Easy tagging of resources in Azure for billing and charge back

Tagging of resources in Azure can be a pain, especially if you have heaps of resources deployed. Tagging is used primarily for billing purposes and tags applied to the resource group are not inherited by the resources in that resource group. What’s more, if you want to chargeback Azure consumption to the business across various business units, tagging is the best way to do it.  There’s a few of ways you can chargeback to business units by using tags: Download or view your Azure billing invoice and daily usage data Connect to Microsoft Azure Enterprise with Power BI Cloudyn which has…

Save Money with Azure, intelligent shutdown of VMs

This blog post is based on 3 separate asks from 3 separate customers about adding value for their Azure subscriptions. They came to be and said “Marc, I would like to devise a scheme where at 7pm every night, all Dev/Test VMs can be shut down to save money and the business owners have the final say.” There’s one problem though, the business owners don’t have access to the Azure portal – it has to be done over email. What’s more, an option to force the shutdown of the VMs if the business owners don’t respond in a time frame…

Instant Monitoring of Windows Performance

Here’s an example similar to my other Blog post Instant Monitoring of Windows Services. Instead, this blog demonstrates monitoring Performance Counters and using alerts to fire off a scheduled task. This scheduled task fires off a PowerShell script which in turn fires off an Azure Function, which in turn fires off an SMS text message and records an entry in a Log Analytics custom log. All this happens sequentially in the space of about 5 seconds. This blog demonstrates monitoring these 3 basic performance counters: Processor(_Total)\% Processor Time Memory\% Committed Bytes In Use LogicalDisk(C:)\% Free Space You could monitor more…

Instant Monitoring of Windows Services

Has there been a seriously critical Windows Service which you need to monitor in real-time, or more than one Windows Service? – i.e. as soon as the Windows Service stops, you need to be notified by getting an SMS text message to your phone – within 5 seconds? While this is slightly manual, once setup, it works perfectly well and is reliable. This is similar to my other blog post which discusses Instant Monitoring of Windows Performance. This blog post walks you through everything, I am using both Azure Functions and the Telstra SMS API in Australia to send instant…

Log Analytics Data Collector API

You can send practically any data to Azure Log Analytics (aka. OMS). As long as you can convert it to JSON format prior to sending it to your Log Analytics workspace. Here’s the official write up on it https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/log-analytics/log-analytics-data-collector-api. Data that you upload gets sent to a custom log, with the characters ‘_CL‘ at the end, these characters are appended automatically. Then, within your Azure Log Analytics, run the following query to see the data: Your_Log_Name_CL | project Station_s, Song_s, TimeGenerated | sort by TimeGenerated desc Cool URLs on the subject: Azure Log Analytics Demo portal Azure Log Analytics Docs site…

Create Azure Blob Storage SAS tokens

An Azure blob SAS (Shared Access Signature) token is used in many places in order to access either a specific blob or a container. It’s simply a string made up of your storage account name and your storage account key. The whole point of the SAS token is that you can share it with anyone you like to give them access to blob storage without compromising your real underlining storage account key. The SAS token is in a format which can be used in a URI/URL. It is not a certificate and is not stored anywhere, it’s purely created/constructed and…