Category: Azure Stack HCI

Azure Unblogged - Azure Stack HCI and the Future

Azure Unblogged – Azure Stack HCI and the Future

You might have seen last week’s Azure Unblogged video with Holly Lehman where we talked about Microsoft feedback and customer engagement programs. This week, I had the honor to publish an Azure Unblogged video with Carmen Crincoli (Senior Program Manager) to talk about the Azure Stack HCI solution program, why it was created, the value it provides to customers, and some of the work we’re doing to engage with customers to improve future versions of the product.

You can watch the video on Microsoft Channel 9.

Azure Stack HCI is a hyper-converged Windows Server 2019 cluster that uses validated hardware to run virtualized workloads on-premises. And allows you to optionally connect to Azure Hybrid services for cloud-based backup, Site Recovery, and more. This allows you to take advantage of the Microsoft Hybrid Cloud services to make your on-premises environment even better.

If you want to learn more about Azure Stack HCI, check out the following links:

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 – Azure Stack HCI and the Future video and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel here.



Microsoft Ignite The Tour Amsterdam 2019 Thomas Maurer Speaking

Speaking at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2020 Amsterdam

I am happy to let you know that I will be speaking at Microsoft Ignite The Tour in Amsterdam. This will be my stop number 7 for Microsoft Ignite The Tour (MITT) 2019-2020 after Shenzhen, London, Milan, Prague, Copenhagen, and my home tour stop in Zürich, Switzerland. Last year I had a lot of fun at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2019. For those who haven’t heard of MITT yet, Microsoft Ignite The Tour brings the very best of Microsoft Ignite to a city near you. The tour provides technical training led by Microsoft experts and your community. You’ll learn new ways to build solutions, migrate and manage infrastructure, and connect with local industry leaders and peers.

  • Date: March 11-12, 2020
  • Location: RAI Amsterdam

By the way, if you are interested in taking a Microsoft certification exam for free, check out the following blog post: Free Microsoft Certification exam voucher at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2020. We also offer free certification vouchers at Microsoft Ignite in Amsterdam.

Microsoft Ignite The Tour Amsterdam

Our industry-leading conference is hitting the road—and coming to a city near you. You don’t want to miss the very latest in cloud technologies and developer tools with guest speakers, industry experts, and more. Get on the list today!

I will be speaking in the Microsoft Ignite The Tour learning paths. I am thrilled to show you some cool stuff about PowerShell, Windows Server 2019, Windows Admin Center, Azure Arc, and much more! I will be presenting the following sessions:

MSI20 - Hybrid management technologies

Tailwind Traders has now migrated the majority of their server hosts from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2019. Now, they are interested in the Azure hybrid technologies that are readily available to them. In this session, learn how Tailwind Traders began using Windows Admin Center and Azure Arc to manage its fleet of Windows Server computers and integrated hybrid technologies, such as Azure File Sync, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Update Management, to improve deployment performance and manageability.

MCO20 - Azure governance and management

Tailwind Traders’ deployments are occurring in an ad hoc manner, primarily driven by lack of protocol and unapproved decisions by various operators or employees. Some deployments even violate the organization’s compliance obligations, such as being deployed in an unencrypted manner without DR protection. After bringing their existing IaaS VM fleet under control, Tailwind Traders wants to ensure future deployments comply with policy and organizational requirements. In this session, walk through the processes and technologies that will keep Tailwind Traders’ deployments in good standing with the help of Azure Blueprints, Azure Policy, role-based access control (RBAC), and more.

I am looking forward to speaking at Microsoft Ignite The Tour (MITT) 2019-2020 in Amsterdam. Let me know in the comments if you are going too, and I hope to see you there!



Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2020

Speaking at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2020 Prague

After my first three Microsoft Ignite The Tour (MITT) stops in Shenzhen, London, and Milan, I am happy and honored that my fourth stop of Microsoft Ignite The Tour will be in Prague. By the way, if you are interested in taking a Microsoft certification exam for free, check out the following blog post: Free Microsoft Certification exam voucher at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2020. We also offer the free certification vouchers at Microsoft Ignite in Prague.

  • Date: February 24–25, 2020
  • Location: Prague Congress Centre

Microsoft Ignite The Tour Prague

Our industry-leading conference is hitting the road—and coming to a city near you. You don’t want to miss the very latest in cloud technologies and developer tools with guest speakers, industry experts, and more. Get on the list today!

I will be speaking in the Microsoft Ignite The Tour learning paths. I am thrilled to show you some cool stuff about PowerShell, Windows Server 2019, Windows Admin Center, Azure Arc, and much more! I will be presenting the following sessions:

MSI20 - Hybrid management technologies

Tailwind Traders has now migrated the majority of their server hosts from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2019. Now, they are interested in the Azure hybrid technologies that are readily available to them. In this session, learn how Tailwind Traders began using Windows Admin Center and Azure Arc to manage its fleet of Windows Server computers and integrated hybrid technologies, such as Azure File Sync, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Update Management, to improve deployment performance and manageability.

MCO20 - Azure governance and management

Tailwind Traders’ deployments are occurring in an ad hoc manner, primarily driven by lack of protocol and unapproved decisions by various operators or employees. Some deployments even violate the organization’s compliance obligations, such as being deployed in an unencrypted manner without DR protection. After bringing their existing IaaS VM fleet under control, Tailwind Traders wants to ensure future deployments comply with policy and organizational requirements. In this session, walk through the processes and technologies that will keep Tailwind Traders’ deployments in good standing with the help of Azure Blueprints, Azure Policy, role-based access control (RBAC), and more.

I am looking forward to speaking at Microsoft Ignite The Tour (MITT) 2019-2020 in Prague. Let me know in the comments if you are going too, and I hope to see you there!



How to Learn Microsoft Azure in 2020

How to Learn Microsoft Azure in 2020

The year 2019 is almost over, and usually, we take the time to look back at the year and also to find some New Year’s resolutions for the new year. Why not take all that energy and prepare for the cloud computing era and advance your career by learning Microsoft Azure. In this post, I try to give you a quick look at how you can get started to learn Microsoft Azure in 2020.

Azure hands-on experience

There is nothing better than hands-on experience, so get started with a free Azure account. Your Azure free account includes a limited quantity of free services for 12 months. Within these limits, you have the flexibility to use the free services in various configurations to meet your needs.

Learn with Free Azure services

Learn with Free Azure services

To learn more, see the Azure free account FAQ

Create free Azure Account ☁

Create your Azure free account today and get started with 12 months of free services!

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn was introduced at Ignite 2018 as a free learning platform for a lot of different Microsoft technologies, not just Azure. Microsoft Learn provides you with various learning paths depending on your job role or the skills you are looking for. Most of the learning paths give you a hands-on learning opportunity so that you can develop practical skills through interactive training. And it is free! You get instant in-browser access to Microsoft tools and modules, no credit card required.

Microsoft Learn 🎓

Up your game with a module or learning path tailored to today’s IT Pro, developer, and technology masterminds and designed to prepare you for industry-recognized Microsoft certifications.

Become Microsoft Azure Certified

Another great option to learn and verify your skills is to take Microsoft Azure certification exams. A couple of months back, I wrote a series of blog posts on why you should become Microsoft Azure certified, how you prepare for Microsoft Azure exams, and how you take and pass Microsoft certification exams. Taking the new role-based Microsoft certification exams will help you to find the right topics and structure to learn, depending on your current or future job role you are looking for.

Microsoft Certification

Earn certifications that show you are keeping pace with today’s technical roles and requirements.

If you are just getting started with Azure, have a look at the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam. You can also have a look at my experience with the different Azure exam certifications:

Exam Study Guides

I also wrote a couple of Microsoft certification exam study guides, which might help you as well.

More resources to learn Azure in 2020

There are a couple of more resources I want to point you to, to get started and learn Microsoft Azure in 2020.

Azure Architecture Center

Azure Architecture Center

  • Azure Architecture Center – The Azure Architecture Center contains guidance for building end-to-end solutions on Microsoft Azure. Here you will find reference architectures, best practices, design patterns, scenario guides, and reference implementations.
  • Cloud Adoption Framework – The Cloud Adoption Framework is the One Microsoft approach to cloud adoption in Azure, consolidating, and sharing best practices from Microsoft employees, partners, and customers. The framework gives customers a set of tools, guidance, and narratives that help shape technology, business, and people strategies for driving desired business outcomes during their adoption effort. This guidance aligns to the following phases of the cloud adoption lifecycle, like Strategy, Plan, Ready, Migrate, Innovate, Govern, and Manage.
  • Azure Migration Center – Get all the tools and resources you need to migrate your apps, data, and infrastructure at your own pace, with confidence.
  • Azure Architecture Framework – A successful cloud solution requires to focus on these five pillars of architecture excellence: Cost, DevOps, Resiliency, Scalability, and Security. The Azure Architecture Framework helps you to build on these pillars.
  • Application architecture guide – The Azure Application Architecture Guide presents a structured approach for designing applications on Azure that are scalable, resilient, and highly available. It is based on proven practices that we have learned from customer engagements.
  • Azure Cloud Design Patterns – The Azure Cloud Design Patterns are useful for building reliable, scalable, secure applications in the cloud. Each pattern describes the problem that the pattern addresses, considerations for applying the pattern, and an example based on Microsoft Azure. Most of the patterns include code samples or snippets that show how to implement the pattern on Azure.
  • Azure Reference Architectures – The Reference Architectures are a set of recommended architectures for Azure. Each architecture includes best practices, prescriptive steps, and a deployable solution.
  • Architectural decision guides – The architectural decision guides in the Cloud Adoption Framework describe patterns and models that help when creating cloud governance design guidance.
  • Cloud Operating model – Establish an operating model for the cloud
  • Get started guide for Azure developers – The get started guide helps developers to get started with Azure and tools.
  • Azure Quickstart Templates – Deploy Azure resources through the Azure Resource Manager with community contributed templates to get more done. Deploy, learn, fork, and contribute back.
  • Code samples – Get started with Microsoft developer tools and technologies. Explore our samples and discover the things you can build.
  • Azure Hybrid – Learn about Azure Hybrid Cloud with features and services like Azure Stack, Azure Arc, and many more.
  • Azure for AWS Professionals – This article helps Amazon Web Services (AWS) experts understand the basics of Microsoft Azure accounts, platform, and services. It also covers key similarities and differences between the AWS and Azure platforms.
  • Azure Security – Learn about Azure and security
  • Azure compliance – Get an overview of compliance in Microsoft Azure, with more than 90 compliance offerings
  • Azure privacy – Learn more about Azure data privacy and protection.
  • Service Level Agreements (SLA) – Read the SLAs to learn about our uptime guarantees and downtime credit policies.
  • Azure pricing – learn about how Azure pricing works and how you can save costs and get the best value at every stage of your cloud journey.
  • TCO Calculator – Estimate the cost savings you can realize by migrating your workloads to Azure.
  • Azure Support Plans – Explore the range of Azure support options and choose the plan that best fits, whether you’re a developer just starting your cloud journey or a large organization deploying business-critical, strategic applications.

I hope these resources give you a great summary of how you can start learning Azure in 2020. If you have any questions, or you feel that some resources are missing, let me know in the comments. Also, subscribe to my blog to learn about the latest updates.



Video Microsoft Ignite Live 2019 - Azure Stack HCI

Video Microsoft Ignite Live 2019 – Azure Stack HCI

At Microsoft Ignite 2019, I had the chance to interview different people across the Microsoft product groups on the Microsoft Ignite Live stage. In the next couple of weeks, I will share with you the links to the recordings of these videos. In this video, I was able to speak to Cosmos Darwin from the Windows Server team about how to get started with Azure Stack HCI. Azure Stack HCI is another part of the Microsoft Azure Stack portfolio, next to Azure Stack Hub and Azure Stack Edge.

Video: Azure Stack HCI

Hyperconverged infrastructure is rapidly becoming the most common way to deploy servers. Join Cosmos Darwin from the Azure Stack HCI team to how affordable and approachable HCI can be!

Azure Stack HCI is a hyper-converged Windows Server 2019 cluster that uses validated hardware to run virtualized workloads on-premises. You can also optionally connect to Azure services for cloud-based backup, site-recovery, and more. Azure Stack HCI solutions use Microsoft-validated hardware to ensure optimal performance and reliability and include support for technologies such as NVMe drives, persistent memory, and remote-direct memory access (RDMA) networking.

Azure Stack HCI is a solution that combines several products:

  • Hardware from an OEM partner
  • Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition
  • Windows Admin Center
  • Azure services (optional)

I hope this gives you a short overview of Azure Stack HCI. You can check out the following links to get more information:

Microsoft Ignite 2019 was a lot of fun, and you can also watch my session about Hybrid Cloud Management at Microsoft Ignite. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Video Microsoft Ignite Live 2019 - Hyper-V Containers

Video Microsoft Ignite Live – Hyper-V and Containers

This is the last set of recordings of Microsoft Ignite Live stage recordings I am going to share. Today I am going to share two videos, in one I had the chance to speak with Craig Wilhite and Vinicius Apolinario about why you should care about containers and how to get started. In the second one, I spoke with Ben Armstrong from the Hyper-V team about some of the great fun bits the team is doing.

Video: Windows Container

A lot has been said about containers recently, but why should you care? Containers are not an “all or nothing” situation and understanding when they can be beneficial is key to a successful implementation. Come and learn from the containers team how you can get started with this technology and some tips and tricks that will help you with your containerization journey!

Video: Hyper-V

Ben Armstrong, Principal Program Manager on the Hyper-V team talks about some of the challenging, interesting, quirky, and just fun changes that have happened in virtualization over the last year.

I hope this gives you a quick look at some of the fun parts the Hyper-V team is doing with containers and Hyper-V. You can check out the following links to get more information:

Microsoft Ignite 2019 was a lot of fun, and you can also watch my session about Hybrid Cloud Management at Microsoft Ignite. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Azure Cloud Shell in Windows Admin Center

Run Azure Cloud Shell in Windows Admin Center

As you know Windows Admin Center enables you to not just manage Windows Server machines with a web-based user interface, but also to easily connect Azure Hybrid services to your on-premises Windows Server environment. Windows Admin Center allows you to connect services like Azure File Sync, Azure Update Management, Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery and many more to your Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI environment. With the latest release of Windows Admin Center (WAC) which was announced at Microsoft Ignite 2019, we get another hybrid cloud feature. We get a new Azure Cloud Shell extension in Windows Admin Center. Azure Cloud Shell is an interactive, authenticated, browser-accessible shell for managing Azure resources. It provides the flexibility of choosing the shell experience that best suits the way you work, either Bash or PowerShell. We are able to use Cloud Shell directly from the Azure portal, shell.azure.com, in Visual Studio Code, in the new Windows Terminal or even in the Azure mobile app. Now with the new solution/extension, administrators can also run Cloud Shell directly within WAC.

How to run Azure Cloud Shell in Windows Admin Center

First, you will need to enable and install the new Azure Cloud Shell solution. For that open Windows Admin Center, go to Settings and in the menu click on Extensions.

Extensions

Extensions

Under available extensions, you will find the new Azure Cloud Shell (Preview) extension. Click on Install, the WAC portal will refresh automatically.

After the page has refreshed, the Cloud Shell option will show up in the top menu.

Start Cloud Shell in Windows Admin Center

Start Cloud Shell in Windows Admin Center

If you start Azure Cloud Shell for the first time, you will need to login to Azure.

After that, you can run the PowerShell or Bash experience, depending on what you prefer. You also have access to the clouddrive which comes with Cloud Shell.

Azure Cloud Shell in Windows Admin Center

Azure Cloud Shell in Windows Admin Center

In that, you can run tools like the Azure CLI, Azure PowerShell and much more. If you want to learn more about Azure Cloud Shell, check out my blog post, Mastering Azure with Cloud Shell. Windows Admin Center is a free download to use with your Windows Servers, you can download Windows Admin Center here. If you want to know more about the Hybrid capabilities, check out my blog post on ITOpsTalk.com.

I hope this gives you an overview of how you can run Azure Cloud Shell in Windows Admin Center. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.