Microsoft Azure is one of the biggest buzz word in the technical world (at least in my world Smile ) Whenever I have conversation about this with my customers some of the questions and concerns they have as follows,

1. Why should I care about another directory service when I already have Active Directory to manage my users and computers

2. How can I extend my Active Directory

3. Can I dump my on-prem Active Directory and use 100% Azure active directory?

Most of the time I end up explaining Azure Active Directory using couple of pictures,


Above picture gives an idea about similarity between Azure AD and On-prem AD. This is an easy way to give someone an idea what is AD normally do (I’m talking about business owners)

Next picture about how Azure ID can be used in hybrid method and open whole new world on Cloud based Apps to an organization.


Now that is all about some nice icing layer before we start the work Smile

My first attempt is to help you guide through how we can setup Azure AD and then integrate that with you local Active Directory.

First you need to have an Azure subscription. If you already have Azure subscription then login to the main portal,


On the right hand side scroll down until you find the section called “Active Directory”


You can see couple of Active Directories created by my in the right hand side. Please note Default directory is pre-created by Microsoft Azure. You can start using that or create your own Azure Directory. to create you own AAD (Azure Active Directory) click new,


Select directory and click “Custom”


Put your own values for this, (Note: make sure the Domain name you provide is a unique one)


Once you complete the wizard you’ve completed with creating your AAD Smile


In the above picture you’ll spend time creating users and groups for the new AD. For more information about this area please visit here. In the next article we’ll talk about how to integrate Azure AD with on-prem AD.

Ok this is probably not a latest new but Altaro has release HYPER-V e-book with lots and lots of PowerShell commands. I found out this is really useful if you’re playing around or managing HYPER-V environments. Kudos to the author -Jeffery Hicks (PowerShell MVP)

You can download the free e-book from here and also don’t forget to download the sample PS commands freely available to download along with that e-book. You can get them from here. Also pay a visit to authors blog and you’ll find more latest updates and new PS commands Smile

If you’re new to the PowerShell world then you need to step into few places first to brush your knowledge. Believe me PowerShell is most important in your future career so spend some on it. You can start from here & here

DPM team recentely announced they’re supporting DPM running as a VM in the Azure Cloud. This means now you can protect your Azure workload within the Azure premise by locating DPM server in the cloud. With this option you’re getting more retention time period as well. This also means whoever having System Center license now they can use that and setup DPM in Azure Smile

Note from the DPM team released few weeks back,

We are pleased to announce that System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) is now supported to run in Azure as an IaaS virtual machine. This announcement allows customers to deploy DPM for protection of supported workloads running in a Azure IaaS virtual machines. Customers with a System Center license can now protect workloads in Azure. Read more about it on the DPM blog.”

One of the question remains I the VM sizing for the DPM server in Azure. In my opinion it’s better to start with minimum 2 VCPU and 3.5 GB one and then keep on increasing the size of the VM based on the requirements.

If you’re having a Azure trial account this is another feature you should go ahead and give a try. Before starting setting up spend little bit time reading the blog post released by the DPM team and also refer to the FAQ.

Veeam Task Manager for HYPER-V

Posted: August 10, 2014 in HYPER-V

Veeam is a company who is famous for their backup and replication software for virtualization platform. Recently they have release a small utility which helps HYPER-V admins to understand each VM’s resource utilization at a glance from Windows Tsk Manager itself.

By default Microsoft Windows Server OS Task Manager will only show you the performance characteristics related to parent OS. For us to find VM level performance detail (Eg: CPU, Memory) either we open the hyper-v manager MMC or use VMM. With this nifty utility we can do that from the default Task Manager itself!


What more interesting is we can run this utility in client OS like Windows 7 and onwards and connect to HYPER-V servers and remotely view the resource usages (Tip: Make sure TCP port 445 is open for that)

During the TechEd 2014 Microsoft announce anti-virus software support for Azure VMs. This service will be integrated through  VM agent coming along with all the Azure Virtual machines. Apart from using Microsoft anti-malware protection Microsoft has extend their arms to welcome two vendors for this server;

  • Symantec Endpoint Protection
  • TrendMicro’s Deep Security Agent

From my opinion this is a good move Microsoft carrying out. Most of the customers want third party applications and purchasing them and applying to Azure is not feasible if they’re planning to use the virtual machines for couple of months. Integrating anti-virus solution to Azure VM’s will make customers life one step easier :)

I test this our in my Azure MSDN subscription. During new VM creation,


you get the chance to select which VM agent you want to install plus the anti-virus software,



Once you log into the VM you’re greeted with web site stating trial version of the Anti-virus is setup and it will work for XX days until we purchase and maintain that. But if you’re a customer who extend your on-prem network with Microsoft Azure then you can use your on-prem AV software in the cloud VM’s and manage them centrally via S2S connection.

Why Microsoft Azure RemoteApp rocks

Posted: May 17, 2014 in Azure, RDS

During the TechEd 2014 in USA Microsoft revealed another cool offer “RemoteApps” via Public Cloud service. This is similar to Server 2012 R2 RDS Application publishing but only difference is hosted platform is public cloud (Azure). At this stage service is in preview mode and limited to 3 hosted applications only.


Good news is this offering works across the Android, iOS systems as well. At this stage I only could check on Windows and Android only. Some of the screenshots from my Android tablet,

Screenshot_2014-05-17-09-35-23 Screenshot_2014-05-17-09-35-34 Screenshot_2014-05-17-09-36-50

According to sources OneDrive integration will not work in preview mode. During my test I also found out they have not carried out any integration yet. My understanding is PG team for “RemoteApps” have to work hard on that matter an would be a great challenge for them.

As per the Microsoft motto of “Cloud first and mobile first” this offering match perfectly. After all we expect to work from any device in any location. So there is no better solution than embracing cloud for access availability. To support that future Microsoft making their software readily available from any device concept which I highly believe in for their success.

I’m not sure about other vendors vision but I strongly agree Microsoft will take one of the main initiative to drive Cloud technology to the market and into daily life of people around the world. If you ask why is that? Well Microsoft heavily invest onto Azure and they want to reap out of that. So it’s pretty obvious Microsoft Azure going to be the “de facto” :)

Stay tune because this technology has more to offer. So far I only talk about the Cloud-only deployment method only. There is a another “hybrid deployment” model which can integrate with you on-prem network.

Sources –

Soon after releasing the Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 r2 products numerous threads start in technical forums issues related with DPM 2012 R2. Most of them are related to Tape backup & recovery.

Below thread discuss such issue scenario,

Good news is Microsoft DPM team acknowledge the issue nd quickly withdraw the update from the web site,

Recovering from the issue is quite complex and need Microsoft support in certain cases. This also remind us the thumb rule of not applying latest updates to production environment without proper study. It’s always ideal to test them in staging environment.