Tag: Hybrid

Azure Stack Hub Partner Solutions Video Series

The Azure Stack Hub Partner Solutions Video Series

This week Tiberiu Radu (Microsoft Program Manager) and I had the chance to launch the Azure Stack Hub Partner Solutions video series. Azure Stack Hub is part of the Azure Stack portfolio, and has led the way for Microsoft’s Hybrid cloud offerings and partners have joined us to enhance the hybrid cloud journey of our customers. These partners and customers have built solutions that leverage Azure Stack Hub as part of their hybrid cloud strategy. In this video series, we explore the ways our customers and partners use, deploy, manage, and build solutions on the Azure Stack Hub platform.

Join Thomas Maurer (@ThomasMaurer) and Tiberiu Radu (@rctibi) in  this series, as we will meet customers that are deploying Azure Stack Hub for their own internal departments, partners that run managed services on behalf of their customers, and a wide range of in-between as we look at how our various partners are using Azure Stack Hub to bring the power of the cloud on-premises.

You can find more information check out Tiberiu’s blog post on Tech Community, and you can check out the first three videos:

Through August, we have quite a few partner videos following, and we will update this thread, as well as announce them on our Twitter feeds (#AzStackPartners) – follow us in this journey as we explore the partner solutions built on Azure Stack Hub!

If you want to learn more about Azure Stack and Azure Stack Hub, check out the following links:

I hope you enjoyed the blog and the videos, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments.



RunAsRadio Podcast Thomas Maurer

RunAsRadio Managing Your Hybrid Cloud using Azure Arc with Thomas Maurer

This week I was on Richard Campbell RunAsRadio podcast to talk about Hybrid Cloud management using Azure Arc. RunAs Radio is a weekly podcast for IT Professionals working with Microsoft products. Each 30-minute episode covers a specific topic in the field of IT from a Microsoft-centric viewpoint.

We all have a hybrid cloud solution – how do you manage it? Richard chats with Thomas Maurer about Azure Arc, a tool in the Azure suite for managing virtual machines, Kubernetes clusters, and data services in Azure, your on-premises servers, even other cloud providers! Thomas talks about how IT folks end up with an array of tools for managing servers depending on the location and how Azure Arc ends that. Arc provides location-independent access to all your resources, and it’s in preview now, so free to use (although you may have to pay for additional Log Analytics data)… check it out!

If you want to listen to the podcast episode, check out RunAsRadio.com.



MJFChat Whats New in the Azure Hybrid Space

MJFChat What’s New in the Azure Hybrid Space?

This week I had the honor to be on Mary Jo Foley podcast called MJFChat on Petri.com and talk about what’s new in the Azure Hybrid space. This was the perfect time since we had some great Hybrid Cloud announcements this week during Microsoft Inspire, especially when it comes to Azure Stack HCI.

MJFChat: What’s New in the Azure Hybrid Space?

This episode of MJFChat is all about what’s happening in the Azure hybrid space. Microsoft was the first of the major cloud vendors to offer not just a public cloud, but also a hybrid platform. Azure Stack was the core of Microsoft’s hybrid 1.0 strategy. More recently, Microsoft outlined its hybrid 2.0 plan, which centers around Azure Arc.

If you want to listen to the podcast, you can go to Petri.com or your favorite podcast platform, MJF Chat on Spotify; here for Apple Podcasts on iTunes; and here for Google Play.



Microsoft Azure Stack HCI version 20H2

Azure Stack HCI version 20H2 – everything you need to know!

Microsoft just announced the new Azure Stack HCI, delivered as an Azure hybrid service, at Microsoft Inspire 2020. Azure Stack HCI, as a hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solution, is expanding the Azure Stack portfolio to offer a comprehensive and flexible lineup of edge infrastructure and hybrid cloud environments. In this blog post, I want you to provide you with an overview of the new Azure Stack HCI, version 20H2.

You can also find the full announcement blog on Azure.com.

What’s Azure Stack HCI

Azure Stack HCI is a hyper-converged cluster solution that runs virtualized Windows and Linux workloads in a hybrid on-premises environment. Some of the most popular use cases are datacenter modernization, Remote/Branch office scenarios, SQL Server based virtual applications, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, and running Kubernetes clusters.

  • Hyperconverged infrastructure stack – The Azure Stack HCI operating system is based on core components from Windows Server, and it is designed and optimized on being the best virtualization host and hyper-converged platform. It is enhanced with software from Azure that includes our latest hypervisor with built-in software-defined storage and networking, that you install on servers you control, on your premises. This provides additional functionally, features and performance.
  • Delivered as an Azure hybrid service – Azure Stack HCI is now delivered as an Azure service with a subscription-based licensing model and hybrid capabilities built-in. You can enhance the cluster with Azure hybrid capabilities such as cloud-based monitoring, site recovery, and backup, as well as a central view of all of your Azure Stack HCI deployments in the Azure portal.
  • Familiar for IT to manage and operate – Runs on your choice of hardware, from your preferred vendor, and continue using the tools and processes your team already knows to manage virtual machines, including Windows Admin Center, System Center, and PowerShell.

This new Azure Stack HCI product takes its name from a program that Microsoft has run for several years with recent versions of Windows Server. That program was very popular, and it’s what inspired this new product.

Azure Stack HCI - Inspired by its popular predecessor

Azure Stack HCI – Inspired by its popular predecessor

Part of the Azure Stack Portfolio

Azure Stack HCI joins the growing family of Azure Stack solutions, which offers a comprehensive and flexible lineup of edge infrastructure. The Azure Stack portfolio ranges from Azure Stack Hub, which is an extension of Azure, bringing the agility and innovation of cloud computing to your on-premises environment, to Azure Stack Edge, which brings Azure compute for AI and machine learning at the edge.

Azure Stack HCI version 20H2 - Part of the Azure Stack portfolio

Azure Stack HCI version 20H2 – Part of the Azure Stack portfolio

You can learn more about the Azure Stack portfolio on Azure.com.



Windows Server on Microsoft Azure

Learn about Windows Server on Microsoft Azure

As many of you know, Microsoft Azure is the best cloud to run Windows Server workloads. Last week the team published two new Microsoft Learn Learning paths, where you can learn more about how to run Windows Server on Azure. The first two learning paths available are “implement Windows Server IaaS VM networking” and “implement Windows Server IaaS VM Identity”. These two learning paths offer a couple of modules around the specific topics.

Implement Windows Server IaaS VM networking

In this learning path, you’ll learn about Azure IaaS networking and identity. After completing the learning path, you’ll be able to implement IP addressing, manage DNS, and deploy and manage domain controllers in Azure.

Modules

  • Implement Windows Server IaaS VM IP addressing and routing
    In this module, you’ll learn how to manage Microsoft Azure virtual networks (VNets) and IP address configuration for Windows Server infrastructure as a service (IaaS) virtual machines (VM)s.
  • Implement DNS for Windows Server IaaS VMs
    In this module, you’ll learn to configure DNS for Windows Server IaaS VMs, choose the appropriate DNS solution for your organization’s needs, and run a DNS server in a Windows Server Azure IaaS VM.
  • Implement Windows Server IaaS VM network security
    In this module, you will focus on how to improve the network security for Windows Server infrastructure as a service (IaaS) virtual machines (VMs) and how to diagnose network security issues with those VMs.

You can find the full learning path on Microsoft Learn.

Implement Windows Server IaaS VM Identity

After completing this learning path, you’ll know how to implement identity in Azure. You’ll be able to extend an existing on-premises Active Directory identity service into Azure.

Modules

  • Implement hybrid identity with Windows Server
    In this module, you’ll learn to configure an Azure environment so that Windows IaaS workloads requiring Active Directory are supported. You’ll also learn to integrate on-premises Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) environment into Azure.
  • Deploy and manage Azure IaaS Active Directory domain controllers in Azure
    In this module, you’ll learn how to extend an existing Active Directory environment into Azure by placing IaaS VMs configured as domain controllers onto a specially configured Azure virtual network (VNet) subnet.

You can find the full learning path on Microsoft Learn.

Prerequisites for the learning paths

Before you take the learning path, make sure you are familiar with the prerequisites.

  • Experience with managing Windows Server operating system and Windows Server workloads in on-premises scenarios, including AD DS, DNS, DFS, Hyper-V, and File and Storage Services.
  • Experience with common Windows Server management tools (implied by the first prerequisite).
  • Basic knowledge of core Microsoft compute, storage, networking, and virtualization technologies (implied by the first prerequisite).
  • Basic knowledge of on-premises resiliency Windows Server-based compute and storage technologies (Failover Clustering, Storage Spaces).
  • Basic experience with implementing and managing IaaS services in Microsoft Azure.
  • Basic knowledge of Azure Active Directory.
  • Basic understanding security-related technologies (firewalls, encryption, multi-factor authentication, SIEM/SOAR).
  • Basic knowledge of PowerShell scripting.
  • An understanding of the following concepts as related to Windows Server technologies:
    • High Availability and Disaster Recovery
    • Automation
    • Monitoring

Learn more

There are even more learning paths for different technologies available on Microsoft Learn. If you want to learn more about Windows Server on Azure, check out the following resources:

  • Windows Server on Azure (link)
  • Ultimate Guide to Windows Server on Azure (link)
  • Migration Guide for Windows Server (link)
  • Windows virtual machines in Azure (link)

Windows Server on Azure is not just great because of the unmatched security features or the hybrid integration, Microsoft Azure also offers three years of extended security updates for your Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 servers for free, and the option to of bringing your on-premises licenses to the cloud, which provide substantial cost savings.

I hope this blog post was helpful to make you aware of the different options to learn about Windows Server on Azure. If you have additional resources or any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Create Custom Script Extension for Windows - Azure Arc

How to Run Custom Scripts on Azure Arc Enabled Servers

With the latest update for Azure Arc for Servers, you are now able to deploy and use extensions with your Azure Arc enabled servers. With the Custom Script extension, you can run scripts on Azure Arc enabled servers and works similar to the custom script extension for Azure virtual machines (VMs). There is an extension for Windows and Linux servers, which is a tool that can be used to launch and execute machine customization tasks post configuration automatically.

When this Extension is added to an Azure Arc machine, it can download PowerShell and shell scripts and files from Azure storage and launch a script on the machine, which in turn can download additional software components. Custom Script Extension for Linux and Windows – Azure Arc tasks can also be automated using the Azure PowerShell cmdlets and Azure Cross-Platform Command-Line Interface (Azure CLI).

Introducing Azure Arc
For customers who want to simplify complex and distributed environments across on-premises, edge and multicloud, Azure Arc enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure.
Learn more about Azure Arc here.

How to run Custom Scripts on Azure Arc enabled servers

To run a custom script on an Azure Arc enabled server, you can simply deploy the Custom Script Extension. You open the server you want to run the custom script in the Azure Arc server overview. Navigate to Extensions and click on Add, and select the Custom Script Extension for Windows – Azure Arc or on Linux the Custom Script Extension for Linux – Azure Arc.

Add Custom Script Extension

Add Custom Script Extension

Now you can select the PowerShell or shell script you want to run on that machine, as well as adding some optional arguments for that script.

Create Custom Script Extension for Windows - Azure Arc

Create Custom Script Extension for Windows – Azure Arc

After that, it will take a couple of minutes to run the script on the machine.

Conclusion

The Custom Script Extensions for Linux and Windows can be used to launch and execute machine customization tasks post configuration automatically.

You can learn more about how Azure Arc provides you with cloud-native management technologies for your hybrid cloud environment here, and you can find the documentation for Azure Arc enabled servers on Microsoft Docs.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below.



Azure Arc Servers Log Analytics

Azure Log Analytics for Azure Arc Enabled Servers

In this blog post, we are going to have a quick look at how you can access Azure Log Analytics data using Azure Arc for Servers. The Azure Log Analytics agent was developed for management across virtual machines in any cloud, on-premises machines, and those monitored by System Center Operations Manager. The Windows and Linux agents send collected data from different sources to your Log Analytics workspace in Azure Monitor, as well as any unique logs or metrics as defined in a monitoring solution. When you want to access these logs and run queries against these logs, you will need to have access to the Azure Log Analytics workspace. However, in many cases, you don’t want everyone having access to the full workspace. Azure Arc for Servers provides RBAC access to log data collected by the Log Analytics agent, stored in the Log Analytics workspace the machine is registered.

Introducing Azure Arc
For customers who want to simplify complex and distributed environments across on-premises, edge and multicloud, Azure Arc enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure.
Learn more about Azure Arc here.

How to enable Log Analytics for Azure Arc Enabled Servers

To enable log collection, you will need to install the Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) on your Azure Arc enabled server. You can do this manually for Windows and Linux machines, or you can use the new extension for Azure Arc enabled servers. If you already have the MMA agent installed, you can start using logs in Azure Arc immediately.

Create Microsoft Monitoring Agent - Azure Arc

Create Microsoft Monitoring Agent – Azure Arc

After you have installed the agent, it can take a couple of minutes until the log data shows up in the Azure Log Analytics workspace. After the logs are collected in the workspace, you can access them with Azure Arc.

Azure Arc Servers Log Analytics

Azure Arc Servers Log Analytics

Now you can run queries using the Keyword Query Language (KQL) as you would in the Azure Log Analytics workspace, but limited to the logs for that specific server.

Conclusion

With Azure Arc for Servers, we can use role-based access controls to logs from a specific server running on-prem or at another cloud provider, without having access to all the logs in the log analytics workspace.

You can learn more about how Azure Arc provides you with cloud-native management technologies for your hybrid cloud environment here, and you can find the documentation for Azure Arc enabled servers on Microsoft Docs.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below.