Azure

Convert existing Azure Virtual Machines to use Hybrid Use Benefit

Hybrid Use Benefit (HUB) Allows customers with Software Assurance to use their on-premises Windows Server licenses to license Servers in Azure. With one Windows Server license, you can run two Windows Server Virtual Machines up to 8 Cores or a single Virtual Machine up to 16 Cores. This is a significant price reduction for customers who are using standard Windows Server image from Azure Marketplace (Up to around 40% cost saving).

4TB Disk Support for Azure

Microsoft recently increased maximum Virtual disks size for all Azure datacentres. Now we can create disks up to 4TB and assign to Virtual machines. This also increases total capacity supported up to 256TBs per VM. At the moment, we cannot create large disks or resize using the Azure Portal, and this needs to be done using an ARM template. Portal changes are planned to be rolled out within next few weeks along with the support for Azure backups and also Azure Site Recovery (Migration & DR).

Azure Site Recovery Unified setup 9.7 – Change input language to English

In this blog post, I’m going to walkthrough and issue which I came across recently while setting up a lab environment for a customer. I downloaded latest ASR unified setup yesterday to build VMware (on-premises) to Azure (DR) scenario for a client. While running ASR Unified Setup, I came across below error, which was a bit strange for me as I had not seen that error before when running this setup(build a similar setup last month).

SQL Server 2016 Failover Cluster Instances in Azure

Microsoft recently announced additional support scenarios for using Guest Clusters in Azure. In this blog post, let’s have a look how we can build a two node SQL 2016 Guest clustering in Azure using Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct. Utilizing Guest clusters in Azure enables mission critical application such as a SQL backend to function with greater availability if a single instance fails. By using Failover clustering and also placing virtual machines in an availability set, ensure that the application can work regardless of a hardware failure / Host updates or an application instance failure.

Single Instance VM SLA in Azure

For many years one of the challenges we had with customers, is that Azure didn’t have an SLA for single instance VMs. The recommendation is always to have two VM instances added to an availability set, which will make sure that the customer are covered under Microsoft SLA for VM Update time which is 99.95%. A recent announcement from Microsoft states that they now support for Single Instance VM within Azure with an SLA of 99.

Application Dependency Monitoring with OMS

Last year Microsoft acquired a company that specializes in App Dependency Monitoring called Bluestripe. This solution is now built into OMS which automatically maps dependencies by monitoring inbounds and outbound connections. Dependency Monitor creates a Service Map which also integrates with other services such as Security & Update Solutions. Below is an example where we have a Service Map which shows DPM Agent installed on a Hyper-V Host We can also see Windows Updates on each of the dependent servers

Windows Update using Azure Server Management Tools

Microsoft recently updated Azure Server Management tools with a new functionality, which allows remote execution of Windows updates against managed Windows Server / Nano Server instances using Azure Server Management tools. For those who are not familiar Azure Server management tools, I wrote a blog post recently announcing Azure Server Management Tools, which is a new method for managing Windows Server 2016 Servers and also Nano Servers. (https://nirmalt.com/2016/02/26/azure-server-management-toolsinstallation/) Let’s have a look at the new patch management process using Server Management Tools.

Azure Server Management Tools–Installation

In my previous post, I provided an Introduction to Azure Server Management Tools. In this blog post we will look at installing & configuration Server Management Tools. First Step involved in setting up Server Management Tools is for us to create a Server Management Tools Connection. Once a connection has been created, we can go ahead and provision Server Management Tools gateway. Gateway is an essential component which provides Azure Server Management Tools service, connectivity in to your on-premises or azure hosted Server 2016 VMs (At the moment support is only for Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview).

Azure Server Management Tools (Preview)–Introduction

Microsoft recently released Azure Server Management Tools preview for web-based management tools for Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview running on-premises as well as in Azure. Currently, Server Management Tools offer the following capabilities: View and change system configuration View performance across various resources and manage processes and services Manage devices attached to the server View event logs View the list of installed roles and features Use a PowerShell console to manage and automate Having server management tools available in Azure gives me the flexibility to manage my on-premises Windows Server 2016 servers and also Azure Windows Server 2016 Servers using a single portal.

Azure Portal General Availability

Today morning Microsoft announced general availability for Azure Preview Portal (portal.azure.com). Logging in to the old portal(Manage.windowsazure.com), we can now see a new banner that allows you to click and re-direct to the new Azure Portal. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-azure-portal-general-availability/