What about this Bicep?

You’ve probably heard about Azure Resource Manager (ARM) – the deployment and management service/layer of Azure, which enables you to manage (create, configure, delete) your Azure resources. Also, you are probably aware that ARM uses so called ARM templates – basically, JSON files that actually define the infrastructure and configuration you want to deploy to Azure (think Infrastructure as Code, IaC).

So, if you have dealt with ARM/JSON in the past, you may have been finding it difficult to start with, and somewhat complex.

Bicep is here to help.

Here is a short overview of Bicep – basically, it’s a language which enables you easier deployment of Azure resources, without messing around (too much) with JSON. To be frank, it somehow reminds of Terraform, but it’s also different. It has many cool features, immediately supports all new Azure features and APIs, can be built (converted) into .json and deployed as such or it can be deployed straight away as .bicep, doesn’t require state file, it’s open and free, has great support in Visual Studio Code and much more. And it’s still in active development!

If you’re dealing with IaC and Azure, try it.

To show you the power (and simplicity) of Bicep, here is a short example of deploying Linux virtual machine in Azure (together with a resource group, virtual network, virtual network subnet, virtual NIC and network security group), done “the old way” (in JSON, which was actually converted from Bicep… it’s easier than writing JSON from the scratch) and then done via Bicep (“the right way”? 😀).

Additionally, you’ll see that I’ve tried to break stuff into modules – with more or less sucess. 😀

The ARM/JSON way (could be done nicer/shorter, with parameters inside .parameters.json… if you know what you’re doing – this is converted from Bicep and serves just for illustrative purposes):

 

The Bicep way:



Bicep seems a bit easier to read and shorter, right (while still doing basically the same thing)? 😀

If we deploy the .bicep files above (note that I’m deploying the “raw” .bicep file directly – which is cool!):


We finally get our resources:

So, where should you start if you’re new to Bicep?

I would certainly recommend starting with free and official Deploy and manage resources in Azure by using Bicep learning path on Microsoft Learn.

After that, you can probably pick up Freek Berson’s book Getting started with Bicep: Infrastructure as Code on Azure (first and only book on Bicep that I know of – really liked it because of the simple (yet effective) examples with storage accounts, it connects everything and flows naturally – building up “brick by brick” and not “jumping around”, just to show off what Bicep can do).

Another great resource are also the Bicep examples – there’s plenty to learn from them too!

Of course, you’ll also need to practice – install the Azure CLI or Azure PowerShell module, add Bicep and use Visual Studio Code for your first steps with creating, deleting, configuring and breaking stuff… powered by Bicep! 😀

Cheers!

WinDays 12 – afterword…

So… another year, another WinDays conference is over… In short, it was fun (as always).

This year (like the year before), I was in charge of preparing the lab environment for almost all of the workshops happening at Centar Znanja – this was intense but also fun…

This year, at Wednesday, I had a session about Windows 8 deployment, called “A što je s klijentima?”. Session was early in the morning, but from my perspective, attendance was great, session was also OK (those who attended can say more about it Smile)!

I was using Windows Server “8” Beta as the basis for my lab, was deploying Windows “8” Consumer Preview with Windows ADK, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 and System Center Configuration Manager 2012. My lab wouldn’t be possible without the support of my “sponsor” – Kodeks, who provided me with the new, 12th generation Dell PowerEdge R720 server (thank you guys for this one!). I can say that this is indeed a fine piece of machinery, wish to have couple of these for all of my demos & workshops (Smile)…

I also had a workshop called “Build your private cloud in 3 hours” at Thursday (with my colleague Marin) which was fun – early morning, half of the room full, lots of work to be done… it was a success!

Photos (thanks to Romeo & Bojana):

Again, thanks to everyone who attended my session and workshop (or was planning to attend but was recovering from “yesterday” Smile); hope to hear from you & see you next year at WinDays 13!

Deployment Guides & Tools

Nakon godišnjih i ostalih odmora, vrijeme je da se lagano posvetim svakodnevnim obavezama. Svima koji se tek spremaju na godišnji, sretan im bio (uz lijepo vrijeme), a za sve one koji su se vratili, nadam se da ste se odmorili… Smile

Jučer sam naišao na, po meni, jako dobre materijale koje bih želio s vama podijeliti, a vezani su uz deployment.

Microsoftov MVP (Setup &  Deployment), Johan Arwidmark, koji je ujedno i dio TrueSec tima, skupio je hrpu materijala koji vam mogu pomoći da ovladate umijećem Windows deploymenta.

Ovo je inače drugi takav CD, a osnovna ideja mu je olakšati sam proces deploymenta i upoznati administratore sa potrebnim alatima (MDT 2010, odnosno SCCM 2007 R2), ali i svime ostalim što bi im moglo zatrebati. CD je zamišljen kao skup dokumenata i skripti koje vam mogu pomoći, a najljepši dio su svakako video tutoriali.

Materijali su dostupni na ovim stranicama, a nalaze se zapakirani u .iso image CD-a (cca. 180 MB), a za njihovo preuzimanje se je potrebno registrirati (link za preuzimanje dolazi e-mailom kroz dan-dva).

Dodatan resurs jest i Jonathanov blog koji se nalazi ovdje.

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p>Ukoliko se bavite (ili namjeravate baviti) Windows deploymentom, mislim da ne biste trebali propustiti ovu priliku…

Dostupan MDT 2010 Update 1

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Update 1 je, nakon perioda beta testiranja (beta je bila dostupna od sredine svibnja), danas konačno ugledao svjetlo dana u svojoj konačnoj verziji.

Ukoliko koristite MDT 2010, MDT 2008 ili BDD 2007, preporuča se nadogradnja na najsvježiju verziju jer su ispravljeni uočeni bugovi, ali i dodane nove mogućnosti…

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p>Jedna od najvažnijih novosti je mogućnost deploymenta novog Officea (2010), a ostali detalji i download se nalaze ovdje.