Let’s Play with Azure Cosmos DB

Ok, I have to admit that when I login into my Azure Portal and it seems like a long time since I meddle around with the new technologies that is being released by Microsoft.

I have heard a little about the power of Azure Cosmos DB but have not really played with it yet! I would like to take the chance to run through it and blog down my learning!

Navigate through Azure Marketplace, go to “Databases” and you will be presented with the different offering of Database options. I went ahead to select “Azure Cosmos DB” as shown.


There are multiple API data model offerings in the Azure Cosmos DB. Some of the examples are as followed:


For an introduction to the respective data model, you may navigate to the following site:

  1. DocumentDB
  2. MongoDB
  3. Gremlin
  4. Table


After the deployment process has been completed, you will be able to find that under your Resources within the Azure Portal.


As you can see, there is more than just .NET platform that is being supported as part of this Cosmos DB and for now, it is just waiting on creating the item collections before able to consume the Cosmos DB.

I am pleased with the way how the getting started is going and it is relatively easy for any Azure Administrator to spin up new Cosmos DB.

In the next posts, I am going to walk through deeper into how I am using Cosmos DB and storing data into it.



Let’s Play with Azure Cosmos DB

My Love-Hate Relationship with SingTel

I do have a few Love-Hate Relationship which I have somehow written it on my blog or expressed it somehow one way or another. However, all of which are genuine one, be it whether it is just my luck or such a “coincidental”.

My Love-Hate Relationship started out in February/March 2016 after I started my new role with Condeco Software after leaving the big boy, VMware. I have been a fan or loyal user with Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) for a long time after switching from StarHub after I completes my National Service (NS) in 2010.

Fast forward, when I first joined Condeco Software as a Technical Consultant, I was tasked to be on the ground working with all the customers and fixing problems for then-unhappy customers. I still remember that during January 2016, I was using one of the SingTel plan where it gives me approximately 4 gigabytes (GB) of data as part of the package. However, just in January, I overshot the amount of data and end up paying $10.70 (inclusive of GST) for every 1 gigabyte (GB).

The ironic part of the billing from SingTel is that, even if you exceed 1 megabyte (MB), you will still prepay for the price of 1 gigabyte (GB). This is good for users who does monitoring of the usage closely but it will still rely heavily on how well SingTel is feedback you with the real-time data through to the SingTel App on the mobile phone.

At that point of time, the exceeding of data is purely due to the fact that I am required to connect my laptop via Tethering to my Apple iPhone to join remote conferencing tools such as GoToMeeting or GoToAssist. Been a great journey using such services from Citrix which we finally have moved on to using Zoom. Therefore, carrying an irrational mindset at that point of time, I went on to renew my contract with SingTel to Combo 12 plans which was one of the highest one available where it bundles with 12 gigabytes (GB) of data which is massive and more than enough for my day-to-day without any penalty.

One more advantage of the Combo 12 plan offering from SingTel will be the unlimited airtime (or talk time) and SMS. I am kind of the conservative type of person where I always love relying on reliable technology of using the air time for all my phone calls rather than relying on VoIP service such as WhatsApp or Skype.

So what exactly that I hate about SingTel?

Well. It is because, after renewing with SingTel on a 24-months contract on the highest plan possible due to the fact that I require additional data and is unwilling to pay an hefty amount. At the same time, that was the only plan that have unlimited talk time bundled in.

What made things worst was that right after re-contracting with SingTel on a 24-months contract, they release a plan known as “DataMore” or equivalent which allows existing / new customers to pay a fraction of fee to get more data. This further aggravate the fire in me as that’s what I have been looking for which will keep my monthly subscription plan to a more affordable one. It is certainly not that I couldn’t afford the highest plan but I am one who does the needful things.

Fast forward 19-months till today, September 2017 after having that contract with SingTel. I am so much looking forward to February 2018 for a few reasons:

  1. My 24 months contract with SingTel is going to end and I am not bounded contractually with them anymore.
  2. This gives me the ability to move on to another provider or downgrade my plan to a much much reasonable one than what I am paying right now.
  3. SingTel has introduced a few awesome plans that I feel put me in the right spot.


Remember that I am enjoying Unlimited Airtime (Talk Time) and SMS right now, therefore Combo 3 does fit into the requirements. As for data, SingTel has introduced “Data X Infinity” which allows mobile users to have “Unlimited” data on their mobile plans.

You can find more information about this add-on here and here.

The price point is pretty attractive at SGD 39.90. SingTel do have the X2 and X3 plans which double or triple the amount of data that you have in your base plans for approximately SGD 5 – 10. With an additional SGD 30 – 35, you get literally 50GB of 4G Data.

Where is the “Unlimited” then? SingTel need to ensure that every users are being good and fair therefore there is throttling implemented for users who used up the 50GB + the amount of data that is included in the base plan then the user mobile will be throttled to 1Mbps.

Why is Combo 12 no longer compelling to me? It is because:

  1. This plan most probably is suitable to end-users who are business users whom do not have any worries about the subscription cost per month.
  2. This plan is suitable to those who changes their mobile phones on a yearly basis. This plan gives you SGD 500 per year to offset the penalty charges SingTel will impose on you should you not meet the maturity of the 21 months for re-contracting.
  3. This plan offers unlimited talk time and SMS and is fulfilled by the recently revamped Combo 3.

As far as I can see with all the competition from StarHub, Mobile One and Circles Life, we will definitely see much more reduction in the rates provided in this small lion city. So let’s take a look at what will be more compelling for end-user like myself?

I evaluate plans based on a few criteria:

  1. Compelling and comprehensive overseas roaming coverage as I do travel a fair bit within Asia Pacific and at times to United States. I would like to have better offers that is compelling in such a way that it is no brainers choice that I should skip buying local SIM card.
  2. Stable and huge coverage within Singapore. This is definitely the main point because if the telecommunication provider isn’t strong within the motherland, then who can still call themselves the leader?
  3. You can be pricey than others, but please be reasonable! I do know that, you “Pay Peanuts, you get Monkey” kind of concept! So, I don’t mind paying 5-10% more to SingTel compared to other telecom as long as the service is up to standard and the coverage is good.

Have you had any love-hate relationship with any of the telecommunication provider?


My Love-Hate Relationship with SingTel

No Bullshit, Why you should attend PowerShell Conference Asia 2015!

We are almost into August already and in two weeks time, as a Singaporean, I will be celebrating my nation 50th Birthday. It is for sure will be the biggest celebration ever and it scares the shit out of me because after that major milestone, it just means that in four weeks from then it will be PowerShell Conference 2015 in Asia! The first ever PowerShell Conference in Asia that have touch down in Singapore!

As a PowerShell MVP and part of the awesome organising team that have the strong eagerness to bring a fantastic lined-up of speakers all the way out from United States to have them speak face-to-face with the attendees in Asia for the very first time! This is definitely a greatest achievements for not only me, but for all the technology lovers who have walked by us all the time. It is because of the committee that drives us to do crazy stuffs such as inviting renown and professional speakers in to share their expertise and knowledge for two-full days!

Let’s keep the long story short and hit to the point. Below is the points that I felt YOU as an Information Technology Worker or Implementer or Consultant or Architect or Project Management or anything that does A-Z with or without PowerShell or drag to learn DevOps or even to the point where you want Automation but definitely wouldn’t know where to kick-start. Then review the following reason WHY I THINK YOU SHOULD ATTEND THIS EVENT.

    • Hear from PowerShell Founder, Jeffrey Snover through Skype for Business.
    • Have a face-to-face airtime with PowerShell Product Team Lead Engineer, Narayanan Lakshmanan
    • Industry Experts, Microsoft MVPs (PowerShell and many other Technical Expertise who thinks that PowerShell is the way to go!)
    • There bounce to have sessions for Beginners, Intermediate and Advance users.
    • We need to accommodate to all type of users because we want the Beginners to become Intermediate and Intermediate users to become Advance. Sooner or later, we will have more experts in this industry moving forward!
    • Learning is an individual things. If watching a video from Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is tough for you, then it is not your passion. MOVE ON.
    • Learning can be fun in a group. We help each other as and when we can.
    • We can’t work alone, we always work in a TEAM. That’s why there is TEAMWORK.
    • Wake up from your idea that GUI will be the way moving forward.
    • Stop day-dreaming. Unless you move away from IT, unless you move away from using Windows Server (but, do you know we can use Desired State Configurations (DSC) to manage Linux too?)
    • The reality is, LEARN POWERSHELL NOW or MOVE ON.
    • Since donkey years ago, developers have started to intercept and learn about PowerShell Scripting.
    • Administrator should learn scripting too, get the GUI closed please!
    • Developer have the upper-hand, you write C# right? Basic foundation is there. Take advantage of it!
    • Business Managers should join too! It will be DRY for you, I guaranteed.
    • You ought to know how important AUTOMATION is for your company.
    • You should advocate and HELP YOUR COMPANY to move forward!
    • WITHOUT your help, EMPLOYEE do not improve. Help them to help you!
    • It is only just USD150.
    • Remember the last awesome meal you had at the restaurant which may cost you a bomb? Yes, it is delicious and you will remember the restaurant until you find something nicer.
    • The foundation of PowerShell and willingness to spend to learn will bring you to different dimension which is sponsoring your nice meal at the next luxurious restaurant.
    • We are work, play and enjoy. This is work-life balance! So work for it before you get your fair share to enjoy!


Hope you catch my pointers. It is still not too late to enjoy the Early-Bird pricing to the first ever PowerShell Conference in Asia that will be held from 18-19th September this year in Microsoft Singapore office! The world do not owe you a living, so get your ass in to start learning!

Hit over to http://powershell.asia/ now!

Milton Goh

No Bullshit, Why you should attend PowerShell Conference Asia 2015!

Closing the chapter: My thoughts on year 2013

We are coming to an end of Year 2013 and all are ready to welcome Year 2014. Today I am going to do something new for this blog (miltongoh.com) which I believe most of the bloggers are already doing it. I am going to write about how Year 2013 and what I hope to achieve it Year 2014.

Let’s look back at Year 2013, a hectic year for sure.

January 2013

  • Attended F5 iRules Training – Although this is really an intermediate class for professional who have prior experience in F5 appliances, I still think I did pretty well and therefore have learnt some bits and pieces from the instructor.
  • Started my first paid classes to polished up my Windows Server 2008 R2 skills at New Horizons – Although this didn’t turned out to be a positive matter because the way how the program is being structured, it’s terrible! Wouldn’t believe “Mentored-Learning” anymore. I still prefer the classroom way of mentor lecturing in the classroom which will be filled with real-world experiences.
  • Achieved my first MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) in Private Cloud.

March 2013

  • Attended ITIL Foundation v3 training proudly sponsored by my company, Dimension Data (Singapore) and attained my certification.

July 2013

  • Got promoted! *Hooray* Thanks to my boss at Dimesion Data (Singapore).
  • Helped out at the very first PowerShell Saturday Singapore thanks to Matthew Hitchcock (PowerShell MVP).

August 2013

  • Achieved my MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) in SharePoint 2010 Administration – my MCTS SharePoint 2010, Configuring got a little rusty and this certificate comes in handy like finally.

November 2013

  • Got nominated and awarded as an Incredible Member in my organization for the year. *hooray* – Thanks to the anonymous person who think highly of me. (Probably there is only one).
  • Completed my last four papers for my Bachelor Degree.

December 2013

  • Got my results for my Bachelor Degree and yes, I finally completed my three-years long course. Smile
  • Applied and attained my MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) certification.

That’s just some of the high-level items that really worth noting down and some of the technologies that I have played with and meddled with or rather got my hands really dirtied with…

  • Service-Now
  • SharePoint 2013
  • Windows Server 2012
  • PowerShell
  • Cisco Technologies – Digital Media Player
  • VMWare ESXi Hypervisor – Including vMotion

These are really the focus for the year.

Outlook for Year 2014

Here I will try to list down some of the items that I am going to aim for and hopefully to achieved them within the new 365 days.

  • Join the Winter Scripting Games 2014 – January 2014 – These will be a 4 weeks long program. This is my first time joining so hope to learn more about PowerShell out of this.
  • Speak at PowerShell Saturday Singapore 003 – February 2014 – Have sent my sessions details over and hopefully everything will go smooth.
  • Committed to PowerShell User Group Singapore – Will be helping Matthew Hitchcock out to promote PowerShell to all the Singapore IT Pros. Hopefully they will see the light as we did.
  • Attain the MCSA – Office 365 certification
  • Share my knowledge with the community since a huge part of knowledge is derived from the community.

Cheers and Happy New Year to all! Smile

Milton Goh

Closing the chapter: My thoughts on year 2013

The Importance of After-Sales Support

Recently, I made some revamp to my home lab hardware inventory. Some of the significant changes that I have made is,-

  1. Sold away my Tower Desktop (which consume way too much electricity at home since I usually do not shut down my lab environment due to the need to access during my working hour)
  2. Added 2 Intel NUC into my home lab

So let’s me explain a little of what I have encountered during the purchased of my Intel NUC. I bought my first Intel NUC (DC3271IYE) and later on my second Intel NUC (D34010WYK). Both set I have made my purchase from this local retailer over at Sim Lim Square – Video Pro.

The very first set of Intel NUC is purchased solely just the set itself and do not have much problem with the memory I bought from NewEgg. So knowing that sales purchase are pretty smooth with Video Pro, I decided that I should invest into the store again for my second NUC. So I happily went to the store and made my purchase, this time round with 2 X 8GB of matching RAM.

During the purchase, I indicated that I needed RAM for my NUC and the lady that was serving me gave me 2 x 8GB with the speed of 1333Mhz. Didn’t know that for the 2nd generation of the Intel NUC would only run well on 1600Mhz. I couldn’t be bothered so I made the purchase. At the point of time, each piece of 8GB RAM cost SGD 95.

So the next day, I start to meddle with all the newly purchased gadget, then I am stuck with the error where the LED blink, so a simple search online leads me to this link. The link simply says that, count the number of blinks it appears before it pause for a second or two before it starts again. So it just simply says the following,-

17-12-2013 3-59-12 PM

So the following day, I immediately brought the set to the same store hoping that they could do something for me on the spot. So the conversation starts here… The folks involve in this conversation are as followed,-

Me – Obviously, I should be the main lead actor here.
Technical Folk (TF) – The guy who is the guru in the sales of hardware
Sales Folk (SF) – The lady that sold me the hardware

Me: Hi, I made a purchase of this set from you all and it is not working. I am suspecting it is the memory that is causing the fault, can you kindly help me check?

**Action** – TF took the memory case and saw it was 1333Mhz, turned over and told SF, “you should not sell 1333Mhz for the NUC in future, only sell 1600Mhz.”

So TF start to dismantle my NUC because the RAM is still inside while SF took a new pair of RAM over. Now here come the most classical moment.

SF: Excuse me, since there is a price increment for the RAM from the day you purchased, you are required to pay additional SGD 4 per piece which made up to a total of SGD 8 top-up.

Me: Excuse me, you gave me a pair of RAM that doesn’t work and you expect me to top-up?

SF: It’s because there is a price increment.

At this moment, I was very reluctant because I felt cheated. In the first place, I wasn’t given something that didn’t work due to her negligence in ensuring that she asked her co-workers which frequency of RAM to be issued. She should at the very least asked me if the RAM is for the NUC and not purely assuming IT IS NOT.

I took out a piece of 10 dollar note and wanted to settle it by giving way but I decided that I shouldn’t be doing that. SGD 99 for a piece of RAM is not expensive since I have paid SGD 95 previously but it is the principles that I am going against. So I told her, “removed the RAM, I am refunding it.”

I took the refunded cash and went into another store to purchased a pair of RAM at SGD 98 each. This save me SGD 2! Two dollars out of the intended Eight dollars, I saved 25%!


What I am driving at is… This is the second NUC that I have purchased from the same place and I can definitely assure that this relationship will not stop here. I wouldn’t be stopping at just two NUC because looking at how low-powered it is and it’s small form factor, it is really a good home lab server.

What’s the harm of giving SGD 8 discount for the RAM knowing that I may be the prospective client that come back for another NUC or other hardware peripherals? The Intel NUC cost SGD 429 and SGD 8 is just 1.8%. I feel that it is a stupid move.

Let’s hope that the owner of Video Pro would wake up to the senses that his/her employee are doing such thing that may or may not directly or indirectly harm the sales in future.

Milton Goh

The Importance of After-Sales Support