Tag: Hybrid Cloud

Nigel Frank Migrating and extending with Microsoft Azure

Article about Azure Migration on Nigel Frank International

This week my blog post on Azure Migration and Hybrid Cloud on the Nigel Frank International blog went live. The title of the article is, Migrating and extending your on-premises environment with Microsoft Azure. In that blog post, I what your advantages are by using the cloud and some of the different approaches to use Microsoft Azure. Before I then go deeper on different Azure scenarios and topics.

I cover a lot of different Azure options like:

Nigel Frank International

The public cloud is becoming more and more important for companies that want to stay agile and flexible to meet their business demands. But if a company decides to move to the public cloud, what are the best ways to migrate to Microsoft Azure? In this blog post, we’ll take a quick look at what services Microsoft offers to make your cloud migration easier.

It was fun to work with the team at Nigel Frank International and I hope you like the article.



VMware on Azure - Azure VMware Solutions

Run your VMware natively on Azure with Azure VMware Solutions

Today the Microsoft Azure team announced the Azure VMware Solutions, which allow you to run VMware natively on Azure. VMware Solution on Azure by CloudSimple is a fully managed service that lets you run the VMware platform in Azure. This solution includes vSphere, vCenter, vSAN, NSX-T, and similar tools. VMware environment runs natively on Azure Bare Metal infrastructure, on Azure cloud locations. The service includes all the features required to consume the VMware platforms efficiently and securely. The solution is delivered by Microsoft, verified by VMware, and run on Azure infrastructure.

This allows you to move or extend your on-premises VMware environment to Microsoft Azure. You can seamlessly move VMware workloads to Azure and integrate with your VMware management environment, using the same and existing management tools. This gives you time to modernize your workloads with native Azure services. This extends the Microsoft hybrid cloud offerings for products like Azure Stack, Azure Stack HCI, and more.

VMware Solution on Azure by CloudSimple

VMware on Azure - Azure VMware Solutions

Features

  • On-demand self-service provisioning of VMware cloud environments. Ability to add and remove capacity on demand
  • VMware platform deployment, upgrade, management plane backup, health/capacity monitoring, alerting, troubleshooting, and remediation.
  • Underlay networking services required to enable VMware, including L2/L3 services and firewall rule management.
  • Edge-type networking services, including VPN, Public IP, and Internet Gateways. These edge services run on Azure and carry the corresponding security and DDoS protection of Azure.
  • Capacity reservation to lower costs.
  • High-speed, low-latency connectivity to Azure and on-premises.
  • Solution architectures for customers to consume Azure services in an integrated fashion, take advantage of this unique “VMware cloud in a public cloud” architecture. These Azure services include Azure AD, storage,
  • application gateways, and others.
  • Infrastructure is fully dedicated to you and is physically isolated from the infrastructure of other customers.
  • Management features such as activity management, usage, billing/metering, and user management.
  • 24×7 customer support.

(Source Microsoft Docs)

This will open a couple of crucial scenarios for our customers.

  • Data Center retirement or migration – If you need to retire your datacenter and you need a fast and straightforward way to move your existing VMware workloads, Azure is a great place to host these workloads without rearchitecting them. This will give you time to modernize your applications in the mid and long term
  • Expansion on demand – If you are running your VMware environment and you need more capacity on demand, you can extend it to Azure.
  • Disaster Recovery – You can use Azure as your recovery site for your on-premises VMware workloads
  • Virtual Desktops – If you are running a VDI solution on top of VMware, you are also able to host the infrastructure in Azure.
  • Hosting High-Performance Applications – The CloudSimple solution provides a hyper-converged architecture designed to run high-performance workloads
  • Hybrid Cloud – It opens up scenarios for companies to run hybrid cloud scenarios, without the need to switch all your tools and to rearchitect your workloads

If you want to know more about VMware Solution on Azure by CloudSimple, you can check out the Microsoft docs.

Integration into Azure

Create VM in the Azure Portal

The VMware solutions on Azure, are not just isolated from the rest of your Azure environment. VMware on Azure by CloudSimple is integrated into Azure, which means it allows you to leverage Azure Express Route and even the Azure Resource Manager to deploy virtual machines on your VMware host running in Azure. This will enable you to create new virtual machines from your VMware administration tools like vCenter, but also within the Azure Portal or using Azure Resource Manager templates.

Pricing

In terms of pricing, you will be paying per VMware node in Azure, and you will get charged by Microsoft for it. You can use your existing Azure Enterprise Agreement precommitments for it.

We have two different instances available depending on the size you need, the CS28 and the larger CS36 nodes. These include CPU cores, RAM, NVME Cache, and useable all-flash storage. The minimum of nodes you will need is three instances per cluster. You can also make use of the Reserved options for 1 or 3 years to save up to 50%. You can also use the Azure Hybrid Benefit to use your existing Windows Server licenses, and you can also make use of the Extended Security Update options for Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2.

Azure CloudSimple Pricing

The storage pricing is the useable storage in vSAN. If you want to know more about pricing, check out the Azure pricing page for Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple.

What are your thoughts about these announcements? Let me know in the comments!



CDC-Germany 2019

Speaking at the Cloud and Datacenter Conference Germany 2019

One of the best conferences when it comes to cloud and datacenter topics of IT Pros, is the Cloud and Datacenter Conference Germany 2019 organized by Microsoft MVP Carsten Rachfahl. I had the opportunity to speak at CDC-Germany 2016, 2017 and also in 2018. I am happy that I again was invited to speak at CDC-Germany 2019. The two day, Cloud & Datacenter Conference Germany will be held in Hanau, Germany on May 21-22. The CDC Germany will be focusing on Microsoft Technology and will have 6 tracks full of great Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter content with speakers from all over the world.

Featured Speakers CDC-Germany 2019

My Sessions at the Cloud and Datacenter Conference Germany 2019

I happy to speak in 1 of the main sessions and 2 breakout session about Hybird Cloud topics, like Azure Cloud Shell, Azure Stack, Windows Server 2019, Windows Admin Center, Azure Stack HCI and much much more.

Hybrid is the New Black!

Hybrid Cloud is not just a state during your cloud migration, it is here to stay! Hybrid Cloud goes far beyond Microsoft Azure Stack, and in this session you will see an overview about the different solutions you can use to extend your on-premises environment with Microsoft cloud services.

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!

Mastering Azure using Cloud Shell, PowerShell and Bash!

Azure can be managed in many different way. Learn your command line options like Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI and Cloud Shell to be more efficient in managing your Azure infrastructure. Become a hero on the shell to manage the cloud!

My Session at the Hyper-V Community + Hybrid Cloud Community Pre-Day

I will also be speaking at the Hyper-V Community + Hybrid Cloud Community Pre-Day at May 20, 2019.

Extend the Intelligent Cloud to the Edge with Azure Stack and Azure Stack HCI

Azure Stack allows you to extend Azure to your datacenter and run Azure Services under your terms. With Azure Stack HCI, the latest member in the Azure Stack family, we also offer a great hyper-converged infrastructure solution, with optional Azure connected services. Find out more about Azure Stack and Azure Stack HCI, how these solutions can help you to in your Hybrid Cloud strategy. 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.

I am really looking forward to the Cloud and Datacenter Conference Germany 2019, and I hope to see you there!



Microsoft Ignite The Tour Amsterdam 2019 Thomas Maurer Speaking

Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2019 Azure Hybrid Session Recordings

As you might know, had the chance to present my first sessions as a Microsoft employee at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2019 in London and Amsterdam. A couple of weeks ago, the session recordings from Amsterdam are now available. My sessions were part of the Azure Hybrid Cloud learning path.

Building and maintaining your Azure hybrid environment
Tailwind Traders has seen exponential growth over the last two years, transitioning from a midsize company to a worldwide corporation. This growth has required extending Tailwind’s existing infrastructure into Microsoft Azure in a hybrid deployment, with some important workloads remaining in the organization’s on-premises datacenter, while increasing numbers of critical workloads running in Azure.

In the five modules for this learning path, you’ll learn how to plan and configure hybrid network connectivity, apply best practice security configuration to Azure resources, learn how to effectively monitor and maintain those resources, ensure that those resources meet organizational compliance requirements, and ensure that workloads in Azure are highly available and protected against catastrophe.

Sessions at Microsoft Ignite The Tour 2019

HYB10 - Planning and implementing hybrid network connectivity

Once your organization has decided to implement a hybrid model, you need to start figuring out how to ensure that communication between your on-premises environment and your hybrid workloads is both secure and reliable. You also need to ensure that those workloads are protected from internal and external network threats. In this module, you’ll learn how to assess your organization’s on-prem network infrastructure, how to plan and then implement an appropriate networking design for Azure. You’ll learn how to implement appropriate Azure virtual network technologies, including securing connectivity between on-premises and Azure using VPNs and ExpressRoute as well as how to strategically deploy firewalls, network security groups and marketplace appliances to protect those resources and workloads.

HYB20 - Securing your Azure environment

With Cloud resources now connected with our datacenter, secure administrative access to critical workloads needs to be configured appropriately. It’s also important from an organizational and compliance perspective to ensure that workloads have a security configuration aligned with industry best practice. In this module, you’ll learn how to improve the security of privileged accounts used to manage Azure resources, manage software updates for both on-premises and cloud hosted virtual machines, and how to get the most out of Azure Security Center for assessing and remediating security configuration issues in a hybrid environment.

You can find more  Microsoft Ignite The Tour recordings on the offical website.



Setup VM Protection in Windows Admin Center_LI

Configure Azure Site Recovery from Windows Admin Center

With the Hybrid Cloud effort Microsoft invested heavy to make Windows Server and Hyper-V better connect to Microsoft Azure. One way of doing that is with Windows Admin Center and Azure Site Recovery. The Azure Site Recovery integration in Windows Admin Center, allows you to easily replicate Hyper-V virtual machines to Microsoft Azure. The technology is not new, ASR does exist for a long time and allows you to not only replicate Hyper-V VMs, but also VMware VMs and physical servers. However, with the integration in Windows Admin Center, setting up Azure Site Recovery became super easy.

Set up Azure Site Recovery from Windows Admin Center

Setup VM Protection in Windows Admin Center_LI

In the Virtual Machines extension, you can already see a recommendation to setup ASR: “Help protect your VMs from disasters by using Azure Site Recovery.” Which will guide you through the onboarding steps. If you don’t see that banner, just click on the VM you want to protect and replicate to Azure. Click on More and select “Set up VM Protection“, this will guide you through the same wizard.

If you haven’t connected your Windows Admin Center to Microsoft Azure yet, the wizard will help you to go through and set up this connection.

Setup up Hyper-V ASR Host with Windows Admin Cenetr

After your WAC is connected to Azure, you will now setup Azure Site Recovery for the Hyper-V host in Azure. This can directly be done from Windows Admin Center. For example, this will let you select the Azure Subscription you want ASR to connect to. It will let you create a new Resource Group and Recovery Services Vault or use an existing one. After you have done the configuration part, WAC will create the specific Azure resources and configure the Hyper-V host for Azure Site Recovery. This can take up to 10 minutes depending if you are using existing resources or creating new once.

If you have a look at the Hyper-V Replica settings in Hyper-V Manager, you will see that ASR is completely setup and configured.



Windows Admin Center Azure Monitor Setup

Connect Windows Server to Azure Monitor

As mentioned in blogs posts before, Windows Admin Center allows admins to extend their on-prem environments with hybrid Azure services. The latest addition is the integration of Azure Monitor in Windows Admin Center. This allows you to connect your Windows Server to Azure Monitor. Azure Monitor collects events and performance counters from Windows Server to run analytics and reporting in Azure and take action when a particular condition is detected. This can then be a notification (SMS, email, push notification) and/or a direct action using Azure Logic Apps, Azure Functions, Azure Automation Runbooks, webhooks or integration into ITSM tools.

Setup monitoring and alerts for Windows Server to Azure Monitor with Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center Azure Monitor Setup

Windows Admin Center Azure Monitor Setup

Setting up the Azure Monitor connection in Windows Admin Center is simple. Select the server you want to connect to Azure Monitor. Go to Settings and then Monitoring Alerts.

Connect Windows Server to Azure Monitor

Connect Windows Server to Azure Monitor

Here you will be able to configure the server with the right Azure subscription, resource group and log analytics workspace.



Azure Stack Familiy - Azure Stack HCI

Azure Stack HCI – A new member of the Azure Stack family

Today, the Azure team is proud to announce a new member to the Azure Stack family, the Azure Stack HCI solutions. Azure Stack HCI is Microsoft’s hyper-converged solution available from a wide range of hardware partners. Azure Stack shipped in 2017, and it is the only solution in the market today for customers to run cloud applications using consistent IaaS and PaaS services across public cloud, on-premises, and in disconnected environments. With adding the Azure Stack HCI solutions, Microsoft is offering customers a great new choice for their traditional virtualized workloads.

Today, I am pleased to announce Azure Stack HCI solutions are available for customers who want to run virtualized applications on modern hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) to lower costs and improve performance. Azure Stack HCI solutions feature the same software-defined compute, storage, and networking software as Azure Stack, and can integrate with Azure for hybrid capabilities such as cloud-based backup, site recovery, monitoring, and more.

Adopting hybrid cloud is a journey and it is important to have a strategy that takes into account different workloads, skillsets, and tools. Microsoft is the only leading cloud vendor that delivers a comprehensive set of hybrid cloud solutions, so customers can use the right tool for the job without compromise.

It is built on a hyper-converged Windows Server 2019 cluster that uses validated and certified hardware to run virtual machines and workloads on-premises. Azure Stack HCI also allows you to optionally connect Azure services for BCDR, management and more. Azure Stack HCI solutions use Microsoft-validated hardware to ensure optimal performance and reliability. It includes support for technologies such as NVMe drives, persistent memory, and remote-direct memory access (RDMA) networking, to get the best possible performance if needed.

What is behind Azure Stack HCI

Azure Stack HCI Product Overview

Azure Stack HCI is based on Windows Server 2019, parried with validated hardware from OEM partners. With the Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition, customer get Software Defined Infrastructure and Software Defined Datacenter technologies like Hyper-V, Storage Spaces Direct and many more, which are the base of Azure Stack HCI. Paired with Windows Admin Center, you can use existing skills, gain hyperconverged efficiency, and connect to Azure services.