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More kusto – reading all Azure VNETs and their associated network space

Another one, again demonstrating the use of extend and mv-expand to pull out the multi-valued array.


| join kind=leftouter (ResourceContainers | where type==’microsoft.resources/subscriptions’ | project SubName=name, subscriptionId) on subscriptionId

| where type == “”

| extend vnetCount =array_length(properties.addressSpace.addressPrefixes)

| mv-expand vnet = properties.addressSpace.addressPrefixes

| project SubName, resourceGroup, name, vnetCount, vnet

| order by tostring(vnet) asc

More kusto – Reading email recipients for Azure Action Groups

Lots of hygiene work, including cleaning up Azure Action Groups that send to individual emails. That’s a red flag and anti pattern.

Here’s the KQL to read the Action Groups, their subscriptions, and expand out the recipients.

It’s easy work to continue to audit this, and clean up the dead wood.


| join kind=leftouter (ResourceContainers | where type==’microsoft.resources/subscriptions’ | project SubName=name, subscriptionId) on subscriptionId

| where type == “microsoft.insights/actiongroups”

| extend emailRecsCount =array_length(properties.emailReceivers)

| mv-expand emailRecs = properties.emailReceivers

| project SubName, resourceGroup, name, emailRecsCount,, emailRecs.status, emailRecs.emailAddress

| order by [‘name’] asc

Using the Azure VM Agent to find server health

I discovered a pool of servers that seemed to be unused, and used the Azure VM Agent “Run PowerShell Script” to determine the real health.

The output told me: not domain joined, not managed, not being patched, so targets for decommissioning.

$boot = Get-CimInstance -ClassName Win32_OperatingSystem

$hotfix = Get-HotFix | Sort-Object InstalledOn -Descending | Select-Object -First 1

$name = Get-CimInstance -Classname Win32_ComputerSystem

write-host “Server $($ Domain $($name.domain)”

write-host “Last reboot $($boot.LastBootUpTime)”

write-host “Last patch $($hotfix.HotFixID) $($hotfix.InstalledOn)”

Last reboot 10/12/2022 18:50:02
Last patch KB4495585 05/15/2019 00:00:00

Windows Admin Center and Dell OpenManage/iDRAC integration

Back in a previous life I worked closely with colleagues working on the integration of Dell, HPE and other server hardware vendors into the Microsoft infrastructure management tooling from System Center.

I’m a year in to using Windows Admin Center and the integration with Dell OpenManage and the Dell iDRAC.

It’s (usually) a joy; as part of the patching cycle, open the Dell OpenManage integration blade in Windows Admin Center, check for compliance, see which components need updating, update them.



Microsoft re-certifications

Four re-certifications in the last few days.

I really like the Microsoft model – free to re-certify, keep up to date on the latest areas of technology.

AZ-104, AZ-700, AZ-400, AZ-500 all current again.

If you’re about to re-sit these my top tips: read the exam subject matter, see what changed since you took the last test. Microsoft Learn has training, documentation and guidance – – and you can also revisit learning resources such as John Savills Technical Training.

Open book test, 45 minutes. Bing is your friend.

Screenshot 2023-04-24 193000Screenshot 2023-04-24 082226Screenshot 2023-04-18 155113Screenshot 2023-04-18 085831

Windows Server DHCP lease cleanup

Tiny piece of housekeeping, note for self for future use.

Previous reservations are wedged in the DHCP database, and not accessible through the DHCP MMS snap-in. Scope reconciliation shows the rogue entries.

Solution is to delete the reservations from the DHCP database.

Show all DHCP clients, i.e active leases and reservations


Remove individual, expired reservations


I could have done this with PowerShell, but NETSH was fast and easy.

Microsoft Flow – MSN weather connector, units

I’ve had a Microsoft Flow connector in production for a long time. It runs twice daily, reads the weather forecast for my location (Issaquah, WA), and if it’s forecast to be warm, sends an email to remind that plants need watering.

At some point recently, the flow stopped working correctly. It was triggering for Fahrenheit temperatures rather than Celsius. Cue twice daily emails when it’s cold outside.

I pulled apart the flow – and the Inputs for the connector had changed:



Azure Function timer triggers

Deep joy working with Azure Function apps, and using timer triggers this last few weeks.

I’ve been working on a set of Azure Functions that fire on a schedule, to read information from across the Azure environment, and write the results to Cosmos DB. Simple enough.

The trigger is set as a Timer:


The timer takes an NCRONTAB format for when it fires.

The various pieces of documentation are pretty clear, and I’ve got a lot of familiarity with CRON running on Linux.

My initial schedule was 0 0 */8 * * * – which should fire every 8 hours.


Instead – some really variable and unreliable results. I found "8-ish" hours between triggers to be best case, often the whole function stopped firing. Restart the function, and "8-ish hours" later it fired.

After a bunch of reading and testing, I changed the schedule to 0 0 0/8 * * * – which fires at 00Z, 08Z, 16Z – so every 8 hours, but locked to midnight, 8.00am and 4.00pm UTC.


So far – so good.

This was a good NCRONTAB expression tester: NCrontab Online Expression Tester Evaluator (

Hosting updates again

This blog (and several others) have been Azure hosted, on a monolithic SLES 15 virtual machine for a good few years.

I seem to have done the rounds on various flavours of Azure hosting. App Service with Project Nami, straight IaaS (like today), App Service with WordPress as a Microsoft provided service.

This last weekend I pulled the database out from the various blog VMs and moved that to a PaaS MySQL environment. It’s cheap, burstable, and seems more than performant for what I need. The other cool feature is VNET isolation – so the database engine is only accessible from my infrastructure running in Azure.