azure-mask

For those that do Azure presentations / screen recordings you know that you often find yourself scrubbing out your sensitive and personal information such as subscription keys, email addresses, keys and connection strings. What if you could have this magically done for you?

Well let me introduce to you a handy Chrome extension called Azure Mask that will mask GUIDs (such as Subscription IDs), email addresses, keys, and connection strings with a blur. The intention of the extension is to make it easier to do screen recordings without revealing sensitive, personal, account information that may show up on screen.

NOTE: This extension will only run and apply against Azure portal URLs.

Features

  • Blurs GUIDs (such as Subscription IDs)
  • Blurs your account email
  • Hides the "Report a Bug" button (if found)
  • Toggle the mask on/off and store this state
  • Apply the mask (if enabled) after Document Object Model (DOM) mutations

Installing the Extension

As mentioned on the Azure Mask GitHub repository readme, you can install this extension in Chrome from either a package or from source. Let’s take a look at how we can install from source.

  1. Download or clone the repository: git clone git@github.com:clarkio/azure-mask.git
  2. Open up Chrome and bring up the extensions settings by typing in the address bar: chrome://extensions/
  3. Check the “Develop mode” option and click on Load unpacked extension button:image
  4. Navigate to where you cloned this repository and then choose path: /azure-mask/src
  5. Follow the prompts and then the extension will be available in Chrome:sshot-116

Using Azure Mask

After installing the Azure Mask extension in Chrome, navigate to your Azure portal and after signing in you will see all your Azure secrets magically blurred:

image

If you want to turn off this extension, click on the Azure Mask extension button in Chrome to bring up the options:

image

Enjoy!

References

Azure-Mask on GitHub

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Microsoft recently introduced a new Cloud Service Map to help customers and developers quickly compare the capabilities between Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform across all categories. You can leverage this guide for planning multi-cloud solutions or simply to migrate from AWS to Azure.

The cloud service map (PDF available for download) is broken out into 13 sections to make navigation between each service simple:

  1. Marketplace – Cloud marketplace services bring together native and partner service offerings to a single place, making it easier for customers and partners to understand what they can do.
  2. Compute – Compute commonly refers to the collection of cloud computing resources that your application can run on.
  3. Storage – Storage services offer durable, highly-available, and massively-scalable cloud storage for your application, whether it runs in the cloud or not.
  4. Networking & Content Delivery – Allows you to easily provision private networks, connect your cloud application to your on-premises datacenters, and more.
  5. Database – Database services refers to options for storing data, whether it’s a managed relational SQL database that’s globally distributed or multi-model NoSQL databases designed for any scale.
  6. Analytics and big data – Make the most informed decision possible by analyzing all of the data you need in real time.
  7. Intelligence – Intelligence services enable natural and contextual interaction within your applications, using machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities that include text, speech, vision, and search.
  8. Internet of Things (IoT) – Internet of Things (IoT) services connect your devices, assets, and sensors to collect and analyze untapped data.
  9. Management & monitoring – Management and monitoring services provide visibility into the health, performance, and utilization of your applications, workloads, and infrastructure.
  10. Mobile services – Mobile services enable you to reach and engage your customers everywhere, on every device. DevOps services make it easier to bring a higher quality app to market faster, and a number of engagement services make it easier to deliver performant experiences that feel tailored to each user.
  11. Security, identity, and access – A range of capabilities that protect your services and data in the cloud, while also enabling you to extend your existing user accounts and identities, or provisioning entirely new ones.
  12. Developer tools – Developer tools empower you to quickly build, debug, deploy, diagnose, and manage multi-platform, scalable apps and services.
  13. Enterprise integration – Enterprise integration makes it easier to build and manage B2B workflows that integrate with third-party software-as-a-service apps, on-premises apps, and custom apps.

This guidance is laid out in a convenient table that lets you quickly find and learn more about each of the services you’re most interested in. In this instance, you can quickly see the service name, description and the name of the services in AWS and Azure. Links are also provided for each of the Azure services.

image

Enjoy!     

Additional Resources

Cloud Service Map for AWS and Azure Available Now

Downloadable PDF of the Cloud Service Map for AWS and Azure

Microsoft Tech Summit

September 13, 2017

MicrosoftTechSummit2017

Microsoft is hosting their Tech Summit conference in Toronto from December 13-14, 2017.  You can build your skills with the latest in cloud technologies at a free, technical learning event for IT professional and developers.

This is a great event to build your cloud skills, connect with experts and get inspired. What’s great is that you can customize your learning – there is something for everyone.

Click here to register.

Reference

Microsoft Tech Summit 2017-18

Azure Monitor

September 28, 2016

This week saw the announcement of the public preview of Azure Monitor. Azure Monitor allows you to manage and explore all common tasks from a single view. Azure Monitor provides the following types of data – Activity Log, Metrics and Diagnostics Logs.

You can access the Azure Portal by clicking on the Monitor tab in the Azure Portal.

1eeeafee-e790-4ee8-bb11-58c925e01b24

Enjoy!

The first article of this series, Introduced what Azure Functions are and the capabilities they offer when used by themselves or combined with other Azure resources. This article will focus on getting started with just one of the types of Azure Functions available…the HttpTrigger function.

Creating the Azure Function

You can quickly get started with creating an Azure Function by going to the Azure Functions Get Started Portal. After logging in you will be taken to the Azure Functions getting started portal as shown below.

Portal1

Using the above Getting Started portal, enter the name and location of your Azure Function app, in my case I’m using a name of  GettingStartedAzureFunction and a location of East US.

Then then click on Create + get started button. This will then take you to the Azure portal inside your Azure Function app. From here you can get started quickly with a premade function, in my case I went with Webhook + API, and C# for the language. Finally click on the Create the function button to create this function.

AzureFunctionAppBlade-01

A new function named HttpTriggerCSharp1 will be generated for you, which will be based on C# and this function will be run whenever it receives an HTTP request.

HttpTriggerFunction-Code

At this point your function is ready to go. You can see the Function URL at the top and below is the generated code for the Http trigger.

Testing your Function

Since this function is generated from the quick starts, it already contains functional code which you can immediately run and test.

In this example you can quickly test the function by clicking on the Run button at the bottom of the page. It will pass a request body with the named parameter of “Azure” to the function, which will then show up in the Output pane to the right.

HttpTriggerFunction-Run

Alternatively you can also test the function by browsing to the URL to trigger the function. In this case I’ll navigate to the URL provided and the pass in the parameter name of “callon” to the query string like so.

HttpTriggerFunction-Test2

Monitoring your Function

Now that your function is up and running you can easily monitor it by going to the Monitor tab of your function. From here you can see recent success and error counts and inspect the function requests.

HttpTriggerFunction-Monitor

Managing your Functions

After creating your Azure Function app, you will be taken to your Azure Function app blade where you can create and manage your functions. If you need to get back to your Azure Function apps at a later time, you can navigate to the App Services blade and then filter by function as shown here.

AppServices-AzureFunctions

Next Steps

Now that you have your Azure Function you will most likely want to integrate it into other Azure resources or other apps. If you click on the Integrate tab of the function, you can quickly define an integration (triggers, inputs and outputs) and there is also an advanced editor available if needed.

HttpTriggerFunction-Integrate

Lastly if you scroll down on the Integrate tab, you will come to some handy documentation.

HttpTriggerFunction-Integrate2

In a future post I will walk through integrating an Azure function with another Azure resource.

Enjoy!

References

Azure Functions
Azure Functions Documentation
Testing Azure Functions

After creating an Azure Function app, you may notice a notification in your Azure Function app tat there is a new version of Azure Functions. I’ll walk you through the current process for upgrading your Azure Function app.

Upgrading

To start the upgrade process, click on link “Function app settings”:

Function App Settings 1

Then click on “Update”:

Function App Settings 2

Within a second your Function app should be upgraded to the latest version:

Function App Settings 3

That’s all that is required when upgrading your Function apps.

Enjoy!

There are a lot of awesome resources available with Microsoft Azure…Virtual Machines, Databases, Storage, Application Insights, Functions, Websites, IoT, Messaging, and a whole lot more. You’ll no doubt find that it’s easy to get started with Azure but sooner or later you will want to have other users use and possibly manage the resources you’ve created.

So how do you go about inviting users to your Azure subscription and providing them the necessary access and rights? Let’s take a look.

After logging in to your Azure portal, click on the Subscriptions navigation link on the left pane.

Dashboard - Subscriptions

You will then see a list of Azure subscriptions. Select the subscription you wish to manage.

Subscriptions

You will then see a blade open up to the right for the selected subscription. In your subscription blade will be an icon for users (top right corner of the Essentials pane). Click this button to manage users for this subscription.

sshot-1

Here you will see a listing of all users for this subscription. Click on the Add button to add a new user.

Users

The add new user blade will now open up. First thing that is required is to select a role for this user. There are numerous roles available. In this case I just want this user to have the Reader role, which allows them to view data only:

Add User - Role

After selecting the role for the user, click Select. Now you will need to invite a user. Type in the email address for their Microsoft Account. The user will then show up below. Make sure their email is selected with a checkmark. Then click on the Select button.

Add User - Invite User

Now that you’ve assigned the role and added a user, click on OK to complete the action of adding a user.

Add User - Completed

You will then see an Azure notification in the top right corner of your browser informing you that the user is being added. Within a few seconds the user should show up in your subscription users listing as shown below.

Add User - Done

Once you’ve added the user you can now navigate to a specific Azure Resource and assign the user. Let’s do this now with an Azure Function I have.

I’ve navigated to an existing Azure Function I have and I now want to add the user I just invited above. Click on the “Account control (IAM) link on the left and then click on the Add button on the right:

Add user to resource

Next assign the role and click Select. The select the users(s) you want to add. You can select one or more users.In this example I’m going to select both users. Then click on the Select button, followed by the OK button.

Add user to resource 2

You will then see an Azure notification informing you the users are being added and once complete, you will see them listed as shown below:

Add user to resource 3

That’s all there is to inviting users to your Azure subscription and then assigning them to specific Azure resources.

Enjoy!

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