Auditing Azure operations



It was highlighted this week the importance of knowing who does what through the Azure framework - an item (a storage account) had been removed and we needed to know who had done that and when.

Helpfully this is provided out of the box and all operations are automatically logged (whether they come from the portal, powershell, rest api's or any form of interaction with Azure). To access this information we just need to navigate (more...)

Adios DBA, Hello Azure



This post has been a while coming, from some of my posts over the past few months you may have detected a change in direction somewhat - there's still been the odd Oracle thing in there but a lot of other seemingly more random stuff - much of which has been focused around Azure in one form or another.

This reflects a change in career direction for me which i really wouldn't have imagined 18 (more...)

Anyone can be a developer – logic apps from Azure



As we go further and further down the rabbit hole that is Azure it becomes more and more apparent how good the platform is. However logic apps takes that to a whole new level - anyone can develop useful code with this - it's amazing (and this is coming from a very cynical 20 year DBA veteran....).

To demonstrate this i am going to show a simple example of what it can do - (more...)

Text me baby…..



This week I've been looking into the possibility of getting our monitoring system(s) to be able to send SMS alerts in the event of really critical problems - to try and prevent business outages or at least get us alerted ahead of the game before the business calls us out to tell us something isn't working.

In the olden days (pre 2018...... - seriously pace of change in IT at the moment is crazy) out (more...)

Best plsql function ever…..?



Total clickbait title i know and this isn't likely to be the best formatted you'll ever see or the one that has the cleverest use of objects/arrays (i'll leave that to the real experts like Steven) but this is probably the function that i've developed i've been most pleased with - it pulls together a few features used be me in the past - namely:

1) Rest calls from plsql
2) clobs within plsql
3) (more...)

Doing stuff in Azure via REST



So the journey into Azure continues - today I've been looking into how we can call the REST api that Microsoft provide in Azure so we can understand how it works and see what it can be used for.

There is a possibility we want to programaticaly do things in azure from code so i want to see how the mechanics of that could work.

In this simple example I'm just going to use a (more...)

Helping hell freeze over….



With Microsoft's embrace of all things open source since Satya took over the helm more and more strange things seem to be possible.

This week i wanted to install the azcopy utility on linux to enable rapid copying of files to azure storage so i went about doing it - the first step to make this possible is to install dotnet for linux (yes you did hear that right).

Now we have a really old (more...)

https for IIS on IaaS – the basics



More a quick reference for me than anything else - these are the steps to enable https for iis on IaaS in Azure (well or anywhere for that matter) - this will use a 'proper' certificate from a certifying authority to stop all those warnings you get with self certified ones.

So here are the quick steps - in this case i have a server called testssl this is in an azure domain called mycompany. (more...)

Fusing blobs in Azure…….



If you're reading this as a DBA you might be thinking i've written some plsql code to combine to blob column values into one - you'd be sadly mistaken what I'm actually going to talk about is this thing

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/linux-fuse-adapter-for-blob-storage/

What this enables is the mounting of azure blob storage directly as a unix 'filesystem'. Now azure file storage can already be done using the tried and trusted smb protocol (samba) and we (more...)

Raising a RHEL support request in Azure



We've been using RHEL machines in Azure for a while now but had no cause to actually make use of the support option we're paying for with the licence/support included images we are using.

So how do you do this?

Well it's all integrated into the portal and on the VM screens you get a nice extra button - see pic below (one from bottom)

Clicking this then takes you to this screen

If you (more...)

More than one way to skin a cat (and by cat i mean azure)



Not sure what the actual first origin is of the english phrase 'there is more than one way to skin a cat' but it seems vaguely appropriate when dealing with doing things inside Azure. There are multiple ways to acheive the same thing - for example (this is not an exhaustive list....)

1) Azure portal
2) powershell
3) Visual Studio
4) az command line
5) build your own app with the client sdk

you (more...)

Using a hardware token to log on to linux



PKI/hardware tokens are now quite a commonplace accessory in the IT workplace and are generally used to enable VPN connectivity to the office or to sign or encrypt emails. I knew they could be used to authenticate server (and even database access) but this always sounded like it was a very complex thing to do and would only ever really be appropriate in government/defence type use cases where even higher levels of access control are (more...)

Tracing a session SQL in "Azure SQL"



With our 'cloud first' strategy we are trying to make use of Azure SQL for all of our databases as much as possible. This (as we have discovered) does come with a few things you need to be aware of as this is not 'normal' SQL Server - there are various things that are not there and quirks about the way some of the things work.

In a case this week we were having trouble (more...)

Tuning by understanding your application



This is a short post to illustrate how the understanding of how an application works can make all the difference to how you an tune it. This is a real world case which is actually pretty simple but i think illustrates the point quite well.

The performance symptoms were as follows:

1) Live environment works fine
2) Copy of that environment is very slow performing a specifc function - the data between the two systems (more...)

Multiple smtp relay send accounts for office365



This is a follow up on this post here about smtp and office365 - after some more investigation i've made some further changes as our use case changed slightly and the original solution didn't fit.

Originally we just needed to be able to send all emails originating from a single account and we had some postfix config that would do that.

Now however we want to be able to send smtp messages out from multiple (more...)

More oddity with MySQL PaaS



Whilst setting up the phpipam tool (the one i mentioned in my last post http://phpipam.net/) i decided to use a MySQL PaaS in Azure to host the database part rather than manage MySQL myself - however this proved a little tricky to get working.

Well i say tricky - it just needed the config file amended and then it was fine - however this was not at all obvious - let me explain (more...)