AzsReadinessChecker

Azure Stack Readiness Checker – AzsReadinessChecker

Since I am dealing a lot of Azure Stack installations I also want to share some interesting tools you can leverage like the Azure Stack Capacity Calculator and others. One of the latest I want to share with you is the Azure Stack Readiness Checker PowerShell module called AzsReadinessChecker. This PowerShell module helps you to run validations of your environment and resources before you deploy Azure Stack. The AzsReadinessChecker module for example validates things like:

  • Certificates
  • Azure Active Directory
  • Azure Accounts
  • Azure Subscriptions

The Start-AzsREadinessChecker cmdlet also helps to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) which you can summit to your CA or your CA provider to get the specific certificates.

Install the AzsReadinessChecker PowerShell module

To install the AzsReadinessChecker PowerShell module, you can simply run the following command to install it from the PSGallery:

Generate CSR for Azure Stack Certificates

To generate the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) for the Azure Stack Public Certificates, you can use the simple command. You will need to enter all the information from your Azure Stack deployment like Region, FQDN and more.

This will then generate the .req file.

Validate Azure Stack Certificates

After you got your generated Azure Stack Certificates, you can validate them. For that you can also imply use the Start-AzsReadinessChecker cmdlet.

Validate Azure Readiness for Azure Stack

As mentioned you will need other resources in Azure to deploy Azure Stack. With the AzsReadinessChecker, you can also validate these. Here are some examples for the validation. For a full list check out the Azure Stack documentation page for: Start-AzsReadinessChecker cmdlet reference

Validate Azure AD identity for Azure Stack

Validate Azure Subscription for Azure Stack



Flush DNS Cache with PowerShell

Flush DNS Cache with PowerShell

Awhile ago I wrote a blog post called PowerShell Networking Cheat sheet, where I put together several networking commands which can be replaced by PowerShell. One of the latest once I saw and a couple of people requested is how you flush the DNS cache using PowerShell. This would allow you to replace ipconfig/ flushdns with PowerShell. Guess what, Microsoft as now a PowerShell cmdlet for that.

Clear and Flush DNS with PowerShell

You can use the following command to clear the DNS cache on a Windows system using PowerShell

Show DNS Cache with PowerShell

There is also a PowerShell command to show you the DNS cache:

I hope this blog post and these commands are useful.



Azure Firewall Setup

The Azure Firewall

Last week Microsoft announced some cool new and long awaited Azure Network functionalities, which are now in public preview. One of the is the Azure Firewall, which is a fully stateful firewall as a service with built-in high availability and unrestricted cloud scalability. The Azure Firewall is centrally created, enforced, and allows you to log application and network connectivity policies across subscriptions and virtual networks.

This is especially help full in scenarios where you simply want to block internet traffic or you need centralized management and logging. Obviously, there is still space for third-party firewall appliances with even more functionality, but if you need something easy to configure, without any additional licensing, which you can automatically configure using the existing tooling and has unrestricted scaling capabilities, Azure Firewall is a great option.

It is also important to notice that Azure Firewall is still in preview and additional functionality might be added as well as existing functionality might change.

Azure Firewall Spoke and Hub Network

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Azure Firewall provides you with the following features:



VSCode in Azure Cloud Shell

You can now run a Visual Studio Code based editor in Azure Cloud Shell

Azure Cloud Shell, a browser-accessible shell for managing Azure resources, just got even more powerful. Today Microsoft added a new Visual Studio Code editor to Azure Cloud Shell. Okay, it is not the real Visual Studio Code, it is an editor based on the Visual Studio Code open-source project Monaco. Monaco is the same web-standards based editor that powers Visual Studio Code, and the editor is now integrated directly into Cloud Shell.

Now you not only have editors like vim, emacs or nano, you also able to run code, directly with in the Azure Cloud Shell. This is pretty handy when it comes to quickly edit some files like scripts or ARM templates.

This is not the first time the Azure Cloud Shell team and the Visual Studio Code team collaborated: Azure Cloud Shell in Visual Studio Code



Microsoft Azure Certifications

New Microsoft Azure Certifications announced

This week Microsoft Inspire takes place in Las Vegas, unfortunately I couldn’t make it this year. However, some of my colleagues from itnetX Switzerland and itnetX are there, don’t miss them and visit our booth! During the first day keynote at Microsoft Inspire, Microsoft quickly announced 3 new Azure Certifications for Administrators, Developers and Architects. You can already take the beta exams for the Azure Certified Administrator with more information on the Microsoft Learning Blog.

New Microsoft Azure Certifications

The three new Microsoft Azure Certifications are:

  • Microsoft Certified Azure Developer
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Architect

Beta Exam for Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator

The beta exams to become a Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator are already online. You will have to options depending if you already have Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions or not.

If you don’t have exam 70-533 already, you will need to take the following to exams:

If you already have exam 70-533 you can take the following transition exam:

Remember they are all beta right now, and you will need to wait a couple of months to get the exam results. I just took the exam AZ-102 to transition from Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions to the new Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator. I recommend that you go through the preparation guides for the exam an verify your skills for the thing you don’t have daily experience with. Especially with some pretty new services and features. I think the new exams questions are pretty close and important to the daily tasks of an Azure Administrator and should reflect the skills.

If you want to take the beta exam, you should register fast. Microsoft announced that they only will take a couple of beta exams and then close it until the public exam is available.

Discount Codes for Azure Exams

You can also find some discount codes on the Microsoft Learning Blog, which will give you up to 80% of discount for the 3 new beta exams.

I hope this gives you a quick overview and directs you to the right sites. If you also want to know a little bit more about it, I also recommend that you read the Build Azure blog.

(Image Credit: Maarten Goet)



Windows 10 SleepStudy Report

Troubleshoot Windows 10 Battery Life and Modern Standby

More and more mobile devices are out there and Windows 10 has some need features like Modern Standby, formerly known as InstantGo or Connected Standby, which provides an instant on/instant off user experience that users expect to have with their phones. Now that said there are always scenarios where battery life or standby doesn’t work as we wish. This blog post should help to troubleshoot battery life and standby on Windows 10, using inbox tools.

Check hardware support for standby modes

Powercfg information

First of all you can check with power states, standby modes or the available sleep states supported by your hardware using the following command:

General Battery life and standby issues

In some case you can run in some issues where you have your battery draining more than expected during the Modern Standby time. This could be of the following reasons:

  • Drivers – Make sure you have the latest drivers installed
  • Firmware – Make sure you have the latest Firmware (BIOS) installed
  • Mails –  The Windows communication app keeps the broker infrastructure (BI) system active. BI, in turn, keeps the WLAN network up so that the system stays up-to-date with emails. If you get a lot of emails this can end up in a higher power drain.
  • Software –  Some installed legacy Software which does not let you go into the InstantGo modus.
  • VPN Clients – Some older VPN Clients can also cause issues with InstantGo
  • Network Activity – The WLAN device might have a challenging radio environment and the Windows system might not be able to establish a reliable Internet connection. We see how these events affect the WLAN device, which, in turn, impacts the battery.


Thomas Maurer Speaking at Experts Live

Speaking at Experts Live Europe 2018 in Prague

You must have heard about the awesome conference in the heart of Europe, called Experts Live Europe. Today, I am honored and proud to announce that I will be speaking at Experts Live Europe 2018 in Prague at October 24.-26. Since the first European edition back in 2013, I have presented several sessions at each event previously hosted in Bern, Basel and Berlin. I will speak about my favorite topic Azure Stack and will also present another session about Windows Server. The timing of Experts Live Europe is great this year (October), which allows me and other speakers to present the latest updates learned and shared at Microsoft Ignite (September).

I am also excited about the new location. After Bern and Basel in Switzerland, and two years in Berlin, Germany, Experts Live Europe comes to the beautiful city of Prague.

My Sessions at Experts Live Europe 2018

I am proud to present two sessions to cover topics like Azure, Azure Stack, Windows Server and Hyper-V.

Azure Stack - Your Cloud Your Datacenter

Microsoft released Azure Stack as an Azure appliance for your datacenter. Learn what Azure Stack is, what challenges it solves, how you deploy, manage and operate a Azure Stack in your datacenter. Learn about the features and services you will get by offering Azure Stack to your customers and how you can build a true Hybrid Cloud experience. In this presentation Thomas Maurer (Microsoft MVP) will guide you through the highly anticipated innovations and experience during the Azure Stack Early Adaption Program and Azure Stack Technology Adoption Program (TAP).

Windows Server 2019 - The Next Generation of Software-Defined Datacenter

Join this session for the best of Windows Server 2019, about the new innovation and improvements of Windows Server. Learn how Microsoft enhances the SDDC feature like Hyper-V, Storage and Networking and get the most out of the new Azure Hybrid Integration and Container features. You’ll get an overview about the new, exciting improvements that are in Windows Server 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 in Windows Server 2019 and the Semi-Annual Channel including: ○ Windows Server Containers ○ Azure Integration ○ Hyper-V features ○ Storage ○ Networking ○ Security ○ Windows Server Containers And more!

Besides 2 days of break out sessions, you will also have one extra day with three great technical workshops about Cloud Security, Workplace and Automation.

About Experts Live Europe

Experts Live Europe is one of Europe’s largest community conferences with a focus on Microsoft cloud, datacenter and workplace management. Top experts from around the world present discussion panels, ask-the-experts sessions and breakout sessions and cover the latest products, technologies and solutions. It’s the time of the year to learn, network, share and make valuable connections.

 

Experts Live VIP Party in the Cloud

The famous Speakers & Sponsors VIP Party of Experts Live Europe will take place on Wednesday, October 24th. This is a great opportunity to network with our speakers and sponsors in a fun and easy-going setting. Tickets for the VIP Party are limited due to location capacity, so if you don’t want to miss out, make sure you register fast!
The VIP Party will take place in Cloud9 Sky Bar & Lounge, at the rooftop of the Hilton hotel in Prague. The Sky Bar is famous for its stunning panorama views of the city, the signature cocktails, the rooftop terrace and the vibrant atmosphere.

It still takes a couple of months until October, but I am already very excited for another Experts Live Conference. I really hope to see you there, so make sure you get a ticket as soon as possible!