Tag: Storage

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Microsoft Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

Passed Microsoft Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

A couple of weeks ago I passed Microsoft Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions, which is focused on implementing and designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure solutions such as Azure Websites or Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS). I think taking this exam and preparing for it was a great idea. Even if I have already done a couple of projects on Azure I still learned a lot during the preparation and you can find some of the best practices. Since Azure is a huge beast and the rapid deployment of new features, you will definitely find some new stuff you didn’t know before during the preparation for the exam. And of course taking new Microsoft Certifications early helps you to stand out in the IT Pro or Developer world. Of course passing exams alone does not make you an expert, but if you have know-how on a topic it’s is always got to have some kind of paper to prove it.

So what are the skills measured for this exam. The exam 70-533 focuses on 6 topics, Azure Websites, Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Storage, Azure Active Directory and Virtual Networks. To my surprise I got a really good score on Azure Websites and of course Virtual Machines, since I used to run several of them on Azure. I also found out that Azure Active Directory is one of the parts I have to invest a little more.

Skills measured

Implement websites (15-20%)

  • Deploy websites
    • Define deployment slots; roll back deployments, configure and deploy packages, deploy web jobs, schedule web jobs
  • Configure websites
    • Configure app settings, connection strings, handlers, and virtual directories; configure certificates, custom domains, and traffic manager; configure SSL bindings and runtime configurations; manage websites by using Windows PowerShell and Xplat-CLI
  • Configure diagnostics, monitoring, and analytics
    • Retrieve diagnostics data; view streaming logs; configure endpoint monitoring, alerts, and diagnostics; monitor website resources
  • Configure scale and resilience
    • Configure auto-scale using built-in and custom schedules; configure by metric; change the size of an instance
  • Manage hosting plans
    • Create hosting plans; migrate websites between hosting plans; create a website within a hosting plan

Implement virtual machines (15-20%)

  • Deploy workloads on Azure virtual machines (VMs)
    • Identify supported Microsoft workloads; deploy and connect to a Linux VM; create VMs
  • Implement images and disks
    • Create specialized and generalized images for Windows and Linux; copy images between storage accounts and subscriptions; upload VHDs
  • Perform configuration management
    • Automate configuration management by using PowerShell Desired State Configuration and custom script extensions; enable puppet and chef extensions
  • Configure VM networking
    • Settings include reserved IP addresses, access control list (ACL), internal name resolution, DNS at the cloud service level, load balancing endpoints, HTTP and TCP health probes, public IPs, firewall rules, direct server return, and Keep Alive
  • Configure VM resiliency
    • Scale up and scale down VM sizes; auto-scale; configure availability sets
  • Design and implement VM storage
    • Configure disk caching; plan storage capacity; configure operating system disk redundancy; configure shared storage using Azure File service; configure geo-replication; encrypt disks
  • Monitor VMs
    • Configure endpoint monitoring, alerts, and diagnostics

Implement cloud services (15-20%)

  • Configure cloud services and roles
    • Configure instance count and size, operating system version and family, upgrade and fault domains, ACLs, reserved IPs, and network access rules; configure local storage; configure dedicated and co-located caching, local and cloud configurations, and local disks; configure multiple websites; configure custom domains
  • Deploy and manage cloud services
    • Upgrade a deployment; VIP swap a deployment; package a deployment; modify configuration files; perform in-place updates; perform runtime configuration changes using the portal; scale a cloud service; create service bus namespaces and choose a tier; apply scalability targets
  • Monitor cloud services
    • Monitor service bus queues, topics, relays, and notification hubs; configure diagnostics

Implement storage (15-20%)

  • Implement blobs and Azure files
    • Read data; change data; set metadata on a container; use encryption (SSL); perform an async blob copy; configure a Content Delivery Network (CDN); implement storage for backup and disaster recovery; configure Azure Backup; define blob hierarchies; configure custom domains; configure the Import and Export Service
  • Manage access
    • Create and manage shared access signatures; use stored access policies; regenerate keys
  • Configure diagnostics, monitoring, and analytics
    • Configure retention policies and logging levels; analyze logs
  • Implement SQL databases
    • Choose the appropriate database tier and performance level; configure point in time recovery and geo-replication; import and export data and schema; design a scaling strategy
  • Implement recovery services
    • Create a backup vault; deploy a backup agent; back up and restore data

Implement an Azure Active Directory (15-20%)

  • Integrate an Azure AD with existing directories
    • Implement DirSync, O365 integration, and single sign-on with on-premises Windows Server 2012 R2; add custom domains; monitor Azure AD
  • Configure the Application Access Panel
    • Configure single sign-on with SaaS applications using federation and password based; add users and groups to applications; revoke access to SaaS applications; configure access; federation with Facebook and Google ID
  • Integrate an app with Azure AD
    • Web apps (WS-federation); desktop apps (OAuth); graph API

Implement virtual networks (15-20%)

  • Configure a virtual network
    • Deploy a VM into a virtual network; deploy a cloud service into a virtual network; configure static IPs; configure internal load balancing; design subnets
  • Modify a network configuration
    • Modify a subnet; import and export a network configuration
  • Design and implement a multi-site or hybrid network
    • Choose the appropriate solution between ExpressRoute, site-to-site, and point-to-site; choose the appropriate gateway; identify supported devices and software VPN solutions; identify networking prerequisites; configure regional virtual networks and multi-site virtual networks

Preparation

To prepare for the exam I used several different resources such as Microsoft Virtual Academy, TechNet, Channel9 and of course Microsoft Azure it self. I also found some great community blogs which have some link summaries:

If you are going to take this exam I wish you good luck.



Microsoft Switzerland IT-Events

New Microsoft Switzerland TechNet Events for Windows Server & System Center vNext in 2015

Microsoft today released some dates for the upcoming free TechNet events for IT-Pros in Switzerland. The events are focused on different Microsoft Technologies such as Windows 10, Microsoft Azure, System Center, Cloud OS, Windows Server, Office and many more. Together with Philipp Witschi (itnetx) and Michael Rüefli (itnetx & Microsoft MVP) I will present about the new features in Windows Server, Hyper-V and System Center vNext.

Microsoft TechNet Event 2015

Am 1. Oktober 2014 wurde die erste Technical Preview der kommenden Versionen unseres Windows Server und System Center veröffentlicht. Im Rahmen unseres Technet Seminars am 11. März 2015 präsentieren wir einen ersten Überblick über alle Neuerungen im Betriebssystem sowie im Management.

In diesem Seminar werden Michael Rüefli (Cloud Architect, CDM MVP), Thomas Maurer (Cloud Architect, Hyper-V MVP) und Philipp Witschi (Head of Consulting & Operations) der itnetx gmbh

intensiv auf die Schwerpunkte Virtualisierung mit Hyper-V, Storage und Backup Restore eingehen und Ihnen das Neuste auf Basis von Microsoft Technologie vorstellen, viel Live-Demo inklusive!

 

Nutzen Sie diese Gelegenheit! Besuchen Sie uns in Wallisellen und informieren sich über die künftigen Möglichkeiten von Windows Server und System Center. Der Anlass ist wie immer kostenlos.

 

Agenda

09.00 – 09.15     Begrüssung (René Hanselmann, Microsoft Schweiz)

09.15 – 10.30     Windows Server Storage vNext (Michael Rüfli, itnetx GmbH)

10.30 – 10.45     Pause

10.45 – 12.00     Windows Server Hyper-V vNext (Thomas Maurer, itnetx GmbH)

12.00 – 13.00     Lunch

13.00 – 14.15     Hybrid Scenario & Backup-ASR-Storage Replication (Michael Rüfli, Thomas Mauer, Philipp Witschi, itnetx GmbH)

14.15 – 14.30     Kaffee Pause

14.30 – 15.45     Real World scenario mit Fokus auf Automation (Michael Rüfli, itnetx GmbH)

15.45 – 16.00     Q & A

ab 16.00             Ende

Feel free to register for this free events on the Microsoft Switzerland TechNet event page:

Windows Server & System Center vNext – Deep Dive (Option1) 12. Mai 2015

Am 1. Oktober 2014 wurde die erste Technical Preview der kommenden Versionen unseres Windows Server und System Center veröffentlicht. Im Rahmen unseres Technet Seminars am 11. März 2015 präsentieren wir einen ersten Überblick über alle Neuerungen im Betriebssystem sowie im Management. In diesem Technet werden Michael Rüfli (Cloud Architect, CDM MVP), Thomas Maurer (Cloud Architect, Hyper-V MVP) und Philipp Witschi (Head of Consulting & Operations) der itnetx gmbh intensiv auf die Schwerpunkte Virtualisierung mit Hyper-V, Storage und Backup/Restore eingehen und Ihnen das Neuste auf Basis von Microsoft Technologie vorstellen, viel Live-Demo inklusive! Nutzen Sie diese Gelegenheit! Besuchen Sie uns in Wallisellen und informieren sich über die künftigen Möglichkeiten von Windows Server und System Center. Der Anlass ist wie immer kostenlos.

Windows Server & System Center vNext – Deep Dive (Option2) 17. Juni 2015

Am 1. Oktober 2014 wurde die erste Technical Preview der kommenden Versionen unseres Windows Server und System Center veröffentlicht. Im Rahmen unseres Technet Seminars am 11. März 2015 präsentieren wir einen ersten Überblick über alle Neuerungen im Betriebssystem sowie im Management. In diesem Seminar werden Michael Rüfli (Cloud Architect, CDM MVP), Thomas Maurer (Cloud Architect, Hyper-V MVP) und Philipp Witschi (Head of Consulting & Operations) der itnetx gmbh intensiv auf die Schwerpunkte Virtualisierung mit Hyper-V, Storage und Backup/Restore eingehen und Ihnen das Neuste auf Basis von Microsoft Technologie vorstellen, viel Live-Demo inklusive! Nutzen Sie diese Gelegenheit! Besuchen Sie uns in Wallisellen und informieren sich über die künftigen Möglichkeiten von Windows Server und System Center. Der Anlass ist wie immer kostenlos.

 

To get an overview about Windows Server & System Center vNext you can also join the following session with Markus Erlacher (itnetx), Marcel Zehner (itnetx & Microsoft MVP) and Martin Wüthrich (itnetx).

Am 1. Oktober 2014 wurde die erste Technical Preview der kommenden Versionen von Windows Server und System Center veröffentlicht. Die Zeit könnte nun nicht günstiger sein, Ihnen die wichtigsten technischen Neuerungen im Rahmen unserer TechNet Seminare zu präsentieren – viele Live-Demos inklusive!

Markus Erlacher, Geschäftsführer bei der itnetx gmbh, ehemaliger Technical Solution Professional Datacenter bei Microsoft Schweiz und einer der versiertesten Datacenter-Experten wird zu Beginn unseres Technets einen Überblick zu den Szenarien und Funktionen der nächsten Version von Windows Server und System Center geben.

 

IT-Abteilungen stehen immer mehr unter Druck: Kosten müssen eingespart, Durchlaufzeiten verkürzt und Fehler minimiert werden. Um diese Ziele zu erreichen, ist Automatisierung von IT-Prozessen unumgänglich. Lösungen wie System Center Orchestrator, Systems Management Automation und Azure Automation werden in der Session 2 von Marcel Zehner, MVP Cloud & Datacenter Management bei der itnetx gmbh vorgestellt.

 

Der Nachmittag beginnt mit der Vorstellung unserer Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), ein interessant zusammengeschnürtes Paket wichtiger Funktionen, u.a. für “Bring your own device” Scenarien, die in aller Munde sind und die ein oder andere Herausforderung in der Umsetzung mit sich bringen: Wie kann diese Anforderung in Firmen umgesetzt werden? Welche Techniken bietet Microsoft hier? Themen wie Authentifizierung in der Cloud, ADFS, Zugriffsrechte (Rights Management) und Mobile Device Management (Intune) werden von Martin Wüthrich, Workplace Architekt und System Center Configuration Manager und Packaging Spezialist der itnetx gmbh, thematisiert – inklusive Scenarien, die mit Hilfe von Azure RemoteApp umgesetzt werden können.

 

Damit IT-Infrastrukturen und Applikationen einwandfrei betrieben werden können, ist eine umfangreiche End-to-End-Überwachung notwendig. In Zeiten vom hybriden IT-Infrastrukturen ist es notwendig, Ressourcen unabhängig von Ihrem Betriebsort überwachen zu können und in einer einheitlichen Sicht zu visualisieren. In der Session 4 zeigt Ihnen Marcel Zehner wie diese Ziele mit dem System Center Operations Manager erreicht werden können. Zudem stellt er die Azure Operational Insights vor, ein neuer cloud-basierter Service der die schnelle und umfangreiche Analyse von Messdaten erlaubt.

 

Nutzen Sie diese Gelegenheit! Besuchen Sie uns in Wallsiellen und informieren sich über die künftigen Möglichkeiten von Windows Server und System Center. Der Anlass ist wie immer kostenlos.

 

Agenda

09.00 – 09.15      Begrüssung (René Hanselmann, Microsoft Schweiz)

09.15 – 10.30     Übersicht Windows Server und System Center (Markus Erlacher, itnetx GmbH)

10.30 – 10.45     Pause

10.45 – 12.00     IT Prozess-Automatisierung (Marcel Zehner, itnetx GmbH)

12.00 – 13.00     Lunch

13.00 – 14.15     EMS & Mobile Device Management (Martin Wüthrich, itnetx GmbH)

14.15 – 14.30     Kaffee Pause

14.30 – 15.45     End-to-End Infrastruktur- und Serviceüberwachung (Marcel Zehner, itnetx GmbH)

15.45 – 16.00     Q & A

ab 16.00               Ende

Windows Server & System Center vNext - ein erster Überblick 11. März 2015

Am 1. Oktober 2014 wurde die erste Technical Preview der kommenden Versionen von Windows Server und System Center veröffentlicht. Die Zeit könnte nun nicht günstiger sein, Ihnen die wichtigsten technischen Neuerungen im Rahmen unserer TechNet Seminare zu präsentieren – viele Live-Demos inklusive! Markus Erlacher, Geschäftsführer bei der itnetx gmbh, ehemaliger Technical Solution Professional Datacenter bei Microsoft Schweiz und einer der versiertesten Datacenter-Experten wird zu Beginn unseres Technets einen Überblick zu den Szenarien und Funktionen der nächsten Version von Windows Server und System Center geben.

 



DPM Deduplication

Deduplication in System Center Data Protection Manager

Today Microsoft announced support for Deduplication in System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM). To use Deduplication together with System Center Data Protection Manager you have to meet the following criteria:

  • The Server running System Center Data Protection Manager must be virtualized.
  • DPM Server has to use Windows Sevrer 2012 R2
  • The Hyper-V Sever where the DPM VM is running on has to be Windows Server 2012 R2
  • System Center Data Protection Manager must be version 2012 R2 with Update Rollup 4 (UR4) or higher.
  • The Data Storage of the DPM Server must be VHDX Files attached to the DPM VM.
  • DPM VHDX files need to be 1TB of size.
  • The VHDX files of the DPM Server must be stored on a Scale-Out File Server Cluster using SMB 3.0
  • All the Windows File Server nodes on which DPM virtual hard disks reside and on which deduplication will be enabled must be running Windows Server 2012 R2 with Update Rollup November 2014.
  • Deduplication is enabled on the CSV of the Scale-Out File Server
  • It is recommended to use Storage Spaces but it is not required
  • Use Parity Storage Spaces with enclosure-awareness for resiliency and increased disk utilization.
  • Format NTFS with 64 KB allocation units and large file record segments to work better with dedup use of sparse files.
  • In the hardware configuration above the recommended volume size is 7.2TB volumes.
  • Plan and set up DPM and deduplication scheduling
  • Tune the File Server Cluster for DPM Storage

DPM Deduplication

The combination of deduplication and DPM provides substantial space savings. This allows higher retention rates, more frequent backups, and better TCO for the DPM deployment. The guidance and recommendations in this document should provide you with the tools and knowledge to configure deduplication for DPM storage and see the benefits for yourself in your own deployment.

To get more information checkout the following TechNet Article: Deduplicating DPM storage

 



OneDrive 1TB

How to get over 1TB of OneDrive storage

Well today Microsoft finally changed the storage you get on OneDrive. Since I get a lot of questions from people on Twitter, here is how you get over 1TB of storage available on your OneDrive account. Some weeks ago Microsoft announced some changes to OneDrive and Office 365. So you now get more free default storage from 7GB up to 15GB which is great but does not make 1TB. To get 1TB of extra storage is very simple, just buy Office 365 Home, Personal or University and you will get 1TB of extra storage on your OneDrive account. (The Office 365 website is not yet updated and show 20GB right now).

ConsumerSubscription_Table

Even if you have to buy this it is pretty cheap, you not only get 1TB of OneDrive storage you also get the latest Office programs and apps to install on your devices and you also get 60 minutes world on Skype.

I think this is a pretty cool deal, and you can finally store basically everything on your OneDrive.



StorSimple

Microsoft Announces Azure StorSimple Hybrid Storage Solutions For The Enterprise

Today Microsoft announced that starting August 1, the will deliver the new StorSimple 8000 series hybrid storage arrays. The StorSimple 8000 series are the most powerful StorSimple systems ever and have even tighter integration with Azure, including two new Azure-based capabilities to enable new use cases and centralize data management. These new solutions demonstrate how Microsoft is bringing the best of on-premises storage together with the cloud in order to deliver bottom line savings to customers by cutting storage costs from 40 to 60% and helping IT teams focus more on business strategies than infrastructure management.

The new StorSimple 8000 series arrays come in two flavors to meet a variety of capacity and performance needs:  the StorSimple 8100 and the StorSimple 8600, which you can read about here.

The new StorSimple 8000 series arrays come in two flavors to meet a variety of capacity and performance needs:  the StorSimple 8100 and the StorSimple 8600, which you can read about here.  These are enterprise hybrid storage arrays with a twist – instead of being limited to only SSDs and HDDs, these arrays use Azure Storage as a hybrid cloud tier for automatic capacity expansion and off-site data protection. That means IT teams don’t have to spend so much time and effort working on the next inevitable storage capacity upgrade or managing the complex details of data protection. Data stored on StorSimple 8000 series arrays is automatically protected off-site by cloud snapshots, which fill the enormous gap between problematic tape solutions and costly remote replication solutions.

To go with the new arrays, there is the Microsoft Azure StorSimple Virtual Appliance, which is an implementation of StorSimple technology running as an Azure virtual machine in the cloud. With a matching Azure StorSimple virtual machine, StorSimple 8000 series customers can run applications in Azure that access snapshot virtual volumes in the cloud. Customers will be able to run new applications that search and analyze historical datasets without disrupting production work in their datacenter. This new StorSimple Virtual Appliance not only works for data from Windows Server and Hyper-V, but on-premises Linux and VMware servers, as well, providing hybrid cloud capabilities for the most common server platforms today.

The Virtual Appliance also enables disaster recovery (DR) in the cloud. Virtualized applications that store their data on an Azure StorSimple array in a customer’s datacenter can be restarted in VMs in Azure with access to previously uploaded data. Updates to data made during recovery operations can be downloaded later to StorSimple arrays on-premises when normal operations resume.

DR is an area of concern for many customers and they seldom get a chance to test their abilities. Microsoft Azure StorSimple 8000 Series arrays and Virtual Appliances have a feature called Instant Recovery, which presents synthetic, full images of virtual volumes in Azure to applications and end users so they can start accessing data as soon as possible after a disaster. Instant recovery accelerates restores and DR testing by only downloading data that is needed and bypassing data that isn’t needed.

Another groundbreaking capability in this release is the Microsoft Azure StorSimple Manager, which consolidates management for all of a customer’s Azure StorSimple 8000 series arrays and Virtual Appliances. Administrators use the Manager to centrally control all aspects of StorSimple storage and data management from the cloud, so they can ensure consistent operations and data protection/retention policies across the enterprise. The new StorSimple Manager also gives administrators a dashboard with up-to-the-minute status and reports so they can quickly spot storage troubles and trends and allows the IT team to spend less time on storage infrastructure management and shift resources to business applications.

StorSimple customers have been seeing the financial and IT efficiency benefits of hybrid cloud storage for years.  Now, the Microsoft Azure StorSimple solution brings new innovations to enable even greater operational efficiency, and is a great example of technology developed with a hybrid cloud design point and critical customer needs in mind.

 

If you want to know more about StorSimple checkout my blog about StorSimple Cloud as a Tier and the Microsoft blog post from Takeshi Numoto about the new StorSimple 8000 series.

 



Savision Whitepaper

On Demand Webinar: VMM Fabric and Cloud Management by MVP Thomas Maurer

Together with Savision I worked on a whitepaper about System Center Virtual Machine Manager Fabric Management and Resource Pooling. After the whitepaper was released I also did two webinars where I presented the information from the whitepaper about Fabric and Cloud Management with Virtual Machine Manager.

Now the webinar recording is available for an on demand online.

On Demand Webinar

On Demand Webinar: VMM Fabric Management and Resource Pooling by MVP Thomas Maurer

 



Savision Whitepaper

Whitepaper and Webinar “VMM (fabric) Management and Resource Pooling”

One of the most challenging things during the shift to Cloud Computing is to manage Fabric Resources efficiently. Together with Savision I have worked on a whitepaper in which it is outlined how Fabric resource like Compute, Storage and Network can be managed efficiently and how System Center Virtual Machine Manager provides a solution to build a datacenter abstraction layer.

The whitepaper is focused on building a datacenter abstraction layer of your fabric resources, self-service and service deployment. If you would like to know more about it, join our webinar.

Register for EU webinar

Register here for the EU webinar on Webinar “VMM (fabric) Management and Resource Pooling” by MVP Thomas Maurer – 7th May 3.00pm CEST (English)

Register for US webinar

Register here for the US webinar on Webinar “VMM (fabric) Management and Resource Pooling” by MVP Thomas Maurer – 8th May 2.00 pm EDT (English)

We’re looking forward having you logged in!

Btw you can download the Whitepaper right here:

Download the Whitepaper

Download the Free Whitepaper on “VMM (fabric) Management and Resource Pooling” by MVP Thomas Maurer

If you have questions join the webinar or feel free to comment.