How to get started with Turbo360: Azure Documenter – Get Started (Part III)

Posted: July 10, 2024  |  Categories: Tools

Welcome again to another part on how to get started with Turbo360. In the first two parts of this season, I have explained how to configure a Service Principal in order to allow Turbo360 to connect to your Azure subscription and how to configure the Cost Analyzer module.

Today, I will address how to start with one of the modules I was also curious to test and see its capabilities: the Azure Documenter module. If you know me, you know that I am a big fan of creating proper and good documentation – so expectations were high!

Introduction to Azure Documenter module

Azure Documenter is a module designed to facilitate the creation of technical documentation of Azure environments (subscriptions). It aims to simplify the process of generating comprehensive documentation for Azure resources, configurations, and architecture. The main goal is to automatically generate detailed documentation and provide up-to-date documentation reflecting the current state of our Azure subscriptions.

I have to confess that I was surprised at the beginning. I imagined this module to be something like Document360, allowing users to create their own documentation about Azure infrastructure, applications, and so on. Oh boy, I was completely wrong. To be honest, I dislike the module’s name: Azure Documenter. For me, it should be called Azure Reporting.

Azure Documenter allows the generation of different report types, each covering a different use case.

  • Executive Summary Report: It auto-generates a summary report of Resource Groups, Resource types, Locations across which the resources are distributed, and a Billing Summary over a documentation period with security assessment details.
  • Details on Resources Report: It auto-generates an in-depth report containing information about each resource and a summary of resources grouped by Resource Types, Resource Groups, and Location.
  • Details on Billing Report: It auto-generates a tabular and graphical representation of cost incurred Resource-wise, Resource type-wise, location-wise, and Resource group-wise. It also provides a split-up of costs consumed at the individual resource level.
  • Compliance & Evaluation Report: It evaluates subscription(s) or resources and auto-generates detailed report on policy definitions.
  • Cost Comparison Report: It auto-generates a cost comparison report between two different date ranges at the subscription level.
  • Resource Auditing Report: It auto-generates a report containing information on all the activities performed across the resources in the selected subscription(s).
  • User Access Details Report: It auto-generates a comprehensive report on the access provided within Azure’s Active Directory group, Users, and Service principals and their roles at subscription, resource group, and resource level.
  • Rightsizing Recommendations Report: It auto-generates a report with cost savings, enhanced performance, and more efficient resource utilization recommendations.
  • Reservation Recommendations Report: It auto-generates a report with recommendations for optimizing cost by discounting pay-as-you-go with a 1 or 3-year(s) plan.
  • Network diagrams Report: Provides diagrammatic representation illustrating Azure virtual networks and their topologies.

How to get started with the Azure Documenter module

To get started with the Azure Documenter module, we need to:

  • On the Turbo360 home page, click on the Get started -> button inside the Azure Documenter panel
  • The first step in the Setup Azure Documenter window is the Group details. There, we need to:
    • On the Name property, set a name for the Azure Documenter Group.
    • And on the Description, place a short description of that Azure Documenter Group. This is optional.
    • Then click Next ->.
  • The Configuration details is the second step in the Setup Azure Documenter window. There, leave the default settings and click Next ->.
  • On the Service principal panel, on the service principal property, select the service principal you initially created in part 1 and then click Next ->.
  • Select the desired subscription on the Scope selection panel and click Next ->.
    • If you want to isolate the scope for certain resource groups, you can select all the necessary ones. I decide not to restrict the scope.
  • On the Document details panel, you can select which types of reports you want to auto-generate. As a proof-of-concept, I decided to generate only the Executive summary, but later, you can add more options.
    • Click Next ->.
  • Do not add a custom filter on the Filters panel, and click Next ->.
  • On the Publish settings panel, you can select:
    • To publish documents to an Azure Storage account, we have selected this option.
    • Or to publish to Document360 (another product of Kovai)
    • Generate the report as a PDF or Word document. We have selected PDF.
    • Finally, because we select to publish to an Azure Storage account, we need to provide:
      • The connection string to the Storage account.
      • And the Storage account name.
    • At the end, click Validate and then Next ->.
  • On the Notification panel, set the Recipient email address and the Email template and click Generate.

After a few seconds/minutes, you will get an auto-generated report containing a summary of Resource Groups, Resource types, Locations across which the resources are distributed, and a Billing Summary over a documentation period with security assessment details.

And many more details!

How cool is that? Imagine the time you would need to do this analysis manually! This is a time-saver and a very valuable module!

See you on my next get started with Turbo360 blog post.

Hope you find this helpful! If you enjoyed the content or found it useful and wish to support our efforts to create more, you can contribute towards purchasing a Star Wars Lego for my son!

Author: Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira lives in Portugal and works as a consultant at DevScope. In the past years, he has been working on implementing Integration scenarios both on-premises and cloud for various clients, each with different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality, using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft BizTalk Server and different technologies like AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, SAP, TIBCO etc. He is a regular blogger, international speaker, and technical reviewer of several BizTalk books all focused on Integration. He is also the author of the book “BizTalk Mapping Patterns & Best Practices”. He has been awarded MVP since 2011 for his contributions to the integration community.

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