Climbing Back into the Saddle

I love to write. Heck, my email address at work is poet@nospamplz.edu. And yet, somehow, I haven’t written a single blog post for more than a year and a half. The reasons why don’t matter. What does matter is that I’m tired of not writing, and I recently received what was almost certainly an unintentional kick in the behind from my buddy Jeramiah Dooley. Jeramiah published a post entitled “Who Needs Some Lab Gear” on his blog. I was intrigued that Jeramiah, a guy I met when my former employer was considering the vBlock, had started a new job at Microsoft in the Azure engineering group, and was divesting himself of a ton of “home” lab gear and moving his blog over to Azure.

That got me to thinking. I don’t really have a ton of lab gear… in fact, what little I do have, shown here, hasn’t been powered on since we bought our current house 13 months ago, so I should probably get rid of it as well.

Home Lab

What I do have, however, is an MSDN subscription with a healthy monthly Azure credit. I’d played with Azure a bit over the years, spinning up a virtual machine for a few hours until I did the math and realized I couldn’t keep it running all month, but that’s about it. I’ve been using it to test Microsoft Intune for a project at work recently, but when Jeramiah mentioned he “moved everything over to an Azure App Service, so no need for servers at all,” my curiosity was piqued, and I figured I could at least try to do the same thing.

Azure’s Pretty Cool, and Easy to Work With

I’ll detail this in another post, but it turns out, getting something up and running in Azure is crazy easy. I even messed up a few times, selected the wrong option without considering the consequences, but that wasn’t a big deal – I just deleted the App Service and started over. Once I decided what I wanted, it took me far less time to get the basic service up and running than it did for me to decide which photo I wanted to use as the header image for this blog. Here’s my current Azure dashboard:

Azure Dashboard

Since this was a learning experience for me, my next post will detail the process of getting a blog (on WordPress, in my case) up and running in Azure. For now, here’s a a meme:

Blogging Azure Style