Latest Posts

TechDays Online – DevOps – 13th September 2016

On Tuesday 13th September 2016  I am hosting the DevOps day of TechDays Online. Live stream available here: https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechDaysOnline/UK-TechDays-Online-September-2016 The agenda for the day is as follows: 9.30am: Steve Thair – DevOps is the answer! What was the question again? DevOps is without doubt one of the hottest topics in IT right now, and everyone from vendors, senior management and IT professionals are rushing headlong to “Doing DevOps”. Somewhere along the way the message that DevOps is only a means to an end, and not an end in itself, is getting lost. In this presentation Steve from DevOpsGuys will talk about the…
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Nano Server Container Host – Culture: en-GB is not supported

I've been working with Docker and containers over the past few weeks. Today I wanted to configure a Nano server image as a container host. The process is well documented here: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/virtualization/windowscontainers/deployment/deployment_nano My host machine is running Windows 10 and I have Windows Server 2016 TP5 Nano running in a Hyper-V VM. When running the command: Install-NanoServerPackage -Name Microsoft-NanoServer-Containers-Package I received the following error: Install-NanoServerPackage : Culture: en-GB is not supported     + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Write-Error], WriteErrorException     + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.WriteErrorException,Install-NanoServerPackage The reason being my host machine, hence the PowerShell remoting session's culture is set to en-GB…
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Reducing unplanned work

Through the duration of my career, projects have brought about some of my most stressful days.   Earlier this year I read The Phoenix Project ( http://itrevolution.com/books/phoenix-project-devops-book/ ). This book has been mentioned at pretty much every DevOps event I've attended. One part of the book that resonated with me was the discussions around "unplanned work".  The past ten years of my life would have been so different if I had never had to deal with unplanned work.   Sometimes things go wrong – which leads to unplanned work. Some unplanned work is hard to avoid, such as power failures,…
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DevOps Days London Hackathon Prep – Stepping out of my comfort zone.

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DevOps Days London is fast approaching. The main conference runs from Tuesday 19th – Wednesday 20th April 2016, however, on Thursday 21st April there is a one day Hackathon which Microsoft is supporting. From the DevOps Days London website:  "This isn’t a traditional Hackathon, we are looking to test the principles of DevOps against the clock and at the same time attempt to build a production quality Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that could facilitate the giving of small (micro) donations to a variety of charities so easy it becomes a way of life. The concept is to create a facility…
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Build 2016: Day 1 Keynote – At a glance

I’ve been looking forward to hearing the announcements that will be made at Build, especially it is the first Build since I’ve been a Microsoft employee. Unfortunately I’m not in San Francisco this week so this blog post was written from my living room while watching the keynote. I have outlined the key themes without going to go into a great deal of detail as many of the topics discussed are outside my area of expertise and there have been many more comprehensive blog posts written already about each specific area (I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel). Windows 10 Anniversary Update…
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Introduction to Azure Resource Manager Templates for the IT Pro

The Problem Conflict between software development teams and IT operations is familiar to many of us. As IT professionals we are often faced with support tickets for applications that are: Sluggish Don’t install Randomly stop working This could happen randomly, or more commonly occurs after an application update. Have you ever escalated an issue to the application developers or vendor and had a reply the lines of “You have installed it incorrectly” or “Your hardware is incorrectly configured? It a situation that I have been in a number of times in the past and the resolution to the conflict is often a…
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PowerShell function to enable WinRM over HTTPS on an Azure Resource Manager VM

You may have seen my previous posts detailing how to enable WinRM over HTTPS on an Azure Resource Manager VM. I have now collated all the different bits of script and creates a single PowerShell function. The function is called Configure-WinRMHTTPS, and is as follows: Once the function is loaded you must login to Azure. Then the function can be executed: My next post will cover submitting the function to the PowerShell Gallery.

Create a Custom Script Extension for an Azure Resource Manager VM using PowerShell

Following on from my previous two posts regarding WinRM over HTTPS the next stage was to automate the steps that needed to be carried out inside the Azure VM. In my original post I had a mix of PowerShell, command prompt and copy and paste! Andy Slowey provided me with the following PowerShell to optimize the WinRM over HTTPS server side configuration: In search of going one better, I decided to find a way to avoid the need to use RDP so that the whole process could be automated. Scripts can be executed within an Azure VM without logging into…
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Create a Network Security Group Rule using PowerShell

My last post, http://www.techdiction.com/2016/02/11/configuring-winrm-over-https-to-enable-powershell-remoting/, covered enabling WinRM over HTTPS on an Azure VM. After forwarding the steps to colleagues it was pointed out that some of the steps could be simplified with some PowerShell. My next couple of posts will cover how different parts of my initial process could be automated, starting with creation of the network security group rule. I want to say thanks to Andy Slowey, Technology Specialist at Microsoft Research who suggested some improvements, carried out some testing and ironed out some of the bugs in my PowerShell. The PowerShell below creates the network security group rule for…
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