Azure Stack

SCOM Management Pack for Azure Stack

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Today, Thomas Roettinger Senior Program Manager in the Azure Stack Team announced the Technical Preview of the Microsoft Azure Stack Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager. System Center is a datacenter management tool used by many enterprises out there, Operations Manager allows you to monitor your complete datacenter environment based on Management Packs which includes the logic and intelligence to monitor different solutions and products. With the release of the Azure Stack Management Pack, Microsoft enables you to monitor Azure Stack using System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2 or System Center Operations Manager 2016.

The Azure Stack Management Pack allows you to send notifications when alerts in Azure Stack pop up. It also allows you to schedule maintenance windows during an Azure Stack update. The MP leverages Azure Stack Health Resource Rest API which is the official API for all Azure Stack help related information and is used by the Azure Stack Portal itself, the PowerShell module and also the Nagios monitoring plugin for Azure Stack. If you are not using SCOM or  Nagios you can of course also work against the Azure Stack Health Resource Rest API to get health data out of your Azure Stack appliance.

Feel free to test the new SCOM Management Pack for Azure Stack (download) and provide feedback to Microsoft.

 

 

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Surface Keyboard

Surface Keyboard User Review

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A couple of days ago I finally got the new Microsoft Surface Keyboard to replace my Microsoft Designer Keyboard which I used for the past year. If you just have a quick look at it you might see not a lot of differences, but the new Microsoft Surface Keyboard is a great successor of the Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Keyboard. It is also a Bluetooth keyboard using 4.0 and 4.1 LE, it has a slightly changed key layout and of course it comes in a soft-finish grey as the Surface Pro, Surface Book or Surface Studio, making them a perfect match, and the finishing touch to a well thought-out desk space. Besides these small design changes Microsoft worked on the keys. The key travel and spacing are perfectly engineered for fast, quiet, and responsive typing, making it feel much more premium.

For me, this is the perfect keyboard right now, since I prefer the flat key design which matches the ones of the Surface Pro and the Surface Book.

Home Office

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Performance Tuing Guidelines for Windows Server 2016

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Performance Tuning Guide

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Yesterday Microsoft released the official Windows Server 2016 Performance Tuning Guide. The guide provides a collection of technical articles with guidance for IT professionals responsible for deploying, operating and tuning Windows Server 2016 across the most common server workloads. The guide is especially helpful if you deploy roles like, Active Directory, Hyper-V, Storage Spaces Direct, Remote Desktop Servers, Web Servers, Windows Server Containers and Networking features.

It is important that your tuning changes consider the hardware, the workload, the power budgets, and the performance goals of your server. This guide describes each setting and its potential effect to help you make an informed decision about its relevance to your system, workload, performance, and energy usage goals.

You can find the documentation on the new docs.microsoft.com platform, where now all the Windows Server 2016 documentation is available. Here you can find the: Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2016

If you are looking for hardware recommendations check out my blog post: My Hardware Recommendations for Windows Server 2016 and you can also check my blog post about Getting started with Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016

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Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany 2017

Speaking at Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany 2017

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Last year I had the opportunity to speak at the first Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany (CDC Germany) where I was talking about Windows Containers in Windows Server 2016. I am proud to also speak at this year’s CDC 2017 in Munich Germany on May 4th and May5th. In my session I will speak about the Microsoft Operations Management Suite and how you can manage your different datacenters and clouds from a single console.

CDC Germany 2017

If you are based in Munich or Germany and you are working in the Cloud and Datacenter space, I really recommend that you join this event.

Thomas Maurer OMS

Microsoft Operations Management Suite – Next step in Cloud and Datacenter Management - It’s great, you gonna love it!

Get an overview about the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS). Get a kick start how you can manage your heterogeneous datacenter and cloud infrastructure from one place using OMS.

Hopefully see you in Munich!

 

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Azure Stack Hardware

Azure Stack TP3, Roadmap and Pricing Update available

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Microsoft today not only released Azure Stack TP3 (Technical Preview 3) for the public, Microsoft also announced an update on the Azure Stack roadmap and about Azure Stack licensing. The Technical Preview 3 of Azure Stack brings a couple of new features and scenarios for your hybrid cloud deployment. Right now TP3 is also only the single node POC deployment.

Azure Stack Roadmap

This is great for test and showcases as well as getting your deployment ready for the release of Azure Stack GA, which will be mid-CL17. The Azure Stack POC deployment will also be renamed to “Microsoft Azure Stack Development Kit” after GA.

For the Azure Stack TP3 release, Microsoft will deliver refreshes of that build until the release of Azure Stack GA.

At the Azure Stack GA release this summer, Microsoft will deliver Azure Stack hardware with provides from HPE, Dell and Lenovo. Later in 2017 Microsoft will also deliver Azure Stack with Cisco hardware.

After GA, Microsoft  will continuously deliver additional capabilities through frequent updates. The first round of updates after GA are focused on two areas: 1) enhanced application modernization scenarios and 2) enhanced system management and scale. These updates will continue to expand customer choice of IaaS and PaaS technologies when developing applications, as well as improve manageability and grow the footprint of Azure Stack to accommodate growing portfolios of applications.

Azure Stack POC Downloader

What’s new in Azure Stack TP3

With Azure Stack TP3, we’ve worked with customers to improve the product through numerous bug fixes, updates, and deployment reliability & compatibility improvements from TP2. With Azure Stack TP3 customers can:

  • Deploy with ADFS for disconnected scenarios
  • Start using Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets for scale out workloads
  • Syndicate content from the Azure Marketplace to make available in Azure Stack
  • Use Azure D-Series VM sizes
  • Deploy and create templates with Temp Disks that are consistent with Azure
  • Take comfort in the enhanced security of an isolated administrator portal
  • Take advantage of improvements to IaaS and PaaS functionality
  • Use enhanced infrastructure management functionality, such as improved alerting

Pricing and Licensing

Azure Stack

As mentioned Microsoft will offer Azure Stack from 4 different OEMs. HPE, Dell and Lenovo will deliver a solution at Azure Stack GA in mid-CY17 and Cisco will be available later in 2017. For the pricing model of Azure Stack, Microsoft decided to deliver the licensing of Azure Stack on a pay-per-use base. This meets of course the cloud economics and there will be no upfront licensing costs for customers. Services will be typically metered on the same units as Azure, but prices will be lower, since customers operate their own hardware and facilities. For scenarios where customers are unable to have their metering information sent to Azure, we will also offer a fixed-price “capacity model” based on the number of cores in the system.

 

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ExpertsLive Australia

Speaking at ExpertsLive Australia 2017

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Last year I had the honor to speak at SCU Australia in Melbourne, and I am happy to announce that I will be speaking at this year’s ExpertsLive Australia 2017 (previously known as System Center Universe) event in Australia. The event will take place 6th – 7th April 2017 in the
Crown Promenade, Melbourne. Last year’s event was great and I really can’t wait to get back at Down Under and especially the ExpertsLive conference.

Surface Book OneNote Melbourne

I will be presenting three sessions:

Azure Stack - Everything you need to know!

Microsoft released Azure Stack as a Azure appliance for your datacenter. Learn how you deploy, manage and operate a Azure Stack in your datacenter. Learn about the features and options you will get by offering Azure Stack to your customers.

Nano Server – The Future of Windows Server

Nano Server is the future of Windows Server. With Nano Server Microsoft created the foundation for Windows Server for the next years. In this session you will get an overview about Nano Server and see some great live demos how you can deploy, manage and operate Nano Server as well as creating applications for it. Get a better understanding of Nano Server and see how you deploy, manage and operate it.

The best of Windows Server 2016

Join this session for The Best of Windows Server 2016 — The New Foundation of your Datacenter. You’ll get an overview about the new, exciting improvements that are in Windows Server 2016 and how they’ll improve your day-to-day job. In this presentation Thomas Maurer (Microsoft MVP) will guide you through the highly anticipated innovations including: •Hyper-V 2016 features •Nano Server •Storage Spaces Direct •Storage Replica •Windows Server Containers •And more!

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Open website from PowerShell

Open website from PowerShell

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If you want to directly open a website from the PowerShell console, you can use the Start-Process cmdlet. This will open the website in the default browser:

You can also use “Start” which is an alias for Start-Process:

 

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