Demystifying Azure AD Service Principals

Anyone who’s worked with Azure for a bit has encountered the need to create a service principal. If you are an IT Ops person, you probably equate an SP with a service account in local Active Directory. If you’re more of an application developer, then you may have created an SP as part of your application in Azure, because you want to give that application permissions to Azure resources. The purpose of this post is to tease apart what service principals are, how they interact with application objects, and all the myriad ways to create an SP on Azure.

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Using Azure Speech Service with PowerShell

The 100th episode of Buffer Overflow – a weekly tech news podcast I host – is steadily approaching. As I write this, we are getting ready to record episode 98. In preparation for the 100th episode, I thought it might be nice to look over past episodes and find some common themes, running gags, and anything else that caught my eye. At an average of 35 minutes, that’s roughly 57 hours of combined audio. There’s no way I could listen to the entirety of the episodes, and so I started thinking. What if I could transcribe the audio to text, and then search through the text to find all the times we talked about Derrick and Miranda, how we’re all doomed, or smiling poop? The Azure Speech to Text API can be used to convert speech to text of audio files. Why not start there?

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Adding Windows Server 2012 R2 Image to Azure Stack

In a previous post I covered how to add a Linux image to Azure Stack.  In this post I am going to detail a simple (if slow) way of adding a Server 2012 R2 image to Azure Stack as well.  With Azure Stack TP3 (original and extra-crispy) there are no default VM Images included in the install.  You are prompted to download a Windows Server 2016 ISO as part of the Azure Stack POC download, and there is a script in the AzureStack.ComputeAdmin module called New-Server2016Image that will take that ISO and turn it into a Core or Datacenter image.  But what if you wanted that good ole Server 2012 R2 image?

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Adding Linux Images to Azure Stack

If you are planning to add Linux Images to your Azure Stack deployment, first I would recommend reading through the documentation on the Azure Stack pages for Adding a VM Image and Using Custom Linux Images.  From there you can get the base images and the process for adding the images to Azure Stack.  What they don’t include is the Azure Cloud information for the various images, and if you would like to be able to use a JSON template against both Azure and Azure Stack without changing the image information, then you will want the publisher, offer, sku, and version to match.  In this post I will walk through the basics of adding one Linux image, how to get the necessary information from Azure Cloud, and the current information for the images you may want to run.

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CICD Pipeline with Azure Stack – Part 4

This is part 4 in a series.  You can find part 1 here , part 2 here, and part 3 here.

First off, let me quell your anticipation.  I got it working!  It was not as straightforward as I might like, but it will work.  If you haven’t already read post three, I would recommend doing so.  The long and short of it is that the build task Azure Resource Group deployment in TFS doesn’t understand the Azure Stack environment.  It doesn’t know how to talk to it, so any build task is going to fail.  One of the engineers at Microsoft suggested I use a PowerShell task to deploy instead, which I did.  That was not as simple as I would have liked, but here is what I had to do. Continue reading “CICD Pipeline with Azure Stack – Part 4”