#MCSCUG June 2022

Tuesday evening was my first trip down to Southampton for the Microsoft Cloud (South Coast) User Group. The event kicked off at 7pm, with three sessions and a curry on the agenda.

In the first session Microsoft’s Chris Reddington (@reddobowen) took us through how he uses GitHub to develop, build, and maintain his website CloudWithChris.com. He showed how GitHub isn’t just a git repository these days and those roots in version control are now complemented by tools such as Actions, Issues, and online editors (including Codespaces) which enable him to have a complete development environment accessible on any device with an internet connection.

Next up Mitesh Chauhan (@MiteshChauhanUK) from LA NET gave us his insights into CAF and WAF. CAF is the Microsoft Azure Cloud Adoption Framework and we heard about the 6 phases of the framework from Defining Strategy through to the Adopt phase where applications are migrated or modernised onto the Azure platform.

WAF is the Microsoft Well Architected Framework (WAF, not to be confused with WAF for Web Application Firewall). This sits alongside the CAF and is guidance aimed at improving the quality of the workload. Mitesh explained the 5 pillars of the Framework: Reliability, Cost Optimisation, Operational Excellence, Performance Efficiency, and Security- and gave examples of the tools available to support you in implementing them.

Before continuing on to the final session we were treated to a bit of food.

To round the evening off we were treated to a dive into the suite of network security tools available in Azure from Gemma Allen of Microsoft. Gemma explained how the Zero Trust model applies not just to identity, but also to the network architecture, and how that modern network environment needs to implement tools to meet that challenge.

We saw how Azure tools work in the Cloud kill chain model, from perimeter defences such as Microsoft’s DDoS protection and the WAF built into the Application Gateway and FrontDoor products (that’s WAF, as in Web Application Firewall, not to be confused with WAF, as in Well Architected Framework) through to those wrapped around the server itself such as Private Links and Network Security Groups. It was great to have an example of how all these technologies fitted together.

Overall this was a very informative evening (with a nice curry) and I’d definitely recommend these events to anyone local(ish) to Southampton with an interest in the Microsoft Cloud. For future events, check out Meetup.com - the next is scheduled for the evening of July 5th and I plan to be there.