Migrating Azure IaaS solutions from ASM to ARM using MigAz

Anyone who has previously deployed Azure IaaS solutions using the older Azure Service Management (ASM) model should be thinking about how and when to migrate it to Azure Resouce Manager (ARM). While ASM will continue to be supported, ARM provides a number of benefits such as template-based deployment, Role-Based Access Control and Tagging. There are a number of…


Analysing Enterprise Azure spend by Tags

Azure Resource Manager allows you to assign custom “tags” to resources such as VMs or storage accounts. This allows you to put custom metadata onto your resources, such as which application it belongs to, which department owns it and which environment it is a part of. While the tag information is available through Azure’s billing…

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Authenticating to Azure Resource Manager using AAD and Certificates

In a previous post I described how to perform unattended authentication to Azure Active Directory using a username and password. This post takes this further by showing how to use certificates, rather than passwords, to authenticate. Using certificates for authentication is generally considered more secure, as there are no credentials in your code and it…

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So, you want to build a cloud service?

Great! Now, you probably have a million questions on which cloud provider, technologies and patterns you should use. And while those questions are important, in this post I want to go through a few more fundamental questions which I’ve found that people often overlook or misunderstand. While each of these questions have technical implications, in…


Azure QuickStarts: In Visual Studio and on the web

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced developer, learning a brand new API can be challenging. Comprehensive documentation is obviously important, but sometimes that can make the new API seem even more daunting by surfacing everything the API can do when you’re not sure how to approach the basics. We’ve found that one of…


Changing the server time zone on Azure Web Apps

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably learned that it’s a bad idea for your applications to take a dependency on the time zone configured on your servers, as it makes your code less portable and can lead to unexpected behaviours if anyone ever tinkers with the server settings. (It’s also a bad idea for…

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Applying a “Web and Worker Roles” pattern to the Azure App Service

Summary: A common use for Azure Cloud Services is to implement services that utilise a “web and worker role” pattern to offload complex processing to async workers. This article describes how you can implement the same pattern with the Azure App Service. This article is from Tom Hollander’s blog. Azure Cloud Services was one of…


Applying some DevOps Rigour to Azure Websites’ AppSettings

Summary: Configuring Azure Websites Application Settings in the portal is fine for quick and dirty prototypes, but for anything serious you need to apply some DevOps rigour. This post describes how you can store your Application Settings into a per-environment JSON file that can be checked into source control and automatically applied to your website…

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Unattended authentication to Azure Management APIs with Azure Active Directory

19/06/2015: See also this new post explaining how to authenticate using Certificates to call the Azure Resource Manager APIs from .NET. Updated 29/11/2014 with info on authenticating to APIs from PowerShell Microsoft Azure provides two management APIs, the older Service Management API and the new Azure Resource Manager API. Both are REST APIs (that also…


A/B Testing with Azure Websites

In the context of websites, A/B testing, or Testing In Production, is a technique whereby different users of a website will be randomly presented with different versions of the site. This is commonly used to test proposed enhancements with a limited number of real users, allowing the website owner to measure the effectiveness before the…

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