Using Azure Functions to Detect Search Indexer Errors

in Azure

Azure Functions are a light weight way to deploy code. It’s part of the “serverless” craze. While I admit I was suspect of serverless, after just this tiny foray, I can definitely see it’s usefulness.

So here’s my real world example of something simple you can do with Azure Functions. It’s just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s better than a Hello Word.

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AWS Cloudsearch vs Azure Search

in AWS Azure

We recently started moving some of our bits from AWS to Azure. One of the first bits to go was the Search. Below is my comparison of the two.


Azure has the ability to automatically index data stored in SQL, DocumentDB, and Azure Table Storage as well as documents stored in Azure Blob Storage. Azure’s API is strongly typed and much more expressive than AWS’s.

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Moving from AWS to Azure

in AWS Azure

We recently started moving from AWS to Azure. It’s something I had been pushing for, but the reason we finally started was because of the ability to index and search documents stored in Azure Blob storage, so the first things to move have been document storage and search. We expect to move our website, API and SQL database next, but we haven’t scheduled anything.

Below are some of the differences and lessons I found/learned in the process. I’ll also try to post some specifics about each service we move for comparison sake.

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Connecting AWS VPC to Classic RDS

in AWS

A while back we did an audit of what we were spending through Amazon Web Services to see if there was any way we could reduce our spending without having a negative impact on our users.

One of the big things we found we would be able to do was upgrade some of our production EC2 instances from for AWS’s older m1.medium to an m3.medium, and our dev/test instances could downgrade from m1.small to t2.small.

The catch was we needed to create those instances in AWS’s Virtual Private Network (VPC), and there is no documentation for how to connect that VPC to things running “Classic Mode”. Our database was running on a RDS instance that was in Classic Mode and we didn’t want to incur the downtime to move that to a VPC.

Here’s how we eventually were able to get our VPC instance to talk to our classic mode RDS.

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Debugging IIS App Pool Crashes

in C# IIS

We had a problem where a stack overflow error was crashing our App Pool in IIS. Other than that we didn’t have any information about what was cause was, what code was causing the crash or even what request.

This was my first time taking a crash dump and using it to debug and I was surprised at how painless it was. I’ll definitely be using this technique again.

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