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Showing posts from 2021

Azure Resource Naming Convention

One of the key governance when deploying resources to cloud is to have a good naming convention. A good naming convention should help people quickly identify what the resource is and any relevant information that could prove useful, for example, location(uks, ne) or environment(prod, preprod, etc). You might see a VM resource reporting unhealthy and just by the name you are able to identify the location it is running from and which environment without needing to query for more information. People can then make a quick judgement call if they need to priorities to fix this particular VM or it can be dealt with later. So how do you start and any good framework to work against? In Azure world Microsoft has create tons of material called "Cloud Adoption Framework" CAF where you will find best practices, guidance and tools from Microsoft to get you going. Below are a few articles that I have drawn out from CAF which

Align your managed disk to Microsoft standard tiering to optimise your spending

“Managed” disk has been around in Azure for a few years now and is the standard for deploying with VMs. I started deploying VMs when “unmanaged” disk was the standard and you had to plan carefully how many disk/s, IOPS you needed and strategically place those disks in the right storage account to ensure that it can deliver those performances. We were using spreadsheets to help us track which disk was in which storage account and making sure we weren’t hitting the max IOPS limits that the storage account could delivery. Over time it just got very very messy and complex to manage.  With the introduction of “managed” disk it took all those pains away and Azure was dealing with them in the backend. We could change from SSD to HDD and vice versa easily, snapshots were just a few clicks, we didn’t need to search in storage accounts for orphaned disk where we were paying for because we forgot to decommission them as part of the VM. With managed disk we just had to work out how much disk space

Using Windows Terminal and customising it

As a system administrator, you will most likely have multiple command line terminal tools that you use to help manage your systems. By the end of the day, you will end up with a screen full of terminals like the one below  You can see that there are multiple windows for PowerShell, putty, cmd. It gets messy and can you get lost over time which window is for which especially if you work in multiple environments i.e., production, pre-production etc. Here comes……. Windows Terminal from Microsoft which is an open-source project and you can contribute to it too if you fancy. It’s an application where you are able to open multi shells and keep them as tabs instead of multiple windows. You can think of it like your web browser where you have multi tabs and each tab is at a different location/page. You can download this application from Microsoft store and the system requirements are simple - Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higher Once installed upon your first launch you will see that it defaul

Reporting on an Azure IaaS VM cost – have I included everything?

We had arranged our Azure subscriptions to have each resource group representing an application so that all resources that belonged to an application are deployed within a resource group. This enabled us make it easier to grant management access rights to resources on per application basis. We were able to do costing reporting easier for each application as we just needed to report at the resource group level which would then include all the resources for the application. Then when we wanted to decommission the application we could just delete the resource group which would delete all the resources related to the application. Over time, application owners wanted to drill down further with costing and to know the actual cost on a per server basis within the application. By using Azure cost management, you can filter down to the resource level which you can see that I have selected for my resource “dc001 (Microsoft.compute/virtualmachines)” and the cost is around 32p for January 2021. No

PowerBi Azure Cost Management exposing Tag values to be used

I wrote an article about exposing tags to be used in PowerBi using the connector “Microsoft Azure Consumption Insights (Beta)” ( Using Azure tags in your powerbi reporting ). If you recall there is a warning message when you use the connector which states that it is still under development. It seems like there is no development for this connector as it has been in “beta” for a long time. I noticed that there is a new connector called “Azure Cost Management” which I will walk through which seems easier to configure. I googled around and decided to combine all my findings in to one document. First as we are connecting via our Enterprise agreement, we need to ensure at minimum that we have “Enterprise Administrator (read only)” permissions within the EA portal. Once we have that we should be able login to and see our enrollment number on the top left of the portal which we will need to note down. When you start up PowerBi desktop if you get the start-up screen then se