A few months back I started using Azure Tables as a quick, cheap, and simple database for a project at work. I was recently re-factoring my main Powershell script which spits data out into an Azure Table for later PowerBI reporting. Thankfully, even though it was close to midnight, my years of “ops management brain” kicked in before I pushed the “go” button on my refactored script. Thankfully it dawned on me I should be testing my updated script on a copy of my table vs. the only copy of the data I had.

Being late and me being tired, it didn’t occur to me to just try Azure Storage Explorer, which allows you to easily copy a table from one storage account to another. Instead, I turned to Powershell. (more…)

Halloween is over but the the world is still a scary place. In a continuation of a thought from an article I wrote a few weeks back for Auditing AzureSQL Firewall Policies, I thought I would also include a short function for auditing azure storage accounts that are currently configured for “public” access.
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I periodically review Azure PaaS resource edge security. As a part of that process I examine and cleanup AzureSQL firewall rules. Once you have more than a handful of subscriptions and AzureSQL databases, doing this manually starts becoming unfeasible. To that end, Azure Powershell is your friend…

As is typical, you need to install the Powershell AZ module on your workstation, after that you need to run.

Connect-AzAccount

Then supply your Azure credentials (preferably creds that have the ability to view and manage all of your AzureSQL databases and firewall rules, otherwise the rest is moot.
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When your business hinges upon remote workers and remote offices, secure connections, and lots of data manipulation… how do you deal with some of your folks being extra remote? Granted the internet in 2020 is very different from the internet in say 2008 and the world has grown ever smaller as a result… but distance and all of the congested, intervening, network hops that come with it are still a reality. Particularly for remote workers living on other continents that have to interface regularly with systems in the United States as a part of their job.

The two big headaches for remote workers in other countries connecting to offices in the US are latency and bandwidth. In the past there were only and handful of solutions, most involving long-term contracts with a telcom and lengthy, complicated setups. I would argue that MPLS still falls squarely in this camp. SD-WAN has certainly improved on all of the above but it’s still enough of a headache that it typically involves contract terms and conversations with sales “engineers.”

I would like to propose something different using Azure.
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The current state of the world has caused some unique stresses on IT infrastructure. For IT departments servicing internal teams, remote access infrastructure in particular has felt the brunt of the blow. To that end, I spent a couple of weeks testing out enterprise VPN solutions.
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