David O'Brien

David O'Brien

Fixer of cloud security issues - founder of ARGOS Cloud Security - strongman - pilot

Geelong, Australia

David is the founder of ARGOS Cloud Security (htttps://argos-security.io) and has held a Microsoft MVP award for many years, including the prestigious MVP for Azure.
A regular speaker at international conferences, meetups, and user groups he combines his interest to travel the world with his passion to share IT stories with the community.
In addition to blogging about cloud, security, and automation for over a decade, he has also published online training courses on topics like cloud and DevOps, and regularly delivers in-person training courses across the world.
Outside of IT David is an active aviator with over 20 years' flying experience, and an aspiring Strongman athlete.


Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • Azure
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Cloud Computing
  • DevOps & Automation
  • Google Cloud
  • Terraform
  • DevOps Transformation
  • Pulumi
  • Infrastructure as Code
  • Cloud & Infrastructure
  • Infrastructure as a Service
  • Cloud Native Infrastructure
  • Kubernetes
  • Containers
  • Secure Infrastructure
  • Security
  • Azure Security

serverless on Azure - do it right!

This session will introduce proper processes around Azure Functions (Mirosoft's serverless offering) by touching on CI and CD principles using existing Azure services.

It is one thing to manually create a single function in the Azure portal, it is another one to develop and deploy multiple functions into more than one, independent environments.

What do we need to look out for? What other services out there help us build a great serverless application on Azure?

Traditional infrastructure in the cloud - Lipstick on a pig?

We see it a lot. Companies move towards the cloud and sometimes do not really know how, they struggle, get help, they often struggle as well.
Companies want to start tipping their toes into the water (clouds are made of water) by moving their existing traditional infrastructure into the cloud and then fail doing so.
Lift & shift is usually wrong and will bite you in the long run. This session will explain why.
Let's check out reasons why companies move towards the cloud, how they can potentially fail and let's learn from other people's mistakes and learn how to do it the right way.
No bill-shock, no ugly surprises on weekends, no "next release is in 3 months".

Modern plumbing - Infrastructure pipelines on Azure

Build and deployment pipelines are only for developers?
Setting up all this plumbing just gets in the way of the actual business requirements?
Join me in this workshop where we will together build a fully functioning build and deployment pipeline for your Azure infrastructure.
From setting up the Build Server (VSTS) to deploying actual servers with ARM templates to Azure, we'll do it all and you get to keep the code.

Fight for your infrastructure - head to head comparison of tools

You decided to build your infrastructure in the cloud.
Everybody is telling you to build that infrastructure from code.
What tool should you use though?
Use PowerShell? The CLI? ARM templates? Or maybe even some third party tool like Terraform or Pulumi?

This session will put these tools head to head and give you an overview of each tool's capabilities.
However, this is not marketing. We won't stop at the shiny stuff, we will talk about the good and the bad.
Come to this no holds barred session to really hear about what it means to do infrastructure as code.

Good practices to not shoot yourself in the foot in the Azure cloud

With great power comes great responsibility. Cloud platforms give people immense power by enabling them to almost do whatever they want. In this workshop we will uncover the terrible things that your colleagues don’t want you to know that they did. From unpatched virtual machines over publicly accessible servers with default administrator passwords to money burning test environments. We’ll look at practices and Azure services to save you money and also the administrator’s sanity. You are in control of your company’s environments. Come to this workshop to hear about horror stories encountered in the wild and see how simple it can be to not shoot yourself in the foot when putting workloads into the cloud by starting to use cloud services hands on without much effort and get a massive ROI straight away.

Say no to RDP! Can we?

Imagine a world where you didn't have remote access to your virtual machines.
Difficult? I know.
"But how do I get logs?"
"But how do I run this ad hoc script?"
"But how do I restart a service?"
"But how..."
What if I told you that answers to most of these scenarios already exist?

In this session we will together discover Azure services and capabilities that will enable you to disable your RDP and SSH access to Virtual Machines on most instances.
This will make you the hero of the day, turning off jumpboxes or bastion hosts, saving money and time while at the same time making your environment more secure.

Come open-minded and see a different way of Ops in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Attendees will learn about real life use of Azure Services like Run Script, Azure Bastion, Azure Monitor Logs and others that will enable them to run their Azure Ops in a more cost efficient and secure way.

First steps with Terraform on Azure

So you started your cloud journey and quickly discovered that you need to leverage some sort of Infrastructure as Code strategy.
You also realised that writing long files of JSON ARM templates is not what humans were ever intended to do (leave that to the robots) and just as quickly as you got here move on to the next thing, the thing everybody is talking about, Terraform.
Let us make this session about what it means to select Terraform as your tool of choice for managing infrastructure on Azure.
What are the good and the potentially bad things?
You got rid of JSON now, but what did you trade it in for?
Let's look at some typical ways to get started and obviously also deploy some infrastructure.
This session is open source, all the code used will be available for everybody to keep.

So hot! PowerShell based APIs - on kubernetes!

Everybody wants APIs nowadays. Everybody wants containers nowadays. However, there seems to be a lack of focus on providing real APIs on containers with PowerShell. Python this. NodeJS that. There are ways to achieve modern applications with PowerShell as well. In this fast-paced, demo-filled session we will go from 0 to a fully working, public API running on Azure Kubernetes Services written in PowerShell. Be prepared for a lot of code and cool demos building a modern PowerShell based web application.

Clean your mess up! Hygiene and Security in the Microsoft Azure cloud

“With great power comes great responsibility.” - every Ops team in the cloud, ever! With all those possibilities that cloud providers promise us a lot of fears travel along.

“How can I make sure that workloads are only deployed in region XYZ?”
“How do I know who did what?”
“How do I get notified if something happens?”
“How do I not get bill shock?”

All of these questions are normal and need to be addressed in every implementation.
Come along and hear about offerings and services in Microsoft Azure that will assist companies to clean up their cloud and keep it tidy.
You will take home at least one thing that you can implement straight away!

Infrastructure as real code

Infrastructure as code isn't new, neither is the wish that infrastructure as code should be actual code and not something else that people then morph into something code-like.
In this session we will shine some light at the promise of Pulumi's "infrastructure as real code" (BYO language) based on real implementations of cloud infrastructure on multiple cloud providers.
What's wrong (if anything) with describing your infrastructure in YAML?
What does real code give you and how does it compare against the other things out there?
Come for strong opinions and the attempt of going multi-cloud.

Not your other datacenter - 10 tips for a successful Azure migration

Whip out your credit card and you have Azure. Easy as!
However, how do you make sure to be successful with your Azure project and not fall into the trap of treating Azure as just another datacenter?
What are the 10 most important things to follow to make sure you are successful and the hero of your cloud migration?

Real life experiences from years of helping customers be successful on Azure and also helping customers remediate the issues they found themselves in by applying traditional mindsets to Azure.
Lots of great takeaways for attendees to implement.

Contemporary Lift & Shift to Azure - Is it any good?

Lift & Shift seems to be a fast and easy way to get to the cloud and claim to "be in the cloud".
In doing so however, do you actually then leverage the cloud or are you just using it as another hosting platform? Is either of these a good or a bad thing?
In this session I will show you reasons for and against a cloud migration in the Lift & Shift style and how you can be the hero of your cloud journey by making conscious decisions around your infrastructure and leveraging Azure services that will help you be more successful and more secure without going through the whole application transformation cycle.

This session is based on doing lots of projects with Azure customers moving their workloads (legacy and new) to Azure or remediating failed Lift & Shift migrations.
It will have a lot of best practices that can be applied pretty much straight away.

Infrastructure as Code like never before

When someone says "Infrastructure as Code" you might think JSON or YAML, maybe Terraform's HCL, but do you think "PowerShell"?
There is a great new way to define your Azure infrastructure as code like never before.
Come to this session and be prepared to be blown away by seeing how we use the most common PowerShell patterns to deploy infrastructure in ways you've never done before using the free and open source pulumi framework.
All the code we use in this session will be readily available for everybody to use and reuse in their environment.

Building a robot so we can be lazy

Do you have semi-standardised offerings to your customers? Maybe you are part of an Ops team and are tired of working on standard tickets or manually collecting the required data from users because they did not want to use the ticket system?

In this session we will build a conversational bot on Microsoft Azure that we will be able to use to execute boring tasks so that we don’t have to do them.
We will learn about the services available, how to build and teach the bot and then actually use the bot.
You can even teach your bot to take up orders by your customers (think pizza delivery, making appointments, book flights, or similar).
Best of all? The code written is going to be available after the session.

Bake off!

Let's get baking!
Azure allows us to create custom VM images that we can easily and rapidly deploy to our environment, to single VMs or Scale Sets.
This process is one of the most common deployment types in the cloud.
There are a few ways to actually build (or bake) these images and we will work with the most common once in this workshop.

Highlights from this workshop include:
- Creating PowerShell scripts to create images from existing VMs
- Create custom VM images with Packer
- Create custom VM images with Azure DevOps pipelines
- Deploying custom VM images with PowerShell
- Deploying custom VM images with Azure DevOps pipelines

David O'Brien

Fixer of cloud security issues - founder of ARGOS Cloud Security - strongman - pilot

Geelong, Australia