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In prior articles, we've discussed Azure Automation, Azure VM Agent extensions and PowerShell Desired State Configuration(DSC) as individual tools and approaches for automated workload provisioning. I'm frequently asked about how these tools can be used together to orchestrate end-to-end provisioning of cloud workloads, including fabric, OS and application components.
This article is part 1 of a two-part series.
In this article, I'll provide an example of leveraging Azure Automation runbooks and PowerShell Workflows in a concerted approach to fully automate all aspects of provisioning new IaaS workloads on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
In part 2 of this series, I'll provide an example of a working PowerShell DSC Configuration that can be used with Azure Automation runbooks to customize the configuration of operating system and application components running inside each VM as part of the provisioning process.
Thank you to those who attended my talk at CloudDevelop 2014 on Disaster Recovery to the Cloud with Azure Site Recovery today. We had some great discussions on disaster recovery planning scenarios! I'm providing a copy of the deck we used for our session, as well as a set of additional resources that may be helpful when planning your disaster recovery approach with Azure Site Recovery.
Download a copy of this deck for offline review.
Continue your learning with these additional study materials ...
Thank you to those who attended my webcast event on Open Source + Microsoft Azure last week. It was a great opportunity to discuss and demonstrate the broad support that's available on the Azure cloud platform for Open Source software solutions! In this article, I'm providing a copy of the deck we used for our session, as well as a set of additional resources that may be helpful in your continued learning and preparation around Open Source scenarios with Azure.
Continue your learning with these additional hands-on study materials ...
Thank you to those who attended my IT Camp event on Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud today in Chicago IL. I certainly enjoyed discussing cloud migration scenarios with everyone! In this article, I'm providing a copy of the deck we used for our sessions today, as well as a set of additional resources that may be helpful in your continued learning and preparation around Hybrid Cloud scenarios.
Continue your learning on Hybrid Cloud with these additional hands-on study materials ...
See you in the clouds!
A short time ago, I assisted an organization with defining a process for migrating web applications and data running on Ubuntu Linux virtual machines to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform from Amazon AWS.
In this article, I’m documenting the general steps we used in an attempt to help other organizations that may be planning a similar migration approach ...
I’m frequently asked about templates, stencils and shapes that are available for documenting the architecture of cloud-based solutions on Microsoft Azure, Azure Pack and Office 365. Using the tools described in this article, you can quickly build professional architecture diagrams for cloud scenarios. These tools are also useful when creating presentation decks, training materials, whitepapers and infographics.
Linux is certainly a first-class workload on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, and it's super-easy to get started with Linux + Azure to build a highly available and scalable solution in just a few minutes.
To help jump-start your skills on the steps for building Linux server solutions with Azure, I've prepared a Quick Start Guide that you can download, follow, and share with others in your community ...
With all of the buzz this week around the recently announced Windows 10 Technical Preview, you may have missed this announcement that a Technical Preview for the next version of Windows Server and System Center is also now available.
Windows Server Technical Preview – Server Manager and Start Menu
The Windows Server technical preview bits are now available as a virtual machine image on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Using this VM image on Microsoft Azure, you can spin-up your own test lab environment in the cloud in just a couple minutes – faster than you can download the installation bits from the TechNet Evaluation Center or MSDN Subscription Downloads.
In this article, I’ll provide the steps for provisioning your own Windows Server Technical Preview test lab environment on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Keep in mind that these bits contain an early pre-release build of the next version of Windows Server; these bits are not intended for running in a production environment ...
Thank you for attending my breakout sessions at Dog Food Conference 2014 on Azure Automation and Hybrid Cloud. It was great meeting you all and discussing your scenarios with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform! For your convenience, I've included my decks below for each session. At the end of each deck, links to additional resources for learning more on each topic area are provided.
Download this deck for offline viewing.
To assist in your continued exploration of Hybrid Cloud Management, I'm also providing a free copy of my ebook on Cloud Management with System Center 2012 R2 App Controller.
I hope to see you again next year at Dog Food Conference 2015!
When migrating to Hybrid Cloud, developing automated standards for provisioning and managing application workloads is key to accelerating the predictable deployment of new business solutions. As you begin developing scripts and workflows, being able to do so with consistency across on-premises datacenters and cloud platforms is important to promote reusability and agility when migrating these workloads.
Earlier this week in our Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud series, Yung Chou and I demonstrated the ability to leverage Windows PowerShell and the Azure PowerShell module as an easy way to get started with automation tasks for both Azure Pack private clouds and Microsoft Azure public clouds via the tenant service management REST API and PowerShell cmdlets. So that you can follow along with this step-by-step demo, I’ve included the PowerShell snippets that we used in our demo in this article ...
UPDATE: Azure Automation has been updated to support Azure Active Directory authentication to simplify the steps for getting started! As an alternative to the steps below for configuring certificate-based authentication, check out this article by Joe Levy, Program Manager on the Azure Automation team, for getting started with Azure AD with Azure Automation.
Earlier this week, Microsoft Azure Automation was made available on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform as a public preview. This new feature allows you to automate the creation, monitoring, deployment and management of cloud resources in your Microsoft Azure subscription using a highly-available workflow execution engine. Azure Automation provides an orchestration feature set for public cloud resources that is similar to what the Service Management Automation (SMA) engine provides for on-premises private cloud resources via the Windows Azure Pack and System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator.
Azure Automation is super-cool, because it allows us to perform automated cloud provisioning and management without needing to manually build and manage a separate set of automation servers. And … scalability and high availability of the Azure Automation engine is provided natively via the Microsoft Azure cloud platform without any extra configuration steps needed, which helps to make sure that your scheduled runbooks will always execute when needed.
In this article, I’ll step through the process of getting started with Azure Automation. Along the way, we’ll build a runbook and PowerShell workflow for performing basic automation of Microsoft Azure virtual machines.
As I’ve been traveling and speaking to IT Pros about the great scalability, resiliency and offerings in our Microsoft Azure public cloud platform, there’s also been lots of interest around deploying our free Windows Azure Pack (WAP) to bring the power and consistency of the same self-service Azure portal user interface to on-demand Private Clouds provisioned in an on-premises datacenter.
Service Management Portal in Windows Azure Pack
In this article, we’ll step through the process of setting up Windows Azure Pack in a lab environment for provisioning and delegating VM private clouds. Along the way, I’ll call out the specific details that I found helpful to successfully build my own lab environment.
Today’s topic focuses on migrating existing server workloads to the Microsoft Azure public cloud platform as a secure extension of your on-premises datacenter. Along the way, we’ll discuss several migration tools that can help to streamline the process, including the recently announced Microsoft Migration Accelerator for Azure, which is currently available in limited preview to customer organizations located in North America.
This article is part 20 in our continuing series on Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Hybrid Cloud by our US IT Pro team. After reading this article, be sure to catch up on the whole series!
With Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, organizations can create private, high-throughput network connections between Azure datacenters and existing infrastructure, whether it’s on-premises or in a co-location environment. ExpressRoute connections do not go over the public Internet, and as such they can offer more reliability, faster speeds, lower latencies and higher security than typical connections over the Internet.
In this article, we'll discuss connection options, scenarios, considerations and steps for leveraging Azure ExpressRoute as part of your Hybrid Cloud cross-premises network architecture ...
Dog Food Conference is BACK again this year in Central Ohio on September 29th and 30th, and it’s bigger than EVER! This year, Dog Food Conference will feature local, regional and national speakers to deliver 70+ talks across multiple tracks for Developers, IT Pros, Startups and IT Managers, promising a full line-up of great topics for everyone.
For IT Pros, the Infrastructure and DevOps sessions include topics on Modernization, Virtualization, Cloud, Automation, Configuration Management and MORE!
Here’s a snapshot of some of the Cloud, Infrastructure and DevOps talks that you can expect at Dog Food Conference 2014:
Check out the full details for Dog Food Conference 2014 and be sure to REGISTER for your ticket TODAY! After you’ve registered, be sure to follow @DogFoodCon on Twitter for updates and special news before, during and after the event.
There’s just 44 weeks left until End-of-Support for Windows Server 2003 and many organizations are getting started planning for server migrations … And our team of awesome Microsoft MVPs is here to help!
This month, a series of Transform the Datacenter MVP Roadshow events are coming to cities across the US. These events are a great opportunity to learn more about migrating your legacy Windows Servers to Windows Server 2012 R2. You’ll also learn about going “beyond mere migration” to actually modernize your infrastructure with Microsoft Azure and Hybrid Cloud so that your resulting architecture can address growing business needs around scale, agility and cost-effectiveness.
Here’s the list of events coming your way later this month … be sure to register today for the event nearest you!
Presenters / Coordinators
Hope to see you there!
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.
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.
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.
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.