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  • TechNet Radio: (Part 3) Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud - Planning Hybrid Cloud Networking

    Kevin Remde and Keith Mayer continue our series on “ Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud ” and in today’s episode they discuss various options for networking. Tune in as they go in depth on what options are available for hybrid cloud networking as they explore network connectivity and address concerns about speed, reliability and security. [ 2:46 ] What components are involved in Hybrid Cloud Networking? [ 5:30 ] What are some of the technical capabilities of Hybrid Cloud networking...
  • Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud: Cross-Premises Data Mobility with Microsoft Azure StorSimple (Part 10)

    This article is part 10 in our continuing blog series on Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud being published by the US IT Pro team at Microsoft.  In this article, we’ll discuss enabling “cross-premises data mobility” within a Hybrid Cloud by leveraging a new cloud-enabled storage solution: Microsoft StorSimple 8000.

    ModernCloud-10
    Microsoft StorSimple 8000 Hybrid Cloud Storage Solution

    When migrating application workloads to a cloud platform, such as Microsoft Azure, moving the OS and application bits to the cloud is usually pretty manageable.  The virtual disks for VM’s containing OS and application binaries are usually somewhat small in size and can be moved rather quickly over common business-grade Internet connections.  Moving application data, however, can be a different story – some applications have vast amounts of data, hundreds of gigabytes or several terabytes in size, and it could take days or weeks to move all that data to the cloud over the Internet.  By leveraging Microsoft Azure and Microsoft StorSimple 8000, bi-directional mobility of enterprise data between on-premises and cloud locations can be realized to allow organizations to quickly leverage Hybrid Cloud architectures when considering business scenarios that involve large data sets.

  • TechNet Radio: (Part 11) Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud - Bringing Docker Online using PowerShell DSC

    Picking up where we last left off, Yung Chou and Keith Mayer continue our Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud series as they welcome Andrew Weiss from Microsoft Consulting Services as they show us how we can manage Docker containers using PowerShell DSC. [ 1:15 ] What is Docker ? [ 4:06 ] How is it relevant to IT pros? [ 8:20 ] DEMO : Docker in action Resource Links: DockerClientDSC – Download from GitHub Read the artcile: Configuring Docker with PowerShell DSC Microsoft Virtual Academy Training: DevOps...
  • Scripts-to-Tools: Auto-provisioning Azure Virtual Networks with PowerShell and XML

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about Auto-Provisioning a New Active Directory Domain Controller in the Azure Cloud using the new VM Agent custom script extension via the Azure Management Portal.  Since then, several people in the community have asked about also automating the steps for provisioning Virtual Networks on Azure.

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    In this article, we’ll walk through an approach for auto-provisioning Azure VNets using PowerShell, and along the way, you’ll also pick up some useful tips to expand your PowerShell skills from simple scripting to creating reusable tools.

  • TechNet Radio: (Part 1) Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud - Why NOW is a good time to plan for Modernizing Your Infrastructure

    Matt Hester and Keith Mayer kick off a special 6 part series on “ Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud.” Tune in for Part 1 where they discuss the importance of planning for your organization’s move to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure. [ 1:18 ] Why should I start planning now? [ 2:41 ] Why Migrate to Windows Server 2012 R2? [ 5:45 ] Why consider Azure as part of your migration strategy? [ 12:38 ] What tools are available to help in the migration process? [ 17:40 ] DEMO MAP...
  • Step-by-Step: Auto-join a Member Server VM to Active Directory Domain in the Azure Cloud with VM Agent Custom Script Extension

    In a prior article, we walked through the process of auto-provisioning a new Windows Server Active Directory domain in the Cloud using a custom script that was processed via the Microsoft Azure VM Agent Custom Script Extension. In this article, we’ll build upon this scenario by auto-joining a new Windows Server VM as a member server to this Active Directory domain.


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  • Step-by-Step: Auto-Provision a New Active Directory Domain in the Azure Cloud using the VM Agent Custom Script Extension

    The Azure Virtual Machine Agent Custom Script Extension allows you to download custom PowerShell scripts inside Azure VMs and execute them as part of the post-provisioning process.  Custom Script Extensions provide a great deal of flexibility for customizing the provisioning of new VMs without the need to maintain a distinct custom VM image for every individual workload scenario.

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    In this article, we’ll step through the process of using the Custom Script Extension to auto-provision a new Active Directory Domain Controller in a new AD Forest on a Microsoft Azure Virtual Network.

  • TechNet Radio: (Part 10) Building Your Hybrid Cloud - Windows Azure Pack Remote Console Support

    In our ongoing "Building a Hybrid Cloud" series, Keith Mayer and Andy Syrewicze , are back and in today’s episode they showcase the Windows Azure Pack Remote Console. Tune in for this in-depth, demo heavy episode as they show us how to configure a remote desktop gateway for VM console access. [ 5:50 ] Let’s discuss Remote Console Support in the Windows Azure Pack --- what is it and why is it important? [ 8:01 ] DEMO: How to configure a Remote Desktop Gateway for VM Console Access For more...
  • Step-by-Step: Deploy a Highly Available SharePoint Server Farm in the Cloud – in ONLY 8 Clicks!

    As of today, the Azure Preview Portal now has the ability to deploy and manage IaaS workloads, including Virtual Machines, Virtual Networks and Cloud Storage!  One of the key new enhancements that the new Preview Portal experience provides is the ability to setup complex multi-tier applications in the cloud as a single Resource Group to streamline and simplify the provisioning process.

    There’s a pre-built Azure Resource Group Gallery Template for SharePoint Server 2013 Farms that demonstrates the power of Resource Groups in the new portal.  Using this template, a complete highly-available SharePoint Server 2013 farm can be provisioned in the cloud … with as few as 8 clicks!

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    In this article, I’ll step through the process of using Resource Groups to deploy SharePoint Server 2013 in the cloud with the Azure Preview Portal.

  • Accelerating DevOps with the Cloud using Microsoft Azure and Friends: The Series

    UPDATE! Today's article in this series is ...

    ADDED: New resources in Configuration Management section below for Puppet, Chef, Vagrant, Ansible and Docker based on popular requests. Feel free to suggest your own updates if you see any missing topics!

    Be sure to catch all the prior articles in this series, too! They're all linked in the series index in this article ...


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    Have you heard about DevOps?

    Enterprise IT organizations are increasingly driven by business demands for faster, better solutions delivered more quickly than ever before.  Over the past few years, DevOps has emerged as a trend to help organizations evolve to better collaborate between development and operations teams for addressing these solution delivery challenges.  While a DevOps transformation can take time to fully realize within an organization’s people and processes, there’s opportunities to accelerate the path towards DevOps by smartly leveraging cloud capabilities that can reduce infrastructure complexity, simplify release management, and support end-to-end application visibility through all stages of a solution’s lifecycle.

    Step-by-Step: Follow us to DevOps with the Cloud

    Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of articles aimed at showcasing examples of leveraging relevant cloud technologies, such as Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio Online, that align and promote a DevOps mission within an organization.  Along the way in this series, we’ll provide real-world step-by-step guidance for using these capabilities so that you can easily follow along with us in your own cloud-based lab ...

  • (Module 5) Invoking Azure Automation Runbooks

    In this module we'll be looking at the different ways in which you can invoke your Azure Automation Runbooks as well as how you can monitor their progress. This video is part of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The MVA is a free program delivering structured learning paths for IT Professionals on various Microsoft products and solutions. After watching this video, visit: www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy.com , enroll in this course and take the self-assessment. For every module you take and every...
  • (Module 4) Creating and Publishing Your First Runbook

    In this module we'll be stepping through the process of creating and publishing your first custom Runbook with Azure Automation. This video is part of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The MVA is a free program delivering structured learning paths for IT Professionals on various Microsoft products and solutions. After watching this video, visit: www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy.com , enroll in this course and take the self-assessment. For every module you take and every self-assessment you complete...
  • (Module 3) Importing and Publishing a Connect-Azure Runbook

    In this module we'll be discussing the process of importing and publishing a centralized Connect-Azure Runbook. We'll first define Runbook Authoring and then dive into a detailed demo on how to take that next step into automating the cloud by showing you how to import and publish a Connect-Azure Runbook in your environment. This video is part of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The MVA is a free program delivering structured learning paths for IT Professionals on various Microsoft products...
  • (Module 2) Connecting to Microsoft Azure with Azure Automation

    In this module we'll show you how to connect to Microsoft Azure using Azure Automation by setting up your Azure Automation account as well as creating some basic assets that we'll use to connect and authenticate your Microsoft Azure subscription. This video is part of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The MVA is a free program delivering structured learning paths for IT Professionals on various Microsoft products and solutions. After watching this video, visit: www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy...
  • (Module 1) Getting Started with Azure Automation

    In this module we'll be going through the process of explaining what Azure Automation is and why its important for IT Pros as well as showing you how to sign up for the Azure Automation feature. This video is part of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The MVA is a free program delivering structured learning paths for IT Professionals on various Microsoft products and solutions. After watching this video, visit: www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy.com , enroll in this course and take the self-assessment...
  • (Module 4) Uploading and Importing VMs to Microsoft Azure

    In this module we'll show you how to upload and import your VMs from Azure AWS to Microsoft Azure. This video is part of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The MVA is a free program delivering structured learning paths for IT Professionals on various Microsoft products and solutions. After watching this video, visit: www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy.com , enroll in this course and take the self-assessment. For every module you take and every self-assessment you complete, you will be awarded points...
  • (Module 3) Exporting and Converting VMs from Amazon AWS

    In this module we'll be looking at the first half of the migration process - how to export and convert VMs from Amazon AWS. This video is part of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The MVA is a free program delivering structured learning paths for IT Professionals on various Microsoft products and solutions. After watching this video, visit: www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy.com , enroll in this course and take the self-assessment. For every module you take and every self-assessment you complete...
  • (Module 2) Preparing for Migration from Amazon AWS to Microsoft Azure

    In this module we'll be walking you through the process of how to prepare your VMs for migration from Amazon AWS to Microsoft Azure. This video is part of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The MVA is a free program delivering structured learning paths for IT Professionals on various Microsoft products and solutions. After watching this video, visit: www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy.com , enroll in this course and take the self-assessment. For every module you take and every self-assessment you...
  • (Module 1) Why Migrate from Amazon AWS to Azure?

    In this module we'll be discussing why organizations are choosing to migrate from Amazon AWS to Microsoft Azure as well as call out some of the specific reasons why so many are making this move now. This video is part of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The MVA is a free program delivering structured learning paths for IT Professionals on various Microsoft products and solutions. After watching this video, visit: www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy.com , enroll in this course and take the self-assessment...
  • Entrepreneur or Startup? Succeed with FREE access to Cloud Services, Software and Tools

    As I’ve been traveling across the US, I’ve spoken to tons of entrepreneurs, IT Pros and Developers alike, that are really interested in starting their own software business. 

    Startup opportunities are growing …

    Whether as a side-business or a full-fledged organization, startup opportunities in publishing mobile and cloud apps has never been greater, with analysts forecasting a continued compound annual growth rate of 15.25 percent from 2013-2018.

    … but, it can be expensive to get started

    Let’s face it … starting a new venture can be expensive.  And, that’s where we want to help you! At Microsoft, we believe that by helping startups succeed, we’re also helping to build a valued long-term partnership.  Together, we can build a more vibrant software economy that leads to new opportunities for all of us.  To assist with incubating and growing new software businesses, we offer a special program that’s been specially designed for startups: Microsoft BizSpark.

    What is Microsoft BizSpark?

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    Microsoft BizSpark helps qualifying software startups succeed by providing free access to Microsoft cloud services, software and tools for three (3) years.  In addition, BizSpark can connect enrolled startups with key industry partners, including investors, and can provide marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs get started. 

    In this article, I'll provide the details on the BizSpark program and also step through the process you can use to quickly enroll your startup organization ...

  • Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines: Reset Forgotten Admin Passwords with Windows PowerShell

    UPDATES:

    June 26, 2014 - Updated the PowerShell code in the article below for the latest Azure PowerShell module version.


    Our IT Pro team has been traveling across the US delivering hands-on IT Camp events on Microsoft Azure and Hybrid Cloud scenarios. At these events, IT Pros frequently ask us about resetting passwords on Microsoft Azure virtual machines …

    If we forget the Admin password for a provisioned Azure VM, is there an easy way to reset it?

    Read this article ...

    Yes! With the help of the latest Microsoft Azure PowerShell Module (version 0.7.4 and later), there’s an easy way to do just that!

    In this article, we’ll step through the process of using the Azure PowerShell Module to reset forgotten credentials for the built-in local Admin user account on Microsoft Azure virtual machines.

  • TechNet Radio: (Part 10) Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud - Monitoring, Measuring & Learning for Continuous Improvement

    Concluding our special “ Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud ” series on TechNet Radio, Keith Mayer welcomes back Jeff Fattic to the show as they discuss how Visual Studio Online can help DevOps organizations optimize the performance of their applications. [ 2:16 ] How does Visual Studio Online help organizations monitor the performance of their applications? [ 5:16 ] Can Application Insights notify me proactively when performance issues are occurring? [ 6:00 ] Can Application Insights help me track...
  • TechNet Radio: (Part 9) Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud - Scaling Cloud Applications

    In part 9 of our “ Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud ” series on TechNet Radio, Keith Mayer and Yung Chou are back and this episode they discuss in depth the ability for DevOps organizations to scale up or scale down cloud applications. Tune in as they discuss Azure’s unique flexibility in terms of capacity planning for cloud applications. [ 1:07 ] How is planning for application capacity different when using a cloud platform? [ 4:50 ] How is scaling application capacity different or better when using...
  • TechNet Radio: (Part 8) Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud - Rollback Plan? What rollback plan?

    In part 8 of our “ Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud ” series on TechNet Radio, Keith Mayer and Jennelle Crothers explore the world of roll-backs and how Microsoft Azure can streamline both the roll-back and roll-forward process for most dev teams. [ 1:40 ] It seems like most dev teams spend lots of time on roll-forward plans for new code releases, but roll-backs are always a chore! Why is this? [ 3:28 ] How can Azure help to streamline the roll-forward and roll-back process? [ 8:00 ] What about Virtual...
  • TechNet Radio: (Part 7) Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud - Configuration Management

    In part 7 of our “ Accelerate DevOps with the Cloud ” series on TechNet Radio, Keith Mayer and Yung Chou welcome Sr. Program Manager Michael Greene to the show as they discuss the importance of configuration management for organizations that are starting to leverage the cloud for their daily operations. Tune in as they also demo PowerShell DSC and how it can be used with Azure. [ 2:30 ] When an organization is beginning to leverage the cloud, why is Configuration Management important? [ 5:01 ] How...
About the Author ...

 Keith Mayer is a Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Cloud and Enterprise platforms. Keith has over 20 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT Pros worldwide on design of enterprise technology solutions.
 
Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including Private Cloud, System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from VMware, IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.
 
You can contact Keith online at http://aka.ms/AskKeith.