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,

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

 

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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
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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.

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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 – http://blogs.technet.com/b/in_the_cloud/archive/2014/05/16/microsoft-azure-remoteapp-demo.aspx

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,

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/e9f4801e-6a6f-440f-ad05-65758007db69/dpm-2012-r2-ru2-kb2958100-dpm-accessmanager-service-crash?forum=dataprotectionmanager

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

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2958100

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.

MS-Press

Microsoft press has released two books related to HYPER-V technology. The contents on these books are written by over a dozen individuals at Microsoft including Support Escalation Engineers, Premier Field Engineers, Program Managers, Data Center Specialists, and experts from Microsoft Consulting Services. Since most of the contents are written by field engineers you can gain more information about troubleshooting and lessons learns during setup an configurations.

 

Optimizing and Troubleshooting Hyper-V Networking

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0790145383068.do

Optimizing and Troubleshooting Hyper-V Storage

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0790145382924.do

Monitoring resources to make sure they are in the optimal condition never end battle. When things go wrong you need to know where and when it occurs exactly rather than speeding countless hours for troubleshooting. Welcome to SCOM which is dominant in that area. From me personal opinion SCOM is more powerful in Apps monitoring and that is what should be mattered :)

Saying that monitoring the underline hardware and related equipments have same weight over the time to provide complete picture of your environment. Starting with SCOM 2012 Microsoft introduce the concept of 360 monitoring which means exactly monitoring everything.

SCOM team recently released HYPER-V 2012 host monitoring management pack. If you’re having HYPER-V environment and want to to what’s going on under the hood this MP is the tool you should have :) You can download the latest from the CodePlex web site.

Latest features been added in the MP are,

  • Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 hyper-V
  • Hyper-V Extended Replica Monitoring and Dashboard

 

SCOM1 
Replica virtual machine monitoring

Sources:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/cedward/archive/2013/06/21/hyper-v-2012-management-pack-extensions.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2013/12/10/hyper-v-management-pack-extensions-2012-2012r2-available.aspx

Testing Microsoft Azure Portal

Posted: April 12, 2014 in Azure

I’m big fan of Microsoft solutions (well not all of them anyway) Now Azure is something I’ve been keeping my eye and few years back when Steve Ballmer mentioned Microsoft “All in” for cloud I know that is a big statement. After 2+ years Microsoft still strongly hanging to that commitment and can see how deep their investment on this technology.

Now keeping that history aside I want to share with you all my experience on Windows Azure new portal. Yes you read it correctly “New” portal. Announced during the “Build Conference” which you can see in Channel 9 videos.

Below is my Microsoft Azure portal. Overall appearance is very much appealing and even a business person can understand at a glance about their current subscription.

 

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Once you get to know the interface browsing around and getting your work is pretty much easier.

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however I notice to view my current virtual machines and virtual networks I’ve to click Azure portal icon which will take me to the old Azure portal.

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I do hope Microsoft will finalize that last bit as well. One more good thing I’m looking forward to see is if we can get the same portal for Windows Azure Pack to the hosters and for Enterprise companies.

MVMC is back with more power! If you’re not aware about this tool, “Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter” is a utility which allows VMware virtual machine converting to HYPER-V. This tool has been one of the most requested one from HYPER-V fans and I also felt the need is high when we miss proper mass scale tool from Microsoft to migrate from VMware.

Migrating to VMware to HYPER-V adoption has been increased for the past few years time and that momentum will never get slow. Cite from the Microsoft web site as it is,

“Did you know that Hyper-V has had four times the growth of VMware’s ESX over the past three years? In fact, in a global survey of ~2000 VMware customers, ~50% indicated that they are also running Hyper-V¹. As such, virtual machine migration is an increasing priority for many customers as more and more are exploring and evaluating the Microsoft platform against their existing VMware installed base. Whether it’s virtual to virtual (from one hypervisor to another) or physical to virtual, migration provides customers a path for consolidation of workloads and services, and the foundation for cloud.”

¹ Source: IDC Worldwide Server Virtualization Tracker 2014Q1, and Official unofficial VMware storage survey, link here.

Some of the improvements in the latest release are,

  • PowerCLI is no longer a requirement
  • MVMC removes VMware tools
  • MVMC migrates network IPs
  • MVMC handles disk assignments
  • MVMC is able to convert both Windows and Linux
  • Added support for vCenter & ESX(i) 5.5
  • VMware virtual hardware version 4 – 10 support
  • Linux Guest OS migration support including CentOS, Debian, Oracle, Red Hat Enterprise, SuSE enterprise and Ubuntu

What I mostly like about this tool is Automation. Power Shell has been used most of the time to carry our entire conversion with less hands on during conversion time.

Excitement never ends with were you can migrate your converted VMs :) Two more new features are,

  • On-Premises VM to Azure VM conversion: You can now migrate your VMware virtual machines straight to Azure. Ease your migration process and take advantage of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure with a simple wizard driven experience.
  • PowerShell interface for scripting and automation support: Automate your migration via workflow tools including System Center Orchestrator and more. Hook MVMC 2.0 into greater processes including candidate identification and migration activities.

You can download the relevant toolset from below locations. Happy converting from VMware to HYPER-V :)

MVMC 2.0                      MAT for MVMC 2.0