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Showing posts from February, 2018

How to secure access to Azure Management Portal

Migrating an existing system to Microsoft Azure can be a challenge when strong security requirements need to be in place. There are multiple tools and services that help us to provide a secure environments that it is not in our own datacenter.
Often we are focusing to secure the application and systems that are running inside Azure and forgetting about the Azure Portal itself. We can have the most secure application inside Azure if our subscription is compromised and someone is able to access it as admin.
In this post, we will look on some basic mechanisms and policies that enable us to secure access to the Azure Portal and subscription.

There two ways to access an Azure Subscription and to any kind of changes.
1.Azure Portal: The main dashboard used to administrate our Azure Subscription
2.SMAPI: Over the Rest API exposed by Microsoft, command-line interfaces like PowerShell, Batch can be used with success or even custom applications

Multi-factor authentication
One of the firs…

IoT Home Automation | Stabilize the garage doors solution after power break (resistors and capacitors)

A few weeks’ ago, I added the proximity sensors to the garage doors. Everything was perfect until the first power break when one of the garage doors automatically open. Initially we did not know what was the cause, so after a few weeks same thing happen 2 or 3 times.

Root Cause
Because of this instability, I had to shut down the ESP8266. You do not want the garage door open when you are not home and you have a dog that might eat even the car itself (smile).
It seems that this is a common problem when you use ESP8266 connected to a power source that is not stable. The problem is hard to replicate without a power break. When a power break occurs and the power is back there is a fluctuation in the electrical current that is hard to replicate.
This happens on all digital ports except D1. On D1 it seems that the version of ESP8266 board that I have has a resistor that does his job.
Additional to this the number of consumers is pretty high with the additional proximity sensors attached to th…

How to audit an Azure Cosmos DB

In this post, we will talk about how we can audit an Azure Cosmos DB database. Before jumping into the problem let us define the business requirement:
As an Administrator I want to be able to audit all changes that were done to specific collection inside my Azure Cosmos DB.

The requirement is simple, but can be a little tricky to implement fully. First of all when you are using Azure Cosmos DB or any other storage solution there are 99% odds that you’ll have more than one system that writes data to it. This means that you have or not have control on the systems that are doing any create/update/delete operations.

Solution 1: Diagnostic Logs
Cosmos DB allows us activate diagnostics logs and stream the output a storage account for achieving to other systems like Event Hub or Log Analytics. This would allow us to have information related to who, when, what, response code and how the access operation to our Cosmos DB was done. Beside this there is a field that specifies what was the operatio…

What is an Azure SQL Logic Server?

This is such a simple question that many times you realize that you do not have no idea about it.
What is an Azure SQL Logic Server Logic? Do I pay for it? Do I share resources between databases inside the Server?

What is an Azure SQL  Logic Server?
Is just a logical grouping of multiple Azure SQL Databases under the same logic server, The server it’s virtual and you do not share any resources cross databases that are deployed under it.
You will share the Server Admin username and password and the name of the server when you want to connect to multiple databases that are under the same Azure SQL  Logic Server.

Do I pay for it?
Know, because behind the science there is no computation allocated to it. For each database that you create under the server, you will specify the tier (size). That is the cost driver for you in the end. Having for example 2 Azure SQL Databases under the same Azure SQL  Logic Server will generate you costs for each database.

Do I share resources between these two d…

[Post Event] Winter ITCamp Community Event | 13.02.2018 | Cluj-Napoca

On February 13, 2018 we had the first ITCamp Community Winter Event in Cluj-Napoca. At this event we talked about containers and microservices, SOLID principles and blockchain (Coco Framework).
Around 80 people joined the event and stayed with us until the end. There was a lot of interests from people that join the event about what future is preparing for us from blockchain and microservices perspective. Subjects like SOLID are like fairy tales, all the time captivating and interesting.

You can find below slides and pictures from the event.
See you next time!

Container solutions in Azure (Florin Loghiade)
Container solutions in Azure: You've probably heard of containers by now, and I'm pretty sure that you've already used one or two in some development scenarios or even production. As to why use containers it is pretty simple to answer. Instead of virtualizing the whole hardware stack as in the case of a virtual machine, you just virtualize the operating system whic…

Methods to calculate the charge model for an Azure (cloud) solution

Did you ask yourself how does a cloud provider change you? In this post we will take a look on 7 different charge methods.
There are multiple ways on how can charge the end clients when they are using your service, Things can become more complex when you need to calculate the running costs on top of which you add your own costs and cap.

There are 7 different ways for chargeback allocation that you can use inside your organization. From simple ones, that takes into account the number of users or a specific KPI, to more complex ones where IT cost together with stuff costs are putted together. The chargeback allocation methods are:

High Level Allocation (HLA)Low Level Allocation (LLA)Direct Cost (DC)Measured Resource Usage (MRU)Tiered Flat Rate (TFR)Negotiated Flat Race (NFR)Service based Pricing (SBB)
Let’s take each of them one by one and identify what are the chargeable metrics that are taken into account.

High Level Allocation
When using this method to calculate the charges, you need t…