Category: Windows Server

Windows Sandbox

How to configure Windows Sandbox

With the latest release of Windows 10 (1903), Microsoft introduced a new feature called Windows Sandbox. Windows Sandbox is based on Hyper-V technology and allows you to spin up an isolated, temporary, desktop environment where you can run untrusted software. In this blog post, I will show you how you can set up and configure Windows Sandbox in Windows 10. I will also cover who you can do an advanced configuration of your Windows Sandbox using Windows Sandbox config files.

The sandbox is great for demos, troubleshooting or if you are dealing with malware. If you close the sandbox, all the software with all its files and state are permanently deleted. It is a Windows 10 virtual machines, with the advantage that it is built into Windows 10, so it leverages the existing OS, which gives you faster startup, less footprint, better efficiency, and easier handling, without losing security.

Dynamic Image

Source: Microsoft

Windows Sandbox is a lightweight virtual machine with an operating system. The significant advantage which makes it so small is the usage of existing files from the host, for data which cannot change. For the files which can change, it uses a dynamically generated image, which is only ~100MB in size.

There are much more exciting things happening with the Windows Sandbox like smart memory management, Integrated kernel scheduler, Snapshot and clone, Graphics virtualization and Battery pass-through. If you want to find out more about the Windows Sandbox, check out the official blog post.

Prerequisites

Windows Sandbox comes with a couple of requirements. How more powerful your machine is, the better the experience will be.

  • Windows 10 (1903) Pro or Enterprise build 18362 or later
  • 64-bit architecture
  • Virtualization capabilities enabled in BIOS
  • At least 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
  • 1GB of free disk space (SSD recommended)
  • 2 CPU cores (4 cores with hyperthreading recommended)


CDC-Germany 2019

Speaking at the Cloud and Datacenter Conference Germany 2019

One of the best conferences when it comes to cloud and datacenter topics of IT Pros, is the Cloud and Datacenter Conference Germany 2019 organized by Microsoft MVP Carsten Rachfahl. I had the opportunity to speak at CDC-Germany 2016, 2017 and also in 2018. I am happy that I again was invited to speak at CDC-Germany 2019. The two day, Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany will be held in Hanau, Germany on May 21-22. The CDC Germany will be focusing on Microsoft Technology and will have 6 tracks full of great Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter content with speakers from all over the world.

Featured Speakers CDC-Germany 2019

My Sessions at the Cloud and Datacenter Conference Germany 2019

I happy to speak in 1 of the main sessions and 2 breakout session about Hybird Cloud topics, like Azure Cloud Shell, Azure Stack, Windows Server 2019, Windows Admin Center, Azure Stack HCI and much much more.

Hybrid is the New Black!

Hybrid Cloud is not just a state during your cloud migration, it is here to stay! Hybrid Cloud goes far beyond Microsoft Azure Stack, and in this session you will see an overview about the different solutions you can use to extend your on-premises environment with Microsoft cloud services.

Windows Server 2019 – The Next Generation of Software-Defined Datacenter

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

Mastering Azure using Cloud Shell, PowerShell and Bash!

Azure can be managed in many different way. 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!

My Session at the Hyper-V Community + Hybrid Cloud Community Pre-Day

I will also be speaking at the Hyper-V Community + Hybrid Cloud Community Pre-Day at May 20, 2019.

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.

I am really looking forward to the Cloud and Datacenter Conference Germany 2019, and I hope to see you there!



Microsoft Ignite The Tour Amsterdam 2019 Thomas Maurer Speaking

Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2019 Azure Hybrid Session Recordings

As you might know, had the chance to present my first sessions as a Microsoft employee at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2019 in London and Amsterdam. A couple of weeks ago, the session recordings from Amsterdam are now available. My sessions were part of the Azure Hybrid Cloud learning path.

Building and maintaining your Azure hybrid environment
Tailwind Traders has seen exponential growth over the last two years, transitioning from a midsize company to a worldwide corporation. This growth has required extending Tailwind’s existing infrastructure into Microsoft Azure in a hybrid deployment, with some important workloads remaining in the organization’s on-premises datacenter, while increasing numbers of critical workloads running in Azure.

In the five modules for this learning path, you’ll learn how to plan and configure hybrid network connectivity, apply best practice security configuration to Azure resources, learn how to effectively monitor and maintain those resources, ensure that those resources meet organizational compliance requirements, and ensure that workloads in Azure are highly available and protected against catastrophe.

Sessions at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2019

HYB10 - Planning and implementing hybrid network connectivity

Once your organization has decided to implement a hybrid model, you need to start figuring out how to ensure that communication between your on-premises environment and your hybrid workloads is both secure and reliable. You also need to ensure that those workloads are protected from internal and external network threats. In this module, you’ll learn how to assess your organization’s on-prem network infrastructure, how to plan and then implement an appropriate networking design for Azure. You’ll learn how to implement appropriate Azure virtual network technologies, including securing connectivity between on-premises and Azure using VPNs and ExpressRoute as well as how to strategically deploy firewalls, network security groups and marketplace appliances to protect those resources and workloads.

HYB20 - Securing your Azure environment

With Cloud resources now connected with our datacenter, secure administrative access to critical workloads needs to be configured appropriately. It’s also important from an organizational and compliance perspective to ensure that workloads have a security configuration aligned with industry best practice. In this module, you’ll learn how to improve the security of privileged accounts used to manage Azure resources, manage software updates for both on-premises and cloud hosted virtual machines, and how to get the most out of Azure Security Center for assessing and remediating security configuration issues in a hybrid environment.

You can find more  Microsoft Ignite The Tour recordings on the offical website.



Azure File Sync Windows Admin Center

Sync File Servers with Azure File Sync in Windows Admin Center

One of the biggest challenges a lot of customers are facing, is the capability to provide access to files everywhere and have DR plans in place. This becomes especially true when you are dealing with classic file server infrastructures. Where it is difficult to manage capacity, availability, replication and much more. The Azure Storage team is addressing that need with Azure File Sync. Azure File Sync allows you to sync your file servers with an Azure Files. Azure File is a simple, secure, and fully managed cloud file share solution, using SMB 3.0 and HTTPS.

Azure File Sync

In addtion the service allows customer to use functionality like:

  • Cloud Tiering
  • Cloud Access
  • Multi-site Sync
  • Cloud Backup
  • Rapid File Server DR

In this post I will cover how, Windows Admin Center will help you to deploy Azure File Sync, if you want to know more, check out the Azure File Sync documentation page.



Global Azure Bootcamp 2019

Speaking at the Global Azure Bootcamp 2019

On April 27, 2019, it is again time where all the Azure communites come together for the sixth Global Azure Bootcamp event. And I am happy to be part of it again this year. Last year I was speaking at Azure Global Bootcamp 2018 in Zürich, Switzerland, and I will be back to speak at the Global Azure Bootcamp 2019 in Zürich this year. Besides this in person session, I will also be presenting online at the Global Online Azure Bootcamp (Ireland). This is an Azure Global Bootcamp event for those who don’t have something local or cannot travel, organised by Microsoft MVP and Azure expert Aidan Finn from Ireland. Hosted on GoToWebinar, presenters will share their expert knowledge on Microsoft Azure with an audience that can join in from anywhere around the world.

Around the world, user groups and communities want to learn about Azure and Cloud Computing. On April 27, all communities will come together once again for a great Global Azure Bootcamp event. Each user group will organize their own one day deep dive class on Azure the way they see fit and how it works for their members. The result is that thousands of people get to learn about Azure and join together online under the social hashtag #GlobalAzure.

I will be speaking about two extremly interesting topics inluding Azure Cloud Shell and Azure Stack.

Global Azure Bootcamp 2019 in Zürich

Mastering Azure using Cloud Shell, PowerShell and Bash!

Azure can be managed in many different way. 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!

Oganized by:

 

Stefan Johner

Stefan Roth

Manuel Meyer

Global Online Azure Bootcamp 2019 (Ireland)

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.

If you have time and you want to spend a whole day learning about Azure, join one of the events around you, or check out the online streaming events. I am also happy to meet you in Zürich!



Setup VM Protection in Windows Admin Center_LI

Configure Azure Site Recovery from Windows Admin Center

With the Hybrid Cloud effort Microsoft invested heavy to make Windows Server and Hyper-V better connect to Microsoft Azure. One way of doing that is with Windows Admin Center and Azure Site Recovery. The Azure Site Recovery integration in Windows Admin Center, allows you to easily replicate Hyper-V virtual machines to Microsoft Azure. The technology is not new, ASR does exist for a long time and allows you to not only replicate Hyper-V VMs, but also VMware VMs and physical servers. However, with the integration in Windows Admin Center, setting up Azure Site Recovery became super easy.

Set up Azure Site Recovery from Windows Admin Center

Setup VM Protection in Windows Admin Center_LI

In the Virtual Machines extension, you can already see a recommendation to setup ASR: “Help protect your VMs from disasters by using Azure Site Recovery.” Which will guide you through the onboarding steps. If you don’t see that banner, just click on the VM you want to protect and replicate to Azure. Click on More and select “Set up VM Protection“, this will guide you through the same wizard.

If you haven’t connected your Windows Admin Center to Microsoft Azure yet, the wizard will help you to go through and set up this connection.

Setup up Hyper-V ASR Host with Windows Admin Cenetr

After your WAC is connected to Azure, you will now setup Azure Site Recovery for the Hyper-V host in Azure. This can directly be done from Windows Admin Center. For example, this will let you select the Azure Subscription you want ASR to connect to. It will let you create a new Resource Group and Recovery Services Vault or use an existing one. After you have done the configuration part, WAC will create the specific Azure resources and configure the Hyper-V host for Azure Site Recovery. This can take up to 10 minutes depending if you are using existing resources or creating new once.

If you have a look at the Hyper-V Replica settings in Hyper-V Manager, you will see that ASR is completely setup and configured.



Windows Admin Center Azure Monitor Setup

Connect Windows Admin Center to Azure Monitor

As mentioned in blogs posts before, Windows Admin Center allows admins to extend there on-prem environments with hybrid Azure services. The latest addition is the integration of Azure Monitor in Windows Admin Center. This allows you to collect events and performance counters from Windows Server to run analytics and reporting in Azure and take action when a particular condition is detected. This can then be a notification (SMS, email, push notification) and/or a direct action using Azure Logic Apps, Azure Functions, Azure Automation Runbooks, webhooks or integration into ITSM tools.

Setup monitoring and alerts in Windows Admin Center with Azure Monitor

Windows Admin Center Azure Monitor Setup

Setting up the Azure Monitor connection in Windows Admin Center is simple. Select the server you want to connect to Azure Monitor. Go to Settings and then Monitoring Alerts.

Windows Admin Center Azure Monitor Connect to Azure Monitor

Here you will be able to configure the server with the right Azure subscription, resource group and log analytics workspace.