Microsoft Azure Insights: Free stuff; AKS resource groups; Container images; Blob storage, Active Directory Domain Services

June 19 2019

Azure pros share their insights from free options available for Azure users to Azure Kubernetes Service, automating container image builds and more.

Assessing free options in Azure

Joe Carlyle, writing on WeDoAzure, looked into what parts of Azure are always free. As of 2019, 25 services are free but many are add-ons for other systems and aren't standalone. According to Carlyle, many free services offer great value such as 50 MB of storage for 10,000 hosted documents with Azure Search, 500 minutes of job runtime with Azure Automation and two million characters for the Translater Text API. Others are fairly ambiguous such as unlimited use of Azure DevTest Labs, 50 free virtual networks with Azure Virtual Network or unlimited nodes with Application Insights.

Carlyle also reveals some Azure resources that are free for an introductory period.

Static public IP addresses and Azure Kubernetes Service

Richard Hooper, writing on Pixel Robots, explored the resource group creation process with Azure Kubernetes Service. When using AKS, Azure generates VMSS and load balancers in the resource group and adds a public IP address when a service with Kubernetes begins to use a particular type of load balancer. Hooper wondered what would happen when there is a pre-existing public IP address, which can already access resources through the firewall and Network Security Groups.

He showed how to setup a resource group and retrieve the public IP address. From there, he changed up environment values so that the AKS cluster service principal can access the resource group and the public IP address housed within. Hooper assigned the IP address to the load balancer. "Just make sure you change the resource group and IP address values to match yours," he wrote.

Automatically generating container images

Also on Pixel Robots, Hooper detailed how automate Docker container image builds with Azure Container Registry and shared some test code on GitHub. He started by generating a new token, opened Cloud Shell with Azure Portal and chose Bash. After connecting to the subscription with Azure Container Registry, he entered commands to give context to the build and manually tested it. For anyone using a clone of his repo from the demonstration, Hooper recommended using VSCode to edit the HTML and push it back their own repo. Under the list of container registries, users will find a menu of all tasks and log files.  

Syncing files to Azure Blob Storage

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