Tag: Microsoft Azure

Top 20 Microsoft Azure Blogs

Listed in the Feedspot Top 20 Microsoft Azure Blogs To Follow in 2019

Another great thing I found out about today. My blog, ThomasMaurer.ch is listed in the Feedspot Top 20 Microsoft Azure Blogs and Websites To Follow in 2019. I am super excited to be on this list, next to other top blogs and websites. As you can imagine you will find even more about Microsoft Azure on my blog in 2019. You can follow my blog on Feedspot or just check out my Subscribe page, to get my latest blogs.

The Best Microsoft Azure Blogs from thousands of Microsoft Azure blogs in our index using search and social metrics. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.

Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing my blog! If you have some topics or ideas I should cover in 2019, please let me know!



Azure Live Migration

Azure uses Live Migration for VMs

If you have worked with Azure in the past, you might have been aware that Azure didn’t have live migration for VMs hosted in Azure for a long time. This had an impact for customers in terms of VM up-time during host maintenance. You basically got emails, that the host your VMs were running is going into maintenance during a specific time, and you will have a possible outage. Microsoft Hyper-V, which is the Hypervisor in Azure, had Live Migration for a long time. Today, Microsoft revealed that they are using Live Migration in Azure since early 2018 to move virtual machines in cases of rack maintenance and software and BIOS updates, as well as hardware faults.

But Microsoft didn’t stop there, they made even better using Machine Learning. Predictive ML helps Microsoft to detect proactively failure and do failure predictions. And in case a hardware failure is predicted, Microsoft can move the virtual machines from that host without downtime, using live migration.

To further push the envelope on live migration, we knew we needed to look at the proactive use of these capabilities, based on good predictive signals. Using our deep fleet telemetry, we enabled machine learning (ML)-based failure predictions and tied them to automatic live migration for several hardware failure cases, including disk failures, IO latency, and CPU frequency anomalies.

 

We partnered with Microsoft Research (MSR) on building our ML models that predict failures with a high degree of accuracy before they occur. As a result, we’re able to live migrate workloads off “at-risk” machines before they ever show any signs of failing. This means VMs running on Azure can be more reliable than the underlying hardware.

Microsoft talks in a blog post more about Live Migration in Azure and goes more in details about the challenges and how live migration in Azure works. It is great to see Microsoft adding features to improve VM resiliency with features like live migration and machine learning technology.



Azure Update Management Resource Group

Azure Update Management using Windows Admin Center

I already posted a couple of blogs about the Windows Admin Center. For example how you can use and configure Azure Backup or how you can configure the Azure Network Adapter directly from Windows Admin Center. Windows Admin Center does also allow you to manage Windows Updates on your Windows Server. However, if you want to have some more control over your updates and have a centralized orchestration for updates, Azure Update Management can help you. You can use the Update Management solution in Azure Automation to manage operating system updates for your Windows and Linux computers that are deployed in Azure, in on-premises environments, or in other cloud providers. With Windows Admin Center you will get a direct integration with Azure Update Management.

Setup Azure Update Management in Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center Windows Update Management

Setting up Azure Update management in Windows Admin Center is very simple. First you will need to register your WAC installation with Azure, if you haven’t done this already. After that you go to the Update extension and you will find a button to Set up now.

Windows Admin Center Setup Azure Update Management

Now you can configure Azure Update Management from Windows Admin Center. You can select your Azure Subscription where you want to deploy the solution. You can select an existing Resource Group and Log Analytics Workspace, or you can create a complete new setup.

Windows Admin Center Configured Azure Update Management

This will install the Microsoft Monitoring Agent on your Windows Server, which is used for the Azure Update Management.

Azure Update Management Resource Group

If you create a new setup, this will also create all the resources in Azure, like the Resource Group, Log Analytics Workspace, Azure Automation Account and adding the Update Solution.

Azure Update Management

Now you can start managing the Windows Updates centralized from Azure Update Management.

Azure Update Management supports not only Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2016, it supports Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and later.

This again shows Microsoft efforts to build Hybrid Cloud functionality directly into Windows Server and Windows Admin Center. This should help especially administrators, which are mostly managing on-premises environments, to extend and benefit from Microsoft Azure.



Create new Azure Backup

Backup Windows 10 to Microsoft Azure Backup

This is not really a new feature, it exists already for a while, but it seems that still a lot of people don’t know about it. Azure Backup not only allows you to backup services in Azure or Windows Server and services on-premises, Azure Backup can also backup your Windows Client PC.

Azure Backup for your Windows 10 PC allows you to backup Files and Folders and store and backup them to the cloud. You can use this for small environments, VIP machines or for remote workers which are always on the road. Data is encrypted on the on-premises client machine using AES256 and the data is sent over a secure HTTPS link. Backups are stored encrypted in Azure with the customers own key.

I use Azure Backup for my own devices. I am often on the road and working on different documents and files. Obviously I also use OneDrive and OneDrive for Business, which also allows you to restore files after you delete them. However, the retention rate is way to short and it is not a backup. Azure Backup in that case is a great addition. You can backup your files where ever you are.

Setup Azure Backup for Windows Clients

Azure Backup and Site Recovery

First you will need to setup a Azure Recovery Services Vault in Microsoft Azure. This is the service which your backups will be stored.



Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn – A Great Place To Learn!

In a world with always evolving and fast changing technology, it can be hard to keep up with the latest innovation. However, in our just we need to keep learning and be more efficient. It can be difficult to find the right resources and the right content. This is why Microsoft launched Microsoft Learn, a new platform to learn technology and keep up with the fast pace of our industry.

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft recently switch the certification programs for Azure to role-based certifications, for example Azure Administrators, Azure Developers and Azure Architects. The new Microsoft Learn platform also gives you a training and modules based on your role selection.

Microsoft Learn Guide

Microsoft Learn Guide

The platform has a guided experience, explaining you the technology with text, videos, control questions, but also with hands-on training using sandboxes in Azure for free.

Microsoft Learn Sandbox and Hands-on

Microsoft Learn Sandbox

You cannot only read and watch videos, you also have a hands-on expierence. You can get a sandbox environment to live try code or even the portal experience to work with Azure or other Microsoft technology. In this example, I have the Microsoft Learn Guide on one site and Azure Cloud Shell on the other. I don’t even need to jump out of the learning experience, I just simply can try out the code.

Get started with Microsoft Learn

The Microsoft Learning platform is much more than I just explained. And Microsoft is working hard on adding even more content for more products and services to the page. If you want to get startet with Azure Certifications or just Azure in general, Microsoft Learn is the place to be!

And the best thing, it is free. You get amazing content guide and explained with labs to even try it out by yourself. The only thing you need is time and the willingness to learn. To try it out, just visit the Microsoft Learn homepage and let me know what you think!



Windows Server 2019 Azure Network Adapter

Windows Server Azure Network Adapter

In my series about Windows Server 2019, I have a new feature I want to introduce you to. Windows Server 2019 Azure Network Adapter is one of the Hybrid Cloud efforts Microsoft is making in Windows Server 2019. A lot of workloads are running cross cloud and require connections to virtual machines running in Azure. To achieve this there are several options like Site-to-Site VPN, Azure Express Route or Point-to-Site VPN. With Windows Admin Center and Windows Server 2019 Azure Network Adapter, you get a one-click experience to connect your Windows Server with your Azure Virtual Network using a Point-to-Site VPN connection.

Even this is might not for every enterprise scenario, there are a lot of scenarios where you might quickly want to connect a server to Azure. The Azure Network Adapter functionality gives you that feature with a one click button. And by the way it also works on Windows Server 2012 R2 and higher.



Azure Stack Backup with Azure Backup Server

Protect Azure Stack Tenant Workloads with Azure Backup Server

If you are running Azure Stack in your datacenter, you also want to backup workloads running on Azure Stack. This blog post covers how you can backup Azure Stack tenant workloads with Azure Backup Server. Azure Backup allows you to protect on-premise workloads running on different platforms as well as on Azure Stack and store long-term data in Azure.

Why protecting Azure Stack workloads with Azure Backup Server

Microsoft Azure Backup Server is included as a free download with Azure Backup that enables cloud backups and disk backups for workloads like SQL, SharePoint and Exchange regardless if these workloads are running on Hyper-V, VMware, Physical servers or Azure Stack. It also provides a central console to protect these workloads. If you compare this to the Azure Backup Agent, where you have to configure the agent on every single server. The Azure Backup Server also allows you to not only do file backup, but also backup of applications like SharePoint, SQL Server, Exchange and more. This gives you flexibility and centralized management to back up your infrastructure as a service (IaaS) workloads on Azure Stack.