Tag: AKS

Manage your AKS on Windows Server cluster from the Azure Portal using Azure Arc

New AKS hybrid deployment options enabled by Azure Arc, AKS Lite and Hybrid Benefit

This week at Microsoft Ignite Microsoft announced some new features and improvements to the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) hybrid deployment options enabled by Azure Arc. This allows you to run the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) you know as a managed Kubernetes on Azure, in a hybrid cloud environment on-premises, and edge locations. These include AKS Lite, new lifecycle management for AKS hybrid clusters, and the Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

Azure Arc enabled AKS Hybrid at Microsoft Ignite
Azure Arc enabled AKS Hybrid at Microsoft Ignite

AKS Lite

AKS Lite allows you to deploy AKS as a light weight, static Kubernetes platform that enables rapid innovation and application modernization at the edge on Windows devices. AKS lite is designed PC-class devices running Windows 10/11 IoT Enterprise, Windows 10/11 Pro or Windows Server. AKS Lite is Microsoft-managed light-weight Kubernetes distribution, which can run both Linux and Windows containers, and coupled with Azure Arc customers can manage their edge Kubernetes cluster from Azure. You can learn more about AKS Lite here.

Lifecycle management of AKS hybrid clusters using Azure

With the new preview feature you can now directly deploy and manage AKS hybrid clusters running on Azure Stack HCI or Windows Server directly via Azure Portal or Azure CLI. This means you can also use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) or Bicep templates. This will provide a great management experience similar to the one for AKS in Azure. You can learn more about the AKS hybrid lifecycle management here.

Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Kubernetes Service

Microsoft Azure already offers great Azure Hybrid Benefits if you already own Windows Server and SQL Server licenses. With the Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and your existing Windows Server Datacenter and Standard Software Assurance (SA) and Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) licenses you can run AKS on Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI at no additional cost in your datacenter and edge locations.

In addition to this, Windows Server Datacenter SA customers can now use Azure Stack HCI at no additional cost.

Learn more about these announcements on the official Tech Community blog.

If you are interested to get a sneak of some AKS hybrid deployment options, check out my video here (this doesn’t include the new lifecycle management)



Learn Live – Manage Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI

Learn Live – Manage Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI

As you know we are currently running the Learn Live Azure Hybrid Cloud Study Hall on Microsoft Learn TV. The first learn live episodes around our hybrid services with Azure Arc and Azure Stack HCI are now done and available on-demand. But we have more to come! In the upcoming episode I have the chance to go through the Manage Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI Microsoft Learn module together with Senior Cloud Advocate Vinicius Apolinario.

The session will run Thursday  June 16, 2022 10:00AM – 11:30AM (Pacific) and will also be available on-demand. You can download a calendar invite right here.

In this Learn Live episode we will go through the Manage Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI and AKS on Windows Server. You can watch live and later the recording here:

Manage Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI

This module describes how to implement and manage Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI. In this episode, you will:

  • Describe Kubernetes and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).
  • Describe Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI.
  • Deploy AKS and Kubernetes clusters.
  • Connect Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI to Microsoft Azure Arc for Kubernetes.
  • Manage pod placement on multi-pool Kubernetes clusters.
  • Manage pod storage on Kubernetes clusters.

I hope you will enjoy the Learn Live Manage Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI session, if you want to learn more and check out the upcoming Learn Live Azure Hybrid Cloud Study Hall sessions, check out the main page on Microsoft Learn.

About the Learn Live Azure Hybrid Cloud Study Hall

Join us for the new Azure Hybrid study hall series. This fourteen-part weekly series will answer your questions live, walk through how to configure, deploy, manage your hybrid cloud resources using services and hybrid cloud technologies, and walk-through Microsoft Learn modules focused on Azure Arc and Azure Stack HCI. You will learn how you can manage your on-premises, edge and multicloud resources, and how you can deploy Azure services anywhere with Azure Arc and Azure Stack




New-AksHciCluster PowerShell comand

Set up a single-node AKS cluster on Windows Server on-premises

In this blog post we are going to have a look at how you can deploy a single-node Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) cluster on Windows Server running on-premises in your hybrid cloud environment and connect it with Azure Arc.

Many customers want to modernize their application landscape and are using managed Kubernetes services from cloud providers such as the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Microsoft Azure. Many of these organizations also require running Kubernetes on-premises in their hybrid cloud and edge environment. With Microsofts offering you can deploy the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on-premises on Windows Server, Azure Stack HCI or Azure Stack Hub.

If you want to run AKS on-premises in product obviously you will need to deploy a Windows Server Hyper-V, Azure Stack HCI, or Azure Stack Hub cluster, however, if you just want to evaluate AKS or run it in a development environment, you can also run it on a single-node Windows Server with Hyper-V.

Prerequisites

If you want to run a single-node AKS on a Windows Server, there are a couple of prerequisites.

  • An Azure subscription to register the AKS cluster
  • 32 GB of memory or more depending on the workloads
  • Minimum of 500GB direct attached storage (Data drive)
  • Networking
    • One Network Adapter
    • Verify that you have disabled IPv6 on all network adapters.
    • Must have external internet connectivity.
    • Make sure all subnets you define for the cluster are routable amongst each other and to the internet.
    • Make sure that there’s network connectivity between the Windows Server host and the tenant VMs.
    • DNS name resolution is required for all nodes to be able to communicate with each other.
    • (Recommended) Enable dynamic DNS updates in your DNS environment to allow AKS on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server to register the cloud agent generic cluster name in the DNS system for discovery. If dynamic DNS isn’t an option, use the steps prescribed in ‘Set-AksHciConfig’.

To learn more about the AKS on Azure Stack HCI or Windows Server prerequisites, check out Microsoft Docs.

Set up an Azure Kubernetes Service host Windows Server and deploy a workload cluster using PowerShell

Now before we get started, I want to mention that you can also set up the AKS on Windows Server cluster using Windows Admin Center, you can find more here on Microsoft Docs. However, I prefer the PowerShell way.

Set up Azure Kubernetes Service AKS on Windows Server
Set up Azure Kubernetes Service AKS on Windows Server

Windows Admin Center provides a super straight forward wizard to install AKS on Windows Server or Azure Stack HCI.

Set up Hyper-V

First set up Hyper-V on your Windows Server and create a virtual switch.

# Install the Hyper-V Role
Install-WindowsFeature  "Hyper-V" -IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools -Restart
# After the reboot create the virtual Switch
New-VMSwitch -Name VirtualSwitch -NetAdapterName Ethernet -AllowManagementOS $true
# Set Default Storage Path
Set-VMHost -VirtualHardDiskPath "E:\VMs" -VirtualMachinePath "E:\VMs"
# Disable IPv6 on all network adapters
Disable-NetAdapterBinding -Name "*" -ComponentID ms_tcpip6
Install Hyper-V
Install Hyper-V

Install the AksHci PowerShell module

If you have not installed the AksHci PowerShell module, run the following commands to install the modules. You must close all existing PowerShell windows and open a fresh administrative session to install the pre-requisite PowerShell packages and modules.

# Prepare PowerShell
Install-PackageProvider -Name NuGet -Force 
Install-Module -Name PowershellGet -Force -Confirm:$false -SkipPublisherCheck
# Install PowerShell modules
Install-Module -Name Az.Accounts -Repository PSGallery -RequiredVersion 2.2.4
Install-Module -Name Az.Resources -Repository PSGallery -RequiredVersion 3.2.0
Install-Module -Name AzureAD -Repository PSGallery -RequiredVersion 2.0.2.128
Install-Module -Name AksHci -Repository PSGallery
# Import PowerShell modules
Import-Module Az.Accounts
Import-Module Az.Resources
Import-Module AzureAD
Import-Module AksHci
# Validate your installation
Get-Command -Module AksHci
Install AksHci PowerShell modules
Install AksHci PowerShell modules

Register the resource provider to your Azure subscription and login to Azure

Before the registration process, you need to enable the appropriate resource provider in Azure for AKS on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server registration. To do that, run the following PowerShell commands.

# Login
Connect-AzAccount -Tenant <tenantId> -DeviceCode
Set-AzContext -Subscription "xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx"
# Register Resource Providers
Register-AzResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Kubernetes
Register-AzResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.KubernetesConfiguration

To validate the registration process, run the following PowerShell command:

# Verify
Get-AzResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Kubernetes
Get-AzResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.KubernetesConfiguration

Prepare your machine for deployment

Run checks on every physical node to see if all the requirements are satisfied to install AKS on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server. Open PowerShell as an administrator and run the following Initialize-AksHciNode command.

Initialize-AksHciNode
Initialize-AksHciNode
Initialize-AksHciNode

Create a virtual network using the virtual switch earlier. If you don’t remember the name, use the Get-VMSwitch command to find the virtual switch.

To create a virtual network for the nodes in your deployment to use, create an environment variable with the New-AksHciNetworkSetting PowerShell command. This will be used later to configure a deployment that uses static IP.

#Set up vNet with static IP
$vnet = New-AksHciNetworkSetting -name myvnet -vSwitchName "VirtualSwitch" -k8sNodeIpPoolStart "172.21.21.21" -k8sNodeIpPoolEnd "172.21.21.49" -vipPoolStart "172.21.21.51" -vipPoolEnd "172.21.21.120" -ipAddressPrefix "172.21.21.0/24" -gateway "172.21.21.1" -dnsServers "172.21.21.11"

To create the configuration settings for the AKS host, use the Set-AksHciConfig command. You must specify the imageDirworkingDir, and cloudConfigLocation parameters. If you want to reset your configuration details, run the command again with new parameters.

Set-AksHciConfig -imageDir E:\Images -workingDir E:\ImageStore -cloudConfigLocation E:\Config -vnet $vnet -cloudservicecidr "172.21.21.121/24"

Run the following Set-AksHciRegistration PowerShell command with your subscription and resource group name to log into Azure. You must have an Azure subscription, and an existing Azure resource group in the Australia East, East US, Southeast Asia, or West Europe Azure regions to proceed.

Set-AksHciRegistration -subscriptionId "<subscriptionId>" -resourceGroupName "<resourceGroupName>" -TenantId "<tenantId>" -UseDeviceAuthentication
Create AKS Configuration and Registration in Azure
Create AKS Configuration and Registration in Azure

After you’ve configured your deployment, you must start it to install the AKS on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server agents/services and the AKS host. To begin deployment, run the following commands:

# More detail
$VerbosePreference = "Continue"
# Install AKS on Windows Server
Install-AksHci
Installation Azure Kubernetes Service AKS on Windows Server with PowerShell
Installation Azure Kubernetes Service AKS on Windows Server with PowerShell

This will also download the necessary images for the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) cluster.

Downloading images
Downloading images

Manage your AKS on Windows Server deployment

You can now manage your AKS on Windows Server deployment using PowerShell or Windows Admin Center.

Azure Kubernetes Service Runtime on Windows Server​​ with Windows Admin Center
Azure Kubernetes Service Runtime on Windows Server​​ with Windows Admin Center

You can also see the deploy virtual machines for the AKS services and the future Kubernetes clusters you create in Hyper-V Manager

Hyper-V Manager
Hyper-V Manager

If you need to update your Azure Kubernetes Cluster (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI or Windows Server, you can simply open the host settings.

Update AKS on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server
Update AKS on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server

Create a Kubernetes Cluster

After installing your AKS host, you are ready to deploy a Kubernetes cluster. To create a new Kubernetes cluster on AKS on Windows Server, you can use PowerShell or Windows Admin Center.

PowerShell

Open PowerShell as an administrator and run the following New-AksHciCluster command. This command will create a new Kubernetes cluster with one Linux node pool named linuxnodepool with a node count of 2. To read more information about node pools, visit Use node pools in AKS on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server.

New-AksHciCluster -name mycluster -nodePoolName linuxnodepool -nodeCount 2 -osType Linux
New-AksHciCluster PowerShell comand
New-AksHciCluster PowerShell comand

Windows Admin Center

Or use the web-based UI from Windows Admin Center following the wizard.

Create Kubernetes Cluster AKS on Windows Server using Windows Admin Center
Create Kubernetes Cluster AKS on Windows Server using Windows Admin Center

Connect your cluster to Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes

Connect your cluster to Arc enabled Kubernetes by running the Enable-AksHciArcConnection command. The command below connects your AKS on Windows Server cluster to Azure Arc.

Connect-AzAccount -Tenant <tenantId> -DeviceCode
Enable-AksHciArcConnection -name mycluster

Now you can view and manage your AKS on Windows Server running on-premises directly from the Azure portal using Azure Arc. This allows you to enable monitoring, use Microsoft Defender for Kubernetes, Azure Policy, configure GitOps, leverage role-based access control (RBAC), and much more.

Manage your AKS on Windows Server cluster from the Azure Portal using Azure Arc
Manage your AKS on Windows Server cluster from the Azure Portal using Azure Arc

Manage your Hybrid AKS Kubernetes Cluster on Windows Server

Access your cluster using kubectl

To access your Kubernetes clusters using kubectl, run the Get-AksHciCredential PowerShell command. This will use the specified cluster’s kubeconfig file as the default kubeconfig file for kubectl. You can also use kubectl to deploy applications using Helm.

If you haven’t installed kubectl on your Windows machine, you can simply do that using the following commands:

mkdir C:\kube
Start-BitsTransfer -Source "https://dl.k8s.io/release/v1.24.0/bin/windows/amd64/kubectl.exe" -Destination "C:\kube"
$Env:PATH += ";C:\kube"
Get-AksHciCredential -name mycluster
Access your AKS on Windows Server Kubernetes cluster using kubectl
Access your AKS on Windows Server Kubernetes cluster using kubectl

Monitoring with Azure Monitor using Azure Arc

Once your AKS cluster running on-premises is connected to Azure Arc you can enable Azure Monitor for containers. This is straight forwarded, just click on Insights, and enable Azure Monitor.

Enable Monitoring for Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes cluster
Enable Monitoring for Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes cluster

After enabling monitoring, you can review information about the AKS cluster on Windows Server directly in Azure Monitor, and you can also set up alerting.

Azure Monitor AKS on Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI using Azure Arc
Azure Monitor AKS on Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI using Azure Arc
Monitoring Containers
Monitoring Containers

By enabling Azure Monitor you can also access the logs.

Get Kubernetes Logs using Azure Arc and Log Analytics
Get Kubernetes Logs using Azure Arc and Log Analytics

Scale a Kubernetes Cluster

If you need to scale your cluster up or down, you can change the number of control plane nodes using the Set-AksHciCluster command, and you can change the number of Linux or Windows worker nodes in your node pool using the Set-AksHciNodePool command.

To scale control plane nodes, run the following command.

Set-AksHciCluster -name mycluster -controlPlaneNodeCount 3

To scale the AKS worker nodes in your node pool, run the following command.

Set-AksHciNodePool -clusterName mycluster -name linuxnodepool -count 3

You can also use vertical node scaling in AKS on Windows Server & Azure Stack HCI to change the size of the virtual machines in each node pool to increase the resources available to your node pool.

# Show available VM sizes
Get-AksHciVmSize
# Set new VM size for the nodepool
Set-AksHciNodePool -ClusterName mycluster -name mycluster-linux -vmsize Standard_A4_v2

Security and GitOps for your Kubernetes cluster using Azure Arc

By connecting your Kubernetes cluster to Azure using Azure Arc, you can enable Microsoft Defender for Containers and Azure Policy to make sure your cluster is secure and compliant.

GitOps on Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes or Azure Kubernetes Service uses Flux, a popular open-source tool set. Flux provides support for common file sources (Git and Helm repositories, Buckets) and template types (YAML, Helm, and Kustomize). Flux also supports multi-tenancy and deployment dependency management, among other features.

Run Azure services on-premises using Azure Arc

By deploying the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on-premises and Azure Arc enabling it, you can also start running Azure services such as Azure Arc-enabled data services with SQL MI or Azure Arc-enabled application services on top of your Kubernetes cluster.

End to End Azure Hybrid withAzure Stack HCI AKS and Azure Arc
End to End Azure Hybrid with Azure Stack HCI AKS and Azure Arc

Conclusion

Setting up the Azure Kubernetes Service on Windows Server or Azure Stack HCI is super straightforward. You can easily set it up using the wizard in Windows Admin Center or PowerShell. And with the additional management capabilities with PowerShell, CLI, Windows Admin Center, Azure Arc, administration, and deployment of apps is super easy.



KubeCon CloudNativeCon Europe 2022

Speaking at KubeCon Europe 2022

I just wanted to let you know that I will be speaking at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 in Valencia. I will be showing Microsoft Hybrid AKS (Azure Kubernetes Service) offering running in your own datacenter or edge location on Azure Stack HCI or Windows Server! AKS on Azure Stack HCI has Azure Arc built in and allows you to manage your on-premises AKS directly from Azure.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s flagship conference gathers adopters and technologists from leading open source and cloud native communities in Valencia, Spain from 16 – 20 May 2022. Join containerd, CoreDNS, Envoy, etcd, Fluentd, Harbor, Helm, Jaeger, Kubernetes, Linkerd, Open Policy Agent, Prometheus, Rook, TiKV, TUF, Vitess, Argo, Buildpacks, Cilium, CloudEvents, CNI, Contour, Cortex, CRI-O, Crossplane, dapr, Dragonfly, Emissary Ingress, Falco, Flagger, Flux, gRPC, KEDA, KubeEdge, Litmus, Longhorn, NATS, Notary, OpenTelemetry, Operator Framework, SPIFFE, SPIRE, and Thanos as the community gathers for four days to further the education and advancement of cloud native computing.

If you are at KubeCon and want to have a chat, feel free to come by the Microsoft booth. See you there!



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 Cloud Deep Dive Sessions

Azure Hybrid Cloud Deep Dive Sessions

As mentioned before, our team created a virtual free event called ITOps Talks – All Things Hybrid.  ITOps Talks – All Things Hybrid is an initiative of our Cloud Advocacy AzOps team, to bring you Azure Hybrid Cloud deep dive sessions from your favorite speakers and program managers at Microsoft. You can learn directly from the people behind the products how you can make your on-premises environment better using build-in technologies in Windows Server, Microsoft Azure, and many more! ☁

I am happy to let you know that the Azure Hybrid Cloud deep dive sessions from our ITOps Talks All Things Hybrid event are now available! You can find the full list of sessions from our team here on YouTube. 📺

I had the chance to work with some top Program Managers within Microsoft, to create some Hybrid Cloud deep-dive sessions. So I am happy to share my list of sessions directly embedded here for you. ⚡

OPS109 – Getting started with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI

with Matt McSpirit (@mattmcspirit) – Senior Program Manager

In this session, you’ll learn about the new Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI, how you can use it to run your containerized Windows and Linux apps, how it integrates with Azure, and how it provides the best platform to run additional Azure services, including Arc-enabled Data Services. This will help you to modernize your existing applications on our Azure Stack HCI Hybrid Cloud Platform.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
2:00 Azure Hybrid Overview
5:10 Kubernetes on Azure
8:39 What is Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI
15:34 High-Level Architecture
18:51 Architecture AKS-HCI Components
21:21 Demo: Deployment
33:19 Demo: Deploy Worker Nodes
43:41 Demo: Deploy an Application
59:27 How to evaluate the new AKS on Azure Stack HCI
1:00:58 Wrap up

Learn More

OPS111 – Learn the 5 key areas to consider for your hybrid workloads

with David Kurth (@TheDaveKurth) – Senior Product Marketing Manager

In this whiteboard session (after a few slides for context), we will discuss the 5 key areas of any hybrid cloud workload, connectivity, application, data, identity, security & management.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
0:55 About Dave
3:56 Why Hybrid
11:38 Azure Hybrid Overview
19:08 Whiteboard Session Hybrid areas
30:15 Wrap up

Learn More

OPS112 – Azure Stack HCI Hybrid is built-in: How does it really work?

with Kerim Hanif (@kerimhanif) – Senior Program Manager

Ready to deploy Azure Stack HCI, the new hyperconverged infrastructure operating system delivered as an Azure service? Join this session to learn everything you need to know about how Azure Stack HCI’s hybrid connectivity works. Is it hard to register? (Hint: no.) Is there an agent? (Hint: no.) Does Azure see my VMs and their data? (Hint: no.) Do I need to open my firewall to freely allow Internet traffic? (Hint: no.) All these answers and more.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
1:50 What is Azure Stack HCI?
5:55 Azure Stack HCI as a Hybrid services
8:30 Native OS-level integration with Azure
11:20 Demo: Azure Stack HCI
14:10 Registering with Azure
20:19 Demo: How to register
25:21 What happens in the background in Azure?
37:06 Azure Stack HCI Connectivity requirements
44:00 Data privacy
49:36 How can I see the diagnostic data myself?
51:39 Just the foundation more to come!
58:10 Wrap Up

Learn More

OPS113 – From WS2008 to Azure with containers – An Ops view on how to modernize existing applications with Windows Admin Center

with Vinicius Apolinario (@vrapolinario) – Senior Program Manager

ITPros around the globe are trying to figure out how to modernize existing applications. End of Support for Windows Server 2008, how to move applications to the cloud, and how to leverage new technologies such as Kubernetes have become a daunting process for Ops teams. In this session, we will cover how to containerize existing applications from the perspective of an ITPro. We will use tools that you are used to – such as Windows Admin Center to jumpstart your modernization process and show how to move an application from Windows Server 2008 to Azure Kubernetes Service.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
3:33 What are containers?
5:35 Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 End of Life
9:56 The benefits of using containers
17:25 Demo: IIS Application to be containerized
24:14 Demo: Windows Admin Center Container Management
29:50 Demo: Create a Container Image using Windows Admin Center
36:40 Demo: Run Container Image on Windows Server Container Host
41:25 Demo: Push Container Image to Container Registry (ACR)
47:01 Demo: Create Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster
52:37 Demo: Deploy Container to AKS cluster
59:15 Wrap Up

Learn More

OPS114 – Governing baselines such as STIG in hybrid server environments using Azure Policy Guest Configuration

with Michael Greene (@migreene) – Principal Program Manager

Learn to use services in Azure to audit the state of servers across private and public clouds and upcoming plans to expand capabilities in this area.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
3:40 Providing Feedback and Community
5:10 Hybrid solution using Azure Arc
8:30 Demo using Azure Policy Guest Configuration
18:39 Demo How to set up Azure Policy Guest Configuration for Azure Arc machines
23:19 Azure Arc enabled servers
27:33 What is next for Azure Policy Guest Configuration
31:13 Wrap up

Learn More

OPS119 – Databases are cattle too! Running highly available databases consistently on any infrastructure using Arc data services

with Travis Wright (@radtravis) – Principal Group Program Manager

Have you heard people say ‘containers or Kubernetes is not for databases’? Let me show you how that is definitely not the case in 2021. Kubernetes provides an abstraction layer over any infrastructure and an orchestration engine that powers Arc enabled data services so DevOps, DBAs, and developers can provision and manage highly available SQL and PostgreSQL database instances on any infrastructure – on-prem, AWS, or Google. In this session, I’ll dive deep into the technical weeds with nearly 100% demos that show you exactly how it all works and you can manage it all with GUI, CLI, Azure-native tools, or Kubernetes-native tools.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
0:45 Databases are cattle
3:36 Are databases cattle or pets?
06:41 Database cow wannabes
07:47 Database cows
11:12 Traditional Always On
11:50 Azure SQL
12:18 Azure Arc enabled data services
17:35 Built-In, Automated High Availability
18:03 Standard HA
19:46 Premium HA
21:38 Demo: Databases are cattle too!
47:48 Wrap Up

Learn More

OPS121 – Modernize how you manage hybrid servers with Azure Arc

with Ryan Puffer – Senior Program Manager

Think the cloud is just for things that are…in the cloud? Come learn how you can use Azure Arc to simplify IT operations across your entire fleet, no matter where your servers run. We’ll start with a deep dive into the architecture and benefits of Azure Arc followed by a demonstration of how Azure Arc can help you monitor, secure, and simplify the management of a multi-tier on-premises application.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
1:25 Agenda
2:25 What is Azure Arc
4:18 Azure and Azure Arc Architecture
12:58 Demo: Management of Azure VMs
14:39 Azure Arc enabled servers architecture
25:01 Demo: Extensions
26:46 Demo: Azure Arc enabled server and how to add a server
33:51 Demo: How to manage an Azure Arc enabled server
49:49 Demo: Update Management
59:44 Demo: Access Control and RBAC
1:01:28 Demo: Azure Monitoring for hybrid servers
1:06:38 Wrap Up

Learn More

ITOps Talks – Azure Hybrid Cloud Deep Dive sessions

I hope you will enjoy these Azure Hybrid Cloud Deep Dive sessions. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or ping us with a tweet using the #AzOps hashtag on Twitter. I hope you will enjoy ITOps Talks All Things Hybrid!



Microsoft Azure Stack HCI version 20H2

Get and Download Azure Stack HCI now!

Yesterday, the Azure Stack HCI team shared some great news; the new Azure Stack HCI is now generally available. Azure Stack HCI is a new hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) operating system delivered as an Azure service that provides the latest security, performance, and feature updates. You can deploy and run Windows and Linux virtual machines (VMs) in your datacenter or at the edge using your existing tools, processes, and skillsets. It extends your datacenter to the cloud with hybrid cloud services like Azure Backup, Azure Monitor, and Azure Security Center. It also allows you to take advantage of the extended security updates offering for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008/2008 R2. Let’s have a look at where you can get and download Azure Stack HCI.

Azure Stack HCI offers a great hyper-converged infrastructure stack with Azure hybrid services built-in:

  • Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) – Hyper-converged infrastructure stack for secure, efficient virtualization of Windows and Linux guests. Offers from small two-node systems for edge deployments in branch offices, factories, and retail stores, to large scale and high-performance clusters for your enterprise virtualization environment.
  • Flexible hardware offerings – You can choose the deployment scenario and hardware offering, which works best for your environment. Azure Stack HCI offers more than 20 hardware partners with over 200 solutions.
  • Hybrid Cloud built-in – You can extend your datacenter with Azure Hybrid Cloud services to make your on-premises environment even better. Azure Stack HCI has Azure Arc built-in. You can seamlessly connect to Azure services such as Azure Backup, Azure Security Center, Azure Update Management, Azure Site Recovery, Azure Monitor, and many more. It also offers a tightly-integrated Kubernetes service with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI. This allows you to deploy and manage containerized apps with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on-premises, and you can take advantage of AKS consistent experience, extend to Azure with hybrid capabilities, run apps with confidence with built-in security, and use familiar tools to modernize Windows apps.
  • Familiar management and operations – You can use your existing skillsets to manage and operate your Azure Stack HCI infrastructure. You can use the built-in deployment GUI and familiar Windows Server and Hyper-V skills to build your hyper-converged infrastructure. And you can use the cross-platform PowerShell framework to automate your environment.

Azure Stack HCI operating system

Azure Stack HCI operating system

Obviously, there is much, much more. If you want to learn more about the new Azure Stack HCI offering, check out my blog post: Azure Stack HCI version 20H2 – everything you need to know!

You can also find the official announcement blogs on Azure.com and a technical blog on Microsoft Tech Community.

Get and Download Azure Stack HCI

You can download Azure Stack HCI directly from Azure.com with a free 30-day trial period. If you want to learn more about the pricing, check out the official Azure Stack HCI pricing page. To pick the right hardware for your scenario, check out the Azure Stack HCI hardware catalog.

You can also find more information on how to install an Azure Stack HCI host on my blog.



Azure Kubernetes Service

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) – The best place to host your containers

Microsoft today at Build 2018 announced that they will rename Azure Container Service (AKS) to Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) manages your hosted Kubernetes environment, making it quick and easy to deploy and manage containerized applications without container orchestration expertise. It also eliminates the burden of ongoing operations and maintenance by provisioning, upgrading, and scaling resources on demand, without taking your applications offline.

  • Drastically simplifies how you build and run container-based solutions without deep Kubernetes expertise
  • Auto Update, auto scale
  • New capabilities integrated with dev tools and workspaces, CI/CD networking, monitoring tools, etc.
  • All included in the Azure Portal

Create Azure Kubernetes Service AKS

This will be a great services to run containerized workloads in a very simple manor and reduce management overhead.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) will also be available on Azure Stack, as announced in the Azure Stack Roadmap update a couple of months ago.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack
Managed Kubernetes with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack will make it even easier for Azure Stack users to manage and operate Kubernetes environments in the same ways as they do in Azure, without sacrificing portability. This new service features an Azure-hosted control plane, automated upgrades, self-healing, easy scaling, and a simple user experience for both developers and cluster operators. With Container Service, customers get the benefit of open source Kubernetes without complexity and operational overhead. This update applies primarily to Azure Stack users.

With AKS on Azure and Azure Stack. and other services like the Azure Container Registry, Docker for Windows, Windows Server and Hyper-V Containers, Visual Studio Team Services Integration for Azure and Containers, the Microsoft container story becomes very strong. It allows you to run your container workloads in a very simple CI/CD pipeline (VSTS), deployment on Managed Kubernetes (AKS) and deploy it where ever you need it, in the public cloud (Azure) or on-premise (Azure Stack).

Yes Microsoft still has ACS (Azure Container Service), which allows you to deploy different pre-configured container environments and orchestrators, like Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, DC/OS, for scalable deployments and management of containerized workloads.



Azure Stack

Azure Stack Roadmap – Update 12 February 2018

I often get ask about the Azure Stack roadmap and when new services, features and improvements will be integrated into Microsoft Azure Stack. Microsoft just released some new official update on the Azure roadmap page.

Azure Stack Roadmap

Microsoft listed some new features and improvements like:

  • Azure Stack integrated systems with 16 node scale units
    We are working on increasing the maximum number of nodes in a scale unit to 16 so that Azure Stack operators can configure a larger Azure Stack deployment. This entry applies primarily to an Azure Stack operator.
  • Azure Stack support for Azure Backup
    We’re developing the ability for Azure Stack operators to backup and recover guest OS, data disks, and volumes using Azure Backup. When complete, this new ability will give operators more options when developing a backup strategy for Azure Stack.
  • Azure Stack security—drift detection
    New and updated features are being developed to help Azure Stack operators determine if their Azure Stack integrated system has been tampered with, enhancing the Azure Stack security posture. Additionally, they will be able to remediate if configuration has drifted.
  • Azure Stack security—updated audit collection
    Azure Stack operators will be happy to hear that new and updated features are being developed to ensure Azure Stack integrated systems are “hardened by default,” meaning that since the infrastructure runs on well-defined hardware and software, we enable, configure, and validate security features that are usually left to customers to implement. This work will also include updates to the audit collection logs to better integrate with SIEM systems.
  • Azure Container Service (AKS) on Azure Stack
    Managed Kubernetes with Azure Container Service (AKS) on Azure Stack will make it even easier for Azure Stack users to manage and operate Kubernetes environments in the same ways as they do in Azure, without sacrificing portability. This new service features an Azure-hosted control plane, automated upgrades, self-healing, easy scaling, and a simple user experience for both developers and cluster operators. With Container Service, customers get the benefit of open source Kubernetes without complexity and operational overhead. This update applies primarily to Azure Stack users.
  • Templated Kubernetes deployments
    This work in development will bring support for templated Kubernetes clusters. This will simplify deployment and operations for Azure Stack users by allowing them to deploy the template to Azure or Azure Stack, thereby providing a consistent environment in each cloud. This update applies primarily to Azure Stack users.
  • Templated Service Fabric cluster deployments
    This work in development will bring templated Service Fabric clusters that will simplify deployment and operations for Azure Stack users. Once deployed, Azure Stack users will be able to manage Service Fabric clusters, applications, and services through PowerShell, the Service Fabric CLI, or the open source Service Fabric Explorer just as you can in Azure. This update applies primarily to Azure Stack users.
  • Azure Stack support for Azure Site Recovery
    With this work in development, Azure Stack operators will have more site recovery options by be able to take advantage of Azure Site Recovery to replicate and failover guest OS and data disks to Azure. This entry applies primarily to an Azure Stack operator.
  • Azure Stack infrastructure backup and cloud recovery
    We’re developing enhancements for Azure Stack that will simplify infrastructure backup by eliminating the need for manual operator intervention. These enhancements will include the enablement of operator-driven validation of cloud recovery. This post applies primarily to Azure Stack operators.
  • Managed Disks in Azure Stack
    Azure Managed Disks simplifies disk management for Azure VMs by managing the storage accounts associated with the VM disks. You only have to specify the type (Premium or Standard) and the size of disk you need, and Azure creates and manages the disk for you. This work will bring more options and simplicity to Azure Stack users when working with VMs. This update applies primarily to Azure Stack users.
  • Av2-series and F-series virtual machines in Azure Stack
    We’re working on bringing Av2-series and F-series virtual machines (VM) to Azure Stack so that users can create them when building and deploying applications. Av2 is popular for development and test scenarios, while the F-series provides more cores with lesser memory requirement than the D-series. Learn more about Azure VM sizes and Azure Stack Virtual Machines.
  • Expanded VPN Gateway interoperability
    We’re expanding support for the VPN Gateway to allow Azure Stack users greater flexibility with their settings. Once available, this will allow users to configure their own settings so that they can establish a VPN tunnel with the older devices they have in their datacenter, without requiring them to upgrade these devices.
  • Azure Storage API version 2017-04-17 updated in Azure Stack
    We’re working on bringing the 2017-04-17 version of the Azure Storage API to use in Azure Stack. When ready, this will enable Azure Stack users to perform URL-to-URL copies, simplifying the movement of data between Azure and Azure Stack. This update applies primarily to Azure Stack users, but will be beneficial to any user looking to create hybrid applications that span Azure and Azure Stack.
  • Ability to incrementally add capacity to Azure Stack
    We’re now working on adding the ability for Azure Stack operators to add a node to an existing Azure Stack scale unit within the supported scale unit limits. This will enable Azure Stack operators to increase the capacity of a single Azure Stack, and specifics should be discussed with hardware partners.
  • Azure Stack integrated systems support for multiple scale units
    For customers who want larger Azure Stack integrated systems, we’re working on adding support to have multiple scale units in an Azure Stack integrated system. This applies primarily to Azure Stack operators, and will enable them to increase the capacity of a single Azure Stack.
  • Azure Stack operator experience feature updates
    Azure Stack operators can configure Azure Stack and manage offers, plans, services, quotas, and pricing to provide resources for their users. Azure Stack operators also manage capacity and can respond to alerts. We’re developing new and updated features for the monitoring, diagnostics, and servicing experiences to ensure Azure Stack operators can keep the Azure Stack integrated system running and healthy. These include:Investments in infrastructure servicing to minimize tenant downtime.
    Improved alerting and remediations to allow the operator to maintain system health.
    Updated diagnostics for better troubleshooting.
    Continued investments in the Operator UX and Operator PowerShell.
  • Azure Stack Infrastructure—compliance certification guidance
    We’re creating documentation to describe how Azure Stack infrastructure satisfies regulatory technical controls for PCI-DSS and CSA-CCM. Azure Stack operators will be able to use this documentation to simplify the processes that companies go through when working with governing bodies. Check back for more information as the documentation is developed.
  • Display virtual machines prices in Azure Stack portal
    Work is currently in development to allow Azure Stack operators the ability to configure the virtual machine pricing and display it in the Azure Stack portal. This will provide additional flexibility when creating plans, offers, and managing subscriptions. Check back with this blog to see developments as work progresses, and get more information.

You can see Microsoft is going to work on a lot of great improvements for Azure Stack. If you want to know more about Azure Stack, check out my blog post:

https://www.thomasmaurer.ch/2017/06/microsoft-azure-stack-azure-extension-in-your-datacenter/