42 - How to choose the 'Right' Datastore for your scenario

There are so many types of data stores out there these days. You have relational, non-relational, documents, blob, tables, files and more. There’s also a growing awareness of ‘Polyglot Persistence’ where you use different data stores depending on the task. But how do you know which is the ‘right’ one? Chris is joined once again by Steph Martin as we talk through some of these types of datastores, and the factors that may help you in your decision!

Episode

July 9, 2021
Getting started with Azure using Microsoft Learn

Often, I’m asked the question how do I get started with Azure? Are there any resources, tutorials, guides that you can recommend? I know about topic , but how do I learn more? I’ve been working with, and continuously learning Azure over the past 7 years or so. When I started, the main resources were Microsoft Docs and community sites. Both great resorces, but there was a gap for a truly educational resource, rather than technical reference material. Enter Microsoft Learn.

Blog

April 19, 2021
Optimise your site - Addressing recommendations from securityheaders.com

In my blog post earlier this week, I mentioned that I recently spoke at the Northern Azure User Group. The other speaker for the evening was Scott Hanselman, who talked about his journey moving a 17 year old .NET App into Azure. This was his blog. Along the way, he called out some of the tools that he used along the way. One was a tool called securityheaders.com. As any engaged listener does, I took note of the tools that he used, and added them to my cloudwithchris.com backlog during the talk. When I later investigated the initial rating of the site, I received a score of an F - which appears to be the lowest possible score that you can receive! Given that I only allow HTTPS traffic to my site, I was surprised by this - so I begun looking into the recommendations further.

Blog

April 14, 2021
Windows Terminal - What is it, and how can it make you productive with Azure?

For some time now, I’ve been using Windows Terminal as my local terminal for interacting with my command-line tools for quite some time now. Whenever I’m demonstrating Kubernetes concepts or working with the Azure CLI, I’ll likely have had the Windows Terminal open at some point. I always get questioned about which terminal that is, and how people can get access to it. I recently put together a Cloud Drop on How Windows Terminal can make YOU productive with Azure, so I figured it’s time to also write up a blog post on the same! Whether you’re a Developer, DevOps Engineer, Infrastructure Operations or Data Scientist, you’ve probably had to interact with a command-line terminal / shell at some point, so I hope this will be useful for you!

Blog

April 8, 2021
Cloud Drops - How Windows Terminal can make YOU productive with Azure

Windows Terminal is a modern application that allows you to use your command-line of choice, whether that is the Windows Command Prompt, PowerShell, PowerShell Core, Windows Subsystem for Linux or the Azure Cloud Shell. This Cloud Drop shows you how to install Windows Terminal, and some tips/tricks in making you productive in Azure!

Episode

April 3, 2021
Why use Git, How it Works and what's going on behind the scenes?

I’ve recently released a few Cloud Drops episodes on Git related content. The Git Behind the Scenes video was incredibly well received. I’m also aware from my day-to-day discussions that there’s a mix of experiences with Git, so also made a Git 101 Video. In this Cloud World that we live in, version control is an important concept beyond the ’traditional’ developers. Infrastructure Engineers can now version control their Infrastructure as Code, or maintenance scripts. Data Scientists can version control their experiments and tests. And of course, developers can version control the code for their software. I also consider version control as a gateway or first step into the world of DevOps. Typically when you think about build and release pipelines, you are triggering based upon some version control event (e.g. a commit to a particular branch, a merge of a pull request, etc.). Over the past few years, I’ve seen a trend where organisations are looking to automate quickly, rather than relying on the traditional hands-on-keyboard approach which can be error-prone and time consuming. Whether we’re talking in this context about Infrastructure as Code, Application Code, database schemas as code, data science experiments or any other representation as code, it doesn’t matter. Typically the roads lead back to the same place, to version control. So in this blog post, I’ll be covering the fundamentals of Git and how to get started. For anyone that is particularly inclined, there will also be some information on what’s happening behind the scenes when you work through these fundamental concepts.

Blog

April 1, 2021
Using GPG Keys to sign Git Commits - Part 3

Okay, part 3! At this point, I’m assuming that you have already familiarised yourself with part 1 and part 2 of the series. As a quick recap, part 1 focused on why we would consider using GPG Keys in general. Part 2 focused on how to generate GPG keys along with some recommended practices on splitting out our master (Certification) key, from our specific purpose-driven keys. This post (part 3) focuses on using those keys as part of our usual development workflow using Git. We’ll be assuming that GitHub is our end target, as GitHub supports commit signature verification using GPG Keys.

Blog

March 10, 2021
Using GPG Keys to sign Git Commits - Part 1

For a while now, I’ve been using GPG Keys to sign my Git Commits to prove that my commits on GitHub are genuine and from me. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been inspired by a couple of colleagues (Kudos to Adrian and Julie if you’re reading this) to dig out my YubiKey and use these for my key signing activities. While there are several blog posts on the topic already, I encountered a number of roadblocks along the way. The intent of this blog post is to be the first of a series, where we’ll explore what GPG is, why it may be valuable to you and how you can get going using them. We’ll then take this forwards an additional step, and show how you can use YubiKeys as a second factor of verification and the benefits of this approach. By no means am I the world’s expert in cryptography, and some of these topics, but I wanted to document my own understanding for posterity, as I’ll inevitably need to repeat/review the process in the future. I hope that this may be useful to you.

Blog

February 24, 2021
Contributing to Open Source

Contributing to Open Source Software. It sounds so formal, doesn’t it? I thought that for quite a long time, and it put a bit of a mental barrier in place for me to begin my journey. I am a classic over thinker, but that’s perhaps another blog in its own right! Contributing to Open Source isn’t as scary as it may first initially seem. Let’s start with a few thoughts.

Blog

January 12, 2021
GitHub Actions and Azure - Deploying ARM templates with GitHub Actions

Have an application that you want to deploy to Azure in an automated way? Well, before we deploy the application code, we need some Azure Infrastructure for it to run on. In this video, we have you covered on how to deploy that infrastructure!

Episode

December 2, 2020