JK [DOT] COM Version 4.0 Launched: Rebranding and Refocusing

codeLadies and gentlemen, I present to you JK [DOT] COM v4.0

Things have been quiet around here. A little too quiet. Unfortunately, I feel that blogging has become a little passé and it’s something I keep meaning to stay above water on, but every time I promise to do more blogging, I set myself up for failure. Not really failure per se, but it’s something I know I won’t be able to keep up on a regular basis. Social Media killed personal blogging, it’s just easier to distribute content on the larger platforms.

Recently, I rebranded and launched version 4.0 of the JaysonKnight.com portfolio of websites. The redesign itself wasn’t the hard part…like so many re-launches of websites, it was the backend that proved to be most time consuming. My platform serves dual purposes: To be a landing zone for visitors to find me, and to serve as a portal for client projects. There’s a lot of stuff non-clients will never get to see (if you want to see it, let me know and I’ll set you up with a demo account), and that’s fine because why should I overload casual visitors with a bunch of content they have no use for? This is a technical blog, so technical details are in order.

In a nutshell, I have moved my entire developer domain/network into Azure, save for my Team Foundation Server (code repository, build environment, testing platform, and agile SLDC dashboard for clients) which is still running locally. I’m down to infrastructure only type stuff, like my 2 domain controllers, DNS, and DHCP. Everything else has been federated via ADFS into Azure, and Azure AD. All client websites are published into Azure as well, and SharePoint is now hosted in Office 365…each client gets a SharePoint site, a group, and a dedicated Microsoft Teams communication channel. It’s dirt cheap, and the client experience is phenomenal, especially since they can track all project progress directly via these conduits now. Overall I’m very happy with the work I’ve put into this. Spinning a new client up takes less than an hour, and most of that is time spent waiting on Azure to provision stuff, and letting security propagate around. In that hour, clients get a fully dedicated environment just for them and the team.

Eventually I will move my TFS installation over to VSTS, and then I’ll be 100% Azure based save for my infrastructure machines…and those will also be moved into Azure at some point, it’s just too cost prohibitive currently to do so. Azure has opened up new avenues I didn’t think possible even just 5 years ago though.

As far as the frontend goes, I moved from a SharePoint public site over a do-it-yourself option with a major hosting company. I’ll just leave it at that, but overall I’m pleased with how my design came out. I also re-themed this blog, and my digital media site to match my overall design motif. Continuity isn’t 100%, but it’s close enough to keep me happy.

Feedback on the re-design is welcome. It’s great to be able to do this stuff on my own and not have to pay someone else to do it. Doing this for a living has its perks sometimes. Stay tuned for more posts about business in general, and some exciting projects I’m working on.