Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • (Part 5) To the Cloud! Managing Devices in the Cloud with Microsoft Intune

    In Part 5 in our “To the Cloud” series, Blain Barton and I discuss the many benefits of Microsoft Intune, which allows organizations to provide employees with access to corporate software, data, and resources from virtually anywhere and on almost any device.

     ______________

    If you're interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:

    Websites & Blogs:

    Videos:

     Follow the conversation @MS_ITPro
     Become a Fan @ facebook.com/MicrosoftITPro
     Become a Fan of Kevin Remde's Full of IT on Facebook
     Subscribe to our podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS

    Setting up your business in the cloud

  • Video: Create a Custom Virtual Machine Image in Azure Resource Manager with PowerShell

    Create a Custom VM ImageI recently recorded this video as a companion to the Azure Documentation page – “Deploy and manage virtual machines using Azure Resource Manager templates and PowerShell”, and specifically showing off the task “Create a Custom Virtual Machine Image in Azure Resource Manager with PowerShell

    I hope you find it useful!

     

  • Video: Deploy a Windows Virtual Machine with Azure Resource Manager Templates and PowerShell

    Deploy a Windows Virtual MachineI recently recorded this video as a companion to the Azure Documentation page – “Deploy and manage virtual machines using Azure Resource Manager templates and PowerShell”, and specifically showing off the task “Deploy a Windows Virtual Machine

    I hope you find it useful!

  • Video: Log onto a Azure VM running Windows Server

    How to Log on to a virtual machineI recently recorded this video as a companion to the Azure Documentation page – “How to Log on to a virtual machine running Windows Server”. 

    I hope you find it useful!

     

  • TechNet Radio: Design Considerations for Mobile Device Management

    In today's world where being highly connected and highly mobile are more important than ever, device choice and being mobile while still being productive are big concerns for any business IT organization.  In this TechNet Radio interview, I chat with Yuri Diogenes and Robert Mazzoli as we explore the world of Mobile Device Management and what design considerations you should think about when architecting your strategy for a Mobile first, Cloud first environment.

     

     

     

    • [3:00] Tell us about the Mobile Device Management Design Considerations Guide and who its intended for?
    • [3:54] Mobile Device Management can be an overwhelming topic. Would it be safe to say that some IT organizations don't even really know where to begin?
    • [5:53]  Say I work for a small business and I want to do Mobile Device Management and I don't have a huge budget – what are some of my options?
    • [7:56]  Once my organization has the problem set well defined, what's the next step?
    • [12:50] Is there anything else that my business needs to consider?
    • [14:55] As a companion to the MDM Design Considerations Guide, I understand that your team has put together another pretty useful (and definitely colorful) resource. What's that?
    Check out the  Mobile Device Management Design Considerations Guide
    Download the Enterprise Mobility Poster here

    MVA

    __________________________

    If you're interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:

    Websites & Blogs:

    Videos:

     Follow the conversation @MS_ITPro
     Follow @KevinRemde on Twitter
     Become a Fan @ facebook.com/MicrosoftITPro
     Like Kevin's Full of IT Facebook page
     Subscribe to our podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS

  • This just in: More Updates to Azure Backup

    The Azure Blog just posted some exciting news about improvements and updates to Azure Backup, specifically around the backup and retention of Azure Virtual Machines (VMs).

    “Oh yeah?  How can they make it any better?”

    Well, for starters.. How would you like to be able to retain a backup of a Virtual Machine for up to 99 years?

    “That’s crazy.”

    But it’s possible now.  And, you can even backup that virtual machine along with up to 16 attached data disks. 

    Back to retention options, you now have more flexible weekly, monthly, and yearly settings; very much like what was already available for using Azure Backup for backing up local file system (Server or Client) data.

    Example backup retention settings for retaining up to 99 years

    They’ve also improved reporting and monitoring or control of VM backup jobs.  Downloadable summary reports on information on backup storage size are just a couple of examples.

    For the full details and many more links to more useful information and resources, check out the Azure Team Blog article: Azure Backup update – New features in IaaS VM backup support

    And if you’re in-or-near one of these cities on these dates…

    …make sure you come to our TechNet on Tour event, where we’ll be providing more details on how to use Azure for Disaster Recovery, including a great Hands-on-Lab that works specifically with Azure Backup of a VM.

    TechNet on Tour

  • Windows 10: What/Where the Deployment Tools Are

    Windows 10 Enterprise Evaluation

    It’s been nearly a month since Windows 10 became publically available to all, so I’m sure all of you IT Pros who read my blog have been installing (and hopefully enjoying) Windows 10 on your personal machines, while at the same time beginning to think about how you’re going to support a rollout to your business users.  (Or not.  But if you’re not, you should.)

    “Yes!  But are there any updated tools or kits to support us in our planning, assessments, and deployments?”

    I’m glad you asked.  Just a few days ago, for example, the new version of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, or MDT.  This is “Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 Update 1”. Details of this release can be found in the announcement that was posted on the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Team Blog.

    “But Kevin, the download page for the MDT says that it requires a ‘Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10’.  What is that?”

    As the title implies, the Windows ADK is multiple tools to assist in assessing upgradability, and tools to support tasks such as image capturing and applying, or modifying operating system images.  Put simply, the MDT leverages several of the tools that are in the Windows ADK, so those updated versions need to be there as well.

    The full list of downloads for kits and tools is here: “Download kits and tools for Windows 10”.  Buried towards the bottom of that page is a link to “what’s new in the Windows ADK for Windows 10”, as well as the link to “download the Windows ADK for Windows 10”.

    ---

    Have you used the tools?  Are you rolling out Windows 10?  Don’t hesitate to share your experiences, ask your questions, or throw in your anonymous rants in the comments.  Smile

  • Video: Deploy an Application with Azure Resource Manager Templates

    In this video (which complements the documentation found at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/resource-group-template-deploy/) I walk you through the process of deploying an application with Azure Resource Manager Templates. 

     

  • Deploying and Managing Windows 10 - My Interview with Brad Anderson

    Deploying and Managing Windows 10. It seems like a pretty straightforward and important topic, don’t you think?  Smile 
    I welcome back Brad Anderson to the show as we discuss how businesses and IT organizations can take advantage of the free training resources, in-depth guidance, deployment and management tools that are available starting August 18th  @ http://aka.ms/DeployWin10.

     

    • [2:00] Is Windows 10 a big deal?
    • [3:19] “Windows-as-a-Service” …How is Windows 10 being delivered as-a-service? How is that different?
    • [5:04] In general, how are we recommending that businesses roll out or move to Windows 10?
    • [9:51]  Let’s talk about identity management and security on Windows 10. What’s new and how will it impact businesses?
    • [14:22] What's coming in Windows 10 to support mobile device management, and what tools will I want to use to support that?
    • [21:00] There are other device and MDM products out there. Are they going to be sufficient in managing Windows 10?
    • [24:51] Where can our viewers go for more information on how to deploy and manage Windows 10?

    Win10-EMS

    __________________________

    Experience Microsoft's latest products with these FREE downloads!
     Build Your Lab! Download  Windows Server 2012 R2System Center 2012 R2 and  Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 and get the best virtualization platform and private cloud management solution on the market. Try it FREE now!

     Don't Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines. Try Windows Azure for free with no cost or obligations, and use any OS, language, database or tool. FREE Download

    __________________________

    ms_banner_998x175%20(1)


    If you're interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:

    Websites & Blogs:

     Follow the conversation @MS_ITPro
     Follow @KevinRemde

     Become a Fan @ facebook.com/MicrosoftITPro
     Follow Kevin's Full of IT on Facebook

     Subscribe to our podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS

  • Azure Site Recovery (ASR) now available in all US Azure Datacenter Regions

    This just in…

    Today, Microsoft has increased the number of datacenter regions that will support Azure Site Recovery.  Datacenter regions added:

    • Central US
    • East US2
    • North Central US, and
    • South Central US

    “Cool.. but what is Azure Site Recovery?”

    Ah.. in case you, like my friend here, don’t know; Azure Site Recovery is Microsoft’s “Disaster Recovery as-a-Service” (DRaaS) offering.  Think of it as a way to set up machines and services in Azure that are off but being kept up-to-date, plus the orchestration (in the form of a Recovery Plan) to automate planned or unplanned failover.  Your source machines could be hosted on physical boxes, virtualized (Hyper-V or VMware), or even in AWS or other Azure regions.. but keeping a copy of your machines up-to-date in the Azure cloud… just-in-case.

    For more information on Azure Site Recovery, visit the Getting Started with DRaaS.

    And for the official announcement about the new regions, check this Azure Blog announcement.

  • Breaking News: RSAT for Windows 10 now available!

    RSAT for Windows 10

    This just in..

    The Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) that will run on and support remotely managing Windows Server (including the latest Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview) are now generally available for download.

    You can find the download HERE

    NOTE: Make sure you read the system requirements!  These tools only run on Windows 10 Professional and Windows 10 Enterprise.  So don’t go trying to do any fancy-schmancy server administrating from your Windows 10 Home installation.

    UPDATE: Those of you who may have installed this and not seen the tools actually installed... Watch your language.  Smile  This release is for English (United States) only.  Yes, I wish it would give you a big error and message about "wrong language version" or somesuch, but apparently it just appears to succeed without so much as a beep.

    From http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45520:

    Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 is available only in English (United States) for this release. If you are running Windows 10 in a language that is not English (United States), be sure that you have installed the English (United States) language pack before you install Remote Server Administration Tools. To install the language pack, on the Start screen, click Settings. Click Time and language, click Region and language, and then click Add a language. Click English, and then select English (United States). When you are finished, close the Settings dialog box.

    BIG thanks to Michael Niehaus and Heike Ritter for providing the solution. 

  • TechNet On Tour: Disaster Recovery using Azure

    To follow up on my post of a couple of days ago, I thought I’d share this awesome introductory video discussing our up-coming September/October US events…

    Have you signed up yet?  GO HERE to select your city and date: http://aka.ms/TechNetTour

    Hope to see you there!

  • Find an Azure VM image using the Azure CLI or PowerShell

    Navigating and Selecting Azure Virtual Machine images with PowerShell and the Azure CLIRecently my team has been fortunate enough to be able to contribute to and augment the online Microsoft Azure documentation through the creation of video demonstrations.  My first two contributions can be found on this page:

    Navigating and Selecting Azure Virtual Machine images with PowerShell and the Azure CLI

    Of course, I need to brag specifically on the videos by embedding them here.  Smile

     

    Navigating and Selecting Azure Virtual Machine images with the Azure CLI

     

    Navigating and Selecting Azure Virtual Machine images with PowerShell

  • Azure for Disaster Recovery: The US Tour

    TechNet Tour

    We Technical Evangelists are at it again!  This September and October, we will visit 10 cities to talk about using Microsoft Azure as part of your disaster recovery plan.

    Attendees will receive a free Microsoft Azure pass and the opportunity to complete several disaster recovery related labs during the course of the workshop.

    9/1 - Seattle, WA
    9/3 - San Francisco, CA
    9/22 - Houston, TX
    9/29 - Charlotte, NC
    9/30 - Malvern, PA
    10/6 - Indianapolis, IN
    10/7 - Tampa, FL
    10/8 - New York, NY
    10/14 - Irvine, CA
    10/16 - Dallas, TX

    See the FULL LIST HERE!  Register now to join in!

    (And if you’re in Houston, Dallas, or NYC, you’ll get to see yours truly!)

  • (Part 3) End of Support for Windows Server 2003 - How Small to Midsized Businesses can Benefit by moving to Windows Server 2012 R2

    Concluding our 3 part End of Support for Windows Server 2003 series, Eric Mills and I highlight  some of the key concerns small to midsize businesses need to be aware of if they are still running Windows Server 2003 in their environment.

     

    Ready to make the move? Get Windows Server 2012 R2 now!

    __________________________

    Experience Microsoft's latest products with these FREE downloads!
     Build Your Lab! Download  Windows Server 2012 R2System Center 2012 R2 and  Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 and get the best virtualization platform and private cloud management solution on the market. Try it FREE now!

     Don't Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines. Try Windows Azure for free with no cost or obligations, and use any OS, language, database or tool. FREE Download

    __________________________

    ms_banner_998x175%20(1)
    If you're interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:

    Websites & Blogs:

    Videos:

     Follow the conversation @MS_ITPro
     Become a Fan @ facebook.com/KevinRemdeisFullofIT
     Become a Fan @ facebook.com/MicrosoftITPro
     Subscribe to our podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS

  • (Part 2) End of Support for Windows Server 2003 - Migrating from Windows Server 2003

    In Part 2 of our End of Support for Windows Server 2003 series, I welcome Rick Claus to the show.  We discuss various planning and migration tools that are available to help your move from Server 2003.

    Ready to make the move? Get Windows Server 2012 R2 now!

    __________________________

    Experience Microsoft's latest products with these FREE downloads!
     Build Your Lab! Download  Windows Server 2012 R2System Center 2012 R2 and  Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 and get the best virtualization platform and private cloud management solution on the market. Try it FREE now!

     Don't Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines. Try Windows Azure for free with no cost or obligations, and use any OS, language, database or tool. FREE Download

    __________________________

    ms_banner_998x175%20(1)
    If you're interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:

    Websites & Blogs:

    Videos:

     Follow the conversation @MS_ITPro
     Become a Fan @ facebook.com/KevinRemdeisFullofIT
     Become a Fan @ facebook.com/MicrosoftITPro
     Subscribe to our podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS

  • TechNet Radio: (Part 1) End of Support for Windows Server 2003 - Why Migrate?

    Eric Mills and yours truly kick off a new 3 part series today as we discuss the upcoming End of Support for Windows Server 2003.  Tune in for part 1 as we discuss the reasons why you should migrate now to a supported operating system before its too late.

     

    Ready to make the move? Get Windows Server 2012 R2 now!

    __________________________

    Experience Microsoft's latest products with these FREE downloads!
     Build Your Lab! Download  Windows Server 2012 R2System Center 2012 R2 and  Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 and get the best virtualization platform and private cloud management solution on the market. Try it FREE now!

     Don't Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines. Try Windows Azure for free with no cost or obligations, and use any OS, language, database or tool. FREE Download

    __________________________

    ms_banner_998x175%20(1)
    If you're interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:

    Websites & Blogs:

    Videos:

     Follow the conversation @MS_ITPro

     Become a Fan @ facebook.com/MicrosoftITPro
     Become a Fan @ facebook.com/KevinRemdeisFullofIT
     Subscribe to our podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS

  • New Microsoft Virtual Academy Course - Microsoft Azure Fundamentals: Virtual Machines

    MVA Course

    Bob Tabor (an MVP who I recently learned a lot of C# from) has created a multi-module course for Microsoft Virtual Academy entitled Microsoft Azure Fundamentals: Virtual Machines.  This is definitely worth a look, as the number of modules (35) and depth of topics really look to be more quality and in-depth than the title implies. 

    The course is made up of “Understanding…” modules, “How do I…” modules, and “Tours of…” the various App Services and Data Services available in Microsoft Azure.

    Click the photo above to go directly to the course.

  • If you’re in the area of Saint Louis and can get away from work on May 19, 2015…

    IT Camp!We’re hosting another of our IT Camps on Microsoft Azure and how to extend your datacenter into the cloud.  It’s a free, full-day of learning, including hands-on-labs and great resources for further investigation.

    Go to http://aka.ms/AzureITCampMO for details and to register.  (Hurry.. space is limited!)

    PS - We’ll also have a drawing for someone to win a $100 Microsoft Online Store gift card.  Smile

  • Backup/Recover Your Files to/from Azure Storage (Hybrid Cloud for IT Pros - Part 4)

    The following article is part 4 of our many-part series, “Hybrid Cloud for IT Pros”.  Click HERE often for the ever-growing full list of articles in this series.

    Step-By-Step found here.At my IT Camp events, when discussing this topic, I’ll often ask my IT Pro friends in attendance the following questions; usually with the following results:

    “How many of you have played with Windows Server Backup, the built-in file backup and recovery utility?”
    About 50%-75% of the hands go up.

    “How many of you are using Windows Server Backup as your main server file-system backup tool?”
    Maybe one or two hands go up.  And we all laugh.I’m not surprised!  It’s a very simple tool, and maybe didn’t do all we need for things such as long-term archiving and off-site storage.. so we went with other value-add providers.  But still, if you want to simply create a backup schedule and save multiple recovery points, Windows Server backup is still a nice solution. 

    Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to take that simple capability and, rather than storing backups to another local storage device, we stored directly into the cheap and always-available cloud storage that is Microsoft Azure

    “Yeah!  I’d love that!”

    Your wish: GRANTED.

    Azure Backup is Microsoft’s Windows Server Backup – cloud-ified.  At the heart of it it involves an Azure subscription, a storage account, a credential to allow the service to trust the server (or client), and an agent installed on your local server (or client). 

    “Kevin.. you keep saying ‘(or client)’.  Are you saying that this Azure Backup can also backup files from Windows Client operating systems?”

    That’s right!  A recent update to this capability was to allow the backup not only of all supported server operating systems (Server 2008 R2 and newer), but also of client operating systems from Windows 7 through Windows 10

    “Very cool!  But how do I set it up?”

    Here is my very own Step-by-Step guide, just for you: Step-by-Step: Windows Azure Backup

  • Lab 6 (Optional): An Ubuntu Linux VM in Azure (Jan-June 2015 Azure Hybrid Cloud IT Camps)

    This post contains Lab 6 of the 5 labs created for our current set of US DX IT Camps.  Yeah.. this is one I just added for good measure.

    The complete set of labs are listed here:

    Optional Lab 6

    Create a new Ubuntu Linux VM using the gallery

    In this task, you will create a new Ubuntu Linux VM, and then configure it to be managed via Remote Desktop. The remote desktop phase will take some time, so you will verify it later.
    Perform the following tasks in the Azure management portal.

    1.                In the Azure management portal, click NEW.

    2.                Click COMPUTE, click VIRTUAL MACHINE, and then click FROM GALLERY.

    3.                In Choose an Image, click UBUNTU, click Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS, and then click the Next arrow.

    4.                Create a new virtual machine using the values in the following table, and then click the Next arrow.

    Property 
    Value 
    DNS NAME
    Linux01
    TIER
    Standard
    SIZE
    A3
    USER NAME
    AzureUser
    AUTHENTICATION
    Select only PROVIDE A PASSWORD
    NEW PASSWORD and CONFIRM
    Passw0rd!

     

    5.                On the Virtual machine configuration page, in CLOUD SERVICE, select itcservice<ID>.

    6.                In STORAGE ACCOUNT select itsstore<ID>.

    7.                In ENDPOINTS, in ENTER OR SELECT A VALUE, select REMOTE DESKTOP, and then click the Next arrow.

    8.                Click the Complete icon.

    a.      The virtual machine will take a few minutes to create. Depending on the load this may take between 5 and 25 minutes. 

    b.      Wait for the new virtual machine to finish before proceeding.

    Connect to the new Linux VM using SSH and RDP

    In this task, you will use a Secure Shell (SSH) connection to manage Linux01 and install both the desktop and RDP protocol server. This step can take upwards of 30 minutes due to installation times. You can choose to wait, or start the installation, move on, and then complete this step at a later time.
    Perform the following tasks on your admin workstation.

    1.                On your local workstation you’ll need some files from our AzureManagement.zip file. 

    a.      Using Internet Explorer, download and extract https://itcmaster.blob.core.windows.net/fy15q3/AzureManagement.zip to your create an \AzureManagement folder (either at the root of C:\, or on your desktop).

    b.      NOTE: The above URL is Case Sensitive!

    2.                In \AzureManagement, double-click PuTTY.exe.

    3.                In Host Name (or IP address), type ITCService<ID>.cloudapp.net, and then click Open.

    a.      <ID> is your unique id.

    4.                In the PuTTY Security Alert dialog box, click Yes.

    5.                Log on as AzureUser using Passw0rd! as the password.

    a.      You are low logged on to your new Linux VM using SSH.

    6.                Type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each one. This set of commands will add a desktop and enable RDP. Confirm each command as needed.

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install Ubuntu-desktop

    a.      Enter Y when prompted.

    b.      This process will take up to 30 minutes or longer. You can allow this to run in the background and come back later. This VM will not be used again.

    sudo apt-get install xrdp
    sudo /etc/init.d/xrdp start

    c.      This last command ensures the xRPD server is started, as it does not always automatically start.

    7.                Now you should be able to go back to the Azure portal, select your Linux01 virtual machine, and connect to it using RDP.

     
  • Step-by-Step: Windows Azure Backup

    Azure Backup “is a simple and reliable data protection solution which enables customers to back up their on-premises data to Microsoft Azure.” 

    Remember Windows Server Backup?  Well, like that perennial utility, this one backs up from or restores items to your Windows File System. 

    “But this one backs up to or restores from Azure?”

    Bingo.  And as of December, 2014 it also supports backup and restore of files on Windows Client (7, 8, 8.1 and on up) operating systems.

    Here’s what we’ll do in this Step-by-Step guide:

    • Configure the Backup Vault
    • Download the Vault Credentials
    • Download and Install the Backup Agent
    • Register the Server
    • Configure the Backup Schedule
    • Backup Now 
    • Navigate the Recovery Vault
    • Restore a Deleted File

    Remember: If you just want to try this out without purchasing or using an existing Azure subscription, you can easily set up a free trial.

     

    Configure the Backup Vault

    Note that, to start, you might want to be doing these steps from the server or workstation that you want to configure for backing up files.  You’ll be downloading credentials and agent, installing the agent, and registering the machine against your Azure subscription, all from that server or workstation, so you may as well start these steps from that machine.

    Open an browser, and to to your Azure Subscription (http://manage.windowsazure.com).  On the left-hand column you can scroll down to find Recovery Services.

    image

    Select Recovery Services, and click New (the “+ mark) at the bottom left of your browser.  This will contextually place you into the New / Data Services / Recovery Services area.

    Select Backup Vault, and then Quick Create.

    image

    Your only two things to configure here are to give your vault a useful name, and to choose where in the world you want to have it stored. 
    Note: You may notice that not all of our data center regions support hosting backup vaults.  The list of regions may change over time.

    Click Create Vault, and after about 10-15 seconds you’ll have your new backup vault ready to use.

    image

    By clicking on the name, you’ll enter into your vault’s quick start page.

    image

     

    Download the Vault Credentials

    In the first versions of Azure Backup, establishing the trust between the vault and the server to be backed up required generating and installing a certificate, exporting it, and uploading it to the vault.  More recently, however, we’ve made it very easy for you.  You’ll simply download the vault credentials from within your account, and that file will be used to establish the trusted connection; either for initially registering the server or workstation, or to recover items to a new machine.

    On the quick start page, click Download vault credentials.  You will be prompted to open or save a file of type .VaultCredentials. 

    image

    Save it somewhere you’ll remember, on your machine to be backed up.
    Note: Treat this file with care.  It’s a file that you don’t want to let get into the wrong hands.

    Download and Install the Backup Agent

    On the quick start page, click the link to download the backup agent that you require. 

    image
    Notice that the same agent you can use to natively backup a workstation or server’s files is also the one used by System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM), which also can backup to or restore from Azure.

    Save the MARAgentInstaller.exe, and then run it later.  Or simply run it at this point if you’re already on the machine you want to backup files from.

    image

    I choose to run it from right here.  You will have some very basic configuration choices when you install the agent.

    image

    For my needs, I’m going to just take the defaults, and don’t have any special proxy to get me to/from the Internet. 
    Notice that the agent installation will also install any required components (.NET Framework  4.5) or software (Windows PowerShell) that might be missing.

    image

    When the installation is done, you can either close the installer or “proceed” to the “registration”.  I’m going to proceed.

    image

     

    Register the Server

    When you do that (or when you open the agent for the first time), you’ll be asked to provide the vault credentials file.

    image

    Browse to and select the file you saved earlier, then click Next.

    On the Encryption Setting page, you’ll either generate, or enter your own Passphrase.

    image

    I choose to have the tool generate a long passphrase for me, and I’ll just save it to my desktop folder for now.

    When I click Finish, the tool registers this “server” (I’m actually running this on my Surface Pro 3 running Windows 10 preview) with my backup vault.

    image

    And when it successfully completes, I see this:

    image

    Leaving the “Launch Microsoft Recovery Services Agent” checkmark checked and clicking Close will launch me into the recovery agent.

    image

    Note the options in the Actions pane on the right.  We’ve already registered the server, but as the little alert in the main pane reminds us, we haven’t yet scheduled anything to backup.  So let’s do that now.

    Schedule your Backups

    I have a folder full of very important stuff.  For this demonstration, it’s right on my C:\ drive in the “Very Important Stuff” folder, with an important file called An Important File.txt

    image

    In the Microsoft Azure Backup tool, in the Actions pane, I will click on Schedule Backup.

    Clicking Next on the Getting Started page brings me to the Select Items to Backup page. 

    image

    This is what I use to add, browse to, and select folders or items to backup.  Notice that I could also use this to exclude certain files by file types.

    I’ve selected the C:\Very Important Stuff folder, which is all I need to backup for now.  Click Next.

    On the Specify Backup Schedule page, notice that I can choose to do my backups daily at a certain time, or weekly, being able to select the days and times to perform the backup. 

    image

    I’ll just do my backup daily at 4:30am.  Click Next.

    On the Select Retention Policy page, we have some pretty flexible options for retaining our backed-up data for longer periods of time.  In my case, not every daily backup needs to be saved for several years, but maybe just the backup that I take the Saturday of the last week of March, which I want to save for 10 years. 

    image

    Click Next

    On the Choose Initial Backup Type page, I can choose to do my first backup of my files automatically over the Internet, or in an “offline” way, automating the pull of the first set of data from an existing Azure storage location.  For our simple sample, we’ll just do our first backup over the Internet.  Click Next

    And on the Confirmation page, I verify that all is as it should be.  Clicking Finish creates my backup schedule.

     

    Backup Now

    Note: You haven’t yet launched any backup!  If I left it all now, the next backup would happen based on my schedule.  But I’m going to click the “Back Up Now” option in the Actions pane.

    image

    On the resulting Confirmation page, I click Back Up.  And then I can click Close at any time, because the job has been launched and will run for you in the background – even if you close the Microsoft Azure Backup console.

    But I’ll leave the console open and watch the status of my job change…

    image

    …and in fairly short order (because this was a pretty small backup), I see this…

    image

    And I’m quite relieved that my very important stuff is now safely tucked away in my cloud recovery services backup vault.

     

    Navigate the Backup Vault

    Back in your Azure subscription and in the Recovery Services section, let’s look into my SampleBackupVault and see what we can see there…

    On the DASHBOARD tab, I can see that I have one “server” registered, and currently 0 GB currently protected.  (It was a pretty small file, so I’m not surprised that it didn’t register here.)

    image

    On the REGISTERED ITEMS tab, I can see my one machine of type “Windows server” currently listed and registered.

    image

    Notice that this is also where I could delete any old or no-longer-needed server registrations.

    On the PROTECTED ITEMS tab I can see some basic information about what I’ve protected; a file folder currently with only one recovery point available.

    image

    It also shows what the most recent recovery point and time are.

     

    Restore a Deleted File

    Oh no!  Someone deleted my file!  (Hint: It was me.)

    image

    No worries!  Go back into the Microsoft Azure Backup console and click Recover Data in the Actions pane.

    image

    On the Getting Started page, notice that I can specify if I’m currently on the machine where the backup was originally taken (and therefore is already registered with the Backup Vault), or if I’m on a new machine that doesn’t yet have the vault credentials – in which case I’d be given the opportunity to point to a downloaded .VaultCredentials file. 

    image

    Since I’m on the machine where the backup was taken, I’ll just click Next.

    On the Select Recovery Mode page, I can choose to either Browse for my files, or search for them. 

    image

    I would pick search if I knew there were a very large list to go through.  But in my case, it’s just one file, so I’ll just browse.  Click Next.

    On the Select Volume and Date page, you use the drop-down to pick the volume from which your backup was taken, and then you’re presented with a calendar with some dates in bold representing points in time when you’ve completed past backups. 

    image

    In our sample, I’ve only done the one backup, so that’s the only point I can recover to.  I’ll select it, and click Next.

    On the Select Items to Recover page, I can browse to my Very Important Stuff folder and see the files that were backed up from it. 

    image

    I’m happy to see that my important file is there, so I’ll select it and click Next.

    On the Specify Recovery Options page, I have some choices about whether or not I want to restore to the original location, or how to handle duplicates.  I can even choose to restore (or not) the Access Control List (ACL – the security permissions) that were associated with the original file. 

    image

    I’ll leave these defaults and click Next.

    I verify that all looks good on the Confirmation page, and click Recover.  The recovery starts, and I can close this window because the recovery job is now running for me.

    Back in the Microsoft Azure Backup console I can see that my recovery job has completed successfully…

    image

    …and.. Hooray!  My file is back!

    image

    So.. that’s about it! 

    ---

    What do you think?  Go ahead and share your comments / questions / concerns / rants in the blog comments.

  • Active Directory Domain Controllers in Azure? You bet! (Hybrid Cloud for IT Pros - Part 3)

    The following article is part 3 of our many-part series, “Hybrid Cloud for IT Pros”.  Click HERE often for the ever-growing full list of articles in this series.

    Active Directory Domain Services

    “Hey Kevin, I’d like to take advantage of putting application servers up in a virtual network in Azure.  But I need a domain controller for my application to work.  Can I put one in my virtual network?”

    Absolutely!  There’s no reason you can’t build a server, install AD Domain Services, and have it either as the new domain controller in a new forest, or as another domain controller in an existing forest – provided you can get to the other domain controllers through Site-to-Site VPN Gateway or ExpressRoute

    As a matter of fact, in our current set of content for our US DX IT Camps happening across the country, our Hands-on-Labs have our guests using their own (or a trial) Azure subscription to create a network and then populate it with a Domain Controller (among other machines).  If you want to try out just building a Domain Controller on a virtual network in Azure, I suggest you run through at least the first two of our labs:

    If you don’t already have an Azure subscription, sign up for a FREE TRIAL HERE and give the labs a try. 

    ---

    Finding our series useful?  I hope so!  Feel free to share or ask anything you’d like in the comments.

  • Lab Appendix (Jan-June 2015 Azure Hybrid Cloud IT Camps)

    This post contains the appendix information for the hands-on-labs created for our current set of US DX IT Camps.

    The complete set of labs are listed here:

    Appendix

    Install Active Directory on DC01 using PowerShell (from inside the VM)

    In this task, you will use Windows PowerShell to install and configure Active Directory on DC01. To perform this task, you will use Windows PowerShell ISE as an Administrator.

    To connect an RDP session to your DC01virtual machine:

    1. In the Azure management portal, click VIRTUAL MACHINES, click DC01, and then click Dashboard. On the bottom bar, click CONNECT, and then click Open. Click Connect.
    2. When prompted, log on as sysadmin using Passw0rd! as the password. Click yes.

    From within your RDP session to DC01:

    1. Open a web browser on DC01 to Browse to https://itcmaster.blob.core.windows.net/fy15q3/ADProvisionScriptv2.txt
      NOTE: The above URL is Case Sensitive!
    2. Click on the text then press CTRL-A to select all text – Then Click CTRL-C to copy it to your clipboard.
      NOTE: you can just click OK to any security warnings you get
    3. On DC01, Click Start – type Windows PowerShell ISE, Right click on “Windows PowerShell ISE” and select Run as administrator.
      NOTE: you must run this elevated! Select Yes on the User Access Control Popup.
    4. From PowerShell ISE menu select FileNew – Click on line 1 of Untitled1.ps1 and then press CTRL-V to paste in the script.
    5. Press CTRL-A to select all of the script and then press F8 to run the selected script.
      DC01 will automatically restart to finish installing AD.
      BE PATIENT! This process takes several minutes.
    6. After the restart, reconnect an RDP session to DC01 and confirm AD and DNS are running on DC01 (Server Manager should list Active Directory tools)
    7. From Server Manager / Tools, you should be able to open DNS and other Active Directory tools such as AD Users and Computers)

    ---

    Connect your PowerShell to Azure

    Before you can manage virtual machines from PowerShell on your local administration station you need to download the tools.

    clip_image002

    1. In your Azure portal; click the arrow next to Azure in the upper left corner of the portal, and select downloads. You can also get to download directly by navigating to http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/
    2. Scroll down to Command-line tools section and under Windows PowerShell, click Install
    3. When prompted click run and follow the installation prompts
    4. After installation is complete, in your Start Screen or Start Menu locate Microsoft Azure PowerShell and launch it.
    5. You will now need to connect Microsoft Azure PowerShell to your Azure subscription. In your PowerShell session type the following command:
      1. Add-AzureAccount  (Press ENTER)
    6. Enter your Azure Subscriber ID and Password.
      NOTE: If you do not know your SubscriberID: Login to the Azure portal http://manage.windowsazure.com click on your email address in the upper right corner, Click View My Bill. This will list all subscriptions for the current logged in user. Click on the subscription you want to use, then scroll down so see your Subscription ID listed on the right.
    7. You are now ready to use Azure Cmdlets against your subscription.
  • Lab 5: Building Application Workloads – Deploy Data Access App (Jan-June 2015 Azure Hybrid Cloud IT Camps)

    This post contains Lab 5 of the 5 labs created for our current set of US DX IT Camps.

    The complete set of labs are listed here:

    Lab 5: Building Application Workloads – Deploy Data Access App

    Configure endpoints for WEBFE01

    In this task, you will configure the required public endpoint mappings for WEBFE01.

    Perform the following tasks in the Azure management portal.

    1. In the Azure management portal, click in VIRTUAL MACHINES.
    2. Click WEBFE01, and then click ENDPOINTS.
    3. Click ADD.
    4. In ADD ENDPOINT, click the Next arrow.
    5. In Name, select HTTP, and then click the Completed button.
    6. You will have to wait for the endpoint to be created then continue
    7. Click ADD.
    8. In ADD ENDPOINT, click the Next arrow.
    9. In Name, select HTTPS, and then click the Completed button.
    10. You will have to wait for the endpoint to be created then continue
    11. Click ADD.
    12. In ADD ENDPOINT, click the Next arrow.
    13. In NAME, type Custom5000.
    14. In PUBLIC PORT and PRIVATE PORT, type 5000, and then click the Completed button.
    15. You will have to wait for the endpoint to be created then continue
    16. Click ADD.
    17. In ADD ENDPOINT, click the Next arrow.
    18. In NAME, type Custom5001.
    19. In PUBLIC PORT and PRIVATE PORT, type 5001, and then click the Completed button.
    20. Click Dismiss Completed in Azure Portal after all are done

    Configure firewall ports for WEBFE01

    Next, you must enable WEBFE01 to communicate internally within the service. While general IP connectivity is provided by DHCP, both servers are workgroup members and have the public firewall profile enabled. In this task you will open firewall ports and enable PING traffic on WEBFE01.

    Perform the following tasks in an RDP connection to WEBFE01.

    1. In your RDP session to WEBFE01, open Server Manager.
    2. Click Local Server.
    3. Next to Windows Firewall, click Public: On.
    4. In Windows Firewall, click Advanced settings.
    5. In Windows Firewall with Advanced Security, click Inbound Rules, and then click New Rule.
    6. In Rule Type, click Port, and then click Next.
    7. In Specific local ports, type 80, 443, 5000, 5001, and then click Next.
    8. On the Action page, click Next.
    9. On the Profile page, click Next.
    10. In Name, type Allow WebApp, and then click Finish.
    11. In Windows Firewall with Advanced Security, click Inbound Rules, and then click New Rule.
    12. In Rule Type, click Custom, and then click Next.
    13. On the Program page, click Next. (All programs should be selected)
    14. On the Protocol and Ports page, in Protocol type, select ICMPv4, and then click Next.
    15. On the Scope page, click Next.
    16. 16. On the Action page, click Next.
    17. On the Profile page, click Next.
    18. In Name, type Allow PING, and then click Finish.
    19. Disconnect from the RDP session.

    Remotely enable Internet Information Services on WEBFE01 using Windows PowerShell

    In this task, you will use Windows PowerShell remoting to install Internet Information Services on WEBFE01. To perform this task, you will use standard Windows PowerShell remoting and administration commands; however, you must first install the Windows PowerShell remoting self-signed certificate installed in your WEBFE01VM. This is because Windows PowerShell remoting relies on HTTPS connections by default.

    Establish an RDP session to your SQL01Server:

    1. In the Azure management portal, click VIRTUAL MACHINES, click SQL01, and then click Dashboard. On the bottom bar, click CONNECT, and then click Open. Click Connect.
    2. When prompted, log on as sysadmin using Passw0rd! as the password.
    3. Click yes.

    From within your RDP session on SQL01:

    1. Click on the Folder on the task bar to open Computer. Double-Click Data (C:) Click Home | New Folder type AzureManagement press Enter. You can then close the computer window and the Server Manager window to continue.
    2. Open Internet Explorer on SQL01.
    3. You need to Add sites to your trusted sites.
    1. Start – Click Internet Explorer – Click Tools (Gear in upper right corner) – Internet OptionsSecurity Tab – Trusted SitesSites
    2. Type: https://itcmaster.blob.core.windows.net then click Add
    3. Type: https://manage.windowsazure.com then click Add
    4. Close - OK
    • Using Internet Explorer, download and extract https://itcmaster.blob.core.windows.net/fy15q3/AzureManagement.zip to your SQL01 server in the C:\AzureMangement Folder
      NOTE: The above URL is Case Sensitive!
      NOTE:: You can just click OK to any security warnings you get
    • Download https://itcmaster.blob.core.windows.net/fy15q3/AzureManagement.zip by typing the URL into the address bar on your SQL01 server. Click Save as then save to C:\AzureMangement Folder
    • Using File Explorer open the c:\AzureManagement folder, right-click on the AzureManagement.zip file; select Extract All. Change the path to C:\ then click Extract. Close “Local Disk (C:) window. You should have a window up still that is showing you C:\AzureManagement\
    • On SQL01, in Server Manager, on the Tools menu, click Windows PowerShell ISE.On the View menu, click Show Scripting pane.

    Install the Azure PowerShell Extensions on SQL01:

    1. Run the C:\AzureManagement\WindowsAzurePowerShell.3f.3f.3fnew.exe file to install Azure Powershell Extentions
    • Click Install
    • Click I Accept
    • Click Finish
    • Click Exit

    Open Windows PowerShell ISE as Administrator.

    • Start – Type PowerShell ISE, Right-Click Windows PowerShell ISE – Click Run as Administrator

    We now need to enable Azure PowerShell commands by clicking the run pane (bottom) type the “Import-Module Azure” command then press <ENTER>

    Import-Module Azure

    1. From the File menu choose File Open, and open the script file
      C:\AzureManagement\Remote PowerShell Script Configuration.ps1.
    2. Select/Highlight the script lines under Part 1, and then press F8 to execute the selected lines.
    3. In the presented web page, log on using your Microsoft Azure account, and then download the PublishSettings file that is presented.
    4. Save the PublishSettings file in the C:\AzureManagement\ folder on the computer.
    5. In the script file, in part 2, replace the text ##Your Script File Path Here## with the full path to your downloaded file, such as
      “C:\AzureManagement\Free Trial-6-4-2014-credentials.publishsettings”.
      NOTE: If there are spaces in your file name, you will have to wrap the path and filename in quotes (“) as shown in the example
    6. Highlight the script under Part 2, and then press F8
    1. You should see basic information on your subscription in the output.
    • Highlight the script under Part 3, and then press F8. When prompted, type your unique ID.
      You will now have installed the certificate used by the WEBFE01 VM, which will enable remote Windows PowerShell access.
    • In the Windows PowerShell command area, type the following command, and then press ENTER. Replace <ID> with your unique identifier.
    1. Get-AzureVM –Name WEBFE01 –ServiceName ITCService<ID> | Get-AzureEndPoint | Select Name, Port | FT –AutoSize
    • You are now presented with the list of ports that are open on WEBFE01. Using the output of the command above, identify the port used for Windows PowerShell.
    • In Windows PowerShell (or in the PowerShell window of ISE), type the following command, and then press ENTER. Replace <ID> with your unique identifier. Replace <PORT> with the Windows PowerShell port from the previous command output.
    1. Enter-PSSession –ComputerName ITCService<ID>.cloudapp.net –Port <PORT> -Credential sysadmin –UseSSL
    • In the Password dialog box, type Passw0rd!, and then click OK.
      Note: if you changed the username and password when you created the machine, you will have to use the username and password you used to create the machine.
    • In Windows PowerShell, type Hostname, and then press ENTER.
    1. Notice that you are now in a Windows PowerShell session on your WEBFE01 VM from SQL01.
    • In Windows PowerShell, type the following command, and then press ENTER. This will install a full IIS server on WEBFE01.
    1. Get-WindowsFeature Web-Server | Add-WindowsFeature –IncludeAllSubfeature
    • Wait for the command to complete before proceeding. BE PATIENT. It takes several minutes.
    • In Windows PowerShell, type the following command, and then press ENTER. This will restart IIS
    1. Iisreset
    • Wait for the command to complete before proceeding.
    • On your Local Laptop, using Internet Explorer, navigate to http://itcservice<ID>.cloudapp.net where <ID> is your unique identifier.
      You have now connected to your running web server and are ready to hand off this environment for installation of your company’s software.
      If you cannot connect, wait 2 mins and try the IISReset again. if that still does not work, check to make sure your firewall parts and endpoints were not skipped or configured incorrectly.

    Deploy and test the Contoso Data Access sample site

    In this task, you will deploy a sample site. The sample web site simulates the types of tasks the Contoso production application performs, and will prove that the Azure infrastructure meets the base technical requirements of the production system.

    Perform the following tasks in RDP sessions to WEBFE01.

    1. Switch to the RDP session for WEBFE01.
    2. Using File Explorer, navigate to c:\inetpub\wwwroot.
    3. Delete all files and folders in this folder.
    4. Using File Explorer, navigate to Navigate to C:\AzureMangement\Website.
    5. Copy all Files and folders from C:\AzureMangement\Website to C:\inetpub\wwwroot.
      The global.asax file should be directly in the C:\inetpub\wwwroot folder, not a subfolder.
    6. Open the Web.Config file in Notepad, and then locate the <connectionStrings> … </connnectionStrings> section.
      Edit the section so that it reads as follows:

    <connectionStrings>

    <add name="AdventureWorksConnection" connectionString="data source=SQL01;initial catalog=test;user id=DataManagementApp;
    password=Passw0rd!;multipleactiveresultsets=True;application name=EntityFramework" providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" />

    </connectionStrings>

    1. On your Local workstation, using Internet Explorer, navigate to http://itcservice<id>.cloudapp.net.
      NOTE: You may have to refresh your browser.
    2. Under Data Management Login, type 12345, and then click Login.
    3. Click Product Listings.
      Be patient. It takes several seconds to spin up the web services and the SQL database the first time.
      The result set indicates the web application is communicating with the hosted SQL database correctly.

    clip_image002

    Congratulations! Play around with the various portions of the web site, and verify that you have full SQL Server connectivity.

    When you’re done with the labs, don’t forget to shut down your virtual machines from within the Azure Portal, so that you’re not using up compute/hour $$’s.