When building and managing an Azure environment, Microsoft maintains control of the network traffic as a core operations responsibility. The primary Azure platform resource to implement network traffic control is the Network Security Group (NSG). A Network Security Group allows you to define security rules, like firewall rules, that control traffic by specifying allowed and denied sources, destinations, ports, and protocols. Like all Azure resources, there are multiple options to manage NSGs, including the standard Azure Management tools: The Azure […]

Introduction Azure Bicep is a new declarative Domain Specific Language (DSL) for provisioning the Azure resources. The purpose of Azure Bicep is to simplify the authoring experience with a cleaner syntax and the potential for more code re-use. This new language aims to make it easier to write Infrastructure as Code (IaC) for developers and DevOps engineers that typically author ARM templates targeting Azure Resource Manager (ARM) and writing the syntax’s more manageable than the JSON syntax of Azure ARM […]

Databricks provides a robust notebook environment that is excellent for ad-hoc and interactive access to data. However, it lacks robust software development tooling. Databricks Connect and Visual Studio (VS) Code can help bridge the gap. Once configured, you use the VS Code tooling like source control, linting, and your other favorite extensions and, at the same time, harness the power of your Databricks Spark Clusters. Configure Databricks Cluster Your Databricks cluster must be configured to allow connections. In the Databricks […]

You are about to start and new C# project and have opened Visual Studio. Let’s discuss some best practices you should employ or consider before writing that first line of code. These practices are just a start. I have scoped this blog post to only cover those best practices to those that can be enabled before you write a single line of code and utilize the built-in features of Visual Studio and VS Code. Of course, there are other best […]

Introduction PowerShell DSC is possibly one of the most potent configuration managers for Windows Operating Systems. Even with the increase in popularity of Ansible and SaltStack, Powershell DSC remains supreme when enforcing the desired state on a Windows VM. Ansible itself has included the win_dsc module, which allows Ansible to run PowerShell DSC. In this blog post, we will dive deeper into one of PowerShell DSC’s most powerful aspects, 3rd Party Resources, and how they interact with Azure Automation. 3rd […]

DevOps implements a Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) process. When multiple team members work in the same codebase, anyone’s update could break the integrated code. So, Continuous Integration is to trigger a build pipeline whenever a code update is pushed. The build pipeline will fail if the newly updated code is incompatible with the existing codebase if there are any conflicts. The codebase might work well within a single developer environment, but in a build pipeline where all configurations and dependencies […]

Azure Kubernetes Service is a Microsoft Azure-hosted offering that allows for the ease of deploying and managing your Kubernetes clusters. There is much to be said about AKS and its abilities, but I will discuss another crucial role of AKS and containers, security. Having a secure Kubernetes infrastructure is a must, and it can be challenging to find out where to start. I’ll break down best practices, including baseline security for clusters and pods, and implement network hardening practices that […]

We live in fractious times! Let’s escape for a few minutes to consider how Microsoft is moving us toward calm and synchrony. Together with a consistent, organized design aesthetic, the Fluent Design System delivers a User Experience bridge across apps, platforms, and devices. Fluent UI is a package of tools we can use to build for our customers faster and with a consistent UX. Across Platforms The Fluent Design System applies to five platforms: Web, Windows, iOS, Android, macOS (recently […]

Recently we integrated Azure QnA Maker Service with SharePoint Search page for one of our DoD Customers so thought to share my experience and lesson learned with broader audiences. Generally, QnA Maker is used when designing a Chatbot, but, according to customer requirements, we integrated with an existing search page, so users do not need to go to multiple places for information. A single place to search all the contents, including static Questions and Answers (FAQs). Introduction Azure QnA Maker […]

Executive Summary This blog post is for anyone working with AWS CloudFormation Templates and are looking for ways to improve template versatility by including mappings. It begins by describing how the scenario was discovered. It then describes the solution for generating mappings. The Scenario I worked with AWS Cloud Formation and was looking for a starting point for a Windows Server 2012 R2 with an Active Directory template. The AWS CloudFormation Templates page has plenty to start with; I went […]