Monday, March 7, 2022

What are CIS Hardened Images on Azure?

Center of Internet Security (CIS) is a non-profit organisation that is intended to provide best practices. related to security threats. They do provide benchmarks and standards that are industry accepted and can be used to ensure the cloud resources are secured to a greater extend. CIS has worked with leading cloud vendors to bring the Virtual Machine image templates that. 


You can browse them in the Azure Marketplace via here.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Using Application Insights Rest API

Application Insights itself has great set of features that allows consumers to do many analysis on the application performance and monitoring. But there can be situations where you do need to find them located outside in external web applications. This is simplified by having support for different APIs and libraries to access Application Insights. In this article, we will focus on the REST API. 

Step 1: Aquire an API Access Key

Monday, February 14, 2022

What is Bridge to Kubernetes?

Azure Dev Spaces was the choice for setup micro service based multi-branched developer environments on Azure. As it is retiring, Bridge to Kubernetes comes in as a replacement for Dev Spaces. It is said to be light weight as it runs as extensions to Visual Studio and VS Code.  


Problem Statement

In a world where solutions are distributed for multiple micro-services, it is important to have the agility to be part of teams where everyone rapidly contributes to solution changes. Gone are the days where we stay for a Pull Request to complete, sync code and run on our local environments. Bridge to Kubernetes provides to keep everything synced in and work on only the required portion of the code once branched. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Bicep Setup for Log Analytics and App Insights

Bicep makes us human again. After all Json ARM templates, we can now write something with less brackets. I have written a few articles on Bicep and some templates related to APIM before as well. In this article,  I will explain how to setup a Log Analytics workspace and bind App Insights instances to it. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

Understanding the Azure Security Benchmark

Security in IT can keep people awake at nights. There are many new services and features introduced to Azure every year. It is not easy to keep a track of everything as an administrator or even as a team. Sudden exploits at any level can cost organisations valuable money and thereafter their credibility. So how can we make sure our services on cloud are secure as best it can get? 

This is answered with Azure Security Benchmark.

There are three main guidelines provide security standards. 

  1. Center of Internet Security (CIS)
  2. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  3. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI - DSS)

Friday, December 31, 2021

Plan for Chaos with Azure Chaos Studio

Two things rule the reliability of a system. Application and infrastructure. Developing applications is not easy but complicated and can be controlled to a certain extent. Things we know works are called features and things we cannot or forgot to fixed will be called known issues. There are many tests you can run to ensure the code works and code + UI = application works. Unit tests, UI tests, automated scripts, you name it. 


It is one thing to have a working application. But how about infrastructure? Many thought cloud could make life easier for infrastructure people. It just made life even harder. If things go wrong (chaos happens), there can be very minimal we can do to control. One thing we can do is try to plan for chaos.

Azure Chaos Studio just allows you to plan and test your infrastructure and prepare to be ready for any unexpected situations. It is not just a signal based simulation. It makes infrastructure fail for real. This makes the worst possible scenarios testable. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Azure Blueprints to replace ARM Templates?

 It is a controversial topic to be discussed. Will Azure Blueprints replace ARM Templates or Bicep? Well, we have been asking too much from ARM Templates. It can be very complexed, not just from the language perspective, but from the organisation perspective. Bicep solves the language complexity, but building a large infrastructure with many policies is always a mess. We can combine ARM templates but chances are multiple teams work in different ones if it is a large organisation. 


Let me be clear for a second. Blueprints does not replaces ARM templates. If you look at the image above, you may figure out why.