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Azure

A 40-post collection

Supercars suck at transporting TVs (and other Azure Table Storage lessons)

The other day my receiver for the home audio setup completely died. Kaput. So I go out to get another one and given a receiver is no larger than a couple of shoeboxes in size, I decide to drive the GT-R instead of taking the family estate. I love the GT-R because it’s enormous fun and I smile every time I drive it so given my requirements were well within the capacity allowance of the GT-R’s supercar proportions, it was the natural choice. So I get to the shop with a smile one my face, find the right receiver and then… I see a TV. It’s not a big one, but it’...

Implementing a content security policy with NWebsec, Azure Table Storage and Raygun

I love it when a whole bunch of different bits play really nice together, especially when it’s making things more secure. Today I decided to properly implement a content security policy (CSP) on Have I been pwned? (HIBP) and managed to tie in a whole bunch of nice bits to create what I reckon is a pretty neat implementation. Firstly, if CSP is new to you, go and read Scott Helme’s overview which is excellent. The tl;dr version is simply this: CSP lets you define via HTTP response headers what the browser should be able to load and parse and from where. If nasty, unexpected things like XSS happen, the browser will adhere to the...

Orchestrating massive parallelisation of Azure WebJobs for fun and profit

I’ve been having a few sleepless nights lately worrying about the big one. The big “what”, you ask? I mean another massive data breach the scale of Adobe back in 2013, you know, the one where they had a 153 million user accounts wander out the door. If I had to load those into Have I been pwned? (HIBP), frankly I’m not sure how I’d do it. Or at least I wasn’t sure. When I first wrote about how I built the system, I talked about a very rudimentary console app implementation that I used to bulk load data into Azure Table Storage. I started with the Adobe breach and...

How to get your SSL for free on a Shared Azure website with CloudFlare

This content is now available in the Pluralsight course "Getting Started with CloudFlare Security" As you may be well aware by this, Microsoft’s Azure gets me rather excited. That’s not without merit IMHO, it’s a sensational product for all the reasons you can read about in the blog posts at the end of that link. Almost without exception, when I get a question about Azure I have an awesome answer ready to go. Almost… The one question that throws me is the one I was once again asked just recently: I can only justify paying for a Shared Azure website but I need SSL – what do I do? I have...

To the cloud! Learn about Microsoft Azure “from the trenches” on Pluralsight

Let’s just get this out of the way early – Azure is awesome. No really, I am continually blown away by the stuff you can do with it, how cheaply you can do it and just how much it changes the conversation you can have with those you’re delivering solution to using Microsoft’s cloud. This is not an endorsement based on my affinity for Microsoft nor is it constructed from what I read or see at talks, it’s based on my own firsthand experiences delivering real world software on the platform. I’ve been writing a lot about Azure over the last 18 months as I’ve built out Have...

Fail fast when the cloud fails you

It’s never real nice waking up to something like this: This was Have I been pwned? (HIBP) first thing my Saturday morning. The outage was accompanied by a great many automated email notifications and manual reminders from concerned citizens that my site was indeed, down. Having my Azure showcase site down at the very same moment as my Pluralsight course on Azure was launched – Modernizing Your Websites with Azure Platform as a Service – only served to rub salt into the wound. But as I’ve written before, the cloud does actually go down. If anyone tells you it doesn’t, they fundamentally misunderstand the mechanics which underlie what is ultimately still just a bunch...

Stories from the trenches: Sizing and penny pinching with Azure websites

These real world experiences with Azure are now available in the Pluralsight course "Modernizing Your Websites with Azure Platform as a Service" How much capacity will you need for your app? Or asked another way if wearing the vendor hat, how much money ya got? We’re generally lousy at estimating infrastructure capacity requirements and even when a more scientific approach is taken (and it’s frequently not), we’re still lousy at estimating user behaviour in real world circumstances and the impact it will have on system performance. Now, put that situation in a cloud environment and it has the potential to go a couple of ways. One is that you have underestimated and...

Understanding Azure website auto-scale magic

These real world experiences with Azure are now available in the Pluralsight course "Modernizing Your Websites with Azure Platform as a Service" I was helping out a consumer of Have I been pwned? (HIBP) earlier today as they were trying to build up a profile of the pwnage state of their client base. This mean firing a heap of requests at the API so that they could assess a very large number of accounts. I’m always interested in how far this service can be stretched and indeed what the thresholds are before Azure starts applying auto-scale magic. First up, keep in mind that each request to the API is searching through 175 million records in Azure...

Azure WebJobs are awesome and you should start using them right now!

These real world experiences with Azure are now available in the Pluralsight course "Modernizing Your Websites with Azure Platform as a Service" No really, they’re totally awesome! I used Azure WebJobs in the very early days and whilst they served a purpose, I wasn’t blown away with them at the time. In fact I went on to use Worker Roles for the back end paste processing behind Have I been pwned? (HIBP) and whilst they served me well, there were also aspects that weren’t as slick as what the broader Azure ecosystem is. Recently I had cause to build another back end process for HIBP (one I’ll talk more about...

Automating web hosting creation in Azure with PowerShell

These real world experiences with Azure are now available in the Pluralsight course "Modernizing Your Websites with Azure Platform as a Service" .powershell{ background-color: #012456; color: white; padding: 10px; } .command{ padding: 10px; background-color: black; color: white; } .error{ color: red; } Here’s your situation: you’ve got a heap of websites on traditional hosting models. Shared tenancies on single logical machines, dedicated infrastructure or even worse, not really any idea because you just keep paying that $5 per month and stuff works. Most of the time. But you’ve seen the light and you want to move things to Azure en masse. A small handful of sites isn’t a drama, there’s a...