TechNet Blogs

  • DevOps Basics: Deploying Azure Resource Manager Templates with Visual Studio Team Services

    When you are using Azure, you are consuming resources. For example, when you want to deploy one virtual machine, in fact you also need one storage account to store the virtual hard disk on it, one network interface to have an internal IP, etc… It’s the concept of Azure Resource Manager (ARM). Azure Resource Manager is like a lego box, and you can build your environments on it. So...
  • Step-By-Step: Azure RemoteApp QuickBooks Domain Configuration

    A few weeks ago we provided a Step-By-Step detailing how to configure Azure Remote App for QuickBooks . In this Step-By-Step we will be taking this one step further and adding in a domain that is hosted in Azure. For those of you unaware of Azure RemoteApp, it is Microsoft RemoteApp backed by Remote Desktop Services in Azure. This service provides remote secure access to applications from different...
  • Step-By-Step: Multi-Site Azure VPN in the Resource Manager Model

    Hello Folks, A while back I wrote about setting up VPN solutions between your own datacenter and Azure and between azure sites. Step-By-Step: Create a Site-to-Site VPN between your network and Azure Step-by-Step: Multi-Site Azure VPN But these were written with the classic Cloud Service model. Azure has evolved since to the Azure Resource Manager Model. This new model allows you to...
  • Simulating A Ransomware Attack With PowerShell

    Ransomware issues have escalated as of late. While there is a common belief that there is no sure fire way of guaranteeing your organization will never be hit by a ransomware attack, IT administrators should be prepared to detect, stop, and recover from it when it strikes. But how does one test for ransomware detection? While it is ill advised to purposely install ransomware, there are ways to...
  • Step-By-Step: Enabling Apps to Auto-Trigger VPNs in Windows 10

    Have you ever experienced that one app that always requires a VPN connection to operate? It becomes a bigger problem when that app is not frequently used and so the people using said application are not overly familiar as to how to initiate a VPN connection. Thankfully Windows 10 has a solution to address this in the form of applications auto-triggering the VPN connection when required. In this day...
  • Step-By-Step: Downgrading A Windows Server Domain and Forest Functional Level

    Once upon a time, it was not possible to downgrade Windows Server forest and domain functional levels once upgraded. Enter Windows Server 2012 R2 and it's Active Directory enhancements, as detailed by the video below, backed by PowerShell automation capabilities. This enablement makes the forest and domain functional level downgrade even easier. Do keep in mind however that the lowest functional...
  • Step-By-Step: Adding an Azure Subscription as an Endpoint in Visual Studio Team Services

    Understanding the configuration of Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) is not without it's challenges. One of the prerequisites required is the inclusion of an Azure Subscription which has been noted by some attending one of the various Microsoft DevOps Hackathons delivered. This Step-By-Step has been created to explain how to add Azure as an Endpoint in your Visual Studio Team Services subscription...
  • 7 Reasons Why Migrating Off SQL 2005 is a Good Idea

    While end of support for SQL Server 2005 SP4 came on April 12 th 2011, end of extended support for SQL Server 2005 happens on 12 April 2016 . That means no help and no more hotfixes from Microsoft in regards to any data still living in SQL 2005 databases. Further details in regards to this can be viewed below: The hope is that your organization has already or is already upgrading and migrating...
  • Step-by-Step: Connect your AWS and Azure environments with a VPN tunnel

    Hello Folks, I’ve been working with a customer that is planning their migration from AWS to Azure. As we all know, migrating complex environment is seldom a one click operation. In their case they want to be able to move each part of their solutions hosted on AWS to azure one at a time. That way they can test each move, validate that the move have been successful and keep the solution online. To achieve...
  • Step-by-Step: Configuring QuickBooks for Azure Remote App in a Workgroup

    One of my favorite features of Azure is Azure RemoteApp. For those of you unaware of Azure RemoteApp, it is Microsoft RemoteApp backed by Remote Desktop Services in Azure. This service provides remote secure access to applications from different devices; users can access their applications on their devices while you manage the data and access via Azure. Your data can be safely stored in Azure or on...
  • DevOps Basics: Introduction to GitHub

    During last years Build 2015, Microsoft announced GitHub extensions for Visual Studio 2015 enabling integration with the source-code repository startup. Furthermore GitHub has also been enabled to store code utilized on Azure. This enablement has made GitHub a popular programmer choice to collaborate on open-source project with other team members including those in IT. Recently, the Microsoft Open...
  • Step-By-Step: deploying Nano Server using WDS

    Hello Folks, As i mentioned in the TechNet Flash Newsletter early in December, I am really exited when a new version of Windows Server comes out. It’s the geek in me that can’t wait to see what new capabilities will make my life easier. I’m on vacation for the holidays so i decided to rebuild my home lab using Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 . The first machine in the...
  • Step-By-Step: Using AzCopy to Transfer Files to Azure

    A few weeks ago, I posted an article on configuring SMB file shares in Azure to leverage shared drives from within Azure or from on-premise. But what if you are unable to access these SMB file shares due to port restrictions? Or if you only need to copy files to and from Azure storage, and do not require SMB file shares ? AzCopy is a simple yet powerful command line interface that allows you to copy...
  • Étape-Par-Étape: Configuration du mode Hybrid avec Skype pour Entreprise 2015

    Un déploiement hybride Skype Entreprise vous permet d'héberger des utilisateurs d’un ou de plusieurs domaines SIP dans des pools Skype Entreprise Server locaux et/ou dans Skype Entreprise Online. Vous pouvez configurer votre déploiement local pour une utilisation hybride avec Skype Entreprise Online et utiliser la synchronisation Active Directory afin de préserver...
  • Step-By-Step: Skype for Business 2015 Hybrid Configuration

    A hybrid deployment Skype Enterprise allows hosting users of one or more SIP domains in Skype pools Enterprise Server local and / or company Skype Online. You can configure your local deployment to a hybrid use with Skype Enterprise Online and use Active Directory synchronization to maintain synchronization for local users and online. This article introduces the connection of a hybrid environment...
  • Step-By-Step: Removing Corrupt Windows 10 Universal Apps via PowerShell

    Universal applications, surmised from the evolution of Modern Apps once trapped within the Start Screen in Windows 8, provide a uniform data creation / consumption experience across the Windows 10 platform which includes the likes of desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone and most recently XBOX. A great overview of Universal Apps from a IT professional perspective can be viewed here: Like any GUI...
  • Step-by-Step: Windows 10 - Provisioning using Windows ICD

    Hello Folks, Anthony and I often receive emails or tweets asking us to look into specific topics or scenarios. Well, last week we received a request from CJtheRocker to explore Windows 10 Provisioning using Windows ICD. But really, why the big deal with deploying a new OS?? IT Pros have always said “I wish there were easier ways”. Management, however has always said “not...
  • Managing Azure Virtual Machines with Server Manager

    One of the best and improved features in Server 2012 is being able to manage multiple servers from Server Manager either from Server or desktop. From a single pane of glass, I can easily check the status of other servers in my domain, install roles, and host of other functions. Check out the following video for further details surrounding Server Manager: Last week, I was prepping for a demo on...
  • Step-By-Step: Disabling the Windows 10 First Sign-in Animation via Group Policy

    I recently was engaged in an interesting conversation surrounding Windows 10 while speaking at the Microsoft Cloud Roadshow event in Singapore pertaining to the animation that runs when the user first signs in to their Windows 10 notebook / tablet after a major upgrade. Apparently users where pinging the local help desk after seeing the animation worried that their machine had been reset and all their...
  • What You Should Consider When Upgrading to SQL Server 2014

    Support for SQL Server 2005 comes to an end April 12 2016. Organizations should now start planning to upgrade their databases to SQL Server 2014. While it is SQL 2005 that is retiring, the reality is, there are still SQL Server 2000 databases that are still operational even though they have not been supported by Microsoft since 2013. In fact, I am currently working on a SQL Server 2000 instance migration...
  • Step-By-Step: Managing Your Nano Servers

    Hello folks, On November 19th 2015 we released the latest technical previews of Windows Server 2016 . I’m actually looking forward to wipe my lab clean and start again with TP4. Technical Preview 4 includes significant enhancements, many of which reflect customer feedback on the previews released earlier this year. Application platform features, including new capabilities for ...
  • Step-By-Step: Setting up Azure SMB File Share

    Azure files enables you to have shared folders available to your Azure virtual machines and on-premise systems. In October 2015 Azure Files went from Preview to General Availability, so you can now safely leverage this feature. You can use SMB file shares for: Storing shared application data Storing diagnostic data Storing tools and utilities Migrating on-premise applications that...
  • Step-By-Step: Managing Multiple User Accounts Via Active Directory Admin Center

    Normally in a Windows Server Active Directory environment, time is needed to apply same set of changes to a group of users. For example, let’s say a company's domain prefix changed. As the IT administrator you have been asked to change the UPN prefix for all users from abc.com to xyz.com. How long would it take to complete this change if done one-by-one? Imagine this was also a large environment...
  • Addressing Pass-The-Hash Attacks with Windows 10 and Credentials Guard

    People and organizations have increasingly become more and more dependent on technology. What started as a means of communication, has now evolved into a deep repository of information provided by people and organizations shared publicly or privately. Alongside this progression, digital attacks have also evolved to attempt to steal said data for malicious use. What started back in 2003 as simple mischief...
  • 30 Bad Habits of Server Administrators

    ****This post was edited and reposted***** Hello Folk, I’ve been on the road this week presenting in Australia. The Gold Coast to be more precise. I know it’s a rough assignment but what can I say. Someone has to do it. In any case. I attended a session that I believe all system administrators should see. (the video is embedded bellow) It was delivered by Orin Thomas a Microsoft...