Tag: Management

Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal - Azure Arc enabled Windows Server and Azure VM

Manage Arc-enabled Windows Server with Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal

With a new feature called Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal, you can now securely manage your Windows Server machines running as an Azure virtual machine (VM) or running on-premises with Azure Arc, directly from the Azure portal.

Azure provides a lot of different management tools to manage your virtual machines or physical servers at scale. In cases where you need to troubleshoot or directly manage a server interactively, you can now leverage Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal. This works for Azure VMs as well as for servers running on-premises or other cloud providers using Azure Arc-enabled servers.

Windows Admin Center is a browser-based management tool set that lets you manage your Windows Servers. Windows Admin Center gives you full control over all aspects of your server infrastructure and is particularly useful for managing servers on private networks that are not connected to the Internet. Windows Admin Center is the modern evolution of “in-box” management tools, like Server Manager and MMC. Now you can not only install and deploy it locally, but also use it directly from the Azure Portal.

When you want to manage a server running on-premises or at another cloud provider, the only thing you will need to do is install the connect the Azure Arc agent on your Windows Server. After that you can enable Windows Admin Center for this machine. There is no need for a VPN on direct connection to the server.

Enable Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal for Azure Arc-enabled servers

Enabling Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal for Azure Arc enabled servers running Windows Server is simple. Navigate to the Azure Arc enabled server and click on Windows Admin Center in the menu. Here you can click on “Set up“, this will install the Windows Admin Center extension which can take a couple of minutes.

Enable Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal for Azure Arc-enabled servers
Enable Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal for Azure Arc-enabled servers

After this one time set up is done, you also need to provide permissions to the user or group which should be able to use Windows Admin Center for this Azure Arc-enabled server. Under Access control (IAM) can you add a new role assignment called Windows Admin Center Administrator Login, which allows users and groups to connect.

Set permissions
Set permissions

Now when you navigate back to Windows Admin Center, you can see the Connect button.

Azure Arc enabled Server connect Windows Admin Center
Azure Arc enabled Server connect Windows Admin Center

After clicking on connect, you will be prompted for a local account for that specific server. This can also be an Active Directory account.

Sign in to Windows Server
Sign in to Windows Server

Manage Azure Arc-enabled Windows Server using Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal

After the signing in Windows Admin Center will load in the Azure portal and you will be able to directly manage your server from Azure.

Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal - Azure Arc enabled Windows Server and Azure VM
Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal – Azure Arc enabled Windows Server and Azure VM

Conclusion

Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal for Azure Arc-enabled servers is a fantastic way to securely manage and troubleshoot your Windows Servers running on-premises or at other cloud providers without having direct network access to these servers. If you want to learn more check out the official Microsoft Docs and check out how to SSH access your Linux and Windows Servers running anywhere with Azure Arc!



Windows Server 2022 Management

Windows Server 2022 Hybrid Management with Azure Arc, Automanage, Windows Admin Center, and more!

A lot of people are deploying WIndows Server on-premises, in Azure, and at the edge. I often get asked how you can implement modern Windows Server 2022 Management in a Hybrid Cloud environment. So, in this video you can learn how you can manage your Windows Server 2022 with Microsoft Azure using tools such as Azure Arc, Windows Admin Center, and Azure Automanage! This is a session recording from the Windows Server Summit 2021!

Check out the video recording to learn more about Windows Server 2022 Hybrid Management with Azure Arc, Automanage, Windows Admin Center, and more! ☁️

YouTube: Windows Server 2022 Hybrid Management with Azure Arc, Automanage, Windows Admin Center, and more! ☁️

📺 Agenda

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 1:30 Windows Server 2022
  • 3:30 Hybrid Cloud Capabilities
  • 5:18 Windows Admin Center
  • 8:33 Azure Arc
  • 30:05 Azure Automanage
  • 34:18 Recap and Get started

Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center is a locally deployed, browser-based app for managing Windows servers, clusters, hyper-converged infrastructure, as well as Windows 10 PCs. It is a free product and is ready to use in production.

Link: Windows Admin Center

You can now use Windows Admin Center (preview) in the Azure portal to manage the Windows Server operating system inside an Azure VM. Manage operating system functions from the Azure portal as well as work with files in the VM without using Remote Desktop or PowerShell.

Link: Use Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal to manage a Windows Server VM

Azure Arc enabled Server

zure Arc-enabled servers enables you to manage your Windows and Linux physical servers and virtual machines hosted outside of Azure, on your corporate network, or other cloud provider. This management experience is designed to be consistent with how you manage native Azure virtual machines. When a hybrid machine is connected to Azure, it becomes a connected machine and is treated as a resource in Azure. Each connected machine has a Resource ID enabling the machine to be included in a resource group. Now you can benefit from standard Azure constructs, such as Azure Policy and applying tags. Service providers managing a customer’s on-premises infrastructure can manage their hybrid machines, just like they do today with native Azure resources, across multiple customer environments using Azure Lighthouse.

Link: What is Azure Arc-enabled servers?

Azure Automanage

Azure Automanage machine best practices is a service that eliminates the need to discover, know how to onboard, and how to configure certain services in Azure that would benefit your virtual machine. These services are considered to be Azure best practices services, and help enhance reliability, security, and management for virtual machines. Example services include Azure Update Management and Azure Backup.

Link: Azure Automanage for machine best practices

These Azure services are automatically onboarded for you when you use Automanage Machine Best Practices on an Azure Arc-enabled server VM. They are essential to our best practices white paper, which you can find in our Cloud Adoption Framework.

For all of these services, we will auto-onboard, auto-configure, monitor for drift, and remediate if drift is detected. To learn more, go to Azure Automanage for virtual machines.

Link: Azure Automanage for Machines Best Practices – Azure Arc-enabled servers

📄 Links

Conclusion Windows Server 2022 Hybrid Management

I hope this video was helpful to learn more about Windows Server 2022 Hybrid Cloud Management using Azure Arc, Automanage, Windows Admin Center, and more! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Azure Automanage for Azure Arc enabled servers

Azure Automanage for Arc enabled servers

At the last Azure Hybrid and Multicloud digital event, Microsoft not just announced the general availability of Azure SQL enabled by Azure Arc, but also announced the public preview of Azure Automanage for Azure Arc enabled servers. Azure Automanage is a service that eliminates the need to discover, know how to onboard, and how to configure certain services in Azure Management services for your Azure Virtual Machine (VM) and with the new preview also for Linux and Windows Servers which are running outside of Azure. These servers can run on-premises, at the edge, or at other cloud providers, and can now benefit from the automatic configuration of Azure Management services.

Azure Automanage
Azure Automanage

If you want to learn more about Azure Automanage, check out my blog article and video about Azure Automanage for virtual machines.

With the new announcement, you can now leverage Azure Automanage for your Azure Arc enabled servers running in Hybrid and Mutlicloud environments.

Azure Automanage for Machines Best Practices – Arc enabled servers

These Azure Management services are automatically onboarded for you when you use Automanage Machine Best Practices on an Azure Arc-enabled server. These recommendations are part of the Cloud Adoption Framework. For all of these services, Azure will auto-onboard, auto-configure, monitor for drift, and remediate if drift is detected. 

You can learn more about Azure Automanage for Azure Arc enabled servers on Microsoft Docs.

Supported operating systems

Automanage supports the following operating systems for Arc enabled servers

  • Windows Server 2012/R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019
  • CentOS 7.3+, 8
  • RHEL 7.4+, 8
  • Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04
  • SLES 12 (SP3-SP5 only)

Configure Azure Automanage for Azure Arc enabled server

Enabling Azure Automanage for Azure Arc enabled servers is very simple and straightforward as it is for Azure VMs.

If the requirements are met, you can navigate to Automanage in the Azure portal.

Automanage
Automanage

Here you can select the virtual machines or Azure Arc enabled server you want to be automatically managed and different configuration profiles.

Azure Automanage Azure Arc enabled Servers
Azure Automanage Azure Arc enabled Servers

Configuration profiles are the foundation of this service. They define precisely which services are onboarded to your machines and, to some extent, what the configuration of those services would be. There are currently two default configuration profiles available.

  • Azure virtual machine best practices – Dev/Test configuration profile is designed for Dev/Test machines.
  • Azure virtual machine best practices – Production configuration profile is for production.
Customize Configuration Profiles Preferences
Customize Configuration Profiles Preferences

After a couple of minutes, Azure Automanage is configured.

If you want to configure Azure Automanage for multiple virtual machines, you can also use an Azure Policy.

Conclusion

Azure Automanage is an excellent new service that helps customers easily onboard management services to their Azure virtual machines and with Azure Arc enabled servers which are running on-premises or other cloud providers. If you want to learn more, check out the full documentation on Microsoft Docs. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Manage updates of servers using Microsoft Azure using Azure Arc

Manage updates of servers using Microsoft Azure Arc

The Azure Update Management solution is part of Azure Automation. And with Azure Update Management you can manage operating system updates for your Windows and Linux computers in Azure, and with Azure Arc enabled servers you can also use the same Update Management solution in on-premises environments or in other cloud providers. That is right, it is not only for your Azure VMs, it also works with all your environment and provides you with a single pane of glass for your Update Management in hybrid and multicloud environments. It allows you to quickly assess the status of available updates on all virtual machines and physical servers, and manage the process of installing required updates for servers.

I created a short video on how you can set up Azure Update Management for your Windows and Linux servers running outside of Azure using Azure Arc.

If you need more information, check out the following links:

I hope this quick video on how you can manage updates of your Windows and Linux servers running in hybrid or mutlicloud environments using Microsoft Azure Arc was helpful. If you have any question, feel free to leave a comment.



Manage hybrid cloud using Azure Arc

Azure Arc Video – Manage your Hybrid Cloud environment

In this Azure Arc video, I want to share the latest Azure Arc hybrid cloud management capabilities. Hybrid Cloud management becomes more and more important for many customers. We are seeing the customers taking advantage of cloud computing, but at the same time have the need to run applications on-premises or at other cloud providers. These can have multiple reasons like data sovereignty, network latency and connectivity, leveraging your existing investments, and many more. However, by running applications and services in different locations, we can also see that most environments get more complex to manage. This is where Microsoft Azure Arc can help you to connect services outside of Azure, running on-premises, other cloud providers, or at the edge, and use Microsoft Azure as a single control plane to manage your hybrid infrastructure and applications.

Azure Arc Azure Management Control Plane
Azure Arc Azure Management Control Plane

A while ago, I presented an overview of Azure Arc with the latest capabilities at an online conference. Since I get a lot of questions, I thought that I should share a recording of my presentation with all of you. Here is my Azure Arc video, 2021 edition:

In this video, you will see how you can manage and govern your Windows and Linux machines hosted outside of Azure on your corporate network or other cloud providers, similar to how you manage native Azure virtual machines. When a hybrid machine is connected to Azure, it becomes a connected machine and is treated as an Azure resource. Azure Arc provides you with the familiar cloud-native Azure management experience, like RBAC, Tags, Azure Policy, Log Analytics, and more.

If you want to learn more on Azure Arc, we also have a Microsoft Learn learning path, which will provide you with some guided learning modules.

To learn more check out the following links:

I hope this Azure Arc video provides you with a short overview of how you can use Azure Arc as a single control plane to manage resources outside of Azure. For more Hybrid Cloud architectures, check out my blog on how to create Azure Hybrid Cloud Architectures. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.



Azure Management - Single control plane for resources everywhere using Azure Arc

Organize Azure Arc enabled Servers

In this blog post, we are going to have a look at how you can organize and manage Azure Arc enabled Servers running on-premises or at other cloud providers, using Azure as a single control plane. But before we start with that let’s first have a look at how customers are using Azure Resource Manager to manage their Azure resources today. To organize and manage Azure resources and services like virtual machines, web apps, databases, storage, and much more in Microsoft Azure, we are using Azure Resource Manager. Azure Resource Manager (ARM) is the deployment and management service for Microsoft Azure. ARM provides a management layer that enables you to create, update, and delete resources in Azure, and you can use management features, like access control, locks, and tags, to secure and organize your resources after deployment. So when we are using tools like the Azure portal, Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI, SDKs, and APIs, to manage our Azure resource we are basically interacting with Azure Resource Manager.

Azure Resource Manager Management Overview

Azure Resource Manager Management Overview (Source: Microsoft)

Azure Resource Manager provides us with the logic and scope to manage and organize Azure resources like management groups, subscriptions, resource groups, and resources.

Azure Management - Single control plane for Azure resources

Azure Management – Single control plane for Azure resources

Now many of our customers said, that ARM is a great way to manage Azure resources, but how about resources that are deployed outside of Azure, in on-premises datacenters, branch offices, factories, or even at other cloud providers? With Azure Arc, they can now onboard services like servers, Kubernetes clusters, databases, and more, and use Azure as a single control plane to manage and organize these resources. Azure Arc extends the Azure Resource Manager and Azure Management capabilities for resources outside of Azure.

Azure Management - Single control plane for resources everywhere using Azure Arc

Azure Management – Single control plane for resources everywhere using Azure Arc

You can onboard Linux and Windows Servers using the Azure Arc Center in the Azure portal. Here you can also get an overview of all your Azure Arc resources.

Azure Arc Center - Azure Portal

Azure Arc Center – Azure Portal

You can also find the Azure Arc enabled servers like any other Azure resources on the all resources page. This allows you to get an inventory of all your servers in your environment.

Inventory for Azure Arc enabled Servers and Azure VMs

Inventory for Azure Arc enabled Servers and Azure VMs

You can see that your Azure Arc enabled servers to show up as Azure resources. You can use the filter to limit the view to only Azure virtual machines (VMs), and Azure Arc enabled servers.

Filter for Azure VMs and Azure Arc Machines

Filter for Azure VMs and Azure Arc Machines

You can also use tagslocks, and RBAC (role-based access control) to organize and manage these resources. This makes it easy to for example list all your servers from a spesific department, project, or cost center.

Using Tags

Using Tags

Azure Arc is not only limited to the Azure portal, but you can also use the Azure APIs, CLI, PowerShell, and the Azure Resource Graph to manage your Azure Arc machines.

I hope this gives you a very quick overview of how you can use Azure Arc enabled Servers to get a glimpse of all your hybrid servers running on-premises, at the edge, and even at other cloud providers. If you want to learn more about Azure Arc and the management capabilities, check out my blogs about Azure Arc, like Azure Arc Enabled Servers Extension Management and many more. Also, make sure you check out the official Azure Arc enabled servers documentation on Microsoft Docs.

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



Azure Stack Hub Partner Solutions Series – Cloud Assert

Azure Stack Hub Partner Solutions Series – Cloud Assert

This week, Tiberiu Radu (Azure Stack Hub PM @rctibi) and I, had the chance to speak to Azure Stack Hub Partner Cloud Assert. Cloud Assert is an Azure Stack Hub partner that helps provide value to both Enterprises and Service Providers. Their solutions cover aspects from billing and approvals all the way to multi-Azure Stack Hub stamp management. Join the Cloud Assert team as we explore the many ways their solutions provide value and help Service Providers and Enterprises in their journey with Azure Stack Hub.

They have several solutions for customers and partners like Azure Stack Hub Multi-Stamp management. Azure Stack Hub Multi-Stamp management enables you to manage and take actions across multiple stamp instances from a single Azure Stack Hub portal with one-pane of glass experience. It provides a holistic way for operators and administrators to perform many of their scenarios from a single portal without switching between various stamp portals. This is a comprehensive solution from Cloud Assert leveraging Cloud Assert VConnect and Usage and billing resource providers for Azure Stack Hub.

We created this new Azure Stack Hub Partner solution video series to show how our customers and partners use Azure Stack Hub in their Hybrid Cloud environment.  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.

Links mentioned through the video:

I hope this video was helpful and you enjoyed watching it. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. If you want to learn more about the Microsoft Azure Stack portfolio, check out my blog post.



Manage updates and patches for your Azure VMs

Manage updates and patches for your Azure VMs

In this week’s Azure tip video we are going to have a look at how to manage updates and patches for your Azure virtual machines (VMs). After watching this video, you’ll be able to enable Azure Update Management, deploy updates, review an update assessment, and manage updates for your Azure VMs.

You can use Update Management in Azure Automation to manage operating system updates for your Windows and Linux machines in Azure, in on-premises environments, and in other cloud environments. You can quickly assess the status of available updates on all agent machines and manage the process of installing required updates for servers. If you want to learn more, check out my blog post on how to manage updates on Azure VMs. Also, make sure you check out a new feature called Azure Automatic VM Guest OS patching. To learn more about that feature, check out my blog post: How to configure Azure Automatic VM guest OS patching

To learn more about Azure Update management for your Azure virtual machines, check out the following links:

I hope this video was help full when it comes to managing updates and patches for your Azure VMs. If you have any questions, comments, or another great idea for an Azure tip video, feel free to leave a comment below.



Experts Live Switzerland 2020 Azure Hybrid - Learn about Hybrid Cloud Management with Azure

Experts Live Switzerland 2020: Azure Hybrid – Learn about Hybrid Cloud Management

A couple of months ago I was speaking at Experts Live Switzerland 2020 in Bern. Now the recording of my session: “Azure Hybrid – Learn about Hybrid Cloud Management” is available online! In this session, I will give you an overview of the Hybrid Cloud offering of Microsoft Azure and how you can use the Azure Hybrid services like Azure Arc, Azure Update Management, Azure Stack, and many more to introduce new Hybrid Cloud Management to your environment.

What is Azure Arc enabled servers:

Azure Arc enabled servers allows you to manage your Windows and Linux machines hosted outside of Azure, on your corporate network or another cloud provider, similar to how you manage native Azure virtual machines. When a hybrid machine is connected to Azure, it becomes a connected machine and is treated as a resource in Azure. To deliver this experience with your hybrid machines hosted outside of Azure, the Azure Connected Machine agent needs to be installed on each machine that you plan on connecting to Azure.

Recording: Experts Live Switzerland 2020: Azure Hybrid – Learn about Hybrid Cloud Management

You can watch the full session here:

If you want to learn more about Azure Hybrid and Azure Arc, check out my blog posts:

Or these official Microsoft resources:

I hope you enjoyed this session about Azure Hybrid Cloud Management using Azure Arc. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Automanage for Azure virtual machines

Automanage for Azure virtual machines

For me, one of the most impressive announcements at Microsoft Ignite, next to many of the Azure Arc and Azure Stack announcements, was the announcement of the Azure Automanage for virtual machines (VMs) public preview. As you know, Microsoft Azure offers many management services for Azure virtual machines (VMs). However, finding and configured these services can be some work. Azure Automanage for virtual machines helps to address precisely that. Azure Automanage for virtual machines is a service that eliminates the need to discover, know how to onboard, and how to configure certain services in Azure that would benefit your virtual machine.

UPDATE: Azure Automanage now also supports servers running outside of Azure (on-premises or other cloud providers) using Azure Arc. Check out my blog for more details: Azure Automanage for Arc enabled servers

In summary, Azure Automanage provides the following features to reduced cost by automating Windows Server management, improved workload uptime with optimized operations, and implementation of security best practices.

  • Intelligently onboards virtual machines to select best practices Azure services
  • Automatically configures each service per Azure best practices.
  • Monitors for drift and corrects for it when detected.
  • Provides a simple experience (point, click, set, forget)

You can find more information on Microsoft Docs.