Category: Windows Server

Windows Server and Azure Arc Intel NUC Lab Kit

My Windows Server and Azure Arc Hybrid Cloud Lab Kit

Since I am working a lot with Azure Arc and Windows Server with Hybrid Cloud integration, I need a lab and demo environment for my presentations, workshops and to try new features. When Windows Server 2019 was released, I bought an Intel NUC for the first time. Now I bought another Intel NUC so I can build my Windows Server 2022 and Azure Arc lab environment. In this post I am going to share my Windows Server and Azure Arc Hybrid Cloud Lab Kit running on an Intel NUC.

The Hardware – Windows Server and Azure Arc Intel NUC Lab Kit

My lab kit is built by using an Intel NUC, NUC stands for Next Unit of Computing and is a line of small-form-factor barebone computer kits designed by Intel. The advantage of this little machine is the small formfactor, low power consumption and almost no fan noise. However, the disadvantage is that it is design to run client operating systems such as Windows 10 or Windows 11 and doesn’t officially come with drivers for Windows Server, which is painful when it comes to the network adapter drivers. There are some workarounds to make it work anyway.

I went for the Intel NUCPAHIi5 which is a NUC with a 11-gen Intel i5 processor (Intel NUCPAHIi5) which is more than enough for my lab environment. Another advantage of having this machine is that it allows me to add up to 64GB of RAM and a fast M.2 SSD, and it comes with a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 2.0.

The Software and the Cloud – Windows Server and Azure Arc Lab Kit

On top of the Intel NUC, I am running Windows Server 2022 which allows me to run Hyper-V virtualization to create different virtual machines for Windows and Linux as well as Kubernetes clusters, which can all be managed through Azure Arc. I also use Windows Admin Center to manage my Windows Server machines locally. To install Windows Server 2022 on that machine, I recommend that you check out my blog post on how to create an USB thumb drive to install Windows Server 2022. You can download Windows Server 2022 Evaluation version from the Microsoft Evaluation Center.

Windows Server 2022 Intel NUC Lab Kit
Windows Server 2022 Intel NUC Lab Kit

By connecting lab environment to Azure using Azure Arc, I can now use it to manage servers, Kubernetes clusters and deploy Azure Arc enabled services on top of it.

Hybrid Cloud Management with Azure Arc enabled Servers and Kubernetes Lab Kit
Hybrid Cloud Management with Azure Arc enabled Servers and Kubernetes Lab Kit

Here are some of the Azure Arc features you can use on your hybrid cloud lab kit:

  • Azure Arc enabled Server
  • Azure Arc enabled SQL Server
  • Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes
  • Azure Arc enabled Data Services (such as Azure SQL and PostgreSQL)
  • Azure Arc enabled Application Services (such as Web Apps, Functions, Logic Apps, and more)
  • and more

To learn more about Azure Arc, check out the Azure Arc website and the Microsoft Docs.

The Setup

You can learn more about the setup and capabilities of my Windows Server and Azure Arc hybrid cloud lab kit built with an Intel NUC on my Twitter feed. Check out my tweets here.

Also, here a quick summary of additional useful links:

Conclusion

The Intel NUC is a great platform to build a Windows Server and Hyper-V home lab. Together with Azure Arc you can used it as a great hybrid cloud lab environment. And just for you information, this is just my personal lab, and not an official Microsoft lab kit.

If you don’t want to run your own hardware or want to make it easy to build some of the Azure Arc scenarios, check out the Azure Arc Jumpstart project. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below.



Create an USB Drive for Windows Server 2022 Installation

Create an USB Drive for Windows Server 2022 Installation

This blog post covers how you can create a bootable USB media drive to install Windows Server 2022 on a physical server. This guide will only use built-in tools that you can find on Windows 10, Windows 11, or Windows Server. Depending on your system you can install it on a BIOS system or a UEFI-based system, which is slightly different since UEFI will use GPT disks and BIOS will use an MBR disk. Here is how you create a USB Drive for a Windows Server 2022 installation.

Getting ready to create a USB Drive for a Windows Server 2022 Installation

First, you will need to have all the prerequisites in place.

  • Download the Windows Server 2022 ISO file, you can get it from various places. If you don’t have a license but you want to try out Windows Server 2022, you can download it from the evaluation center.
  • An USB drive with at least 8GB size

Windows Server 2022 USB Thumb Drive for UEFI (GPT) systems

To create the USB drive to install Windows Server 2022 on a UEFI (GPT system, you do the following steps:

  • The at least an 8GB USB drive has to be formatted in FAT32
  • The USB needs to be GPT and not MBR
  • You will need to split the wim file using dism since it is larger than 4GB
  • Copy all files from the ISO to the USB drive

This is it, and here is how you do it. First, plug in your USB drive to your computer.

Open a PowerShell using the Run as Administrator option. You will need to change the path of the Windows Server 2022 ISO, and you will need to replace the disk number in the script before running the third command and make sure C:\Temp exists. From previous experiences with users, run the script line by line.

REMINDER: The following commands will wipe the USB Drive completely. So, backup everything before you run through the PowerShell.

# Define Path to the Windows Server 2022 ISO
$ISOFile = "C:\Temp\WindowsServer2022.iso"

# Create temp diectroy for new image
$newImageDir = New-Item -Path 'C:\Temp\newimage' -ItemType Directory

# Mount iso
$ISOMounted = Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISOFile -StorageType ISO -PassThru

# Driver letter
$ISODriveLetter = ($ISOMounted | Get-Volume).DriveLetter

# Copy Files to temporary new image folder 
Copy-Item -Path ($ISODriveLetter +":\*") -Destination C:\Temp\newimage -Recurse

# Split and copy install.wim (because of the filesize)
dism /Split-Image /ImageFile:C:\Temp\newimage\sources\install.wim /SWMFile:C:\Temp\newimage\sources\install.swm /FileSize:4096

 
# Get the USB Drive you want to use, copy the disk number
Get-Disk | Where BusType -eq "USB"
 
# Get the right USB Drive (You will need to change the number)
$USBDrive = Get-Disk | Where Number -eq 2
 
# Replace the Friendly Name to clean the USB Drive (THIS WILL REMOVE EVERYTHING)
$USBDrive | Clear-Disk -RemoveData -Confirm:$true -PassThru
 
# Convert Disk to GPT
$USBDrive | Set-Disk -PartitionStyle GPT
 
# Create partition primary and format to FAT32
$Volume = $USBDrive | New-Partition -Size 8GB -AssignDriveLetter | Format-Volume -FileSystem FAT32 -NewFileSystemLabel WS2022
 
# Copy Files to USB (Ignore install.wim)
Copy-Item -Path C:\Temp\newimage\* -Destination ($Volume.DriveLetter + ":\") -Recurse -Exclude install.wim

# Dismount ISO
Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISOFile

After that, you can safely remove the USB drive and use it to boot your server from.

Create an USB Drive for Windows Server 2022 Installation
Create an USB Drive for Windows Server 2022 Installation

Windows Server 2022 USB Thumb Drive for BIOS (MBR) systems

To create the USB drive to install Windows Server 2022 on BIOS (MBR) systems, you can follow these steps:

  • The at least an 8GB USB drive has to be formatted in NTFS
  • USB drive needs to us MBR
  • The partition needs to be set active
  • Copy all files from the ISO to the USB Drive

This is it, and here is how you do it. First, plug in your USB drive to your computer.

Open a PowerShell using the Run as Administrator option. You will need to change the path of the Windows Server 2022 ISO, and you will need to replace the disk number in the script before running the third command and make sure C:\Temp exists. From previous experiences with users, run the script line by line.

REMINDER: The following commands will wipe the USB Drive completely. Backup everything before you run through the PowerShell.

# Define Path to the Windows Server 2022 ISO
$ISOFile = "C:\Temp\WindowsServer2022.iso"
 
# Get the USB Drive you want to use, copy the friendly name
Get-Disk | Where BusType -eq "USB"
 
# Get the right USB Drive (You will need to change the FriendlyName)
$USBDrive = Get-Disk | Where FriendlyName -eq "Kingston DT Workspace"
 
# Replace the Friendly Name to clean the USB Drive (THIS WILL REMOVE EVERYTHING)
$USBDrive | Clear-Disk -RemoveData -Confirm:$true -PassThru
 
# Convert Disk to MBR
$USBDrive | Set-Disk -PartitionStyle MBR
 
# Create partition primary and format to NTFS
$Volume = $USBDrive | New-Partition -UseMaximumSize -AssignDriveLetter | Format-Volume -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel WS2022
 
# Set Partiton to Active
$Volume | Get-Partition | Set-Partition -IsActive $true
 
# Mount ISO
$ISOMounted = Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISOFile -StorageType ISO -PassThru
 
# Driver letter
$ISODriveLetter = ($ISOMounted | Get-Volume).DriveLetter
 
# Copy Files to USB
Copy-Item -Path ($ISODriveLetter +":\*") -Destination ($Volume.DriveLetter + ":\") -Recurse
 
# Dismount ISO
Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISOFile

After that, you can safely remove the USB drive and use it to boot your server from to install Windows Server 2022.

Conclusion

I hope this post was helpful, and if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Learn Live Hybrid Infrastructure Study Hall

Learn Live: Hybrid Infrastructure Study Hall

A couple of weeks ago Microsoft announced new Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification, and now we are offering some live learning experience. I am happy to let you know that our team and I will present on a couple of Microsoft Learn Live sessions on Microsoft Learn TV.

Calling all Windows Server administrators! Join us on Learn TV for this new Windows Server Hybrid study hall series. This seven-part weekly series will answer your questions live, walk through how to configure advanced Windows Server services using on-premises, hybrid, and cloud technologies, and walk through Microsoft Learn modules related to the new Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification. The series will kick off at Ignite on November 2nd and will have a new episode every Thursday (and a few Tuesdays) through December 16th.

Learn Live: Hybrid Infrastructure Study Hall

We have some cool sessions available:

Ignite 2021 Learn Live: Monitor Windows Server IaaS Virtual Machines and hybrid instances: November 2 – Episode 01 (3:00pm PT – 5:00pm PT)

Azure Monitor can be used for virtual machines (VMs) to observe performance, diagnostic, and dependency information about Windows Server Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) VMs. This session will cover enabling Azure Monitor for VMs, how to use Azure Monitor to collect data in a hybrid environment, how to use it to monitor VMs, and how to integrate Azure Monitor with Operations Manager.

Manage hybrid workloads with Azure Arc: November 18 – Episode 02 (4:00pm PT – 5:30pm PT)

Learn how to describe Azure Arc, implement Azure Arc with on-premises server instances, deploy Azure policies with Azure Arc, and use role-based access control (RBAC) to restrict access to Log Analytics data. In this episode, you will:

  • Explain how to onboard on-premises Windows Server instances in Azure Arc.
  • Connect hybrid machines to Azure from the Azure portal and use Azure Arc to manage devices.
  • Restrict access using RBAC.

Implement hybrid identity with Windows Server: November 25 – Episode 03 (4:00pm PT – 5:30pm PT)

Learn how to configure an Azure environment so that Windows IaaS workloads requiring Active Directory are supported. You’ll also learn to integrate on-premises Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) environment into Azure. In this episode, you will:

  • Select an Azure AD integration model.
  • Plan for Azure AD integration.
  • Prepare on-premises AD DS for directory synchronization.
  • Install and configure directory synchronization using Azure AD Connect.
  • And more!

Implement hybrid network infrastructure: November 30 – Episode 04 (1:00pm PT – 2:30pm PT)

Learn how to connect your on-premises environment to Azure, implement subnets and routing between your on-premises and cloud environments, and ensure that workloads in the cloud and on-premises perform DNS resolution to locate each other. In this episode, you will:

  • Describe Azure network topologies.
  • Implement an Azure VPN.
  • Explain how to create a route-based VPN gateway using the Azure portal.
  • Implement Azure ExpressRoute.
  • Implement an Azure WAN.
  • Implement DNS resolution in hybrid environments.

Implement a hybrid file server infrastructure: December 02 – Episode 05 (4:00pm PT – 5:30pm PT)

Learn how to deploy Azure File Sync, migrate from DFS, and use Storage Migration Services to migrate file servers to Azure. In this episode, you will:

  • Describe and Configure Azure file services.
  • Configure connectivity to Azure file services.
  • Describe and Implement Azure File Sync.
  • And more!

Manage Azure updates: December 07 – Episode 06 (1:00pm PT – 2:30pm PT)

Learn how to enable Azure Update Management, deploy updates, review an update assessment, and manage updates for your Azure VMs. In this episode, you will:

  • Describe Azure updates.
  • Enable Update Management.
  • Deploy updates.
  • Review an update assessment.
  • Manage updates for your Azure VMs.

Implement hybrid backup and recovery with Windows Server IaaS: December 16 – Episode 07 (12:00pm PT – 1:30pm PT)

Learn about Azure Backup before learning to implement Recovery Vaults and Azure Backup Policies. You’ll also learn how to implement Windows IaaS VM recovery, perform backup and restore of on-premises workloads, and manage Azure VM backups. In this episode, you will:

  • Describe Azure Backup.
  • Implement Recovery Vaults.
  • Implement Azure Backup policies.
  • Recover Windows IaaS VMs.
  • And more!

Want to join the Learn Live: Windows Server Hybrid Infrastructure Study Hall, and prepare for the Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification? You can lern more here on Microsoft Learn!



Windows Server 2022 Azure Edition

Windows Server 2022 Azure Edition Available on Azure

Windows Server 2022 Datacenter Azure Edition is now generally available on Microsoft Azure! Windows Server Azure Edition is a special version of Windows Server built to help you use the benefits of the cloud in combination with Azure Automanage for Windows Server. Azure Automanage for Windows Server allows you to use new capabilities specifically to Windows Server Azure Edition. These capabilities include:

  • Hotpatch (preview) – Hotpatching is a new way to install updates on supported Windows Server Azure Edition virtual machines (VMs) that doesn’t require a reboot after installation. Learn more here and on my blog.
  • SMB over QUIC – SMB over QUIC introduces an alternative to the TCP network transport, providing secure, reliable connectivity to edge file servers over untrusted networks like the internet. You can learn more here.
  • Extended network for Azure – Extended network for Azure enables you to stretch an on-premises subnet into Azure to let on-premises virtual machines keep their original on-premises private IP addresses when migrating to Azure. Learn more here.

Windows Server Azure Edition machines will be updated annually with new features and Automanage for Windows Server will be updated continuously to make operating those features easy and reliable.

The Azure Edition of Windows Server can only be used as a Microsoft Azure IaaS virtual machine (VM) or as a virtual machine running on Azure Stack HCI. You will be able to use Azure Automanage with Azure Arc enabled servers running on-premises or other cloud providers, however, you won’t be able to take advantage of the Azure Editions features outside of Azure or Azure Stack HCI.

Learn more

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

I hope this post provides you with a short overview of Windows Server 2022 Azure Edition and Azure Automanage. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below.



Deep Dive on AKS on Azure Stack HCI at Microsoft Ignite

Deep Dive on AKS on Azure Stack HCI at Microsoft Ignite

Do you want to learn more about how you can run the Azure Kubernetes Service in your own datacenter running on Azure Stack HCI and get a deep-dive understanding of how it works? Join our deep-dive session on AKS on Azure Stack HCI and get your questions answered in the Ask the Experts session.

What is Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI?

Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI is an on-premises implementation of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), which automates running containerized applications at scale. Azure Kubernetes Service is available on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server 2019 Datacenter, making it quicker to get started hosting Linux and Windows containers in your datacenter.

To get started with Azure Kubernetes Service on-premises, on Windows Server 2019 or Azure Stack HCI, set up Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI.

Bring Azure Kubernetes Services to a Hybrid Environment (The Blueprint Files)

In this session, Mike Kostersitz will provide you with an in-depth view of deploying Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) anywhere in your hybrid environment using Azure Stack HCI. Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI is an on-premises implementation of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), which automates running containerized applications at scale and allows customers to bring Azure services to their on-premises environment using Azure Arc.

Register here on Microsoft Ignite!

Ask the Experts: Bring Azure Kubernetes Services to a Hybrid Environment (The Blueprint Files)

Join our experts to answer your questions with an in-depth view of deploying Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) anywhere in your hybrid environment using Azure Stack HCI. Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI is an on-premises implementation of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), which automates running containerized applications at scale and allows customers to bring Azure services to their on-premises environment using Azure Arc.

Register here on Microsoft Ignite!

I hope these sessions provide you with a great deep-dive learning experience on AKS on Azure Stack HCI at Microsoft Ignite.

Also, make sure to join our live stream on Wednesday with Lior Kamrat and Thomas Maurer, where we cover the latest news around Azure Hybrid from Microsoft Ignite.



Azure Hybrid News Live Stream MS ignite

Livestream: Azure Hybrid News from Microsoft Ignite

On November 2-4, 2021 Microsoft will host a free online event called Microsoft Ignite. As usual, there will be a lot of news and announcements around different Microsoft technologies. We also expect some announcements and sessions around Azure hybrid and multicloud. Lior Kamrat (WW Tech Lead Azure Hybrid at Microsoft) and Thomas Maurer (Senior Cloud Advocate Azure Hybrid) will host a livestream on November 3, where you can learn about the latest Azure hybrid cloud news announcements from Microsoft Ignite.

Livestream: Azure Hybrid News from Microsoft Ignite

Make sure you join us on November 3, 10 am (PST) – 6 pm (CET) live on YouTube or directly here on ThomasMaurer.ch.

 ▶ Download the calendar ICS file here. 📅✔

Join the livestream with Lior Kamrat and Thomas Maurer to learn about the latest Azure hybrid

Join us on the YouTube Livestream

If you are interested, join us on November 3 online. I am really looking forward to chatting with you in the Livestream about the latest Microsoft Azure Hybrid news from Microsoft Ignite. You can find the live stream here on YouTube.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.




Azure Arc enabled Server AWS Linux machine with automatic tags

Azure Arc enabled Server – Store AWS instance metadata as Azure tag

If you want to onboard an AWS EC2 instance (virtual machine) to Azure using Azure Arc for multicloud management, you might want to store some of the AWS instances metadata as Azure tags for your Azure Arc enabled server. One of the easiest ways is to set these tags during the onboarding process of an Azure Arc-enabled server from AWS. AWS instances offer a service to retrieve instance metadata directly from the running instance, so you do not need to use the Amazon EC2 console or the AWS CLI (This is similar to the Azure Instance Metadata Service on Azure VMs).

On AWS EC2 instances running Windows you can run the following PowerShell command to see the metadata available:

Invoke-RestMethod -Headers @{"Metadata"="true"} -Method GET -Uri http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/

Now in my example, I want to store the AWS region as well as the AWS instance Id as an Azure tag for my Azure Arc enabled server. For onboarding the AWS instance, I use the Azure arc onboarding method by using a service principal. This is the simple script you can use, don’t forget to replace the variables for subscription ID, tenant ID, resource group, and more.

# Get AWS Instance data
$AWSRegion = Invoke-RestMethod -Headers @{"Metadata"="true"} -Method GET -Uri http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/placement/region
$AWSInstanceId = Invoke-RestMethod -Headers @{"Metadata"="true"} -Method GET -Uri http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/instance-id

# Create Tags
$tags = "Datacenter=AWS,CountryOrRegion=Germany,AWSRegion=$AWSRegion,AWSInstanceID=$AWSIsntanceId"

# Add the service principal application ID and secret here
$servicePrincipalClientId="<service principal id>"
$servicePrincipalSecret="<service principal secret>"

# Download the installation package
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri "https://aka.ms/azcmagent-windows" -TimeoutSec 30 -OutFile install_windows_azcmagent.ps1

# Install the hybrid agent
& "$PSScriptRoot\install_windows_azcmagent.ps1"
if($LASTEXITCODE -ne 0) {
    throw "Failed to install the hybrid agent"
}

# Run connect command
& "$env:ProgramW6432\AzureConnectedMachineAgent\azcmagent.exe" connect --service-principal-id "$servicePrincipalClientId" --service-principal-secret "$servicePrincipalSecret" --resource-group "<resourcegroup>" --tenant-id "<tenantid>" --location "<azureregion>" --subscription-id "<subscriptionid>" --cloud "AzureCloud" --tags "$tags" --correlation-id "<correlationid>"

if($LastExitCode -eq 0){Write-Host -ForegroundColor yellow "To view your onboarded server(s), navigate to https://portal.azure.com/#blade/HubsExtension/BrowseResource/resourceType/Microsoft.HybridCompute%2Fmachines"}
Azure Arc enabled Server AWS Windows Server machine with automatic tags
Azure Arc enabled Server AWS Windows Server machine with automatic tags

If you are onboarding an AWS EC2 instance running Linux to Azure Arc, you can use the following command to automatically add tags during the onboarding process.

# Get AWS Instance data
awsregion="$(curl -H "X-aws-ec2-metadata-token: $TOKEN" -v http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/placement/region)"
awsinstanceid="$(curl -H "X-aws-ec2-metadata-token: $TOKEN" -v http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/instance-id)"

# Create Tags
tags="Datacenter=AWS,CountryOrRegion=Germany,AWSRegion=$awsregion,AWSInstanceID=$awsinstanceid"

# Add the service principal application ID and secret here
$servicePrincipalClientId="<service principal id>"
$servicePrincipalSecret="<service principal secret>"

# Download the installation package
wget https://aka.ms/azcmagent -O ~/install_linux_azcmagent.sh

# Install the hybrid agent
bash ~/install_linux_azcmagent.sh

# Run connect command
azcmagent connect --service-principal-id "$servicePrincipalClientId" --service-principal-secret "$servicePrincipalSecret" --resource-group "<resourcegroup>" --tenant-id "<tenantid>" --location "<azureregion>" --subscription-id "<subscriptionid>" --cloud "AzureCloud" --tags "$tags" --correlation-id "<correlationid>"


if [ $? = 0 ]; then echo "\033[33mTo view your onboarded server(s), navigate to https://portal.azure.com/#blade/HubsExtension/BrowseResource/resourceType/Microsoft.HybridCompute%2Fmachines\033[m"; fi
Azure Arc enabled Server AWS Linux machine with automatic tags
Azure Arc enabled Server AWS Linux machine with automatic tags

Of course, there is way more metadata you can get from the machine itself. Maybe not everything you need, but at least you have access to some of the data.

AWS EC2 instance metadata
AWS EC2 instance metadata

I hope this article was helpful and showed you how you can store some of the AWS instances metadata as Azure tags for your Azure Arc enabled server. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.

How to add a server to Azure using Azure Arc



Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification

Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification

At today’s Windows Server Summit 2021, Microsoft just announced two new Windows Server exams, and by passing these exams you will earn the Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification. The two exams are AZ-800 Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure and AZ-801 Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services. This will be a great certification for Windows Server administrators working in a hybrid environment, on-premises, and in Microsoft Azure. Especially when focusing on Windows Server 2022.

The AZ-800 and AZ-801 exams will go into beta towards the end of 2021 and will likely be generally available early in 2022. 

Microsoft Certified: Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate

Candidates for the Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification should have subject matter expertise in configuring and managing Windows Server on-premises, hybrid, and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform workloads.

Responsibilities for this role include integrating Windows Server environments with Azure services and managing Windows Server in on-premises networks. This role manages and maintains Windows Server IaaS workloads in Azure, in addition to migrating and deploying workloads to Azure.

This role typically collaborates with Azure administrators, enterprise architects, Microsoft 365 administrators, and network engineers.

Candidates for this certification administer core and advanced Windows Server workloads and services using on-premises, hybrid, and cloud technologies. These professionals should have expertise in implementing and managing on-premises and hybrid solutions, such as identity, management, compute, networking, and storage. They are also experts at performing tasks related to security, migration, monitoring, high availability, troubleshooting, and disaster recovery. These professionals use administrative tools and technologies, including Windows Admin Center, PowerShell, Azure Arc, and IaaS virtual machine administration. They also work with Azure Automation Update Management, Microsoft Defender for Identity, Azure Security Center, Azure Migrate, and Azure Monitor.

A candidate for this certification should have extensive experience working with Windows Server operating systems.

Microsoft Docs

You can find more information about the Microsoft Certified: Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification here.

Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification
Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification

Exam AZ-800: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure (beta)

Candidates for this exam administer core Windows Server workloads using on-premises, hybrid, and cloud technologies. These professionals should have expertise in implementing and managing on-premises and hybrid solutions, such as identity, management, compute, networking, and storage. They use administrative tools and technologies, such as Windows Admin Center, PowerShell, Azure Arc, and IaaS virtual machine administration.

A candidate for this exam should have extensive experience working with Windows Server operating systems.

You can read more here on Microsoft Docs.

Exam AZ-801: Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services (beta)

Candidates for this exam configure advanced Windows Server services using on-premises, hybrid, and cloud technologies. These professionals should have expertise in implementing and managing on-premises and hybrid solutions, including performing tasks related to security, migration, monitoring, high availability, troubleshooting, and disaster recovery. They use administrative tools and technologies, such as Windows Admin Center, PowerShell, Azure Arc, Azure Automation Update Management, Microsoft Defender for Identity, Azure Security Center, Azure Migrate, and Azure Monitor.

A candidate for this exam should have extensive experience working with Windows Server operating systems.

You can read more here on Microsoft Docs.

I will soon release my Exam Study Guides, until then check the videos by Orin Thomas and Jeff Woolsey providing a great overview of the exams.

And also make sure to read Orin Thomas blog post on ITOpsTalk.com which provides you more background about the Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate certification



Hyper-V Nested virtualization for AMD processors Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022

Hyper-V Nested virtualization for AMD processors

Windows Server 2022 just became generally available last week with a ton of great improvements in security, hybrid cloud management, and application platform. Another new feature supported with Windows Server 2022 is Hyper-V Nested virtualization for AMD processors. Nested Virtualization isn’t something new, in fact, it was introduced with Windows Server 2016 and the Windows 10 Anniversary update but only supported with Intel CPUs. With Windows Server 2022 and upcoming Windows 11, people can use Hyper-V Nested Virtualization with AMD CPUs.

Back in June 2020, Chris Huybregts shared more about AMD Nested Virtualization support.

What is Hyper-V Nested Virtualization

Nested virtualization is a feature that allows you to run Hyper-V inside of a Hyper-V virtual machine (VM). This is helpful for running the Android Emulator in a virtual machine, provide Azure users flexibility in how they want to set up their environments, run Hyper-V Containers inside a virtual machine, or testing configurations that ordinarily require several hosts.

Hyper-V Nested Virtualization Diagram (Source Microsoft Docs)

This means Hyper-V Nested Virtualization now works with Intel and AMD processors to enable the following scenarios:

  • Run Hyper-V in a Hyper-V for testing configurations and different applications scenarios. This is perfect for IT Pros and developers if they need a lab environment.
  • Provides Azure users flexebility on how they set up their environment.
  • Developers and IT Pros can run Hyper-V Containers inside a virtual machine
  • and more

How to set up Hyper-V Nested Virtualization

To set up a Hyper-V host nested inside a Hyper-V virtual machine you can just simply follow these steps:

Set-VMProcessor Hyper-V VM
Set-VMProcessor Hyper-V VM
  1. Create a virtual machine on Hyper-V with the reuqired operating system and VM version for the Hyper-V host and the virtual machine.
  2. After the VM is installed turn off the VM.
  3. Run the following command on the base Hyper-V host to enable nested virtualization for the VM.
    Set-VMProcessor -VMName -ExposeVirtualizationExtensions $true
  4. Start the virtual machine and install the Hyper-V role inside the Hyper-V VM.

Now you can run a Hyper-V VM inside a Hyper-V VM.

Hyper-V Nested virtualization for AMD processors Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022
Hyper-V Nested virtualization for AMD processors Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022

If you don’t run the command, you will get the following error when you try to install Hyper-V.

Hyper-V cannot be installed The processor does not have required virtualization capabilities
Hyper-V cannot be installed The processor does not have the required virtualization capabilities

You can find the full documentation here on Microsoft Docs or also follow my guide on how to set up Nested Virtualization in Microsoft Azure.

Conclusion

I hope this blog post was helpful and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below.