My New Journey at Microsoft

On May 29th, I began a role as a Cloud Ops Advocate at Microsoft, and I couldn’t be happier! In a nutshell, it is a role I’ve been working towards for the last 8 years (and probably longer). Through my work at the college, with The Krewe, and my professional authoring, everything comes together in one role with a singular purpose:

 

Support IT Operations professionals in every way possible as they prepare for their careers in the Cloud

This role will allow me to continue doing the things I love:

  • -Sharing my knowledge and love for technology, and helping others skill-up their careers

-Engaging with IT communites via twitter, facebook, and IRL

-Presenting at 1st and 3rd party conferences more. This is something
my previous position did not allow me to do regularly.

-Being a friendly resource at Microsoft for your questions and feedback on Azure

-Building excellent content designed to make you immediately effective

In my role, I am an advocate for IT Ops (aka IT Pros) ‘ In The Cloud’. So what does that mean? Well, first and foremost, I am an advocate for YOU at Microsoft and specifically in Azure. Have questions, want to provide feedback, not sure where to get started? Let me know. I’m here to help you be successful. While I can’t guarantee I’ll have all the answers, I will guarantee I’ll do my best to get you what you need.

Out of the gate, one of the significant focus areas for me will be working in docs.microsoft.com (aka Docs) and getting the word out on this excellent resource. I’ve been singing the praises of docs for a while and will continue to until everyone is using it. It’s a convenient tool all of us will need to use as Microsoft centralizes all documentation there. The beauty of docs is it’s based on GitHub and on the premise of ‘documentation as code’. This allows you to be part of the documentation update process, and provide your real-world experience. Check out my video on docs for more information and how to get started with it.

Another important part of this role is that it is in engineering so I work directly with the product groups. This is great because I can provide your product feedback directly to the groups responsible. That way we can all be invested in the products.

I’m excited about the commitment from Microsoft to put together a first-class team for this initiative. Based in the Cloud Advocate team under the guidance of Jeff Sandquist and Marcelo Bellinaso, I’m really excited to work with some amazing people like Rick Claus, David Blank-Edelman, and Steven Murawski. This is a team built from the ground up focused squarely on helping operations folks. I really excited for the things to come and what we’ll be delivering to our communities.

Since I have a huge learning curve out of the gate, things will be very busy for the foreseeable future. On deck for the next 3-6 months will be:

  • Connecting with all my communities
  • Delivering great content through Docs
  • More Blogging
  • More Car Talks
  • Deep dive into Identity and Azure AD
  • TechMentor in August
  • Ignite in September
  • Figuring out how life in the corporate world works again

Have questions or want to chat about Azure (or other Career Stuff)? Feel free to reach out to me on twitter via @MichaelBender or leave a comment below.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more updates and adventures as I journey through the Mircosoft world.

Michael

Getting Back On The Mic

In the Studio

It’s been a while since I did any recording. My last course on Pluralsight.com was released in April of 2017, and my recording gear has been boxed up since.

After MVP Summit, I was inspired to get back to recording shorter how-to videos on YouTube so today was the day as I just finished recording and producing a video on Microsoft Docs. It’s pretty rough as it was unscripted and it’s been a while since I put the video editor hat on. Plus, I’m trying out some new audio tools for post-production.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM35Kc2xhwU[/embedyt]

Please let me know what you think in the comments below or on YouTube. Also, if you have any topics you’d like to see, comment those as well.

Thanks for Watching!

Deploying an Azure File Share with PowerShell

On Twitter, I saw a post by Scott Cate, a Developer Advocate for Microsoft, showing how to set up Azure File Shares with the GUI. Azure File Shares allow administrators to build SMB file shares on Azure. These can then be mounted by any supported OS such as Windows, Linux or MacOS. Being a PowerShell guy, I decided to dive into the code and see what I could come up with.

So my work-in-progress code is listed here and I’ll break it down for you. Basically, I have the code to build a new Azure Storage Account and create a File Share in an existing Azure Resource Group.

$RSG = Read-Host "Enter Resource Group"
$Location = Read-Host "Enter Location"
$SKUName = Read-Host "Enter SKU"
$StorageAccount = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter Azure Storage Account Name"
$ShareName = Read-host -Prompt "Enter Share Name (all lower case)"

#create storage account based on input
$storageAcct = New-AzureRmStorageAccount `
                    -ResourceGroupName $RSG `
                    -AccountName $StorageAccount `
                    -Location $SKUName `
                    -SkuName $StorageAccount -Verbose

#Create Variable for storage key
$StorageKey = Get-AzureRmStorageAccountKey `
                    -ResourceGroupName $storageAcct.ResourceGroupName `
                    -Name $storageAcct.StorageAccountName -Verbose |
                         Where KeyName -eq 'key1' |
                          select -ExpandProperty value


#Create Storage Context for working with Storage Account
$storageContext = New-AzureStorageContext $StorageAccount $storagekey

#Create Share
$share = New-AzureStorageShare -Name $ShareName -Context $storageContext

Note: All of my code was run via Azure Shell, a web-based secure shell for managing Azure. If you haven’t checked it out, you definitely should.

First, I needed to build the storage account that my share would be part of. For this, I used the new-AzureRMStorageAccount command to build that out. Also, I created variables to be used for all the inputs.

#variables for script
$RSG = Read-Host "Enter Resource Group"
$Location = Read-Host "Enter Location"
$SKUName = Read-Host "Enter SKU"
$StorageAccount = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter Azure Storage Account Name"
$ShareName = Read-host -Prompt "Enter Share Name (all lower case)"

#create storage account based on input
$storageAcct = New-AzureRmStorageAccount `
                    -ResourceGroupName $RSG `
                    -AccountName $StorageAccount `
                    -Location $SKUName `
                    -SkuName $StorageAccount -Verbose

Once the storage account is created, the Azure Storage Account Key is stored in a variable for later use. Because there are two keys attached to each storage account (which you can re-key if needed) the first key, key1, is selected out.

$StorageKey = Get-AzureRmStorageAccountKey `
                    -ResourceGroupName $storageAcct.ResourceGroupName `
                    -Name $storageAcct.StorageAccountName -Verbose |
                         Where KeyName -eq 'key1' |
      
                    select -ExpandProperty value

With the key in hand, I create a variable for the storage context. The context encapsulates the storage account name and account key so I can work with my storage account.

#Create Storage Context for working with Storage Account
$storageContext = New-AzureStorageContext $StorageAccount $storagekey

Last, I’m going to create the share and verify the share was created.

#Create Share
$share = New-AzureStorageShare -Name $ShareName -Context $storageContext

As of this writing, the code is rudimentary so just copy it into Azure Shell to use. I plan to migrate the code to a parametized script that I’ll post on Github at a later date.
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