Category: Private Cloud

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Windows Azure Pack IaaS

Add Domain User or Group to Azure Pack Administrators

When you install and configure Windows Azure Pack (WAP) you will have set your install user to the administrators list in Azure Pack, so you can login to the Azure Pack Admin Portal. If you want to use other users you can add them via PowerShell. To add a domain user or group to the Windows Azure Pack Admins you can use the following PowerShell commands. Of course it does make a lot of sense to create a security group in your domain, where you add all the WAP administrators, and add this group to the Azure Pack administrators.

With the following command you can check who is in the admin list right now.

With the following command you can add an user group to the Azure Pack Admin list



Azure Backup Agent

How to Backup a Windows Client to Microsoft Azure

Today Microsoft announced that Microsoft Azure Backup now not only supports Windows Server or System Center Data Protection Manager, it also support Windows Clients, including Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

To backup your Windows Client machine you have to go to the Azure Portal and create a new Backup Vault.

Create Azure Backup Vault

After that you have to download and install the Microsoft Azure Backup agent and the vault credentials which are needed to register the machine to your Backup Vault.

Azure Backup Agent

Now during the installation of the Azure Backup Agent you have to use the vault credential file to register your server. There are two different ways of registering machines to the backup vaults that store data:

  • Option #1: Register one machine per backup vault. The backup vault is created under Recovery Services in your Azure subscription. Please be aware that only 25 backup vaults can be created per subscription using this option. If you have more machines to backup to Azure, please use the second option.
  • Option #2: Register multiple machines to the same vault. This enables up to 50 machines to be registered with a single backup vault.

In both the options, access to the backup data is controlled using an encryption passphrase. At the time of registering a machine to a backup vault, an encryption passphrase is provided by the user – and this is used to encrypt and decrypt the data being backed up. With different encryption passphrases being used for different machines, isolation is guaranteed.

 

In both the options, access to the backup data is controlled using an encryption passphrase. At the time of registering a machine to a backup vault, an encryption passphrase is provided by the user – and this is used to encrypt and decrypt the data being backed up. With different encryption passphrases being used for different machines, isolation is guaranteed.

Azure Client Backup

Now you can see your machine in the Azure Portal in the recovery vault. After the Agent is installed you can launch the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent to configure your backup.

Microsoft Azure  Backup

After the first Backup is done, you can also start recovering data from Azure.

Azure Backup Recover Data

Some notes:

  • If you are running Azure Backup on your notebook or tablet, the backup will only run if the computer is not on battery mode. If your notebook is running on battery the backup will run the next time the machine is connected to a power source.
  • If you pick the backup time of your machine make sure the machine is not shutdown during that time.


Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Services

Disaster Recovery using Azure Site Recovery

Nearly a year ago Microsoft released a Disaster Recovery solution called Hyper-V Recovery Manager. This was basically a hosted orchestration engine in Microsoft Azure which allowed you to orchestrate datacenter failovers using the in Hyper-V build in feature called Hyper-V Replica.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery

In 2014 Microsoft invested a lot of work and time to improve this service and in January 2014 HRM changed the name to Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

  • In January 2014 Microsoft announced GA of the Azure Site Recovery service which allowed you to use it for DR Orchestration between on-premises Hyper-V sites using Hyper-V Replica
  • In July 2014 Microsoft acquired a company called InMage and integrated DR Orchestration between on-premises VMware sites using the InMage solution.
  • In October 2014 Microsoft announced the GA for Azure Site Recovery DR Orchestration between Hyper-V on-premises and Microsoft Azure.

At TechEd Europe, Microsoft announced some new stuff coming in the next couple of months.

  • In November 2014 Microsoft will offer a public preview for Azure Site Recovery using SAN Replication. This allows you to use your existing SAN replication and orchestrate your DR with Microsoft Azure Site Recovery.
  • In 2015 Microsoft will allow you to use Azure Site Recovery to replicate your VMware and physical servers to Microsoft Azure.
  • With Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack, Microsoft integrated Azure Site Recovery as a plan or Add-on property for VM clouds. This allows service providers to offer Azure Site Recovery to customers as an option of a VM Cloud plan or Add-On.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Services

This is just a quick overview about the possibilities you have with Azure Site Recovery. I will cover some advanced scenarios in with a series of blog posts in the next couple of weeks. Until then I would recommend you to watch the session with Michel Lüscher and me at System Center Universe Europe where we talked about the Azure Site Recovery solutions before the TechEd announcements.

 

 



Microsoft Azure Surface Pro Flight

VeeamON Las Vegas, E2EVC Barcelona, MVP Summit Redmond and MMS Minnesota 2014

Last Sunday I finally arrived back home in Switzerland after 3-4 weeks of traveling, presenting, working and enjoying in different cities. I had a great time, met a lot of great people, learned a lot of new stuff and had a lot of great opportunities to present. This is why I think I should write a little summary about the past weeks.

VeeamON 2014

VeeamON 2014 Las Vegas Microsoft

My first job in the journey was the VeeamON 2014 in Las Vegas. Veeam did a great job with their first Data Center Availability Conference where they had keynote speakers like Ratmir Timashev (CEO Veeam) and Alexis Ohanian (Co-founder of reddit) and over 50 breakout sessions. They also released a new backup product for physical endpoints during the event, which allows you to backup physical servers.

 

E2EVC Barcelona 2014

E2EVC Barcelona

After a little break in my travel list I was the Experts to Experts Virtualization Conference in Barcelona. During this event I had a session where I talked about Disaster Recovery using Azure Site Recovery. The E2EVC is always a great event to learn about different virtualization solutions from different vendors such as Microsoft, VMware and Citrix.

 

TechEd Barcelona 2014

TechEd Barcelona Selfie

After the the E2E Virtualization Conference I did a quick visit at TechEd Europe where I met some of my friends from itnetx. And of course I also had some free time and visiting the city.

Microsoft MVP Summit Redmond

Microsoft Azure Surface Pro Flight

After a great time in Barcelona and a couple of days back home in Switzerland I was invited for the Microsoft MVP Summit on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond. Time to learn about new technologies and have some great discussions with the Microsoft Product Groups and other Microsoft MVPs. Seattle is always a great city to visit and I love to spend some extra days in Seattle even I didn’t get a Microsoft Band.

 

MMS Minnesota

MMS Minnesota Selfie

My last business stop was the Midwest Management Summit (MMS) in Minneapolis. During this event I had two sessions, one about Building a Datacenter Abstraction Layer with System Center Virtual Machine Manager and one about Disaster Recovery using Azure Site Recovery including the new solutions Microsoft showed at TechEd Europe.

 

New York

New York

My Last stop in the journey was New York where I spend some free days with some friends before I finally went back home to Switzerland.



System Center Logo

Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack now available

Microsoft today released Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2. Update Rollup 4 (UR4) fix some issues and new features in the System Center components as well as Windows Azure Pack.

Components that are fixed in this update rollup

Especially Virtual Machines Manager includes a lot of fixes and DPM also brings beside fixes some interesting new features such as support for SQL Server 2014. In Azure Pack Microsoft added now the possibility to use Azure Site Recovery Manager into plans for DC Failovers via Hyper-V Replica.

 



System Center Universe Europe 2014

Videointerview with Thomas Maurer at the SCU Europe in Basel

Carsten Rachfahl (Microsoft MVP Hyper-V) did interview me at System Center Universe Europe 2014 in Basel. We talked a little about my sessions I did at SCU 2014 and my job at itnetx.



Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0

Microsoft releases Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0

Microsoft today released the next version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC). (MVMC) is a Microsoft-supported, stand-alone solution for the IT pros or solution provider who wants to convert virtual machines and disks from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts and Microsoft Azure.

In MVMC 3.0 Microsoft adds the ability to convert a physical computer running Windows Server 2008 or above server operating systems or Windows Vista or above client operating systems to a Virtual Machine. This feature was highly claimed by the community, since the P2V (Physical to Virtual) Migration feature was removed in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2.

MVMC can be deployed with minimal dependencies. Because MVMC provides native support for Windows PowerShell, it enables scripting and integration with data center automation workflows such as those authored and run within Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 R2 or Service Management Automation. It can also be invoked through the Windows PowerShell command-line interface. The solution is simple to download, install, and use. In addition to the Windows PowerShell capability, MVMC provides a wizard-driven GUI to facilitate virtual machine conversion.

This tool can not only help you to migrate from VMware or physical computers to Hyper-V, it also allows you to directly upload the Virtual Machine to Microsoft Azure.

MVMC3 migrate to Hyper-V or Azure

You can get the new version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0 in the Microsoft Download Center.