Category: Work

All about my Work


Last updated by at .

VSCode in Azure Cloud Shell

You can now run a Visual Studio Code based editor in Azure Cloud Shell

Azure Cloud Shell, a browser-accessible shell for managing Azure resources, just got even more powerful. Today Microsoft added a new Visual Studio Code editor to Azure Cloud Shell. Okay, it is not the real Visual Studio Code, it is an editor based on the Visual Studio Code open-source project Monaco. Monaco is the same web-standards based editor that powers Visual Studio Code, and the editor is now integrated directly into Cloud Shell.

Now you not only have editors like vim, emacs or nano, you also able to run code, directly with in the Azure Cloud Shell. This is pretty handy when it comes to quickly edit some files like scripts or ARM templates.

This is not the first time the Azure Cloud Shell team and the Visual Studio Code team collaborated: Azure Cloud Shell in Visual Studio Code



Microsoft Azure Certifications

New Microsoft Azure Certifications announced

This week Microsoft Inspire takes place in Las Vegas, unfortunately I couldn’t make it this year. However, some of my colleagues from itnetX Switzerland and itnetX are there, don’t miss them and visit our booth! During the first day keynote at Microsoft Inspire, Microsoft quickly announced 3 new Azure Certifications for Administrators, Developers and Architects. You can already take the beta exams for the Azure Certified Administrator with more information on the Microsoft Learning Blog.

New Microsoft Azure Certifications

The three new Microsoft Azure Certifications are:

  • Microsoft Certified Azure Developer
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Architect

Beta Exam for Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator

The beta exams to become a Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator are already online. You will have to options depending if you already have Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions or not.

If you don’t have exam 70-533 already, you will need to take the following to exams:

If you already have exam 70-533 you can take the following transition exam:

Remember they are all beta right now, and you will need to wait a couple of months to get the exam results. I just took the exam AZ-102 to transition from Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions to the new Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator. I recommend that you go through the preparation guides for the exam an verify your skills for the thing you don’t have daily experience with. Especially with some pretty new services and features. I think the new exams questions are pretty close and important to the daily tasks of an Azure Administrator and should reflect the skills.

If you want to take the beta exam, you should register fast. Microsoft announced that they only will take a couple of beta exams and then close it until the public exam is available.

Discount Codes for Azure Exams

You can also find some discount codes on the Microsoft Learning Blog, which will give you up to 80% of discount for the 3 new beta exams.

I hope this gives you a quick overview and directs you to the right sites. If you also want to know a little bit more about it, I also recommend that you read the Build Azure blog.

(Image Credit: Maarten Goet)



Windows 10 SleepStudy Report

Troubleshoot Windows 10 Battery Life and Modern Standby

More and more mobile devices are out there and Windows 10 has some need features like Modern Standby, formerly known as InstantGo or Connected Standby, which provides an instant on/instant off user experience that users expect to have with their phones. Now that said there are always scenarios where battery life or standby doesn’t work as we wish. This blog post should help to troubleshoot battery life and standby on Windows 10, using inbox tools.

Check hardware support for standby modes

Powercfg information

First of all you can check with power states, standby modes or the available sleep states supported by your hardware using the following command:

General Battery life and standby issues

In some case you can run in some issues where you have your battery draining more than expected during the Modern Standby time. This could be of the following reasons:

  • Drivers – Make sure you have the latest drivers installed
  • Firmware – Make sure you have the latest Firmware (BIOS) installed
  • Mails –  The Windows communication app keeps the broker infrastructure (BI) system active. BI, in turn, keeps the WLAN network up so that the system stays up-to-date with emails. If you get a lot of emails this can end up in a higher power drain.
  • Software –  Some installed legacy Software which does not let you go into the InstantGo modus.
  • VPN Clients – Some older VPN Clients can also cause issues with InstantGo
  • Network Activity – The WLAN device might have a challenging radio environment and the Windows system might not be able to establish a reliable Internet connection. We see how these events affect the WLAN device, which, in turn, impacts the battery.


Thomas Maurer Speaking at Experts Live

Speaking at Experts Live Europe 2018 in Prague

You must have heard about the awesome conference in the heart of Europe, called Experts Live Europe. Today, I am honored and proud to announce that I will be speaking at Experts Live Europe 2018 in Prague at October 24.-26. Since the first European edition back in 2013, I have presented several sessions at each event previously hosted in Bern, Basel and Berlin. I will speak about my favorite topic Azure Stack and will also present another session about Windows Server. The timing of Experts Live Europe is great this year (October), which allows me and other speakers to present the latest updates learned and shared at Microsoft Ignite (September).

I am also excited about the new location. After Bern and Basel in Switzerland, and two years in Berlin, Germany, Experts Live Europe comes to the beautiful city of Prague.

My Sessions at Experts Live Europe 2018

I am proud to present two sessions to cover topics like Azure, Azure Stack, Windows Server and Hyper-V.

Azure Stack - Your Cloud Your Datacenter

Microsoft released Azure Stack as an Azure appliance for your datacenter. Learn what Azure Stack is, what challenges it solves, how you deploy, manage and operate a Azure Stack in your datacenter. 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. In this presentation Thomas Maurer (Microsoft MVP) will guide you through the highly anticipated innovations and experience during the Azure Stack Early Adaption Program and Azure Stack Technology Adoption Program (TAP).

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!

Besides 2 days of break out sessions, you will also have one extra day with three great technical workshops about Cloud Security, Workplace and Automation.

About Experts Live Europe

Experts Live Europe is one of Europe’s largest community conferences with a focus on Microsoft cloud, datacenter and workplace management. Top experts from around the world present discussion panels, ask-the-experts sessions and breakout sessions and cover the latest products, technologies and solutions. It’s the time of the year to learn, network, share and make valuable connections.

 

Experts Live VIP Party in the Cloud

The famous Speakers & Sponsors VIP Party of Experts Live Europe will take place on Wednesday, October 24th. This is a great opportunity to network with our speakers and sponsors in a fun and easy-going setting. Tickets for the VIP Party are limited due to location capacity, so if you don’t want to miss out, make sure you register fast!
The VIP Party will take place in Cloud9 Sky Bar & Lounge, at the rooftop of the Hilton hotel in Prague. The Sky Bar is famous for its stunning panorama views of the city, the signature cocktails, the rooftop terrace and the vibrant atmosphere.

It still takes a couple of months until October, but I am already very excited for another Experts Live Conference. I really hope to see you there, so make sure you get a ticket as soon as possible!



Windows Users with PowerShell

Manage Local Windows User with PowerShell

Awhile ago Microsoft added a new PowerShell module to manage local Windows user accounts. This post should quickly show you how easily you can for example use PowerShell to create a new Windows User account, remove a Windows user account or modify windows users and groups with PowerShell.

List Windows User accounts with PowerShell

The most simple one is obviously to list Windows users or groups, using the PowerShell Get- commands.

List all local Windows Users:

List all local Windows Groups:

Create new Windows User account using PowerShell

There are three different account types you can add to Windows 10:

The following part describes how you can add them to your Windows system using PowerShell

To create a new Windows User account you can simply use the following command:

If you want to see that password you can also use this method, to create a new Windows User:

Create a new Windows User account connected to a Microsoft Account using PowerShell

With Windows 10 you have the opportunity to login using Microsoft Accounts, for example with outlook.com or hotmail.com email aliases. For that you can use the folloing command to create a new Windows User connected to a Microsoft Account. In this case you will not need to configure a password for the account, since this is connected to the Microsoft Account.

You can also add Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) accounts if your business is for example using Office 365. The following command adds an Azure AD account to the local Windows Users:

Remove Windows User account using PowerShell

You can also simply remove user accounts from Windows using PowerShell. The following command will delete the account:

Change password of a Windows User account using PowerShell

To change the password of a local Windows User account, you can use the Set-LocalUser cmdlet. This also has some other options as well, but one of the most common ones is to reset the password.

Rename a Windows User account using PowerShell

To rename a Windows User account with PowerShell, you can use the following command:

Add Windows User account to group using PowerShell

This command for example adds users to the Windows Administrator group:

I hope this gives you a quick overview how you can manage local Windows User accounts using PowerShell.



Inked Azure Security Center Just in time VM access_LI

Azure – Just in Time VM access

If you run virtual machines with public IP address connected to the internet, attackers immediately try to run attacks against it. Brute force attacks commonly target management ports, like RDP or SSH, to gain access to a VM. If the attacker is successful, he can take control over the VM and access other resources in the environment. To address that issue it is highly recommended to reduce the ports open, especially for the management ports. However, sometimes you will need to open to ports for some of the virtual machines for management tasks. Microsoft Azure has a simple way to address this issue, called Just in time virtual machine (VM) access. Just in time VM access can be used to lock down inbound traffic to your Azure VMs, reducing exposure to attacks while providing easy access to connect to VMs when needed.

How does Azure Just in Time VM Access work

In the Azure Security Center you can enable just in time VM access, this will create a Network Security Rule (NSG) to lock down inbound traffic to the Azure VM. During the initial JIT VM access configuration, you will be configuring the ports specified, which will be managed by Azure Security Center, these ports will be locked down by the Azure Security Center using an NSGs.

Configure Azure just in time VM access

Inked Configure Just in time VM access_LI

Azure JIT VM access is configured in the Azure Security Center. To configure and enable JIT on a virtual machine open up the Azure Security Center and click on Just in time VM access.

Here you will find three states, Configured, Recommended and No recommendation.

  • Configured – VMs that have been configured to support just in time VM access. The data presented is for the last week and includes for each VM the number of approved requests, last access date and time, and last user.
  • Recommended – VMs that can support just in time VM access but have not been configured to. We recommend that you enable just in time VM access control for these VMs. See Configuring a just in time access policy.
  • No recommendation – Reasons that can cause a VM not to be recommended are:
    • Missing NSG – The just in time solution requires an NSG to be in place.
    • Classic VM – Security Center just in time VM access currently supports only VMs deployed through Azure Resource Manager. A classic deployment is not supported by the just in time solution.
    • Other – A VM is in this category if the just in time solution is turned off in the security policy of the subscription or the resource group, or that the VM is missing a public IP and doesn’t have an NSG in place.

To configure you click on Recommended and select the Virtual Machine, for which you want to enable JIT.

Click on Enable JIT on VMs and configure the ports which should be managed by Just in time VM Access. Just in time VM access will recommend some default ports like RDP, SSH and PowerShell Remoting. You can also add other ports to the virtual machine if you want or need to.

Requesting Just in time VM Access for Azure Virtual Machine

Request Just in time VM access

On the Configured section, you can select the VM you want to request access to and click on Request access. You can now select the ports you want to be open for a specific time and a specific IP address. This will open up the ports and after 2-3 minutes you will be able to access the virtual machine.

To send such a request, the user which requests access to the Virtual Machine needs to have write access to the virtual machines in the Azure Role-Based Access Control (RBAC).

Auditing Azure just in time VM access activity

Of course all the request get logged and can be reviewed in the Activity Log.

Licensing of Azure just in time VM access

Azure just in time VM access is licensed over Azure Security Center and needs the Standard Tier to be enabled for the specific virtual machine.

I hope this gives you an idea how you can leverage Just in time VM access in Azure for your workloads.



Microsoft MVP 2017-2018

Microsoft MVP 2018-2019 Cloud and Datacenter Management and Microsoft Azure

I am proud to announce that I was awarded today by Microsoft, with the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for 2018-2019 in two major categories Cloud and Datacenter Management and Microsoft Azure. This is my 7th Microsoft MVP award since 2012, and I couldn’t be more excited about this one.

Dear

Thomas Maurer,

We’re once again pleased to present you with the 2018-2019 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in recognition of your exceptional technical community leadership. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in the following technical communities during the past year:

 

·   Cloud and Datacenter Management

·   Microsoft Azure

The Microsoft MVP award title is a huge honor and it stand for the contributions I have been doing in the IT community as an Microsoft expert for the past years. The Microsoft MVP award also comes with some benefits, like a NDA and access to the Microsoft Product Groups, as well as the yearly Microsoft MVP Global Summit on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond. But one of the biggest benefit overall is that it gives you the opportunity to speak at different conferences all over the world. This and having the chance to speak with people from all over the world, which share the same passion is priceless.

Who are MVPs?

Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. They are always on the “bleeding edge” and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions, to solve real world problems. MVPs make up a global community of over 4,000 technical experts and community leaders across 90 countries and are driven by their passion, community spirit, and quest for knowledge. Above all and in addition to their amazing technical abilities, MVPs are always willing to help others – that’s what sets them apart.

 

Source https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/Overview

I need to thank many people which are helping me to achieve this and making the most out of it. I would like to thank my employer itnetX which is supporting me in the best possible way all these years, my current and former colleagues from which I can learn a lot, the Microsoft MVP community and of course Microsoft employees in Redmond and all over the world, to work with us and collect feedback. Last but definitely not least, I have to thank my girlfriend, which not only helps me out with many things, but also needs to be patient, with my extra work so many times. She is also one of my biggest and also most critical supporters. She helps me to understand things better, promote my activities better, fixing my blog post 😉 and makes all the traveling more joyful.

If you want to know more about the Microsoft MVP Program, check out the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional website.