Category: Microsoft

Azure Unblogged - Microsoft Feedback and Customer engagement programs

Azure Unblogged – Microsoft Feedback and Customer engagement programs

You might have seen that I started a video series called Azure Unblogged, in which I talk to people in Microsoft and the Microsoft community about different products, services, stories, and much more. This week I am releasing a video on Azure Unblogged in which I had the chance to talk to Holly Lehman (Program Manager in the Azure CxP Team) about Microsoft feedback and customer engagement programs. In this video, we talked about how vital feedback for Microsoft is and how the different teams are managing and capturing feedback.

You can watch the video on Microsoft Channel 9.

If you want to know more about the different insider programs at Microsoft, Check out the Microsoft Insider page for an overview of some of the programs that Microsoft offers for our customers to join!

You can also watch other episodes of Azure Unblogged on Microsoft Channel 9 and check out my blog at ITOpsTalk.com.

Let me know if you enjoyed the Azure Unblogged – Microsoft Feedback and Customer engagement programs video and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel here.



AZ-900 Study Guide Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam Study Guide

AZ-900 Study Guide: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals 2020

The content of the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam will be updated on May 28, 2020. That is why I want to share my new updated AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification Exam Study Guide for 2020 with you. To learn and prepare for the exam, I usually use a couple of online resources, mainly Microsoft Docs and Microsoft Learn, which I am going to share with you. You can find more information about how I prepare for a Microsoft Certification exam on my blog post: How to prepare and pass Microsoft Certification Exam.

NOTE: This exam with the updated content will be available on May 28, 2020. If you want to see the differences between the old exam content and the new, check out the skills measured doc on the exam website.

Also, check out other Microsoft Azure Certification Exam Study Guides:

I passed the AZ-900 exam awhile back, but now I am looking forward to refreshing it.

Here is my AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification Exam Study Guide

It is essential to get familiar with the exam objectives and skills measured first. That is why I recommend reading the description of the exam and the skills measured.

Exam AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

This exam is designed for candidates who need to validate foundationallevel knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure.
The exam is intended for candidates who are just beginning to work with cloud-based solutions and services. Candidates must be prepared to demonstrate a fundamental understanding of cloud concepts, Azure services, Azure workloads, security and privacy in Azure, as well as Azure pricing and support. Candidates should be familiar with the concepts of networking, storage, compute, application support, and application development.

This exam can be taken as a precursor to other Microsoft certifications, such as Azure Administrator. While it would be a beneficial first step, taking this exam is not a prerequisite before taking any other Azure-based certifications.

The high-level view of the skills measured in the exam:

  • Describe cloud concepts (20-25%)
  • Describe core Azure services (15-20%)
  • Describe Core Solutions and Management Tools on Azure (10-15%)
  • Describe General Security and Network Security Features (10-15%)
  • Describe Identity, Governance, Privacy and Compliance Features (20-25%)
  • Describe Azure Pricing and Support (10-15%)

You can find more information on the exam website.

Free Online Microsoft Learn AZ-900 Exam Study Guide resources

I personally believe is you are going through the Azure Fundamentals learning path on Microsoft Learn, you should be able to pass the exam. Microsoft Learn provides you with free online training and learning paths for different Microsoft technologies. They not just offer reading material, but also control questions and free online labs. Here are some relevant Microsoft Learn modules and learning paths for the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification Exam. Microsoft Learn is an important part of my AZ-900 exam study guide.

Note: Not all modules are yet matching the new content of the exam. However, I believe that there is still a big value for learn that content.

Free Azure Account

I also highly recommend that you create a free Azure account to try out the Azure services and get familiar with the Azure platform.

Free Azure Account

If you don’t have an Azure account yet, you can sign up today for your free Azure account and receive 12 months of free popular services, $200 free credit, and 25+ always free services.

Microsoft Docs AZ-900 study guide resources

One thing I always used to prepare for my Microsoft exams is Microsoft Docs. Here are the relevant Microsoft Docs which I used to prepare and study for the AZ-900 exam.



Veeam Vanguard 2020

Veeam Vanguard 2020

Last night I had some great news in my inbox. I got informed that my nomination for Veeam Vanguard 2020 was approved, and I just got awarded with my fourth Veeam Vanguard award. After being a Veeam Vanguard in 2015, 2016 and again in 2019, I am proud to be part of the Veeam Vanguard community in 2020 again.

The Veeam Vanguard Program is Veeam’s top-level influencer community. This group shares points of view, provides feedback and is committed to mutual success. Experts in the Vanguard program are a combination of many different disciplines, contribution types and advocacy mechanisms yet are each the best in space regarding technical thought leadership for the technical communities in which Veeam exist.

These individuals have been nominated as Veeam Vanguards. A Veeam Vanguard represents our brand to the highest level in many of the different technology communities in which we engage. These individuals are chosen for their acumen, engagement and style in their activities on and offline.

I am looking forward to being part of this community in this virtualization and cloud journey. I also want to thank Veeam, it is an honor to be part of the Veeam Vanguard community again.



Microsoft Teams Video Call

How to host Tech Workshops and Trainings online

I just got asked by one of my blog readers, who is a consultant and trainer, about what tools I use to give online tech workshops and trainings. I thought this would make a good blog post; that’s why I want to share with you how you can provide tech workshops and trainings online. This can obviously also be used in day to day collaboration and meetings.

How to give Workshops and Trainings online

In my previous job, I worked with a lot of customers and provided workshops and trainings. Here are some of the tools I used, and I am still using. I know that there are a lot more applications out there which can give you a great experience. Some of them are optimized for public streaming, others for collaboration. The same is true for my list; depending on the use-case, meeting, workshop, or content you have, maybe one tool is better than the other. So have a look at these tools and decided which one works best for your workshop or training. I also need to point out that you can use them not just as a standalone app, but also in combination with each other.

Microsoft Teams

The first tool which pops in mind and is the one I use the most is Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is a fantastic collaboration tool. It lets you do a couple of things like meetings and video calls with screen sharing and PowerPoint presentations as well as included whiteboard experience. In addition to meetings and chats, you also get a rich collaboration space with teams and channels, which you can also use to share workshops and training material over time. You can provide an excellent experience for your customers and team members even after the workshop or training is done. There are many features in Microsoft Teams. The best thing is to check out the product page to see all the capabilities of Microsoft Teams. You can invite people outside of your organization as guest accounts to have a collaboration space.

Microsoft Teams Video Call

Microsoft Teams Video Call

I want to share two of the live chat and video experiences that you can use in Microsoft Teams for online meetings, trainings, and workshops.

Microsoft Teams Online Meetings – This is the experience most users probably are familiar with. With Microsoft Teams online meetings, you can host audio, video, and web conferences with anyone, and you get features such as scheduling assistance, meeting note-taking, screen sharing, meeting recording, and instant messaging.

Microsoft Teams Live Events – With Microsoft Teams live events you can broadcast video and meeting content to large online audiences. This can be inside and outside of your company. Live Events are meant for one-to-many communications where you are leading the interactions, and audience participation is primarily to view the content shared by you. Live events feature is excellent if you want to organize things like webinars. While the online meetings functionality has a chat, the live events comes with a Q&A feature, which makes it easy to keep track and answer questions.

If you want to learn more about how to present PowerPoint in Microsoft Teams, check out Sarah Lean’s blog post.

Microsoft Whiteboard

Another tool I use a lot is the Microsoft Whiteboard app, and I already wrote a blog post about why IT Pros should use the Microsoft Whiteboard app.

Microsoft Whiteboard

Microsoft Whiteboard

The Whiteboard app is a digital whiteboard that allows you to invite people online to collaborate in real-time. It also integrates into Microsoft Teams as well.

PowerPoint – Present Online and record Presentations

PowerPoint Present Online

PowerPoint Present Online

As mentioned before, you can use Microsoft Teams to share and present your PowerPoints. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that PowerPoint already has an integrated sharing feature. You can share and broadcast your PowerPoint presentation online directly within PowerPoint, without the need for an additional tool.

Present Online in PowerPoint

Present Online in PowerPoint

You can also record PowerPoint presentations and share them online later on.

Record Slide Show

Record Slide Show

 

Visual Studio Code Remote Share

When it comes to code, Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code (VS Code) offer you a feature called Visual Studio Live Share. Live Share allows you to share your code in real-time. You can collaborate and work with multiple people on the same code. New is that you can not only join using VS Code or Visual Studio, but you can now also join by just using a browser.

Invite people with Visual Studio Live Share:

Visual Studio Code Live Share

Visual Studio Code Live Share

Collaborate on the same file:

Sharing code online with VS Code Live Share

Sharing code online with VS Code Live Share

I hope this blog was helpful and gives you a couple of ideas on how you can provide workshops and trainings online as well as collaborating in real-time with people. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Thanks to Martin Dimovski, who gave me the idea of this blog post.



Add a PowerShell Remoting Session in the Windows Terminal Menu

Add a PowerShell Remote Session in Windows Terminal

I am sure you have heard about the new Windows Terminal, which is in preview, and you can get it from the Windows Store. In this blog post, I want to share how you can add a PowerShell remote session to the drop-down menu in the Windows Terminal when you open a new tab. The new Windows Terminal is highly customizable and it allows you to run different shells like the classic command prompt, Windows PowerShell, PowerShell 7, and also Windows Subsystem for Linux shells (I am using, for example, Ubuntu with the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2)).

Scott Hanselman wrote a great blog post on how you can add tabs to open an SSH connection directly, so why not do the same thing with PowerShell? In my example, I will add a tab in Windows Terminal, which opens up a PowerShell remoting session (using WS-Management WSMan) to an Azure virtual machine (VM). However, this would work with every other machine which you can access using PowerShell Remoting.

Add a PowerShell Remote Session in Windows Terminal Tab

To get started, we need to open up the settings of the Windows Terminal. This will open up a profiles.json file, which you can edit in your favorite editor, for example, Visual Studio Code. To add new “menu items,” you will need to add a profile to the profiles array in the JSON file. In my case, I will add two to different menu items, once I am going to do a PowerShell remoting session to an Azure VM using Windows PowerShell and in the other, I am going to use PowerShell 7.

Windows Terminal Settings profiles

Windows Terminal Settings profiles

You can see here the following to profile entries:

Remote Session using Windows PowerShell 5.1

{
"name":  "PS Thomas AzureVM",
"tabTitle": "PS Thomas Maurer AzureVM",
"commandline": "powershell.exe -NoProfile -NoExit -Command Enter-PSSession -ComputerName azurevmps.westeurope.cloudapp.azure.com -Credential thomas",
"icon": "C:/Users/thoma/Downloads/AzureVMIcon32.png"
},

Remote Session using PowerShell 7

{
"name":  "PS Thomas AzureVM",
"tabTitle": "PS Thomas Maurer AzureVM",
"commandline": "pwsh.exe -NoProfile -NoExit -Command Enter-PSSession -ComputerName azurevmps.westeurope.cloudapp.azure.com -Credential thomas",
"icon": "C:/Users/thoma/Downloads/AzureVMIcon32.png"
},

As you can see, we define the profile name and the tab title in for the Windows Terminal entry. We have the command line command here, which starts the PowerShell remoting session. The command opens a PowerShell session to a specific computer or server using the ComputerName parameter and the Credential parameter for the credentials. In my case, I am connecting to an Azure VM with the name azurevmps.westeurope.cloudapp.azure.com (could also be an IP address) and the username Thomas. The last thing I add is a small icon (32×32 pixel) since I am connecting to an Azure VM, I took the Azure VM icon.

In this scenario, I am using PowerShell Remoting over HTTP, you can use the same thing for your connections using PowerShell Remoting over HTTPS or even PowerShell Remoting over SSH which are way more secure, and should be used for your connections.

Now your Windows Terminal drop-down menu will look like this:

Add a PowerShell Remote Session in Windows Terminal Tab

Add a PowerShell Remote Session in Windows Terminal Tab

By selecting one of these profiles, you will automatically open a PowerShell remoting session to a specific computer or server in Windows Terminal.

Windows Terminal - Azure virtual machine VM PS Remote Session

Windows Terminal – Azure virtual machine VM PS Remote Session

I hope this gives you an idea of how you can add a PowerShell remote session in Windows Terminal menu. If you want to know more about the Windows Terminal, check out the following blog, and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

If you want to know more about what’s new in PowerShell 7, check out my blog.



Run Azure PowerShell in a Docker Container Image

Run Azure PowerShell in a Docker Container

Yesterday, the Azure PowerShell team announced the Azure PowerShell Docker Container images. In this post, I want to quickly highlight that announcement and show you how you can download, pull, and run Azure PowerShell in a Docker container image from Microsoft.

But first, let’s talk about why you would want to run an Azure PowerShell in a Docker container. Azure is continuously evolving, and the Azure PowerShell team releases a new version of the Azure PowerShell modules every three weeks. This makes it challenging to maintain a production or development environment up to date and ensuring the smooth execution of scripts. With the Azure PowerShell docker container image, you can quickly run scripts against a specific version of Azure PowerShell.

The team highlights the current scenarios:

  • On the same machine, you can run scripts that are using a different version of Az with no conflicts.
  • You can test a script against a different version of Az with no risks.
  • You can run the latest container image interactively.


How to take a Microsoft Certification Exam Online

How to take a Microsoft Certification Exam Online

Many people these days are looking in to taking Microsoft certification exams and get certified. You can take the Microsoft certification exam locally in an official test center, or online. In this blog post, I want to give you some tips and tricks on how to take a Microsoft certification exam online, from home or in the office. Since I have taken many Microsoft Azure exams online, so I want to share my experience with you. This includes:

  • How to schedule an online exam
  • Microsoft Online Exam Requirements
  • Online Exam check-in experience
  • During the exam
  • After the exam and retrieve score report