts: 

✔️ Microsoft Cloud App Security Ninja Training  https://aka.ms/MCASNinja

✔️ Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Ninja Training  https://aka.ms/MDENinja

✔️ Azure Network Security Ninja Training https://lnkd.in/g9qeMrT

✔️ Azure Security Center Ninja Training  https://aka.ms/ASCNinja

✔️ Azure Sentinel Ninja Training https://lnkd.in/gpZb7kS

✔️ Microsoft 365 Defender Ninja Training  https://aka.ms/M365Ninja

✔️ Microsoft Defender for Identity Ninja Training https://aka.ms/DFINinja

✔️ Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Ninja Training https://aka.ms/MDONinja

In addition, you could easily join to the Microsoft Security Community, and get latest announcement from here: https://lnkd.in/gXdv7Sq

Stay tuned …. for upcoming announcements on Microsoft Azure, as all of them will be shared back here 😘

#microsoftazure #continuouslearning #cybersecurity #networksecurity #informationsecurity #cloudsecurity

 1,194 Reads

Error on Bicep module – on Azure CLI (2.22.0) for Windows 10

If you are seeing “fromisoformat” error while running az bicep version or any other az bicep command – you are not alone 🙂

Check this open issue reported on GitHub by community member – https://github.com/Azure/azure-cli/issues/17718


After updating to the latest Azure CLI (2.22.0) for Windows 10, I am now seeing the same error as others have reported:

Any command such as “az bicep version” is producing the following error:

The command failed with an unexpected error.
Here is the traceback and detailed error:
type object 'datetime.datetime' has no attribute 'fromisoformat'
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\knack/cli.py", line 231, in invoke
File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/core/commands/init.py", line 657, in execute
File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/core/commands/init.py", line 720, in _run_jobs_serially
File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/core/commands/init.py", line 691, in _run_job
File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/core/commands/init.py", line 328, in call
File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/core/init.py", line 807, in default_command_handler
File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/command_modules/resource/custom.py", line 3294, in build_bicep_file
File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/command_modules/resource/_bicep.py", line 63, in run_bicep_command
File "D:\a\1\s\build_scripts\windows\artifacts\cli\Lib\site-packages\azure/cli/command_modules/resource/_bicep.py", line 152, in _load_bicep_version_check_result_from_cache
AttributeError: type object 'datetime.datetime' has no attribute 'fromisoformat'

Is there a temp workaround?

One of the workarounds is to uninstalled Azure CLI 2.22.0 , and then install the prior version 2.21.0. You could confirm 2.21.0 version is working for you by running the same command.

Hope this will be helpful for you, as i faced with this issue hours before my demo to #GlobalAzure 2021 😐

 440 Reads

Are you ready to start your Bicep transformation journey in Azure?

Hello friends,

I am getting ready bits and pieces of the presentation and demo code for the #GlobalAzure 2021 event.

This is going to be my second year in a row, presenting at this global event, and I am pumped to contribute with two new sessions this year.

Feel free to check out the details of each session and links here .

Session banner for upcoming presentation on Global Azure 2021

WHY bother to transfrom your exising Azure ARM templates into Bicep?

  • Easy to understand and maintain code for your Azure infrastructure
  • Day zero support for all resource types & API versions
  • Nice transparent abstraction for the underlying platform
  • Awesome Tooling – VS Code extension for Bicep
  • Deep integration with other Azure Services
  • Preflight validation – both Bicep/ARM does preflight validation on entire template
  • Provides high level of confidence that your code is ‘syntactically valid’ before deploying
  • Support – starting from v.03, Bicep is 100% supported by Microsoft Support Plans

This time, I am looking forward to share level 200 talk and demos, where we will ALL deep dive into challenges of transforming exisiting ARM templates into Azure Bicep.

We will inspect the ARM JSON decompiler, which comes with Azure Bicep and how to make it work your way.

Stay tunes, i hope to see you all during the event!

 361 Reads

Get started with data transformation services in Azure – Global Azure 2021

Azure Global 2021 event in mid-April 2021

Hello friends,
I am back again, this time with another follow-up announcement of a second Global Azure 2021 session in Azure Data focus area, for ALL of you!

I am truly excited to present the following session on April 17th, live from my broadcasting studio in East Cost:)

This session will be a deep dive into different data movement scenarios using first-class tooling in Azure data echo-system and Azure Data Factory (ADF). We will learn about handy new features and data connectors, while copying and transforming datasets from a Data Lake and SQL Relational Database storages. Thus, tune in to learn about latest developments in Microsoft Azure data transformation services.

In my second session, I will share following journey with you:

Abstract of the upcoming session provided below 😉

We will learn about what is ETL and ELT stands for in data world, and how Azure Data Factory (ADF) service could help you. Along the way, we will look into inner-workings and fundamentals of a cloud-based ETL and data integration service that allows you to create data-driven workflows for orchestrating data movement and transforming data at scale.

Finally, we will conclude the session with ADF demo and Q&A

TheCloudMarathoner 🙂

Please let me know, what topics are you interested in?

 209 Reads

Transfrom your Azure ARM into Bicep during the Global Azure 2021

Global Azure 2021 event in mid-April.

Hello eveyone,
I am very happy to share exciting news with all of you.

Few days ago, i have receieved an email confirming acceptance of my both Azure sessions for the Global Azure 2021 event. I am truely trilled to present on April 16th and 17th following two sesions for eveyone live:

I am looking forward for your participiation, and tune in to learn about latest developments in Microsoft Azure.

In my first session i will share the following new session with you.

Abstract of the presentation as is:

Infrastructure as a Code (IaC) is important strategy to manage your digital estate in any cloud environment. Simplifying management of your infrastructure while re-using code is even better. In Microsoft Azure, we have ARM (Azure Resource Manager) templates that could declaratively define your cloud project infrastructure.

However, it is not easy to author ARM JSON templates and maintain them when your project grows and requires changes. In this demo heavy session, we will introduce the Azure Bicep language and demonstrate how it simplifies authoring ARM templates for your Azure infrastructure. We will author a manageable, readable, and modularized Azure infrastructure code, while using familiar tools.

TheCloudMarathoner 🙂

Please let me know, what topics are you interested in?

 535 Reads

GitOps = IaC + MRs + CI/CD

The biggest benefit in using Git and infrastructure-as-code (IaC) is that you can now use continuous integration and deployment. With tools like GitHub actions, you can automatically deploy and/or update infrastructure code and automatically apply it to your cloud environment. Resources that have been added to the infrastructure code are created automatically and made ready for use.

The resources that were changed are updated in your cloud environment and resources that are removed from the infrastructure code are automatically spun down and deleted. This allows you to write code, commit it to your Git repository, and take full advantage of all the benefits of the DevOps process.

GitOps

GitOps uses a Git repository as the single source of truth for infrastructure definitions. Simply put, a Git repository is a “.git” folder in a project that tracks all changes made to files in a project. Infrastructure as code (IaC) is the practice of keeping all infrastructure configuration tracked and saved as code files. The actual desired state may or may not be stored as code, depending your approach and organizational policies.

MRs

GitOps uses merge requests as the change process for all infrastructure updates. The merge request (MR) is where teams can collaborate via reviews and comments. The MR could also have a formal approval for changes to take place. A merge commits to your “main” branch is a potential changelog for a later audit and/or troubleshooting when needed.

CI/CD

GitOps automates infrastructure updates using a Git workflow with continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). When new code is merged, the CI/CD pipeline enacts the change in the environment. Any configuration drift, such as manual changes or errors, is overwritten by GitOps automation so the environment converges on the desired state defined in the Git.
GitHub actions uses CI/CD pipelines to manage and implement GitOps automation.

GitOps isn’t a black box anymore. It just takes IaC tools you already know and wraps them in a DevOps-style workflow. This approach provides a better revision tracking, fewer costly errors, and quick, automated infrastructure deployments that can be repeated for on any environment.

By adopting GitOps in your organization, you could improve the developer experience because often-dreaded releases become fully automated. This will allow developers to focus on their code. Teams eliminate or minimize manual steps and make deployments repeatable and reliable.

You could also improve security and standardization by utilizing GitOps.
By practicing GitOps, developers have no need to manually access cloud resources and additional security checks can be put in place at the code level in CI/CD pipelines.

I hope you like the GitOps approach and please let me know, what are you working on. Or how you could relate your work to GitOps?

 492 Reads