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Showing posts from August, 2013

Monitoring Azure from a Raspberry Pi?

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We have an Azure cloud network that we would like to monitor with a standalone status board.  One option is to do the "all Microsoft" Powershell thing with a windows device. Another option is to use the Linux and MAC Azure management tools released in 2012. There is also a Node.js based set of tools . An older MSDN blog entry is also useful for understanding this. Another option is to directly consume the Azure REST services used by the Node.js library.  I decided to try the Node.js tools.   REST service information is available on MSDN. Hardware Sometimes when you have stuff lying around you just have to come up with some way to use it. Sometimes it works out fine and some times not so much.  I have a 700MHz 512GB  Raspberry Pi computer sitting on the shelf with nothing to do.  Its that nifty Linux ARM based computer: with built in Ethernet, USB, video and an hardware extension bus. That hosts our monitoring scripts. I also have the Adafruit LCD Keypad Kit for the

Azure Point to Site VPN - private access to your cloud environment

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You don't really have to worry about connectivity when you have a single in-house data center.  All your proprietary data is on "your" network that you manage. You firewall protects your sensitive information from internet intruders.  The internal network provides routing and name lookup services. You don't really worry about connectivity when your are consuming publicly available resources on the internet.  Your internal network allows outbound connections to the internet.  Your gateway knows which DNS servers provide name support. Note: IPV4 network numbers in the diagrams are just examples. They happen to be how my internal and Azure networks are configured. Azure a Cloud Provider Cloud providers give you the ability to spin up off-site data centers that are visible and reachable from the internet.  The actual remote data center organization and configuration is somewhat opaque to you since it is managed and controlled by the cloud provider.   The cloud

The simple but awesome NeoPixel Shield with an Arduino

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The folks at Adafruit have put out a nice "NeoPixel shield" which is essentially an 8x5 addressable RGB LED strip built into an Arduino shield.  They have created a nice library available on github. You can see the project on their product web page .  Here is a picture of the board mounted on an Arduino Uno. The LED in the bottom right corner is LED 0.  The LED in the the bottom left corner is node 7.  The second row up is node 8-15 and so on.  The LED in the upper left corner is node 39. This picture shows the LED panel on my desktop. It totally overwhelmed the camera to the point that the rest of the room looks dark. Firmware I've created simple Arduino firmware that lets you send LED blinky commands over the Serial Port via USB.  You can set each pixel color individually along with one of 10 blink patterns.  Pattern 0 is off and pattern 1 is solid on so there are 8 actual blink patterns.  The firmware is located on github . The LEDs are daisy chained in