Tag: recommendations

Azure Advisor Recommendations

Azure Advisor: How to Improve performance, security, and reliability of your Azure VMs

Running virtual machines in Azure is great. However, there are a lot of things you need to think about to improve performance, security, and reliability. Your cloud environment is also constantly changing, so you will need to check your Azure VMs from time to time. Luckily, there is a service called Azure Advisor which is a personalized cloud consultant that helps you follow best practices to optimize your Azure deployments. It analyzes your resource configuration and usage telemetry and then recommends solutions that can help you improve the cost-effectiveness, performance, reliability, and security of your Azure resources.

With Advisor, you can:

  • Get proactive, actionable, and personalized best practices recommendations.
  • Improve the performance, security, and reliability of your resources, as you identify opportunities to reduce your overall Azure spend.
  • Get recommendations with proposed actions inline.

How to check your Azure Advisor recommendations for your Azure virtual machines (VMs)

You can access Azure Advisor, for all Azure services through the Azure portal or directly in as an option in the Azure VM navigation.

Azure Advisor recommendations for Azure VMs
Azure Advisor recommendations for Azure VMs

From here you can read more about the recommendation and get more details, as well as take action.

You can also create an Azure Advisor recommendation digest, so you can find your recommendations directly in your inbox.

Azure Advisor recommendation digest
Azure Advisor recommendation digest

Conclusion

Azure Advisor is a great tool to get recommendations for not just your Azure virtual machines, but also for other Azure services. Azure Advisor can also help you to optimize your Azure environment and deployments. If you want to learn more check out Microsoft Docs.

Want to learn more about tools that can help you work with Azure? Check out Azure PowerShell and the Azure CLI. These tools have some cool new features like Az Predictor PowerShell module, which helps you to predict your PowerShell commands or use the Az Next AI-powered assistant in the Azure CLI.

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



Windows Server 2016 Whats new in Hyper-V

My Hardware Recommendations for Windows Server 2016

Many people are right now asking me about what they have to look out for, if they are going to buy hardware for there next Windows Server 2016 deployment using Hyper-V, Storage nodes or just physical servers. Of course you should normally not just buy hardware and design the solution after that, you should create an architecture for your datacenter first and than buy hardware for your needs. But still there are several things to look out for, this is probably not easy to say right now butĀ here are several thing IĀ would recommend to you. Here are my hardware recommendations for Windows Server 2016.

My recommendations

  • Windows Server Logo: Make really sure that hardware is certified for Windows Server and Windows Server 2016 when the certification is available
  • Network Adapters:
  • Processor / CPU
    • A 64-bit processor with second-level address translation (SLAT).
    • Of course recommend you do get the latest server grade CPUs from Intel or AMD to get the latest CPU functionalities
    • Think about the new licensing for Windows Server 2016 which will be core based
  • TPM Trusted Platform ModuleĀ v2.0 – especially for the Hyper-V featureĀ Shielded Virtual Machines or/and BitLocker support.
  • Storage
    • If you are going to deploy new Storage in your Datacenter, make sure you have a look at Storage Spaces and SMB Direct (Hyper-V over SMB) and especially the new Storage Spaces Direct feature, which I will write a bit about later this month. This also allows you to do Hyper-Converged scenarios running Storage and Hyper-V on the same physical hardware.
    • If you are goin to deploy Storage Spaces Direct make sure you choose a good quality of SSDs or NVMe devices.Ā Especially for theĀ caching devices chooseĀ Write-IntensiveĀ NVMe or SSD disks.

This are just some recommendations if I would buy new hardware I would also look at these features. Of course you don’t need all these features in every scenario, but if you want to make the most out of it, you should definitely look at them. Here are some feature related requirements:

Discrete device assignment

  • The processor must have either Intelā€™s Extended Page Table (EPT) or AMDā€™s Nested Page Table (NPT).
  • The chipset must have:
    • Interrupt remapping ā€” Intelā€™s VT-d with the Interrupt Remapping capability (VT-d2) or any version of AMD I/O Memory Management Unit (I/O MMU).
    • DMA remapping ā€” Intelā€™s VT-d with Queued Invalidations or any AMD I/O MMU.
    • Access control services (ACS) on PCI Express root ports.
  • The firmware tables must expose the I/O MMU to the Windows hypervisor. Note that this feature might be turned off in the UEFI or BIOS. For instructions, see the hardware documentation or contact your hardware manufacturer.

Shielded Virtual Machines

  • UEFI 2.3.1c ā€” supports secure, measured boot
  • The following two are optional for virtualization-based security in general, but required for the host if you want the protection these features provide:
  • TPM v2.0 ā€” protects platform security assets
  • IOMMU (Intel VT-D) ā€” so the hypervisor can provide direct memory access (DMA) protection

for more detailed specification check out Microsoft TechNet: System requirements for Hyper-V on Windows Server 2016



Savision Cloud Advisor VMM Tuning Tips

Cloud Advisor for System Center Virtual Machine Manager

As you may know I do a lot of work around Hyper-V, System Center and Windows Azure Pack. One of the most critical parts of the Microsoft Cloud is System Center Virtual Machine Manager. VMM is the component where mostly everything comes together in some way. From the Fabric resource such as Storage, Compute and Networking up to the Virtual Machines and Services running on top of the Fabric layer. Virtual Machine Manager basically allows you to pool resources and offer them to tenants which can than deploy services and virtual machines to the pools.

This means VMM manages not only your Virtual Machines, Virtual Machine Manager also manages your network environment, your storage and a lot more. So wouldn’t it be great to use the data Virtual Machine Manager collects to review your environment and get some tips you can optimize it? This is exactly whatĀ SavisionĀ did with their Virtual Machine Manager Add-in called Cloud Advisor which includes tuning and optimization recommendations.

Savision’s Cloud Advisor looks for problems like:

  • ā€œVirtual Machine Appears to be Unusedā€
  • ā€œPrediction: All Available Memory Will Be Consumed Byā€¦ā€
  • ā€œVirtual Guest Services Are Not Installedā€
  • ā€œStarting Memory Is Too Highā€
  • ā€œLow Disk Space On Cluster Shared Volumeā€
  • “Dynamic Memory is not enabled”
  • and a lot more…

Most of you will think okay, this sounds great but how much will this thing cost. Well that’s the great part, the Savision Cloud Advisor for System Center Virtual Machine Manager is absolutely free. So there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t deploy the Savision Cloud Advisor in your Virtual Machine Manager environment.

Simply go the Savision homepage, download the Cloud Advisor and import it to VMM.

Import Cloud Advisor Addin into VMM

After that you will have to connect to the VMM database and to let the Savision Cloud Advisor his job, showing you tips and recommendations for your environment.

Savision Cloud Advisor VMM Tuning Tips

By the way there are other cool VMM Add-in from Cisco for their UCS Bladecenter and 5Nine for the Virtual Firewall Appliance.