Category: Azure Arc

Learn about Windows Server Hybrid and Azure IaaS VMs

Learn Windows Server Hybrid and Azure IaaS VMs

A couple of weeks back I promoted a post about how you can learn about Windows Server on Azure and a post on ITOpsTalk for New Microsoft Learn Modules for Azure and Windows Server IT Pros. This week I got another message by colleague Orin Thomas (Cloud Advocate and Author of the Windows Server 2019 Book), that a lot more Microsoft Learn modules have been published, covering Windows Server Hybrid and Windows Server on Azure IaaS VMs (Infrastructure-as-a-Service).

Learn about Windows Server Hybrid and Windows Server Azure IaaS VMs 🎓

Here is a full list of Microsoft Learn modules to learn about Windows Server Hybrid and Windows Server Azure IaaS VMs (virtual machines). This includes many of the Azure Hybrid Cloud services you can use together with Azure, like Azure Arc, Azure File Sync, Azure Site Recovery, and many more. These Microsoft Learn modules also cover a lot of the Azure Management services to manage your Windows Server virtual machines running on Azure, like Azure Monitor, Azure Update Management, networking, and much more.

I hope you enjoy the new Microsoft Learn modules for Windows Server Hybrid and Windows Server on Azure IaaS. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below. If you are looking forward to take some exams, also check out my Microsoft exam study guides, for example for:

Happy Learning!



Filter for Azure VMs and Azure Arc Machines

Inventory for Azure Arc enabled Servers

Azure Arc for Servers allows you to manage servers running in your on-premises location, at the edge, or in a multi-cloud environment directly from the Azure portal. There are many features available to manage these hybrid Azure Arc enabled servers, like Log Analytics or Azure Arc Machine extensions. However, one of the basic features of Azure Arc enabled Servers, is that you can now get an inventory and overview of all your servers. This allows you to see and manage your Azure Arc enabled servers next to your Azure resources.

Inventory for Azure Arc enabled Servers and Azure VMs

Inventory for Azure Arc enabled Servers and Azure VMs.

You can see that your Azure Arc enabled servers show up as Azure resources. You can use the filter to limit the view to only Azure virtual machines (VMs), and Azure Arc enabled servers.



RunAsRadio Podcast Thomas Maurer

RunAsRadio Managing Your Hybrid Cloud using Azure Arc with Thomas Maurer

This week I was on Richard Campbell RunAsRadio podcast to talk about Hybrid Cloud management using Azure Arc. RunAs Radio is a weekly podcast for IT Professionals working with Microsoft products. Each 30-minute episode covers a specific topic in the field of IT from a Microsoft-centric viewpoint.

We all have a hybrid cloud solution – how do you manage it? Richard chats with Thomas Maurer about Azure Arc, a tool in the Azure suite for managing virtual machines, Kubernetes clusters, and data services in Azure, your on-premises servers, even other cloud providers! Thomas talks about how IT folks end up with an array of tools for managing servers depending on the location and how Azure Arc ends that. Arc provides location-independent access to all your resources, and it’s in preview now, so free to use (although you may have to pay for additional Log Analytics data)… check it out!

If you want to listen to the podcast episode, check out RunAsRadio.com.



MJFChat Whats New in the Azure Hybrid Space

MJFChat What’s New in the Azure Hybrid Space?

This week I had the honor to be on Mary Jo Foley podcast called MJFChat on Petri.com and talk about what’s new in the Azure Hybrid space. This was the perfect time since we had some great Hybrid Cloud announcements this week during Microsoft Inspire, especially when it comes to Azure Stack HCI.

MJFChat: What’s New in the Azure Hybrid Space?

This episode of MJFChat is all about what’s happening in the Azure hybrid space. Microsoft was the first of the major cloud vendors to offer not just a public cloud, but also a hybrid platform. Azure Stack was the core of Microsoft’s hybrid 1.0 strategy. More recently, Microsoft outlined its hybrid 2.0 plan, which centers around Azure Arc.

If you want to listen to the podcast, you can go to Petri.com or your favorite podcast platform, MJF Chat on Spotify; here for Apple Podcasts on iTunes; and here for Google Play.



Microsoft Azure Stack HCI version 20H2

Azure Stack HCI version 20H2 – everything you need to know!

Microsoft just announced the new Azure Stack HCI, delivered as an Azure hybrid service, at Microsoft Inspire 2020. Azure Stack HCI, as a hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solution, is expanding the Azure Stack portfolio to offer a comprehensive and flexible lineup of edge infrastructure and hybrid cloud environments. In this blog post, I want you to provide you with an overview of the new Azure Stack HCI, version 20H2.

You can also find the full announcement blog on Azure.com.

What’s Azure Stack HCI

Azure Stack HCI is a hyper-converged cluster solution that runs virtualized Windows and Linux workloads in a hybrid on-premises environment. Some of the most popular use cases are datacenter modernization, Remote/Branch office scenarios, SQL Server based virtual applications, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, and running Kubernetes clusters.

  • Hyperconverged infrastructure stack – The Azure Stack HCI operating system is based on core components from Windows Server, and it is designed and optimized on being the best virtualization host and hyper-converged platform. It is enhanced with software from Azure that includes our latest hypervisor with built-in software-defined storage and networking, that you install on servers you control, on your premises. This provides additional functionally, features and performance.
  • Delivered as an Azure hybrid service – Azure Stack HCI is now delivered as an Azure service with a subscription-based licensing model and hybrid capabilities built-in. You can enhance the cluster with Azure hybrid capabilities such as cloud-based monitoring, site recovery, and backup, as well as a central view of all of your Azure Stack HCI deployments in the Azure portal.
  • Familiar for IT to manage and operate – Runs on your choice of hardware, from your preferred vendor, and continue using the tools and processes your team already knows to manage virtual machines, including Windows Admin Center, System Center, and PowerShell.

This new Azure Stack HCI product takes its name from a program that Microsoft has run for several years with recent versions of Windows Server. That program was very popular, and it’s what inspired this new product.

Azure Stack HCI - Inspired by its popular predecessor

Azure Stack HCI – Inspired by its popular predecessor

Part of the Azure Stack Portfolio

Azure Stack HCI joins the growing family of Azure Stack solutions, which offers a comprehensive and flexible lineup of edge infrastructure. The Azure Stack portfolio ranges from Azure Stack Hub, which is an extension of Azure, bringing the agility and innovation of cloud computing to your on-premises environment, to Azure Stack Edge, which brings Azure compute for AI and machine learning at the edge.

Azure Stack HCI version 20H2 - Part of the Azure Stack portfolio

Azure Stack HCI version 20H2 – Part of the Azure Stack portfolio

You can learn more about the Azure Stack portfolio on Azure.com.



Create Custom Script Extension for Windows - Azure Arc

How to Run Custom Scripts on Azure Arc Enabled Servers

With the latest update for Azure Arc for Servers, you are now able to deploy and use extensions with your Azure Arc enabled servers. With the Custom Script extension, you can run scripts on Azure Arc enabled servers and works similar to the custom script extension for Azure virtual machines (VMs). There is an extension for Windows and Linux servers, which is a tool that can be used to launch and execute machine customization tasks post configuration automatically.

When this Extension is added to an Azure Arc machine, it can download PowerShell and shell scripts and files from Azure storage and launch a script on the machine, which in turn can download additional software components. Custom Script Extension for Linux and Windows – Azure Arc tasks can also be automated using the Azure PowerShell cmdlets and Azure Cross-Platform Command-Line Interface (Azure CLI).

Introducing Azure Arc
For customers who want to simplify complex and distributed environments across on-premises, edge and multicloud, Azure Arc enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure.
Learn more about Azure Arc here.

How to run Custom Scripts on Azure Arc enabled servers

To run a custom script on an Azure Arc enabled server, you can simply deploy the Custom Script Extension. You open the server you want to run the custom script in the Azure Arc server overview. Navigate to Extensions and click on Add, and select the Custom Script Extension for Windows – Azure Arc or on Linux the Custom Script Extension for Linux – Azure Arc.

Add Custom Script Extension

Add Custom Script Extension

Now you can select the PowerShell or shell script you want to run on that machine, as well as adding some optional arguments for that script.

Create Custom Script Extension for Windows - Azure Arc

Create Custom Script Extension for Windows – Azure Arc

After that, it will take a couple of minutes to run the script on the machine.

Conclusion

The Custom Script Extensions for Linux and Windows can be used to launch and execute machine customization tasks post configuration automatically.

You can learn more about how Azure Arc provides you with cloud-native management technologies for your hybrid cloud environment here, and you can find the documentation for Azure Arc enabled servers on Microsoft Docs.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below.



Azure Arc Servers Log Analytics

Azure Log Analytics for Azure Arc Enabled Servers

In this blog post, we are going to have a quick look at how you can access Azure Log Analytics data using Azure Arc for Servers. The Azure Log Analytics agent was developed for management across virtual machines in any cloud, on-premises machines, and those monitored by System Center Operations Manager. The Windows and Linux agents send collected data from different sources to your Log Analytics workspace in Azure Monitor, as well as any unique logs or metrics as defined in a monitoring solution. When you want to access these logs and run queries against these logs, you will need to have access to the Azure Log Analytics workspace. However, in many cases, you don’t want everyone having access to the full workspace. Azure Arc for Servers provides RBAC access to log data collected by the Log Analytics agent, stored in the Log Analytics workspace the machine is registered.

Introducing Azure Arc
For customers who want to simplify complex and distributed environments across on-premises, edge and multicloud, Azure Arc enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure.
Learn more about Azure Arc here.

How to enable Log Analytics for Azure Arc Enabled Servers

To enable log collection, you will need to install the Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) on your Azure Arc enabled server. You can do this manually for Windows and Linux machines, or you can use the new extension for Azure Arc enabled servers. If you already have the MMA agent installed, you can start using logs in Azure Arc immediately.

Create Microsoft Monitoring Agent - Azure Arc

Create Microsoft Monitoring Agent – Azure Arc

After you have installed the agent, it can take a couple of minutes until the log data shows up in the Azure Log Analytics workspace. After the logs are collected in the workspace, you can access them with Azure Arc.

Azure Arc Servers Log Analytics

Azure Arc Servers Log Analytics

Now you can run queries using the Keyword Query Language (KQL) as you would in the Azure Log Analytics workspace, but limited to the logs for that specific server.

Conclusion

With Azure Arc for Servers, we can use role-based access controls to logs from a specific server running on-prem or at another cloud provider, without having access to all the logs in the log analytics workspace.

You can learn more about how Azure Arc provides you with cloud-native management technologies for your hybrid cloud environment here, and you can find the documentation for Azure Arc enabled servers on Microsoft Docs.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below.