Azure Public DNS costs

I have previously written about:

Using Azure DNS with Office 365

and in my experience it works really, really well. What I like about it is mainly the fact that I can implement and manage the whole thing via PowerShell. I run up a lot of demo environments and have an automated script that adds a custom domain to Office 365 and then adds the required DNS records to Azure. All that happens at the touch of a button, consistently. Brilliant stuff.

However, Azure DNS is a paid service, it isn’t free. So what does it cost? Well, the place to start is the Azure pricing calculator where we see:

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that the total estimated cost for 1 DNS zone with 1 million queries is AU$1.24 and I will note , also includes support!

So how does such an estimate translate into the real world? Well, I host a number of domains in Azure DNS but the most active one would be ciaops.com. The DNS records for this very blog are there.

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So the next really cool thing that Azure gives you is the ability to drill down into your services, like Azure DNS, and produce information like what you see above, which is the total queries against the ciaops.com domain in Azure DNS. The amount for the last 30 days was 204,210 requests, well below the initial one million estimate. Clearly that amount will vary for different domains based on popularity, but remember that not every DNS request for your domain will hit the root DNS servers for the domain, especially if the records don’t change that much.

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So I then used Azure to show me the actual cost for this previous 30 day period and you can see that the grand total was AU$0.37.

Sure Azure DNS is not free, but it might as well be! So, if you are looking to get started with Azure, I’d suggest that you start with Azure DNS as being the cheapest, quickest and easiest way to dip your toe in. That will provide you some familiarity and from there you can start scaling up.

Looks like Office 365 ATP is splitting in two

Seen some chatter here in Australia about there now being two Office 365 ATP SKUs (it appeared on a pricing sheet). Everything I could find suggested that this was not the case, however a US contact pointed out to me the following web site:

https://products.office.com/en-us/exchange/advance-threat-protection

That clearly shows 2 x Office 365 ATP SKUs.

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There is not as yet an equivalent AU page.

The main things that Plan 2 adds according to that page are:

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Even the services descriptions for Office 365 ATP here:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/servicedescriptions/office-365-advanced-threat-protection-service-description?fbclid=IwAR2FQUfHsjY3Ka03RSpcGGD9bLP8RFRI5VFc7aMUAcr936QPEYLY_-ZETLE

don’t talk about there being two plans. Thus, I (and others) are somewhat confused as to which version will be included in suites like Microsoft 365 Business. My guess is that most plans that have Office 365 ATP will get Plan 1, with Plan 2 going for higher end enterprise plans. However, that is all here say for now.

So, it looks like are going to get a new ‘advanced’ Office 365 ATP plan soon (Plan 2) but we are unsure in which suites it will be available. More as it becomes available.

Updated script to now check for Sweep

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The bad actors out there are clever and they’ll use any means at their disposal. Normally, when a user is successfully phished the first thing bad actors do is manipulate the email handling rules of the mailbox to hide their activity.

Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of different ways to forward email in Office 365 including via the mailbox and via Outlook client rules. It was brought to my attention that there is in fact another way that forwarding can be done, using the Sweep function. You can read more about this ability at:

Organize your inbox with Archive, Sweep and other tools in Outlook.com

Sweep rules only run once a day but do provide a potential way for bad actors to hide their activity, however as it turned out Sweep was in fact being exploited by bad actors inside a compromised mailbox.

I have therefore updated my publicly available PowerShell script at:

https://github.com/directorcia/Office365/blob/master/o365-exo-fwd-chk.ps1

That will now also check and report on any Sweep rules in finds in mailboxes as well as any other forwards configured in the tenant.

Let me know if you find any other methods that this doesn’t cover and I’ll look at incorporating those as well.

CIAOPS Techwerks whiteboard training–Brisbane 21 Brisbane

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I’ll be hosting an all day focused, hands on, technical whiteboard training session on Microsoft Cloud technologies (Office 365, Microsoft 365, Azure, etc) in Brisbane on Thursday February the 21st 2019. The course is limited to 15 people and there are still a few places available if you wish to attend.

The content of these events is driven by the attendees. That means we cover exactly what people want to see and focus on doing hands on, real world scenarios. Attendees can vote on topics they’d like to see covered prior to the day and we continue to target exactly what the small group of attendees wants to see. Thus, this is an excellent way to get really deep into the technology and have all the questions you’ve been dying to know answered. Typically, the event produces a number of best practice take aways for each attendee. So far, the greatest votes are for deeper dives into Intune, security and PowerShell configuration and scripts, however that isn’t finalised until the day.

The CIAOPS Techwerks events are run regularly in major Australian capital cities, so if you can’t make this one or you aren’t in Brisbane on that date, stay tuned for more details and announcements soon. If you are interested in signing up please contact me via emails (director@ciaops.com) and I can let you know all the details as well as answer any questions you may have about the event.

I hope to see you there.

Need to Know podcast–Episode 201

We’ve recovered from our 200th episode and are getting back into the swing of our regular programming with some updates, information and opinions from the Microsoft Cloud. We cover some recent important updates, especially in the area of security, as well as some news around Microsoft 365 and Azure. We also dip our toes quickly into the area of certifications but we’ll need more time to do justice to the topic. So stay tuned for that episode coming real soon. For now, sit back and enjoy as we get back to what we like doing – keeping you up to date with everything that’s happening in the Microsoft Cloud.

Take a listen and let us know what you think – feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen directly to this episode at:

https://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-201-back-to-normal/

Subscribe via iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

@contactbrenton

@directorcia

CIAOPS Patron Program

Microsoft Cloud outage information

Duplicating a Microsoft Planner plan using PowerShell

GitHub and free access to private repositories

Office 365 will automatically block Flash and Silverlight

Azure AD makes sharing and collaboration seamless for any user account

Microsoft’s Cyber defense Operations Center shares best practices

Step 3 – Protect your identities. Top 10 actions to secure your environment

Get ready for the new Microsoft 365 Security Center and Microsoft 365 Compliance Center

Microsoft 365 NIST 800-53 action plan

Sadly, it seems that Open Live Writer won’t be updated

So the problem at the moment is that Google has apparently changed the API that allows the posting of images into Blogger via Open Live Writer. This means that Open Live Writer needs to be updated to accommodate this. Unfortunately, even though Open Live Write is now open source there doesn’t seem to be anyone willing to take on that task. Thus, Open Live Writer really no longer works with Blogger when it comes to uploading images.

Yes, there are some kludgy temporary work arounds but that is not what I’m after. That means it’s looks like I’ll have to abandon the Blogger platform for this blog and move it elsewhere. That is going to be a major pain because it also means that I’ll need to probably move all the previous posts as well.

However, first things first, I need to go off and search for a new blogging platform to use that will allow me to totally compose offline, using some tool as well as retain all my history. If you have any suggestion of where I should head to for this, let me know.

So, until I can get this all sorted and potentially migrated, there unfortunately won’t be as many posts as normal.