AZ-400 Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer

Passed AZ-400 Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer

Today I manage to pass the last Azure AZ exam. This time I took exam AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions, which gives you the Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification. This exam is focused on Azure DevOps solutions, DevOps strategy, implementing DevOps development processes, implementing CI/CD, and much more.

AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions

Candidates for this exam are DevOps professionals who combine people, process, and technologies to continuously deliver valuable products and services that meet end user needs and business objectives. DevOps professionals streamline delivery by optimizing practices, improving communications and collaboration, and creating automation. They design and implement strategies for application code and infrastructure that allow for continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous delivery, and continuous monitoring and feedback.

Candidates must be proficient with Agile practices. They must be familiar with both Azure administration and Azure development and experts in at least one of these areas. Azure DevOps professionals must be able to design and implement DevOps practices for version control, compliance, infrastructure as code, configuration management, build, release, and testing by using Azure technologies

You can find more about the exam and more details on the Microsoft Learning platform. If you successfully pass the AZ-400 exam, you will get the Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification, where you can learn more about here.

How to prepare for the AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions exam

Microsoft Learn DevOps

If you want to prepare for this exam, I have a couple of recommendations for you. First of all, Microsoft Learn DevOps modules. Microsoft Learn is a fantastic learning platform to make you familiar with not just Microsoft Azure technologies, but a lot of other Microsoft products and services. Secondly, there is an excellent Microsoft Course on OpenEDX called Implementing DevOps Development Processes, created by Microsoft MVP Tarun Arora. To get some hands-on experience, I highly recommend the Azure DevOps labs on azuredevopslabs.com. Last but not least, I also recommend the AZ-400 study notes from Gregor Suttie, they will help you to find the right content and focus.

As for every exam, start working with the product and try it out, this is always the most effective learning experience. If you need some free Azure credits, check out this page.

Azure Certifications

Microsoft offers different certifications depending on various job roles. If you are just getting started with Azure, I also highly recommend that you are doing AZ-900, which is the Azure Fundamentals exam.

I hope this gives you a quick overview of the AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions exam, and if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Thomas Maurer Speaking at Experts Live Europe

Speaking at Experts Live Europe 2019 in Prague

Today, I am proud to announce that I will be speaking at Experts Live Europe 2019 in Prague on November 20 – 22, 2019. This is a great honor, and it will be my 7th Experts Live Europe event I am speaking at, all the way back to the first event, when it still was called System Center Universe Europe. I have presented several sessions at each event previously hosted in Bern, Basel, Berlin, and Prague. This will be the second time Experts Live Europe will be hosted in the beautiful city of Prague, Czech Republic. I am looking forward to speaking at this Microsoft community event again. The conference has a strong focus on Microsoft Cloud, Datacenter, Security, and Modern Workplace topics and brings together the community from all over the world.

This year the conference will be three days again, with a pre-conference day including a couple of different pre-conference deep dives, as well as two main conference days with over 70 breakout sessions in 6 parallel tracks. This year the conference will have not only over 40 top expert speakers but also a vast Microsoft presence. You will not just find Microsoft Cloud Advocates and Program Managers, but people from all across the organization. Guess what, this is a perfect time to connect and network with us, but also with other members of the Microsoft community.

Another big highlight for me this year is the track specifically focusing on Windows Server and System Center, presented by Cloud Advocates, Program Managers, and Microsoft MVPs.

My sessions at Experts Live Europe 2019

I am happy that I will be speaking at Experts Live Europe 2019:

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 and Windows Admin Center. Learn how Microsoft enhances the SDDC feature like Hyper-V, Storage, and Networking and get the most out of the new Azure Hybrid Cloud Integration and Container features. You’ll get an overview of 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 Admin Center And more!

If you want to know more about the event and register, check out the Experts Live Europe website. I hope to see you in Prague!



SSH Remote Edit File with Visual Studio Code

Remote Edit Files on Azure Linux VMs using VS Code

There are a lot of different ways to remote manage your Azure virtual machines using various tools and technics. In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can remotely edit files on Azure Linux virtual machines using Visual Studio Code. Visual Studio Code has a new Remote Development Extention which allows you to open any folder in a container, on a remote computer, or in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and take advantage of the VS Code feature set. With the Remote – SSH extensions, you can easily browse and edit files on an Azure VM or any other system where you can connect using SSH.

Installation

As mentioned to edit the files on the Azure Linux virtual machine remotely, we are using the light-weight, cross-platform, opensource editor Visual Studio Code. You can download and install VS Code from the official website.

Visual Studio Code Remote Development Extension

In addition to Visual Studio code, we need to install the Remote – SSH extension, which comes with Remote Development Extension Pack. This also includes remote extensions for containers or the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

If you are running on a Windows 10 machine, you will also need to install the OpenSSH client on your machine. You can do that going through this blog post, or by running this command.

# Install the OpenSSH Client
Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name OpenSSH.Client~~~~0.0.1.0

Azure VM connection using SSH

The Remote – SSH extensions currently only supports connecting to x86_64 Linux-based SSH servers using key-based authentication.

Optional: Create Azure Linux VM with key-based SSH authentication using the Azure CLI

Create Azure Linux VM Azure CLI SSH Keys DNS Name

If you want to try it out, and you haven’t set up a Linux VM SSH and key-based authentication. This Azure CLI command here helps you to create a new Azure virtual machine and sets up ssh keys as well as an optional unique Azure DNS name.

az vm create --resource-group demosshvm --name tomsVM --image UbuntuLTS --admin-username thomas --generate-ssh-keys --public-ip-address-dns-name tomsazurelinuxvm

In this example, you can use the public IP address or the Azure FQDN to connect to the Azure VM. If you have a VPN or Express Route set up, you can also use private IP addresses and DNS names. If you are using public IP addresses in production, make sure you are using a service like Azure Just in Time VM access.

Connect Visual Studio Code to Azure VM using SSH

After you have installed Visual Studio Code, the Remote – SSH extension, the SSH client and have a VM with key-based authentication, you can now easily connect. Open Visual Studio Code, on the bottom left, you see the Remote connection button. If you press it, you will find the remoting options. Select “Remote-SSH: Connect to Host…

Visual Studio Open Remote SSH Connection

This will ask you for the username and IP address or DNS name of the virtual machine. In my case, I am going to use the DNS name.

Visual Studio Code SSH Remoting Connection

 

After pressing enter, this will connect your Visual Studio Code environment to the Azure virtual machine.

Visual Studio Code SSH Connection

 

Remote edit files on Azure Linux VMs using VS Code

You can start opening folders and files on the remote Azure Linux VM and begin browsing the file system. On the bottom left, you see the name or IP address of the machine you are connected with.

SSH Remote File System Visual Studio Code

You can also open files and start remote edit files on your Azure Linux VM. If you save the changes you made to the file, this is directly saved on the remote Azure virtual machine.

SSH Remote Edit File with Visual Studio Code

You get all the advanced VS Code features you know from your local Visual Studio Code like syntax-highlighting and more.

I hope this shows you an easy way to remotely edit files on your Azure Linux virtual machines using Visual Studio Code and SSH. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Hyper-V Server 2019 Install now

How to Install Hyper-V Server 2019

A couple of weeks ago Microsoft released the installation media, and you can download Hyper-V Server 2019 right now. In this blog post, I am going to show you how to install and configure Hyper-V Server 2019 step by step. This should especially help beginners with Hyper-V Server 2019. Hyper-V Server 2019 ships only a core option, so there won’t be desktop experience version of Hyper-V Server like you would have with Windows Server 2019.

Hyper-V Server 2019 Requirements

Hyper-V has specific hardware requirements to run virtualization in a secure and performant way.

  • 64-bit processor with second-level address translation (SLAT)
  • Minimum of 4GB of RAM. You will need more RAM for virtual machines on the Hyper-V Server.
  • Virtualization features and support needs to be enabled in BIOS or UEFI
    • Hardware-assisted virtualization – Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) or AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) technology.
    • Hardware-enforced Data Execution Prevention (DEP)  Intel XD bit (execute disable bit) or AMD NX bit (no execute bit).

Specific features, like Discrete device assignment (DDA) or Shielded Virtual Machines, will also have other hardware requirements. You can find more about the Hyper-V Server 2019 requirements on Microsoft Docs.

Download ISO

You can download Hyper-V Server directly from the Microsoft evaluation center. This SKU does not require a license key, and it also doesn’t expire. It is a fully supported version of Hyper-V for free. However, if you run workloads like Windows Server, Windows 10, or other operating systems on top of it, they need to be correctly licensed.

Install Hyper-V Server 2019

After you have download the ISO file, you will need to install this on your machine. There are multiple options to do this:

You can also follow this guide to add drivers to a Windows Server Image; this also works for Hyper-V Server.

Now you can boot your server with the Hyper-V installation media. This will start the step by step installation. Select the language and region settings you want to use for your Hyper-V Server.

Install Hyper-V Server 2019

Install Hyper-V Server 2019



Migrate Hyper-V VMs to Azure using Azure Migrate

Assess and Migrate Hyper-V VMs with Azure Migrate

Today, the Azure Migrate team launched an update to the Azure Migrate service, which can help you discover, assess, and migrate applications, infrastructure, and data from your on-prem environment to Microsoft Azure. This is excellent timing since we all know that Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are soon out of support and you get free extended security updates if you migrate your VMs to Azure. With Azure Migrate, you can now centrally track the progress of your migration journey across multiple thrid-party and Microsoft tools. In addition, Azure Migrate can now assess and migrate your Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs).

With the latest release of Azure Migrate you can now:

  • Extensible approach with choice across Microsoft and popular ISV assessment and migration tools
  • Integrated experience for discovery, assessment, and migration with end-to-end progress tracking for servers and databases
  • Server Assessment and Server Migration for large-scale VMware, Hyper-V, and physical server migrations
  • Database Assessment and Database Migration across various database targets including Azure SQL Database and Managed Instance

You can find more about the Azure Migrate capabilities on Microsoft Docs. For more information on Azure Migration, check out my blog post about Azure Migration on the Nigel Frank International blog. In this post, I am going to show you how you can step-by-step assess and migrate Hyper-V VMs to Azure using Azure Migrate.

Preparation

First, you need to prepare your Azure to set the right permissions and prepare the on-premises Hyper-V hosts and VMs for server assessment and migration. You can find more about the details for permissions and host preparations on Microsoft Docs.

Next, you will need to create a new Migration project for servers. Click on Asses and migrate servers.

Azure Portal Azure Migrate

Azure Portal Azure Migrate

Now you will need to add the tools you want to use for the assessment as well as for the migration, click on “add tools”.

Getting started

Getting started

You will need to create a new Azure Migrate project. Enter the details for your subscription, resource group, and a name for the project. You will also need to choose a region where your project is going to be deployed. No worries, this will only store the assessment data, you can still select another region for the migration.



AZ-203 Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate

Passed AZ-203 Microsoft Certified Azure Developer

I am happy to share that I just passed another Microsoft Azure Exam. This time I took exam AZ-203, which gives you the Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate. This exam is focused on Azure Developers building solutions using different Azure services. There are several various Azure exams and certifications depending on different job roles like the Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate or the Azure Architect Expert. However, even as an architect, engineer, or administrator, it helps how to understand different Azure services and how you can implement, design, and use them. These exams are not focused on writing the perfect code; they are designed to understand how you can design and build solutions and applications on top of the Azure platform. As you can see on the exam page, the AZ-203 has different focus areas like Azure IaaS, containers, app services, serverless, databases, storage, security, and much more. If you want to prepare for the exam, I highly recommend that you check out Microsoft Learn, but more on that later.

AZ-203 Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate

Candidates for this exam are Azure Developers who design and build cloud solutions such as applications and services. They participate in all phases of development, from solution design, to development and deployment, to testing and maintenance. They partner with cloud solution architects, cloud DBAs, cloud administrators, and clients to implement the solution.

You can find more about the exam and more details on the Microsoft Learning platform.

Azure Certifications

As mentioned, Microsoft offers different certifications depending on various job roles. If you are just getting started with Azure, I also highly recommend that you are doing AZ-900, which is the Azure Fundamentals exam.

How to prepare for the AZ-203 Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate exam

Microsoft Learn Azure Modules

Like for every modern Microsoft exam, I recommend that you first carefully read the skills measured on the exam page. Knowing the technologies and topics which are tested in the exam is already half of the work. Next, I recommend that you have a look at Microsoft Learn. Microsoft Learn is a great learning platform with a lot of different modules on different topics and technologies, which you can search but also filter based on your role. These are not just text-based learning modules; in some cases, you have a hands-on experience using a sandbox environment. You need to work with these technologies, try out these services on Azure, read the documentation on Microsoft Docs to the specific topics and go and try out the services with the different quick starting guides and tutorials. This will not only help you learn for the exam but also provide you a lot of knowledge on Azure.

I wish you happy learning and good luck taking the AZ-302 Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate exam!



PowerShell 7 Installer

How to Install and Update PowerShell 7

Currently, you can install the cross-platform version PowerShell Core 6 on Linux, macOS, and Windows. Early April the PowerShell team announced the next release called PowerShell 7. PowerShell 7 is built on .NET Core 3 and brings back many APIs required by modules built on .NET Framework so that they work with .NET Core runtime. While PowerShell Core 6 was focusing on bringing cross-platform compatibility, PowerShell 7 will focus on making it a viable replacement for Windows PowerShell 5.1 and bringing near parity with Windows PowerShell. Here is how you can install and update PowerShell 7 (preview) on Windows and Linux using a simple one-liner.

If you want to know more about the roadmap, check out Steves blog post.

One great example of how cross-platform PowerShell can work, check out my blog post: How to set up PowerShell SSH Remoting.

Install PowerShell 7 (Preview)

As mentioned PowerShell 7 is currently in preview. You can download and install it manually from GitHub. However, the easiest way to install it is to use the following one-liners created by Steve Lee (Microsoft Principal Software Engineer Manager in the PowerShell Team). You can also use the same one-liners with different parameters to install the current GA version of PowerShell 6.

If you are installing the PowerShell 7 Preview, this will be a side by side installation with PowerShell 6. You can use the pwsh-preview command to run version 7.

One-liner to install or update PowerShell 7 on Windows 10

Install and Update PowerShell 7

You can use this single command in Windows PowerShell to install PowerShell 7. The difference between the installation of version 6 versus version 7 is the -Preview flag.

iex "& { $(irm https://aka.ms/install-powershell.ps1) } -UseMSI -Preview"

There are additional switches to, for example, install daily builds of the latest PowerShell previews.

-Destination
The destination path to install PowerShell Core to.

-Daily
Install PowerShell Core from the daily build.
Note that the ‘PackageManagement’ module is required to install a daily package.

-Preview
Install the latest preview, which is currently version 7. This will

-UseMSI
Use the MSI installer.

-Quiet
The quiet command for the MSI installer.

-DoNotOverwrite
Do not overwrite the destination folder if it already exists.

-AddToPath
On Windows, add the absolute destination path to the ‘User’ scope environment variable ‘Path’;
On Linux, make the symlink ‘/usr/bin/pwsh’ points to “$Destination/pwsh”;
On MacOS, make the symlink ‘/usr/local/bin/pwsh’ points to “$Destination/pwsh”.

One-liner to install or update PowerShell 7 on Linux

Install PowerShell 7 on Linux

You can use this as a single command to install PowerShell 7 on Linux

wget https://aka.ms/install-powershell.sh; sudo bash install-powershell.sh -preview; rm install-powershell.sh

Depending on your distro you are using, this will register Microsoft’s pkg repos and install that package (deb or rpm).

You can also use the following switches:

-includeide
Installs VSCode and VSCode PowerShell extension (only relevant to machines with a desktop environment)

-interactivetesting
Do a quick launch test of VSCode (only applicable when used with -includeide)

-skip-sudo-check
Use sudo without verifying its availability (hard to accurately do on some distros)

-preview
Installs the latest preview release of PowerShell side-by-side with any existing production releases

To currently run the PowerShell Preview, you can run the following command:

pwsh-preview

After Installing

After you have installed PowerShell 7, also make sure to update PowerShellGet and the PackageManagement module.

Remember PowerShell 7 is still currently in preview, if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.