Azure Weekly

Your weekly Azure news fix

Azure Weekly is a summary of the week's top news to help you build on the Microsoft Azure Platform.

From AI to Availability Zones, it aims to keep you on top of the latest Azure developments.

Issue 340: 12th September 2021

Unfortunately we have to start the issue with another security issue. Palo Alto Network's Unit 42 team have uncovered an issue they are calling 'Azurescape', an attack on Azure Container Instances, which they say "highlights risks of using multitenant services". I'm a fan of Black Box Thinking and the only way to work towards a truly robust and secure sevice is to constantly try and discover vulnerabilities and attack vectors and put remediations in place.

There have been many interesting articles published this week, from different areas of Azure, so in no particular order: Anthony Chu assembles the Product Manages of Azure Logic Apps, Azure Functions, and Azure Static Web Apps to talk about Serverless. There's an interesting session buried in there on the topic of Secretless Applications.

A nice SQL performance enhancement has just been release: Scalar UDF Inlining is now available on Azure SQL. In the DevOps space there's a nice guide about how to Build Your First Pulumi Infrastructure in Azure. Using Azure security groups in ASP.NET Core with an Azure B2C Identity Provider is worth a read if you're building web apps. If you're in the IoT space, building multi-tenant solutions with Azure IoT Central on the Internet of Things Show is worthy of a watch. And finally Azure Storage continues to get better and better, improve availability with zone-redundant storage for Azure Disk Storage.

Issue 339: 5th September 2021

Last week we highlighted the security vulnerability in Cosmos DB, this week Aaron Powell has a nice script to automatically Regenerate All CosmosDB Keys. There are some impactful changes coming to Azure AD; firstly Azure AD Graph is retiring on 30 June 2022 and secondly you must upgrade to the latest version of Azure AD Connect before 31 August 2022.

As I seem to be spending most of my time in a shell at the moment, Scott Hanselman's latest post covering his Ultimate PowerShell prompt with Oh My Posh and the Windows Terminal is a welcome one. Another tool that not enough people know about, and we made use of last week while helping new starters automate setting up their local and cloud development environments, is Chocolatey; Rob Reynolds about Automation with Chocolatey on Episode 156 of The Azure Podcast. Another service that doesn't get enough attention is Azure App Configuration which now offers increased hourly request limit.

Thomas Maurer kicks off an interesting new series of videos about Azure Arc enabled Data services. Another noteworthy annoucement is that Custom AKS policy support is now in public preview.

Finally two interesting posts covering similar areas are How to analyze data exported from Log Analytics data using Synapse and a Step-by-Step Guide for using Azure to Process IoT Data.

Issue 338: 29th August 2021

One of the biggest news articles this week was from Wiz, a Cloud Security Company, revealed severe security issue with Cosmos DB, which they have named "ChaosDB", whereby access to credentials could be obtained by a vulnerability in Jupyter Notebooks, which have been enabled by default in February 2021. They have produced a high level summary of the vulnerability and a deep dive article called ChaosDB: How we hacked thousands of Azure customers’ databases. If you're a Cosmos DB user, it's essential reading.

In the Synapse space, James Broome has blogged about Managing schemas in Azure Synapse SQL Serverless, while Kevin Chant shows how to use Azure Test Plans example for Azure Synapse Analytics. There are a couple of interesting posts about combining various Azure services to deliver complete solutions. The first is Real-Time Streaming using Power BI Streaming Dataset, and the second is Azure Percept, Stream Analytics, and PowerBI all work together.

Other interesting posts include: Azure Functions Integration Testing, send a Microsoft Teams message when new OCI artifacts appear in Azure Container Registry, and a nice example of what's possible with GitHub Codespaces in Codespaces meet Dapr. There are also a number of Azure Service Retirement announcements scattered throughout the newsletter, these are worth checking out, to see if any will impact your Azure estate.

Finally I wanted to congratulate Ed Freeman (who runs the Power BI Weekly newsletter) on his marriage to Kirsty this week. I was privileged to attend, and it was a gloriously happy day.

Issue 337: 22nd August 2021

Slightly late to press this week the combination of a leaking roof and some unplanned "Uncle Duties" (which mainly involved playing Minecraft with my 6 YO nephew) on Sunday meant I didn't have time to complete the newsletter to the usual deadline. Sorry about that! 

There's a mixed bag of updates this week - a firehose of Azure Updates Team announcements around various services, VM SKUs, and SDK being retired, as well as a slew of new GA and public previews.

Most interesting links this week include Automating security assessments using Cloud Katana, Microsoft named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Streaming Analytics, Q2 2021, and Accelerate time to insights with Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse.

There's an interesting video about "climate first development" in CodeStories Denmark - All about sustainable software engineering. I also enjoyed reading this article showing how to use Root Domains with Azure Front Door, and it's great to see Azure Blob storage Inventory reach generally availability.

Finally there are two posts on the endjin blog; Carmel Eve's New LinkedIn Learning Course: AZ-204 - Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure and How to deploy a Vue app to Azure Static Web Apps using Azure DevOps and YAML, and on the same subject John Reilly shows how to Publish Azure Static Web Apps with Bicep and Azure DevOps.

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