Tag: Data

Azure Arc enabled SQL Server

How to add an Azure Arc enabled SQL Server

A couple of months ago Microsoft announced a new Hybrid Cloud feature called Azure Arc enabled SQL Server. Azure Arc enabled SQL Server allows you to manage your global inventory of SQL servers, protect SQL Server instances with Azure Security Center or periodically assess and tune the health of your SQL Server configurations. In this blog post, we will cover how you can add SQL Server to Azure Management using Azure Arc.

Azure Arc enabled SQL Server Architecture

Azure Arc enabled SQL Server Architecture

Prerequisites

Before you add an Azure Arc enabled SQL Server, you need to prepare the following prerequisites:

  • A virtual or physical machine running SQL Server. The machine hosting SQL Server must be connected to the internet directly or via a proxy server. Running one of the following operating systems:
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 and higher
    • Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 (x64)
    • CentOS Linux 7 (x64)
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 15 (x64)
  • The Connected Machine agent communicates outbound securely to Azure Arc over TCP port 443. If the machine connects through a firewall or a HTTP proxy server to communicate over the Internet, review the network configuration requirements for the Connected Machine agent.
  • A user account with permissions (An user account with local admin rights.
  • Azure PowerShell installed on the computer executing the onboarding script.
  • You need to have the “Microsoft.AzureData” provider namespace registered. You can run the following Azure PowerShell command to do that: “Register-AzResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.AzureData”. You can run that command in Azure Cloud Shell.

To learn more about the prerequisites, check out the following Microsoft Docs page.



Azure Arc enabled SQL Server

Azure Arc enabled SQL Server Preview is now available

As you know, I do a lot of work on Hybrid Cloud topics like Azure Arc, which allows you to extend Azure management and Azure services to any infrastructure. I talk a lot about how you can use Microsoft Azure to manage your servers running on-premises or at other cloud providers, or how you can connect and manage Kubernetes clusters. The Azure Data services team at Microsoft Ignite 2019 also announced the private preview of Azure Arc Data services, which allow you to deploy services like Azure SQL on any infrastructure. This week they had another news to share, and it is the private preview of Azure Arc enabled SQL Server. With Azure Arc enabled SQL Server, you can use the Azure Portal to register and track the inventory of your SQL Server instances across on-premises, edge sites, and multi-cloud in a single view. You can also take advantage of Azure security services, such as Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel.

Onboarding SQL Server to Azure Arc

Onboarding SQL Server to Azure Arc

The preview of Azure Arc enabled SQL Server Preview includes the following features:

  • Use the Azure Portal to register and track the inventory of your SQL Server instances across on-premises, edge sites, and multi-cloud in a single view.
  • Use Azure Security Center to produce a comprehensive report of vulnerabilities in SQL Servers and get advanced, real-time security alerts for threats to SQL Servers and the OS.
  • Investigate threats in SQL Servers using Azure Sentinel.
Azure Security Center assessment of on-premises SQL Server

Azure Security Center assessment of on-premises SQL Server

You can register any Windows or Linux based SQL Server to track your inventory. Azure Security Center’s advanced data security works on Windows-based SQL Server version 2012 or higher, running on physical or virtual machines and hosted on any infrastructure outside of Azure.

If you are interested in participating in this preview, check out the official blog post. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Windows File Recovery Tool WinFR

Recover Files on Windows using the Windows File Recovery Tool

Did you accidentally delete an important file, wiping a hard drive or partition, or need to restore corrupted files and data? We all have been there, with the newly released Microsoft Windows File Recovery tool you can recover and restore files on Windows. In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can recover and restore files on Windows using the Windows File Recovery tool. You can also use this tool to recover files from external drives and SD cards.

Accidentally deleted an important file? Wiped clean your hard drive? Unsure of what to do with corrupted data? Windows File Recovery can help recover your personal data.

For photos, documents, videos and more, Windows File Recovery supports many file types to help ensure that your data is not permanently lost.

Recovering from a camera or SD card? Try Signature mode, which expands beyond NTFS recovery and caters to your storage device needs. Let this app be your first choice for helping to find what you need from your hard drive, SSD (*limited by TRIM), USB drive, or memory cards.

I also want to make clear that this is no replacement for a backup, like Windows File History, Azure Backup, or products from third-party vendors. This tool is more of an emergency utility, you can restore files that were not backed up.

Requirements

To use the Windows File Recovery Tool, you have a couple of requirements.

  • You will need to run Windows 10, version 2004 (Build 19041), or later.
  • You can download the Windows File Recovery Tool from the Microsoft Store.
  • The source and destination drives must be different. If you don’t have a second drive on your computer, you can use a USB drive as a target for the restore. If you are storing form an SD card or external drive, you can use the internal system drive (often the C: drive) as a target.
  • The tool supports different file systems such as NTFS, ReFS, FAT, and exFAT. If you are restoring files from a non-NTFS file system, you will need to run the commands in signature mode using the /x parameter.


Azure Hybrid

Azure Arc – Cloud-native Management for Hybrid Cloud

Azure Hybrid is not just Azure Stack, it also includes a couple of other Azure Hybrid services like Azure Update Management, Azure File Sync and many more. Today, Microsoft will extend the hybrid cloud solutions in Azure and announced Azure Arc, which is designed to extend Azure Management to any infrastructure. In the new world where organizations run servers, containers, and applications across multi-cloud environments, on-premises locations, and the edge, managing these hybrid resources becomes challenging. Azure Arc enables cloud-native Azure management across any infrastructure and also allows you to run Azure data services to be deployed anywhere. It includes hybrid server management, Kubernetes and Azure data services.

Azure Arc Overview

Azure Arc Overview

As you can see Azure Arc consists of a set of different technologies and components like:

  • Organize and govern all your servers – Azure Arc extends Azure management to physical and virtual servers anywhere. Govern and manage servers from a single scalable management pane. You can learn more about Azure Arc for servers here.
  • Manage Kubernetes apps at scale – Deploy and configure Kubernetes applications consistently across all your environments with modern DevOps techniques.
  • Run data services anywhere – Deploy Azure data services in moments, anywhere you need them. Get simpler compliance, faster response times, and better security for your data. You can learn more here.
  • Adopt cloud technologies on-premises – Bringing cloud-native management to your hybrid environment.

In this blog post, we will have a closer look at hybrid server management. If you want to know more about Azure Arc, check out the announcement blog post by Jeremy Winter, Director of Program Management, Microsoft Azure.

Cloud-native Azure management for hybrid environments with Azure Arc

By extending Azure Resource Manager to support hybrid cloud environments, Azure Arc to make it easier to implement cloud security across environments with centralized role-based access control, security policies. Azure Management provides you now with a single control plane for Azure native and Azure Arc resources.

Azure Management Overview

Azure Management Overview

Hybrid Server Management

Today Azure Arc allows you to onboard physical and virtual servers in your hybrid environment (on-premises, edge, and multi-cloud). By joining serves to Azure Arc, you get the benefits you are used from native Azure resources, like tags, RBAC, and many more. In the preview, you can now use Azure Management services like Azure Log Analytics and Azure Policy to make sure your servers are compliant across your hybrid environment.

Hybrid Server Management

Hybrid Server Management

I had the chance to have a very early chat with Jian Yan from the Azure Management team, a couple of weeks ago, about hybrid server management. Check out the video here:

Join the Preview

Azure Arc for Server is currently in public preview, while you can sign up for the preview to manage Kubernetes and data services. To enable hybrid server management, you must register the required Resource Providers.

  • Microsoft.HybridCompute
  • Microsoft.GuestConfiguration

You can register the resource providers with the following Azure PowerShell commands:

Login-AzAccount
Set-AzContext -SubscriptionId [subscription you want to onboard]
Register-AzResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.HybridCompute
Register-AzResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.GuestConfiguration

or with Azure CLI:

az account set --subscription "{Your Subscription Name}"
az provider register --namespace 'Microsoft.HybridCompute'
az provider register --namespace 'Microsoft.GuestConfiguration'

You can also run them from Azure Cloud Shell. If you want to know more, check out the following Microsoft Docs article.

Onboarding Servers to Azure Arc

As mentioned we will have a closer look here at how you can onboard Linux and Windows Server to Azure Arc. To onboard a server which can run Linux or Windows, physical or virtual, and can run on-premises or at another service provider, you open Azure Arc in the Azure Portal. There you can select manage servers.

Azure Arc Portal

Azure Arc Portal

Here you will see your existing servers which you have on-boarded.

Azure Arc Server in Portal

Azure Arc Server in Portal

 

You can click on Add, to add another server. You will be able to add a single server or get instructions to onboard servers at scale.

Add server to Azure Arc

Add server to Azure Arc

Here you can go through a wizard that will help you to generate a script, which you can copy or download to run it on your server. You can select the subscription and resource group, as well as the region where you want to join your server.

You will also be able to configure a proxy server if your server is behind a proxy. Since this will use the Azure Resource Manager, you will also be able to use tags. After you are done with the wizard, you are able to download or copy the command to run that on your server.

Generate Script

Generate Script

After you have run that command on your on-premises server, your server will show up as an Azure resource in a couple of minutes.

Use Windows Admin Center to onboard a server to Azure Arc

Windows Admin Center and Azure Stack HCI

Windows Admin Center and Azure Stack HCI

If you are using Windows Admin Center on Windows Server or with Azure Stack HCI, you can also onboard servers directly from there. Go to the settings of the server and click on Azure Arc. Now you can sign in and select the specific subscription and resource group.

More

If you want to know more about the Azure Hybrid announcements at Microsoft Ignite 2019, check out the blog post of Julia White. If you want to know more about Azure Arc, check out the blog post from Jeremy Winter. If you have any questions about it feel free to leave a comment, or if you are at Microsoft Ignite, feel free to talk to me and the Azure team.

I will also host a Microsoft Ignite Live interview with Jian Yan, which you can watch live in Orlando or online.

Microsoft Ignite Live

Azure is built from the ground up to manage at-scale, cross-geography environments with multiple operational models and DevOps patterns. The vision is to keep Azure at the center of the enterprise as the control plane for governance, management, and modern development and bring the Azure management capabilities and services to any customer environment. In this session, we demo one of the extension services to enable you to bring servers from anywhere to Azure, and use Azure to get a compliance view for all your server assets.



DPM Deduplication

Deduplication in System Center Data Protection Manager

Today Microsoft announced support for Deduplication in System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM). To use Deduplication together with System Center Data Protection Manager you have to meet the following criteria:

  • The Server running System Center Data Protection Manager must be virtualized.
  • DPM Server has to use Windows Sevrer 2012 R2
  • The Hyper-V Sever where the DPM VM is running on has to be Windows Server 2012 R2
  • System Center Data Protection Manager must be version 2012 R2 with Update Rollup 4 (UR4) or higher.
  • The Data Storage of the DPM Server must be VHDX Files attached to the DPM VM.
  • DPM VHDX files need to be 1TB of size.
  • The VHDX files of the DPM Server must be stored on a Scale-Out File Server Cluster using SMB 3.0
  • All the Windows File Server nodes on which DPM virtual hard disks reside and on which deduplication will be enabled must be running Windows Server 2012 R2 with Update Rollup November 2014.
  • Deduplication is enabled on the CSV of the Scale-Out File Server
  • It is recommended to use Storage Spaces but it is not required
  • Use Parity Storage Spaces with enclosure-awareness for resiliency and increased disk utilization.
  • Format NTFS with 64 KB allocation units and large file record segments to work better with dedup use of sparse files.
  • In the hardware configuration above the recommended volume size is 7.2TB volumes.
  • Plan and set up DPM and deduplication scheduling
  • Tune the File Server Cluster for DPM Storage

DPM Deduplication

The combination of deduplication and DPM provides substantial space savings. This allows higher retention rates, more frequent backups, and better TCO for the DPM deployment. The guidance and recommendations in this document should provide you with the tools and knowledge to configure deduplication for DPM storage and see the benefits for yourself in your own deployment.

To get more information checkout the following TechNet Article: Deduplicating DPM storage