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The Azure Arc Connected Machine Agent (Azcmagent)

azcmagent utility

Azure Arc enabled servers allows you to add on-premises servers or servers running on another cloud provider. The onboarding is done by installing the Azure connected machine agent or also called Azure Arc agent on the server. The Azure Arc agent can be installed on Windows Server or Linux. After the agent is installed you run a couple of commands to manage the machine. Here is how you can manage and maintain the Azure Connect Machine Agent (Azcmagent tool) for Azure Arc.

The Azure Connected Machine agent package contains several logical components:

  • The Hybrid Instance Metadata service (HIMDS) manages the connection to Azure and the connected machine’s Azure identity.
  • The Guest Configuration agent provides In-Guest Policy and Guest Configuration functionality, such as assessing whether the machine complies with required policies.
  • The Extension agent manages VM extensions, including install, uninstall, and upgrade.
Azure Arc Connected Machine Agent Component details
Azure Arc Connected Machine Agent Component details (Microsoft Docs)

You can find more information about the Azure Arc enabled servers agent on Microsoft Docs.

Installing the Azure Connected Machine Agent

To install the the Azure Connected Machine Agent (also known as Azure Arc agent) you have a couple of different options. Basically you need to follow these three steps:

  1. Download the agent – Windows agent Windows Installer package from the Microsoft Download Center and the Linux agent package is distributed from Microsoft’s package repository using the preferred package format for the distribution (.RPM or .DEB).
  2. Install the agent
  3. Register the Azure Arc enabled server with Microsoft Azure.

The Azure Arc agent currently supports the following operating systems (Keep in mind that the list is subject to change and you can find the official list here.

  • Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2 and higher (including Server Core)
  • Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 LTS (x64)
  • CentOS Linux 7 (x64)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 15 (x64)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 (x64)
  • Amazon Linux 2 (x64)
  • Oracle Linux 7

You can find more details about how to connect the Azure Arc enabled servers Connected Machine agent for Windows or Linux on Microsoft Docs.

Managing the Azure Arc Connected Machine agent

To manage the Azure Connected Machine Agent, also know as the Azure Arc Agent, you can use the Azcmagent tool.

azcmagent utility
azcmagent utility

Allows you to connect and disconnect the Azure Arc Connected Machine agent, but also provides you with additional information. You can run the utility with the “show” command, to get additional information such a the installed version, Azure information such as resource group, subscription, tenant, and much more. It also provides you with information for troubleshooting such a path to the log file and an overview of the state of the different agent components.

azcmagent show command
azcmagent show command

If you want to learn more about managing and maintaining the Azure Arc Connected Machine agent, check out the following Microsoft Docs article. You can also find more information on how to troubleshoot Azure Arc enabled servers agent connection issues here.

If you want to check the agent version of the connected machine agent, you can also do this at scale using Azure Resource Graph.

Conclusion

I hope this provides you with a quick overview on how to work with the agent. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. Also check out my other blogs and Azure Arc content:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Last modified: April 27, 2021
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