Category: Microsoft

Manage Hybrid Server Management Survey with Azure Arc

Microsoft Azure Arc-enabled Servers Survey 2022

We want to learn from you about hybrid server management, so the team build a Microsoft Azure Arc-enabled servers survey 2022.

Give us your thoughts on hybrid server management with Azure Arc! Take the survey at https://aka.ms/ArcServersSurveyLI for a chance to win a $300 virtual gift card!

This survey asks about your experience with trying, using, and/or advocating for Azure Arc-enabled servers and reasons to use it or not. Our goal is to make managing on-premises, hybrid and/or multi-cloud infrastructure easier for you.

Previous experience with Azure Arc-enabled servers is NOT required to participate in this survey. Your feedback will help us shape the future of our products.

There are three parts in this survey, and it will take about 12-15 minutes to complete.

Open only to people 18+ using servers/VM infrastructure. Ends 9/30/22. For details, see Official Rules.

Thank you for taking the Azure Arc-enabled Servers Survey 2022!



Speaking at MCT Summit 2022 Hybrid Cloud with Azure Arc

Speaking at the European MCT Summit 2022

I am happy to let you know that I will be speaking at the European Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Summit 2022 in Zürich, Switzerland from September 12-14th. I will be delivering two sessions around Azure Hybrid Cloud and some soft skill topic on how to deliver great tech demos.

Hybrid and Multicloud with Azure Arc

For customers who want to simplify complex and distributed environments across on-premises, edge and multi-cloud, Azure Arc enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure. In this session, Thomas Maurer will demonstrate the new Azure Arc capabilities for your Hybrid environment. This session includes an overview of the different features such as:

  • Multi and Hybrid Cloud Governance
  • Using Azure as a Control plane for Linux, Windows Server, Kubernetes cluster, SQL DBs
  • Azure Kubernetes Service in your datacenter and edge
  • Deploy Azure services such as Logic Apps, Web Apps, Azure SQL, and many more anywhere

How To Create Great Tech Demos And Presentations

Delivering great demos can be the key to delivering a great presentation. In the last decade Thomas delivered hundreds of presentations at different events around the world, in-person and online.
In this session you will learn how to set up your computer to deliver great demonstrations to make sure your audience can follow and get excited about what you are showing.

I hope to see you at the European Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Summit 2022 in Zürich!



Start PowerShell Script Runbook on Hybrid Worker with Azure Arc

Run PowerShell Scripts with Azure Automation Hybrid Workers on-premises using Azure Arc

If you want to automate your on-premises environment Azure Arc enabled Server is a great offering to onboard Azure management services such as Azure Monitor, Defender for Cloud, and many others. One of the integrations is with Azure Automation Hybrid Worker. This allows you to run Azure Automation PowerShell or Phyton runbooks on-premises directly on your Azure Arc enabled servers. In this blog post we are going to have a look on how you can run your PowerShell scripts on-premises using Azure Automation Hybrid Workers with Azure Arc.

Azure Automation Hybrid Runbook Worker with Azure Arc
Azure Automation Hybrid Runbook Worker with Azure Arc

Create Azure Automation Account

First, you will need to create an Azure Automation account, this is very straight forward.

Create Azure Automation Account
Create Azure Automation Account

On the Advanced tab, you can configure the managed identity option for your new Automation account. This is the identity under which the runbook can sign in into Azure PowerShell for example. In this case I am going to use a System assigned identity.

Check out Microsoft Docs for more information.

Connect Server to Azure using Azure Arc

To connect a server running on-premises or at another cloud provider to Azure using Azure Arc, you can simply go to the Azure Portal to the Azure Arc Center and select Azure Arc enabled servers. Here you can click on the “Add” button and you can run through the onboarding wizard. To learn more, check out my blog post here on connect a Hybrid Server to Azure using Azure Arc.

Azure Arc Onboarding Script
Azure Arc Onboarding Script

You learn more about onboarding Azure Arc enabled servers here on Microsoft Docs.

Create Hybrid Worker Group

Now you can create and maintain hybrid worker groups for running hybrid jobs, which provides resiliency to run jobs across multiple hybrid workers. With extension-based hybrid worker (preview), both Azure machines and non-Azure machines (through Arc enabled server) can be managed through ARM templates and policies.

To create you a hybrid worker which can be Windows and Linux servers, you provide a name, and you can also add custom credentials to run the script.

Create Hybrid Woker Group
Create Hybrid Woker Group

You will also select the hybrid workers (Azure Arc enabled Servers) you want to run the scripts on.

Hybrid Worker Group Azure Arc enabled Servers
Hybrid Worker Group Azure Arc enabled Servers

This process will automatically install the Hybrid Worker Extension.

User Hybrid Worker Groups
User Hybrid Worker Groups

You can always add or remove hybrid workers from the hybrid worker group.

Azure Automation hybrid Workers with Azure Arc-enabled server
Azure Automation hybrid Workers with Azure Arc-enabled server

You can learn more here on Microsoft Docs.

Create a new Azure Automation Runbook

You can create a new Azure Automation PowerShell runbook, which will host the script you are going to run or schedule. Depending on what version of runbook runtime you are choosing you need to prepare the host by installing PowerShell 7 or Python.

Azure Automation PowerShell Runbook
Azure Automation PowerShell Runbook

Here you can now add your PowerShell script.

PowerShell Script
PowerShell Script

Run and schedule PowerShell scripts as Azure Automation runbooks on hybrid workers connected with Azure Arc

You can now run and schedule PowerShell scripts as Azure Automation runbooks on hybrid workers connected with Azure Arc. When you run the runbook, you can now select on which hybrid worker group this script should be running.

Start PowerShell Script Runbook on Hybrid Worker with Azure Arc
Start PowerShell Script Runbook on Hybrid Worker with Azure Arc

Now you can monitor the job and the output:

Azure Arc Hybrid Runbook Output
Azure Arc Hybrid Runbook Output

You can also schedule a runbook on a specific schedule. Simply click on “Link to schedule” and select or create a schedule and set parameters as well as run book settings to run on the Hybrid Runbook Workers.

Schedule and Configure Hybrid Runbook settings
Schedule and Configure Hybrid Runbook settings

Example for schedule:

Create Runbook Schedule
Create Runbook Schedule

Conclusion

I hope that post was helpful and showed you how you can run PowerShell Scripts with Azure Automation Hybrid Workers on-premises using Azure Arc. Let me in the comments if you have any questions.



Speaking at Experts Live Germany 2022

Speaking at Experts Live Germany 2022

I am honored to share with you that I will be speaking at the first Experts Live Germany 2022 on September 8 in Erfurt, Germany. I will be talking about an Azure Arc overview and how you can use it to deliver Hybrid and multicloud management.

Azure Arc Overview

For customers who want to simplify complex and distributed environments across on-premises, edge and multi-cloud, Azure Arc enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure. In this session, Thomas Maurer will demonstrate the new Azure Arc capabilities for your Hybrid environment. This session includes an overview of the different features such as:

  • Multi and Hybrid Cloud Governance
  • Using Azure as a Control plane for Linux, Windows Server, Kubernetes cluster, SQL DBs
  • Azure Kubernetes Service in your datacenter and edge
  • Deploy Azure services such as Logic Apps, Web Apps, Azure SQL, and many more anywhere

About Experts Live

Experts Live is a non-profit organization based in The Netherlands that has a mission to “enable sharing of knowledge and experience about Microsoft technologies worldwide” and was founded by Maarten Goet (MVP, RD).

In our mission to “enable sharing of knowledge and experience about Microsoft technologies worldwide” we are very proud where we are today. On 4 continents around the world at least 7 international Experts Live events are happening reaching over 5000+ people. In the meantime, we are in talks with others to join the movement in 2018 and we expected to reach the other 2 continents next year already. Through our online means (ExpertsLive TV, etc.) we are reaching thousands more people.

I hope I see you at Experts Live Germany 2022!



Windows Server management overview

How To Manage Windows Server

In this blog post we are going to have a look at how you can manage Windows Server and what the right management tools are for you. To manage Windows Server, we offer a couple of different management tools depending on your needs, and in this blog post we are going to have a look at what the right solution is for you and how you can combine them.

Windows Server Management

As a Windows Server administrator, you’ve probably used many of the native Windows Server Microsoft Management Consoles (MMC) or PowerShell to keep the infrastructure secure and available. As the foundation of many on-premises, hybrid, and cloud native applications, the Windows Server teams have continued to invest in making the management and administration of your Windows Server instances easier by offering management tools like Azure Arc, Windows Admin Center, and System Center. These tools are designed to work together, and each have capabilities to meet you where you are in your server management needs.

Windows Server management overview
Windows Server management overview
  • Azure Arc – Azure Arc-enabled servers enables you to manage your Windows and Linux physical servers and virtual machines hosted outside of Azure, on your corporate network, or other cloud provider. This management experience is designed to be consistent with how you manage native Azure virtual machines. This allows you to manage, govern, and secure your Windows Servers with services such as Azure Policy, Microsoft Defender for Cloud, Azure Monitor, Azure Update Management, and more.
  • Windows Admin Center – If you are looking into deep Windows Server and cluster administration, Windows Admin Center is an excellent choice. Windows Admin Center is the modern evolution of “in-box” management tools, like Server Manager and MMC, and complements other management solutions. And allows to manage servers remotely using PowerShell remoting. Windows Admin Center (WAC) also offers to connect hybrid Azure management services to your on-premises Windows Server. However, Windows Admin Center allows you to manage your Windows Servers with no Azure or cloud dependency.
  • System Center – System Center allows you to stay in control of your IT infrastructure across your environment and platforms. It allows you to simplify the deployment, configuration, management, and monitoring of your infrastructure and virtualized software-defined datacenter, while increasing agility and performance.
  • Windows Server on Azure – If you are running your Windows Server on Azure, Azure natively has management tools built in to manage your Azure Virtual Machines at cloud-scale.

If you want to learn more about your different Windows Server management tools and capabilities check out the new Microsoft Docs page.

Better together Windows Server and Azure Management

Windows Server together with Microsoft Azure cloud management capabilities allows you to get even more out of your Windows Server investments. These management capabilities are great for Windows Server running on Azure, but also for Windows Server running on-premises, at the edge, or other cloud providers using Azure Arc.

Windows Server Azure Management
Windows Server Azure Management

If you want to learn more about what Azure services are available to manage your Windows Servers, check out Microsoft Docs.

If you have any questions or feedback please let me know in the comments below.



Deploy Azure Landing Zones using Azure Bicep

Deploy Azure Landing Zones using Azure Bicep

As part of the Azure Enablement Show I had the chance to speak with Jack Tracey and Jan Faurskov on how you can deploy Azure Landing Zones using Azure Bicep. We created a short video series on this topic with some live demos!

Introduction to Azure Landing Zones Bicep

Introduction to Azure Landing Zones Bicep

Azure Landing Zones are a great way for organizations to build their platforms using Microsoft Azure. In this episode of the Azure Enablement Show, Thomas is joined by Jan and Jack, from the Azure Landing Zone Bicep team for the first of three episodes that will help you deploy your Azure Landing Zone using Bicep. Be sure to watch the next two episodes, in which Jan and Jack take a deep dive and give a demonstration of how the deployment is achieved.

Azure Landing Zones Bicep – Enabling platform services

Azure Landing Zones Bicep – Enabling platform services

In this episode of the Azure Enablement Show, Thomas is joined again by Jack Tracey & Jan Faurskov from the Azure Landing Zones Bicep team to talk about how to use ALZ-Bicep to deploy the platform services that are part of the Azure Landing Zone Conceptual Architecture. Be sure to watch episode one (Introduction to Azure Landing Zones Bicep) before watching this episode.

Azure Landing Zones Bicep – Enabling landing zones

Azure Landing Zones Bicep – Enabling landing zones

In this third and final episode of the Azure Landing Zones Bicep series, Thomas is joined again by Jack Tracey & Jan Faurskov from the Azure Landing Zones Bicep team to talk about how to use Azure Landing Zones Bicep to enable an application or workload landing zone. Be sure to watch the first and second episodes before watching this one.

Resources and links

If you want to learn more, check out the following resources:



Azure Automation Runbook Script

Schedule and Run PowerShell Scripts for Azure VMs using Azure Automation

A while ago I wrote a blog post on how you can run a PowerShell or Bash script against multiple Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) using Run Command. In this blog post we are going to have a look on how you can schedule and run PowerShell and Bash scripts against Azure virtual machines (VMs) using Azure Automation. For this we are going to use Azure Run Command and Azure Automation.

Run Command can run a PowerShell or shell script within an Azure VM remotely by using the Azure Virtual Machine Agent. This scenario is especially useful when you need to run scripts against Azure VMs where you do not have network access. You use Run Command for Azure VMs through the Azure portalREST APIAzure CLI, or PowerShell. Like I showed you in my blog post on Microsoft Tech Community.

Azure Automation delivers a cloud-based automation, operating system updates, and configuration service that supports consistent management across your Azure and non-Azure environments. It offers a couple of distinctive features, in this blog we are going to use the process automation feature, which allows you to run automation inform of PowerShell runbooks. We are going to use Azure Automation to schedule the scripts to run on Azure VMs.

Set up Azure Automation Account

First, you will need to create an Azure Automation account, this is very straight forward.

Create Azure Automation Account
Create Azure Automation Account

On the Advanced tab, you can configure the managed identity option for your new Automation account. This is the identity under which the runbook can sign in into Azure PowerShell for example. In this case I am going to use a System assigned identity.

Managed Identities
Managed Identities

Check out Microsoft Docs for more information.

Set up a system assigned managed identity, role assignment and grant permissions

After you have created the Azure Automation account, you can grant permissions to the managed identity by using Azure role-based access control (Azure RBAC). The managed identity is authenticated with Azure AD, so you don’t have to store any credentials in code.

Managed Identity and assign Azure role
Managed Identity and assign Azure role

To grant permissions for the Azure VM you want the script to run against, you can create a new Azure role assignment under identity.

Role assignment for managed identity
Role assignment for managed identity

Here you can select the scope this can be on a subscription, resource group, or even resource level. In my case I want to run this script only on Azure VMs in a specific resource group, if you want to run it on a subscription level, you can change the scope.

Create an Azure Automation PowerShell Runbook

Now you can create a new Azure Automation PowerShell runbook, which will host the script you are going to run on a schedule.

Azure Automation Runbooks
Azure Automation Runbooks

For this runbook we are going to use a PowerShell type and runtime version 7.1. With PowerShell 7 and higher we can make use of the “-parallel” parameter and some other cool features.

Now you can copy and paste the following script. You need to change the $scriptCode variable with the code you want to run against your Azure VMs.

Write-Output "Connecting to azure via Connect-AzAccount -Identity"
Connect-AzAccount -Identity 
Write-Output "Successfully connected with Automation account's Managed Identity"

# Script which should run inside the Azure VMs (Edit this)
$scriptCode = '<PASTE CODE HERE>'

#Get all Azure VMs which are in running state and are running Windows
$myAzureVMs = Get-AzVM -status | Where-Object {$_.PowerState -eq "VM running" -and $_.StorageProfile.OSDisk.OSType -eq "Windows"}
Write-Output "The following VMs are running and are running Windows:" 
Write-Output $myAzureVMs.Name 

# Run the script against all the listed VMs
Write-Output "Run Script Against Machines"
$myAzureVMs | ForEach-Object { 
	Invoke-AzVMRunCommand -ResourceGroupName $_.ResourceGroupName -Name $_.Name -CommandId 'RunPowerShellScript' -ScriptString $scriptCode
}

Should look like this:

Azure Automation Runbook Script
Azure Automation Runbook Script

Make sure after you are done editing, Save and Publish the script.

Run Azure Automation Runbook PowerShell Script against Azure VMs

Now you can start the Runbook and it will run against the Azure VMs the Managed Identity has access to. No local user account and password is required to run this.

Start PowerShell Runbook
Start PowerShell Runbook

Schedule Azure Automation Runbook

If you have tested the runbook, you can now schedule it, by linking it to a schedule. For that press Link to schedule.

Create new Schedule
Create new Schedule

You will always be able to edit the schedule or unlink it from the runbook if you don’t need it anymore.

Edit Schedules
Edit Schedules

Conclusion

I hope this post was helpful and showed you how you can use Azure Automation to schedule and run PowerShell scripts against Azure VMs using Run Command. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave the below.



Microsoft Inspire Move your Azure hybrid cloud business forward with Azure Arc

Move your Azure hybrid business forward with Azure Arc Microsoft Inspire

I had the opportunity to collaborate with Sanjay Satheesh (Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft) and speak at Microsoft Inspire 2022 about how to move your Azure hybrid cloud business forward with Azure Arc. Microsoft Inspire is the largest Microsoft partner event of the year, where partners can learn more about the Microsoft Cloud, partner programs, and opportunities for you to grow your business in the year ahead.

Move your Azure hybrid business forward with Azure Arc

Microsoft Inspire Move your Azure hybrid cloud business forward with Azure Arc
Microsoft Inspire Move your Azure hybrid cloud business forward with Azure Arc

Discover what’s new for Azure Arc and Arc-enabled hybrid technologies to help our partners expand their hybrid business with ease of deployment and management. Learn how new Azure Arc capabilities including Azure Stack HCI are key to simplifying the customer and partner experience. Find out about the new accelerator program for system integrators to make it easier to deliver POCs and deployments for Azure hybrid technologies.

You can watch the session here.

About the speakers

Sanjay Satheesh
Product Marketing Manager – Microsoft
Sanjay is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Azure Arc at Microsoft in the Worldwide Azure Team. Formerly, he served customers and customers in the Asia Pacific region on different Azure services. Prior to that, he was a SAP developer working with large clients on huge SAP ABAP and FICO implementations.

Thomas Maurer
Senior PM Chief Evangelist Azure Hybrid – Microsoft
Thomas works as a Senior Program Manager & Chief Evangelist Azure Hybrid at Microsoft (Cloud + AI). He engages with the community and customers around the world to share his knowledge and collect feedback to improve the Azure hybrid cloud and edge platform. Prior to joining the Azure engineering team (Cloud + AI), Thomas was a Lead Architect and Microsoft MVP, to help architect, implement and promote Microsoft cloud technology.If you want to know more about Thomas, check out his blog: thomasmaurer.ch and Twitter: twitter.com/thomasmaurer



TechMentor 2022 Redmond Microsoft HQ

Speaking at TechMentor 2022 Redmond

TechMentor returns to Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, Washington in 2022 for more in-depth, behind the scenes IT Pro training by technical experts and Microsoft insiders. I am happy to announce that I will be one of the speakers at the TechMentor 2022 conference at the Microsoft HQ in Redmond. Since I am already on the Microsoft campus it is great to take some time to speak about some cool Azure Hybrid, Windows Server and Azure Management things. TechMentor 2022 is a 5-day conference from August 8-12, 2022 at the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond.

About TechMentor

Technology continues to advance faster than ever. As an IT Professional, it is your responsibility to stay up-to-date on all the latest tools, topics, and trends. Let the experts at TechMentor help you on your tech odyssey to improve your tech skills and achieve your learning goals.

TechMentor 2022 Redmond Featured Speakers
TechMentor 2022 Redmond Featured Speakers

My sessions at TechMentor 2022

I will be delivering two sessions about Cloud Shell and Azure Hybrid with Azure Arc and Azure Stack, as well as being part of a panel discussion.

TW04 Azure Arc Overview – Learn About Hybrid and Multicloud Management with Azure

For customers who want to simplify complex and distributed environments across on-premises, edge and multi-cloud, Azure Arc enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure. In this session, Thomas Maurer will demonstrate the new Azure Arc capabilities for your Hybrid environment. This session includes an overview of the different features such as:

  • Multi and Hybrid Cloud Governance
  • Using Azure as a Control plane for Linux, Windows Server, Kubernetes cluster, SQL DBs
  • Deploy Azure services such as Logic Apps, Web Apps, Azure SQL, and many more anywhere

You will learn:

  • About hybrid and multicloud Management
  • About Azure Arc
  • How to use Azure management and deploy Azure services anywhere

TW15 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!

You will learn:

  • About Cloud Shell, Azure CLI and Azure PowerShell
  • Some awesome management tricks
  • About how to manage your Azure systems using these tools!

TT09 Panel Discussion: The Future of Windows

Join our esteemed panelists as they discuss questions regarding the future of Windows. Will there be continued versions of LTSC editions available on-prem. Is Hybrid here to stay. Or should we just pack up our datacenters and move everything to the cloud. Find out great answers like this with our engaging moderators and panelists in this session.

Join us!

Want to experience IT training at the mothership? Join TechMentor this August as it heads to Microsoft Headquarters for a full week of training, featuring our NEW full-day Hands-On Labs. I hope to see you there!



PowerShell Conf Europe PSConfEU

Speaking at PSConf.EU 2022

I am happy and proud to let you know that I will be speaking at PowerShell Conference Europe 2022 (PSConf.EU) 2022 in Vienna on June 20-23, 2022. I will be presenting two sessions, one will be more focused on using PowerShell, CLI, and Cloud Shell to manage Azure, the second session is more of a soft skill session where I am going to show you how you can deliver great tech demos.

PSConf is a great way to learn more about PowerShell, network with other PowerShell users and experts, and a lot more. If you want to learn more about the PowerShell Conference Europe 2022 (PSConf.EU) check out the website here.

How To Create Great Tech Demos And Presentations

Delivering great demos can be the key to delivering a great presentation. In the last decade Thomas delivered hundreds of presentations at different events around the world, in-person and online.
In this session you will learn how to set up your computer to deliver great demonstrations to make sure your audience can follow and get excited about what you are showing.

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!