Category: Windows Admin Center

Azure Hybrid Cloud Architectures

How to create Azure Hybrid Cloud Architectures

Hybrid Cloud is important for many companies out there since hybrid cloud will be an end state for many customers and not just an in-between state until they have moved everything into the cloud. But how do we leverage all the hybrid cloud offerings of Microsoft Azure, and how do we build Azure hybrid cloud architectures? That is what we addressed with many new hybrid cloud architectures in the Azure Architecture Center. There you can find Architecture diagrams, reference architectures, example scenarios, and solutions for common hybrid cloud workloads.

These architectures focus on my different topics like:

Azure Hybrid Cloud Architectures

Here are some of the examples we have added to the Azure Architecture Center. You can find more Azure hybrid cloud architectures here.

Hybrid Security Monitoring using Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel

This reference architecture illustrates how to use Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel to monitor the security configuration and telemetry of on-premises and Azure operating system workloads. This includes Azure Stack.

Hybrid Security Monitoring using Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel

Hybrid Security Monitoring using Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel

You can find the full Hybrid Security Monitoring using Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel architecture here.



Azure Hybrid Cloud Webinar Series

Join the Microsoft Azure Hybrid Cloud Webinar Series

Together with Microsoft Indonesia, we are offering an Azure Hybrid Cloud Webinar Series with two webinars around Azure Hybrid Cloud. The first one on September 22nd will be called: Innovation Anywhere with Azure Hybrid and on September 23rd: Deep Dive VM and Kubernetes Management to any Infrastructure with Azure Arc.

Innovation Anywhere with Azure Hybrid

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020 | 2.00 PM-3.30 PM (GMT+7) 📆

Free Registration âś”

Join us in the first session of the Azure Hybrid Cloud Training Series to learn and discover how Microsoft Azure Hybrid Cloud products and services help to manage your environment. In this session, Cloud Advocate Thomas Maurer will give you an overview of the Microsoft Azure Hybrid Cloud offering. Learn how you can use the Azure Hybrid services and products like Azure Arc, Azure Update Management, the new Azure Stack portfolio, Azure Stack HCI, and many more to introduce hybrid cloud management to your environment.

Deep Dive VM and Kubernetes Management to any Infrastructure with Azure Arc

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020 | 2.00 PM-3.30 PM (GMT+7) 📆

Free Registration âś”

Azure Arc has the ability to managed multi-cloud and on-premise. Join us on the second day of the Azure Hybrid Cloud Webinar Series to learn and discover how to manage and govern your Windows and Linux machines hosted outside of Azure on your corporate network or other cloud providers, similar to how you manage native Azure virtual machines.

When a hybrid machine is connected to Azure, it becomes a connected machine and is treated as a resource in Azure. Azure Arc provides you with the familiar cloud-native Azure management experience, like RBAC, Tags, Azure Policy, Log Analytics, and more.

Conclusion

These two sessions will be a lot of fun including an overview of the Azure Hybrid Cloud capabilities. I hope this gets your interested and I hope to see you there!



ESPC20 Online Thomas Maurer

Speaking at ESPC20 Online

I am happy to let you know that I will be speaking at ESPC20 Online. This year ESPC20 will be a new virtual conference offering you affordable, world-class Microsoft 365 learning at your fingertips, from wherever you are in the world. Tune in live Oct 14th & 15th or catch up on-demand across 100+ sessions from SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure experts.

Next to great keynotes from Karuana Gatimu, Scott Guthrie, and Jeff Teper, I am happy to be part of one of the breakout sessions.

Join me for my ESPC20 Online session: Azure Hybrid – Learn about Hybrid Cloud Management with Azure

Windows Server, Azure Stack HCI, and Windows Admin Center not only provide you with great hyper-converged solutions but also enable you to connect to Azure Hybrid Cloud services. In this session, Thomas Maurer will show you how you can connect Azure services like Azure Site Recovery, Azure Backup, Azure File Sync, Azure Monitor and many more to your on-prem Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI environment. And how you can manage and implement governance for your hybrid servers from the cloud, using Azure Arc for servers.

ESPC is always top quality and I am truly looking forward to this year’s virtual conference. Check out some of ESPC’s reasons why you don’t want to miss this event.

Reasons to Attend ESPC20 Online

  • Refresh – With so much change, keep up with the product developments and practices that matter most.
  • Revitalise – Find new and better ways of working, to bring new energy and effectiveness to your work.
  • Investment – Invest in your team, yourself and your career by learning new skills or mastering current ones.
  • Access – With no travel, watch live or on-demand at a time that suits you from the comfort of your workspace.
  • Experts – Hear from the best of the best – Microsoft Product Team members, RDs, MVPs, MCMs and independent experts.
  • Depth – With levels catering from Level 100-400 there is something for everyone.
  • Network – Build your professional network online, with like-minded people from across the globe.
  • Vendors – Find the best solutions from the best local, European and Global providers.
  • Independence – Information and advice you can trust, learn what’s trendy and what works.
  • Breadth – Attend a variety of session types across the biggest SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure topics.
  • Affordability – Enjoy the quality of ESPC with incredibly affordable prices and options.

I hope to see you at ESPC20 Online!



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!



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.



How to Install a Windows Server Container Host

How to Install a Windows Server Container Host

In this blog post, I want to quickly guide you through how you can install a Windows Server Container Host running Docker. This guide will help you set up, install, and run Windows Containers on Windows Server. In my example, I will install a container host on a Windows Server, version 2004, which is a Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) release. Windows Server SAC releases are released twice a year and are optimized for containers. In the Windows Server, version 2004 release, the team continued improving fundamentals for the core container platform such as performance and reliability.

If you want to learn more about the differences of Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) vs. Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), check out my blog post.

Requirements

  • A virtual or physical server running Windows Server 2016 or higher (Also including Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) releases. In my blog post, I will use the latest available releases and run the latest Windows Server SAC release, which offers the latest enhancements on the container host.
  • You can also use the Windows Server 2019 LTSC version

Set up and install the Windows Server Container Host

Since I am using the latest SAC release of Windows Server, the server is available as Windows Server Core only. This means I am going to use a tool called “sconfig” to set up my server for the first time. Of course, you can also use existing methods like unattend.xml files or PowerShell scripts to set up your server.

Windows Server Core

Windows Server Core

With sconfig, you can run all the simple configuration tasks to configure your Windows Server.

Windows Server SCONFIG

Windows Server SCONFIG

After the Windows Server is configured and patched, we can now install Docker, which is required to work with Windows containers. Docker consists of the Docker Engine and the Docker client. You can simply install Docker on Windows Server using the following commands.

Install-Module -Name DockerMsftProvider -Repository PSGallery -Force
Install-Package -Name docker -ProviderName DockerMsftProvider
Install Docker on Windows Server

Install Docker on Windows Server

After these commands, you will need to restart the server.

Restart-Computer -Force

If you want to learn more about installing Docker on Windows Server, check out Microsoft Docs.

Run Windows Container Docker Images on Windows Server

Run Windows Container Docker Images on Windows Server

Now you can start pulling your docker container images to your Windows Server. I will use the latest Windows Container images, which came with Windows Server, version 2004. You can read more about the improved container images here.

docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:2004 
docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows/nanoserver:2004 
docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows:2004

You can now use the docker client to manage your containers on your Windows Server, or you can also use the new Windows Admin Center Container extension, which was released a couple of weeks ago.

Manage Windows Server Containers with Windows Admin Center

Manage Windows Server Containers with Windows Admin Center

And yes, if you have a standalone Windows Server Core, you can also directly install Windows Admin Center on your Windows Server Core.

Conclusion

I hope this blog post gives you a great overview of how to install and set up a Windows Server container host. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Windows Server 2019 Inside Out Microsoft Press Book

Windows Server 2019 Inside Out Microsoft Press Book Available

My friend and colleague Orin Thomas just shared some fantastic news. His new book Windows Server 2019 Inside Out for Microsoft Press is now available. I was able to provide some early feedback during the writing process and I can tell you this book is a must-have if you are working with Windows Server 2019.

Dive into Windows Server 2019—and really put your Windows Serverexpertise to work. Focusing on Windows Server 2019’s most powerful and innovative features, this supremely organized reference packs hundreds of timesaving solutions, tips, and workarounds—all you need to plan, implement, or manage Windows Server in enterprise, data center, cloud, and hybrid environments. Fully reflecting new innovations for security, hybrid cloud environments, and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI), it covers everything from cluster sets to Windows Subsystem for Linux.

You can get the book on Amazon and you will learn how to:

  • Optimize the full Windows Server 2019 lifecycle, from planning and configuration through rollout and administration
  • Leverage new configuration options including App Compatibility Features on Demand (FOD) or Desktop Experience
  • Ensure fast, reliable upgrades and migrations
  • Manage Windows servers, clients, and services through Windows Admin Center
  • Seamlessly deliver and administer core DNS, DHCP, file, print, storage, and Internet services
  • Use the Storage Migration Service to simplify storage moves and configuration at the destination
  • Seamlessly integrate Azure IaaS and hybrid services with Windows Server 2019
  • Improve agility with advanced container technologies, including container networking and integration into Kubernetes orchestration clusters
  • Deliver Active Directory identity, certificate, federation, and rights management services
  • Protect servers, clients, VMs, assets, and users with advanced Windows Server 2019 security features, from Just Enough Administration to shielded VMs and guarded virtualization fabrics
  • Monitor performance, manage event logs, configure advanced auditing, and perform backup/recovery Windows Server 2019
Microsoft Inside Out Windows Server 2019 Book

Microsoft Inside Out Windows Server 2019 Book

If you got the new Windows Server 2019 Inside Out Microsoft Press book, let me know what you think!