Category: Cloud

Handwritten Email using Outlook

Handwritten Emails and Drawings using Outlook

In the latest Office Insider Fast build for Outlook (1907 Build 11727.20034), you now get the feature to create drawings or handwritten emails in Outlook using your finger or pen. This is great if you want to give your email a more personal touch or quickly create a drawing to explain something quickly. It works with touch, Pens (like the Surface Pen) or even with a mouse or trackpad.

The Outlook team mentions a couple of scenarios for this:

  • Insert a drawing canvas and start inking in an Outlook Email.
  • Insert a picture and ink directly on it with a stylus or Surface Pen
  • Play tic-tac-toe with a colleague and ink continuously on the same drawing canvas by replying back and forth.
  • Save your ink in drafts and reopen them to continue working.
  • Copy and paste ink and drawing canvases from other apps.
  • Use multiple drawing canvases in one email and draw in all of them.

Release notes

If you are running the Office Insider Fast builds on your machine, you can find the notes in “What’s New”.

Office Insider Release Notes Drawing in Outlook

How to enable drawing and handwritten emails in Outlook

If you want to use drawing in Outlook, the Draw tab is enabled by default on touch-enabled devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro. If you are not on a touch-enabled device, you can go to Customize Ribbon and select the Draw tab, to use a mouse or trackpad.

I hope this gives you a quick look at Ink in Outlook and how you can create handwritten emails and drawings within an email.  If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Experts Live Netherlands 2019 - Tech panel

Speaking at Experts Live Netherlands 2019 Breakout and Tech Panel!

I am happy to let you know that I will be speaking again at Experts Live Netherlands 2019! Experts Live Netherlands 2019 will take place on 6 June 2019 in Den Bosch. I have excellent professional and personal memories from the latest Experts Live Netherlands conference, and it is always a tremendous honor to speak at a such a great event. This year again, I will be talking about Windows Server 2019 and how it is will enable your hybrid datacenter.

Besides my Windows Server 2019 breakout session, I am proud to also be part of the keynote tech panel with Mary-Jo Foley, Paul Thurrott, and Marc van Eijk.

Windows Server 2019 - The Next big thing for Hybrid Cloud

Join this session for the best of Windows Server 2019, about the 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 of 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!

There are still a couple of tickets left, so make sure you reserve yours soon! Our Microsoft Azure Cloud Advocates team with Anthony Bartolo, Orin Thomas and I, are hoping to see you there!



Azure OpenVPN Support

OpenVPN support in Azure VPN gateways

Today, the Azure networking team announced the General Availability (GA) of OpenVPN protocol in Azure VPN gateways for P2S connectivity. OpenVPN is an open-source software that implements a virtual private network (VPN) connectivity. Since OpenVPN is widely used in the industry, a lot of devices already have an OpenVPN client built-in. OpenVPN support for Azure VPN gateways should make it easy to set up new VPN connectivity to Azure virtual networks.

To use OpenVPN, you can now just simply select the tunnel type OpenVPN. You can find more information about how to set up an Azure VPN gateway on here.

We are announcing General Availability (GA) of OpenVPN protocol in Azure VPN gateways for P2S connectivity. OpenVPN is a popular open source VPN protocol supported in all major platforms (Windows, macOSX, Linux, Android) and available pre-installed on several WiFi routers and IOT devices. Adding OpenVPN protocol to Azure P2S VPN greatly expands our client footprint for TLS/SSL-based VPN customers and ecosystem.

– Ali Zaman, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft

To enable OpenVPN on your gateway you can run the following Azure PowerShell commands. Make sure that the gateway is already configured for point-to-site (IKEv2 or SSTP) before running the following commands:

$gw = Get-AzVirtualNetworkGateway -ResourceGroupName $rgname -name $name
Set-AzVirtualNetworkGateway -VirtualNetworkGateway $gw -VpnClientProtocol OpenVPN

You can find more information about OpenVPN support in Azure on Microsoft Docs:

Next to the Windows Server Azure Network Adapter, which allowed you to configure P2S VPN for Windows Server directly from Windows Admin Center, this is another step to make connectivity to Azure even easier. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

If you want to learn more about Azure networking in general, check out the recording from my Microsoft Ignite The Tour session in Amsterdam, where I was speaking about the basics of building a Hybrid Connectivity with Microsoft Azure.



How to Install AzCopy

How to Install AzCopy for Azure Storage

AzCopy is a command-line tool to manage and copy blobs or files to or from a storage account. It also allows you to sync storage accounts and move files from Amazon S3 to Azure storage. In this blog post, I will cover how to install AzCopy on Windows, Linux, macOS, or in update the version in the Azure Cloud Shell.

AzCopy v10 is now generally available to all of our customers and provides higher throughput and more efficient data movement compared to the earlier version of AzCopy (v8). Version 10 also adds additional functionality like sync of blob storage accounts and much more.

Install AzCopy

You can get the latest version of AzCopy from here: Get started with AzCopy

Install AzCopy on Windows

To install AzCopy on Windows, you can run the following PowerShell script, or you can download the zip file and run it from where ever you want. This script will add the AzCopy folder location to your system path so that you can run the AzCopy command from anywhere.

 
#Download AzCopy
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri "https://aka.ms/downloadazcopy-v10-windows" -OutFile AzCopy.zip -UseBasicParsing
 
#Curl.exe option (Windows 10 Spring 2018 Update (or later))
curl.exe -L -o AzCopy.zip https://aka.ms/downloadazcopy-v10-windows
 
#Expand Archive
Expand-Archive ./AzCopy.zip ./AzCopy -Force
 
#Move AzCopy to the destination you want to store it
Get-ChildItem ./AzCopy/*/azcopy.exe | Move-Item -Destination "C:\Users\thmaure\AzCopy\AzCopy.exe"
 
#Add your AzCopy path to the Windows environment PATH (C:\Users\thmaure\AzCopy in this example), e.g., using PowerShell:
$userenv = [System.Environment]::GetEnvironmentVariable("Path", "User")
[System.Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("PATH", $userenv + ";C:\Users\thmaure\AzCopy", "User")

Install AzCopy on Linux

To install AzCopy on Linux, you can run the following shell script, or you can download the tar file and run it from where ever you want. This script will put the AzCopy executable into the /usr/bin folder so that you can run it from anywhere.

 
#Download AzCopy
wget https://aka.ms/downloadazcopy-v10-linux
 
#Expand Archive
tar -xvf downloadazcopy-v10-linux
 
#(Optional) Remove existing AzCopy version
sudo rm /usr/bin/azcopy
 
#Move AzCopy to the destination you want to store it
sudo cp ./azcopy_linux_amd64_*/azcopy /usr/bin/

Authorize with Azure Storage

When you start working with Azure Storage, you have two options to authorize against the Azure Storage. You can provide authorization credentials by using Azure Active Directory (AD), or by using a Shared Access Signature (SAS) token.

It also depends on which services you want to use.

Storage typeSupported method
Blob storageAzure AD and SAS
Blob storage (hierarchical namespace)Azure AD
File storageSAS only

Authenticate using Azure AD

To authenticate with AzCopy using Azure AD, you can use the following command

 
azcopy login

Authenticate using SAS token

To authenticate with AzCopy using a SAS token you can use this command as an example

 
azcopy cp "C:\local\path" "https://account.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer1/?sv=2018-03-28&ss=bjqt&srt=sco&sp=rwddgcup&se=2019-05-01T05:01:17Z&st=2019-04-30T21:01:17Z&spr=https&sig=MGCXiyEzbtttkr3ewJIh2AR8KrghSy1DGM9ovN734bQF4%3D" --recursive=true

To make things easier you can use Azure PowerShell to generate the SAS token for you. I wrote a blog post on ITOPSTALK.com about how you can do that. You can get the SAS token using the following Azure PowerShell command. If you are running Linux or macOS, you can find on this blog post, how to install PowerShell 6.

 
Connect-AzAccount
Get-AzSubscription
 
$subscriptionId = "yourSubscriptionId"
$storageAccountRG = "demo-azcopy-rg"
$storageAccountName = "tomsaccount"
$storageContainerName = "images"
$localPath = "C:\temp\images"
 
Select-AzSubscription -SubscriptionId $SubscriptionId
 
$storageAccountKey = (Get-AzStorageAccountKey -ResourceGroupName $storageAccountRG -AccountName $storageAccountName).Value[0]
 
$destinationContext = New-AzStorageContext -StorageAccountName $storageAccountName -StorageAccountKey $storageAccountKey
 
$containerSASURI = New-AzStorageContainerSASToken -Context $destinationContext -ExpiryTime(get-date).AddSeconds(3600) -FullUri -Name $storageContainerName -Permission rw
 
azcopy copy $localPath $containerSASURI --recursive

To learn more about SAS tokens, check out Using shared access signatures (SAS).

I hope this helps you to install AzCopy and configure it. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Experts Live Switzerland 2019

Speaking at Experts Live Switzerland 2019

I’m excited to be chosen again as a speaker at Experts Live Switzerland 2019. Experts Live Switzerland 2019 will take place on June 20 in the new Workspace Welle 7 in ​Bern Switzerland. Experts Live Switzerland is a one-day event with 17 sessions in three parallel tracks focusing on Microsoft Cloud, Datacenter and Workplace Management topics, with Microsoft MVPs, speakers from Microsoft and other industry experts.

I am happy to speak about Microsoft Azure Stack and how you can extend Azure to your locations. I will also give an overview of the newly announced Azure Stack HCI solutions.

Extend the Intelligent Cloud to the Edge with Azure Stack and Azure Stack HCI

Azure Stack allows you to extend Azure to your datacenter and run Azure Services under your terms. With Azure Stack HCI, the latest member in the Azure Stack family, we also offer a great hyper-converged infrastructure solution, with optional Azure connected services. Find out more about Azure Stack and Azure Stack HCI, how these solutions can help you to in your Hybrid Cloud strategy. 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.

Experts Live Switzerland 2019 is limited to only 200 attendees, so make sure you reserve your ticket right now! There will be a lot of other great sessions and a lot of experts from the Microsoft Cloud community. One of the main advantages of joining the Experts Live events is that you get this great networking opportunity to learn from each other.

Some more information about the conference:

  • 1-day event
  • In the heart of Switzerland (Bern)
  • Keynote about Azure Switzerland
  • 17 sessions
  • 3 parallel tracks
  • Top Community speakers
  • limited to 200 attendees
  • Partner booths in the expo hall
  • modern location
  • focusing on Microsoft Cloud Technology

I hope to see you all there!



Azure Saturday 2019 Munich

Speaking at the Azure Saturday 2019 in Munich

Azure Saturday Munich is a free community-focused Azure event dedicated to educating and engaging members of the local technical community. Azure Saturday draws upon the expertise of local Azure IT professionals, developers and solutions architects who come together to share their real-world experiences, lessons learned, best practices, and general knowledge with other like-minded individuals. With 30 speakers delivering 25 sessions in front of 500 attendees. I am happy that this year I will be speaking about the Azure Cloud Shell on the Azure Saturday 2019 on May 18 in Munich.

Mastering Azure using Cloud Shell, PowerShell and Bash!

Azure can be managed in many different ways. Learn your command line options like Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI and Cloud Shell to be more efficient in managing your Azure infrastructure. Become a hero on the shell to manage the cloud!

If you want to use your Saturday to learn about Azure, come by and I hope to see you there!



Cloud Shell Configure Port Web Preview

Preview Web Apps with Azure Cloud Shell Web Preview

If you have worked with the Azure Cloud Shell in the last couple of days, you might have seen a new button called Web Preview. The Azure Cloud Shell Web preview feature allows you to run web applications on the Cloud Shell container instance and preview them before you deploy them. You can run web applications that listen to HTTP requests on the Cloud Shell from port 1025-8079 and 8091-49151.

If you are running for example a .NET Core application in Cloud Shell, you can preview this to the Cloud Shell gateway.

I have created a short video tutorial to show you the Azure Cloud Shell Web preview feature.

How to use the Cloud Shell Web Preview

First you need to run your application, in my case I run a simple .NET Core web application. This also works with other applications which can run in Cloud Shell and can map a local port.

Cloud Shell Web Preview dotnet

 
dotnet run

By default, this will use port 5000. Now you can create a simple port mapping by clicking on the Web Preview button in Cloud Shell.

Cloud Shell Configure Web Preview

This will open up the configuration menu to create the port mapping, where you can select port to use from 1025-8079 and 8091-49151.

Cloud Shell Configure Port Web Preview

Now you can access the application running inside your Cloud Shell container through the gateway, to preview your application.

Web Preview

I hope this was helpful and gave you a quick overview about the Web Preview feature in Cloud Shell. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

You can run Azure Cloud Shell from in the Azure Portal or directly from shell.azure.com.

If you want to learn more about Cloud Shell, check out my video about Mastering Azure using Cloud Shell.