Cloud and Datacenter Management Blog

Microsoft Hybrid Cloud blogsite about Management


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Backup – Restore – DR strategy in a Fast changing World #Data #Management

The world of data is moving and changing a lot with new IT technologies coming up like leaves on a tree.
Data is everywhere, on Servers, workstations, BYOD Devices in the Cloud but how do you keep your data save and protected for your business today and in the future? There are a lot of reasons why you should Backup your data :

  • One of your employees accidentally deleted important files for example.
  • Your data got compromised by a virus.
  • Your Server crashed
  • You have to save your data for a period of time by Law
  •  And there will be more reasons why you should do backup…………….

A lot of Enterprise organizations are moving to the Cloud with workloads for the Business, but how is your Backup and Disaster Recovery managed today? A lot of data transitions are made but what if your Backup and Disaster Recovery solution is out dated or reaching end of Life? You can have a lot of Questions like :

  • What data should I backup?
  • Should I just upgrade the Backup Solution?
  • How can I make my Data Management Backup -DR Solution Cheaper and ready for the future?
  • How can I make my new Backup-DR Solution independent? ( Vendor Lockin)

And there will be more questions when you are in this scenario where you have to renew your Backup – DR Solution.
Here we have the following Great Backup Solution from 2014 :

Offsite Microsoft DPM Backup Solution since 2014

Here we have 3 System Center Data Protection Manager Backup Pods with a Tape library and One DPM pod connected with a Microsoft Azure Backup Vault in the Cloud. You do the Security updates and the Rollups for Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 to keep the Solution save and running.

Long Time Protection to Tape

DPM 2012 Server with direct attached Storage for Short time protection

The four DPM Backup Pods have the same Storage configuration for short time protection with a retention time of 15 days. After that Longtime protection is needed with Backup to tape and Backup to Microsoft Azure Backup Vault.
Since 2014 the Backup data is depending on these solution configurations.

Tape Management cost a lot of time and money

The fourth DPM Backup pod got a Azure Backup Vault in the Cloud to save Tape Management time.

DPM Backup to Microsoft Azure Cloud Backup Vault.

So this is the Start of the Journey to a New Data Management Backup – DR Solution transformation. The next Couple of weeks I will search for the different scenarios and solutions on the Internet and talk with the Community looking for Best Practices. I will do Polls on Social Media and a Serie of blogposts for the Data Management Backup – DR Solution to keep the business continuity.

Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions

Will it be a Cloud Backup – DR Solution?
Will it be a Hybrid Cloud Backup – DR Solution?
Everything in One Management Console?
Or More then One Backup -DR Solution for the right Job?

We will see what the journey will bring us based on Best Practices  😉


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20H1 Bug Bash for #WindowsInsiders #WIMVP Sept 25th – Oct 2nd 2019 #Windows10

Be sure to participate in this event by:
Ensuring your PC is running the latest Preview Build in the Fast ring.
Watching a quick video that explains the Bug Bash in more detail.
Exploring new features by completing Quests in Feedback Hub (new Quests will be released daily during the Bug Bash).
Logging actionable feedback regarding issues encountered, as well as suggestions for future improvements as you use the product.
The more Quests you complete during the Bug Bash, the more points you’ll earn towards your Achievements, including a special badge just for participating!

To join the Insider community, please visit https://insider.windows.com/en-us/.

Give your Feedback in the Hub


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Creating Azure Virtual Machine via the Portal #Winserv #Linux #Azure

Microsoft Azure Cloud Services is evolving really fast with New solutions and features every day for your business. In the following step-by-step guide we will see all the options and features when you create a virtual machine in the Azure Cloud. For this you need a Microsoft Azure subscription to start. When you are in the Azure Portal you begin with + Create a Resource and from there you see all the create items. Click on Compute and you will see the picture above what you can create. I’m going to create a Windows Server 2019 datacenter edition Virtual Machine in the Microsoft Azure Cloud. In the Azure Portal is a step by step wizard to help you with your choices.

Basic tab

We start by selecting the right Azure subscription ( if you have Multiple) like a Hub-Spoke model design
you can choose for your deployment. Then select a Resource Group or Create New. I made a new Resource Group called RSG-Winserv.

 

When you go further down, you must give your Virtual Machine a name and select the Microsoft Azure region where your VM will run. I Choose West Europe because I life in the Netherlands. For availability options of the Virtual Machine you can choose out of three options :

  1. No infrastructure redundancy required
  2. Availability zone
  3. Availability set

Availability Zones is a high-availability offering that protects your applications and data from datacenter failures. Availability Zones are unique physical locations within an Azure region. Each zone is made up of one or more datacenters equipped with independent power, cooling, and networking

An Availability Set is a logical grouping capability that you can use in Azure to ensure that the VM resources you place within it are isolated from each other when they are deployed within an Azure datacenter. Azure ensures that the VMs you place within an Availability Set run across multiple physical servers, compute racks, storage units, and network switches

Microsoft Azure got a lot of software operating images, I installed Windows Server 2019 Datacenter but have a look at Browse all Public and Private images :

Small Disk Images

More images like Kali and Red Hat

The next step is the VM Size, the “hardware” requirements of the Virtual Machine. When you choose your VM size you have to know the possibilities and feature set of the Virtual Machine. This article describes the available sizes and options for the Azure virtual machines you can use to run your Windows apps and workloads. It also provides deployment considerations to be aware of when you’re planning to use these resources.

Here is Microsoft Azure showing 250 different VM sizes

In this window you see the following items of the Virtual Machine specs :

  • VM Size
  • Offering
  • Family
  • vCPUs
  • Memory RAM
  • Data Disks
  • Max IOPS
  • Temporary Storage
  •  Premium Disks (Yes or No)
  • Cost / Month Estimated

So pick the right VM Size for your solution to do the job.

Allow Public Internet Inbound Port Rules

If you need this for example a website, then you can set it right away, but you can set it on None and change the Network Security Group (NSG) or Azure App Gateway or Azure Firewall later and keep it Closed for now. I will show this in the NSG later to get RDP access.

Hybrid Benefit

You can enable great savings in Azure with Windows Server Software Assurance by using Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server. Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server allows you to use your on-premises Windows Server licenses and run Windows virtual machines in Microsoft Azure at a reduced cost (i.e. at Linux rates). You can use your licenses for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016. The Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server is applicable to Windows Server Standard and Datacenter editions as well as other versions obtained via custom images. With Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server, you can save 40 percent or more1 on Windows Server virtual machines by paying only the base compute2 rates—adding value to your Software Assurance investments. The benefit is available across all Azure regions. Read more here

Disks tab

Disk storage is important for performance, that’s why you can choose for Standard HDD,  Standard SSD or
Premium SSD for your OS Disk. When your server need a Data disk, you can add it here or later on.
Here you can read more on Managed disks
What disk types are available in Azure?

Networking tab

Here you create your Virtual Network / subnet with a public IP. You can see here when you choose for a specific Virtual machine, you can not use accelerated networking because It’s not supported by the VM size selection.

Here you can choose for a Load Balancer or a Application Gateway

Azure Application Gateway is a web traffic load balancer that enables you to manage traffic to your web applications. Traditional load balancers operate at the transport layer (OSI layer 4 – TCP and UDP) and route traffic based on source IP address and port, to a destination IP address and port.

Azure Application Gateway

With Azure Load Balancer, you can scale your applications and create high availability for your services. Load Balancer supports inbound and outbound scenarios, provides low latency and high throughput, and scales up to millions of flows for all TCP and UDP applications.
Load Balancer distributes new inbound flows that arrive on the Load Balancer’s frontend to backend pool instances, according to rules and health probes.
Additionally, a public Load Balancer can provide outbound connections for virtual machines (VMs) inside your virtual network by translating their private IP addresses to public IP addresses.
Azure Load Balancer is available in two SKUs: Basic and Standard. There are differences in scale, features, and pricing. Any scenario that’s possible with Basic Load Balancer can also be created with Standard Load Balancer, although the approaches might differ slightly. As you learn about Load Balancer, it is important to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals and SKU-specific differences.

Management tab

When you have deployed your virtual machine, you want to manage it like monitoring and backup for example.
You can do these options also after the Virtual Machine deployment.
Backup of the Virtual Machine can be added when you deploy the VM.

I have a existing Backup Vault called WACvault1

From here you can create your own backup recovery Vault with your Own backup policy and retention times.

The feature provides Azure services with an automatically managed identity in Azure AD. You can use the identity to authenticate to any service that supports Azure AD authentication, including Key Vault, without any credentials in your code. What is managed identities for Azure resources?

Advanced tab

In the advanced tab you can select extensions for your Virtual Machine. These are add-ons and will installed during the deployment. You can now also select Gen 2 VM in Preview. Microsoft Azure has a lot of extensions for your Virtual machine :

List of extensions for your VM

Click on Create for adding Microsoft Antimalware on your VM

Select the options and exclusions

Tags tab

Here you can Tag your deployment

After you apply tags, you can retrieve all the resources in your subscription with that tag name and value. Tags enable you to retrieve related resources from different resource groups. This approach is helpful when you need to organize resources for billing or management. Read more on Tags here

At this moment the validation has passed for deployment with all your settings, but don’t forget to have a look at “Download a template for Automation”  before you hit Create.

Here you can download or save the JSON ARM Template

When you you go Back and click on Create the Virtual Machine, this will deploy the VM in Minutes.

The following Azure items are deployed in RSG-Winserv

Now your Virtual Machine is deployed in Microsoft Azure Cloud and is running, you can have a look at all the features of the Virtual Machine in the Portal.
To connect to the Virtual Machine you have to Manage access for your RDP session via the NSG in my case:

Double click on the NSG

I added a new rule to give my IP-address access to the VM

From here you can access the Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Virtual Machine in Microsoft Azure Cloud.

Management of your Virtual Machine

When your Azure Virtual Machine with Windows Server 2019 is running, you want to monitor the VM and see what is happening inside the Virtual Machine. Azure Monitor Insights can help you with this.

Health State of the VM

Connections

When Microsoft Azure Monitoring is on and running you want have important alerts on your Mobile by sms or
via E-mail notification to take action.

Alerts on Winserv2019 VM

High CPU Alert

Here we make an Alert about the CPU which is going higher then 80% average.

Making an Action group for email notification of the Alert

Action Group made

Alert made for the VM

Alert details

Alert rule is set and running for this Virtual Machine.

Conclusion

  1. You can create every virtual machine you want for your business, Windows Server or Linux..
  2. You can mange your own performance for the VM on demand by selecting the right VM Size.
  3. You can set Networking and High Availability
  4. You can set Disk Performance for your IOPS
  5. You can configure your management settings and dashboard for Monitoring.
  6. Security can be set on different levels.
  7. Backup of the Virtual Machine can be set with the right policy before deployment.
  8. and more…….

And keep watching your Azure Advisor for better changes :

New Advise will come !

and of course there are more features and options on this Virtual Machine, Have a look :

Settings of the VM

Operations and Management of the VM

Support and Troubleshooting of the VM


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How to make the Most out of #Azure Advisor

What is Advisor?

Advisor is a personalized cloud consultant that helps you follow best practices to optimize your Azure deployments. It analyzes your resource configuration and usage telemetry and then recommends solutions that can help you improve the cost effectiveness, performance, high availability, and security of your Azure resources.

With Advisor, you can:

  • Get proactive, actionable, and personalized best practices recommendations.
  • Improve the performance, security, and high availability of your resources, as you identify opportunities to reduce your overall Azure spend.
  • Get recommendations with proposed actions inline.

You can access Advisor through the Azure portal. Sign in to the portal, locate Advisor in the navigation menu, or search for it in the All services menu.

The Advisor dashboard displays personalized recommendations for all your subscriptions. You can apply filters to display recommendations for specific subscriptions and resource types. The recommendations are divided into four categories:

Azure Advisor Overview

High Availability Advise

Azure Advisor on Security

Here you find the Microsoft Azure Advisor Website with all the information

Conclusion:

The Microsoft Azure Cloud is always on the move with better features, Security, and Cost efficiency.
Azure Advisor will help you with all the changes and great features to keep you secure and up-to-date and lower your Cloud solution cost if possible.
Have a look at Azure Advisor and get your new Advise in your Microsoft Azure Subscription!


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Installing and Maintaining #Azure Kubernetes Cluster #AKS #ContainerInsights #AzureDevOps

Start Creating Azure Kubernetes Cluster for your Containers.

Managed Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) makes deploying and managing containerized applications easy. It offers serverless Kubernetes, an integrated continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) experience, and enterprise-grade security and governance. As a hosted Kubernetes service, Azure handles critical tasks like health monitoring and maintenance for you. The Kubernetes masters are managed by Azure. You only manage and maintain the agent nodes. As a managed Kubernetes service, AKS is free – you only pay for the agent nodes within your clusters, not for the masters. In the following steps you can see the different ways for creating Azure Kubernetes Cluster via the Azure Portal, or via Azure Cloud Shell, or via Azure Resource Template. When the Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Cluster is running, then I will explain the different ways for deploying container workloads on AKS. When your workload is running on Azure Kubernetes Services, you also have to monitor your Container workloads with Azure Monitor Container Insights to keep in Controle. Let’s start with installing Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS)

Installing Azure Kubernetes Cluster via the Portal.

To begin you need of course a Microsoft Azure Subscription and you can start for free here

Basics information of the Azure Kubernetes Cluster

To Create the Azure Kubernetes Cluster, you have to follow these steps and type the right information in the Portal:

  1. Basics
  2. Scale
  3. Authentication
  4. Networking
  5. Monitoring
  6. Tags
  7. Review + Create

At the basics screen you select the right Azure Subscription and the Resource Group. You can create a New Resource Group or one you already made.
At Cluster details, you give your Cluster a name and select the Kubernetes version.

Here you select the Kubernetes Node size for your Container workload and the number of nodes.
You can start a Cluster already with One node, but choose to start with the right size for your workloads.
When you click on Change size, you can choose your nodes to do the job. 😉

Select the right Size node

Then we go to step 2 and that is Scale.

2. Scale options in Azure Kubernetes Cluster

Here you have two options :

  1. Virtual Nodes
  2. VM Scale sets (Preview)

To quickly deploy workloads in an Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) cluster, you can use virtual nodes. With virtual nodes, you have fast provisioning of pods, and only pay per second for their execution time. In a scaling scenario, you don’t need to wait for the Kubernetes cluster autoscaler to deploy VM compute nodes to run the additional pods. Virtual nodes are only supported with Linux pods and nodes. More information here about Virtual Nodes

To create an AKS cluster that can use multiple node pools, first enable two feature flags on your subscription. Multi-node pool clusters use a virtual machine scale set (VMSS) to manage the deployment and configuration of the Kubernetes nodes. With this Preview feature you can run Linux Containers and Windows Containers on the same Cluster. More information here about VM Scale sets (Preview)

3, Authentication

The service principal is needed to dynamically create and manage other Azure resources such as an Azure load balancer or container registry (ACR). To interact with Azure APIs, an AKS cluster requires an Azure Active Directory (AD) service principal. More information about the Service Principal can be found here

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) can be configured to use Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) for user authentication. In this configuration, you can sign in to an AKS cluster by using your Azure AD authentication token.
Cluster administrators can configure Kubernetes role-based access control (RBAC) based on a user’s identity or directory group membership. More information about RBAC for AKS

4. Networking

Configuring the virtual Networks for your Azure Kubernetes Cluster is important for the right IP range but later on also for the Network Security Groups (NSG).

Here you see an example of the Kubernetes NSG which is connected to the Internet by Default after installation, you can deep dive into security but be careful which settings you do here because Microsoft resources must have access to service the Azure Kubernetes Cluster.

NSG created after installation is finished

NSG Rule set Inbound and outbound

In a container-based microservices approach to application development, application components must work together to process their tasks. Kubernetes provides various resources that enable this application communication. You can connect to and expose applications internally or externally. To build highly available applications, you can load balance your applications. More complex applications may require configuration of ingress traffic for SSL/TLS termination or routing of multiple components. For security reasons, you may also need to restrict the flow of network traffic into or between pods and nodes.

Best practices for network connectivity and security in Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS):

Here is more information about networking and Security for AKS

5. Monitoring

Keep Azure Monitoring Enabled and Connect to your Log Analytics workspace or create a new workspace for Container monitoring of your Azure Kubernetes Cluster.

Azure Monitor for containers is a feature designed to monitor the performance of container workloads deployed to either Azure Container Instances or managed Kubernetes clusters hosted on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Monitoring your containers is critical, especially when you’re running a production cluster, at scale, with multiple applications.

Azure Monitor for containers gives you performance visibility by collecting memory and processor metrics from controllers, nodes, and containers that are available in Kubernetes through the Metrics API. Container logs are also collected. After you enable monitoring from Kubernetes clusters, metrics and logs are automatically collected for you through a containerized version of the Log Analytics agent for Linux. Metrics are written to the metrics store and log data is written to the logs store associated with your Log Analytics workspace.

6. Tags

When you build more Azure Kubernetes Clusters for different departments or teams you can TAG your Clusters for organizing your billing and security for example. Here you find more information about tagging.

After this you click on the last step Review and Create
The Azure portal will do a validation of your Azure Kubernetes Cluster settings, and when it’s validated you hit Create. But when you want more Automation, you can download the JSON ARM template first and use that.

Installing Azure Kubernetes Cluster via Cloud Shell

Azure Cloud Shell AKS CLI

Azure hosts Azure Cloud Shell, an interactive shell environment that you can use through your browser. Cloud Shell lets you use either bash or PowerShell to work with Azure services. You can use the Cloud Shell pre-installed commands to run the code in this article without having to install anything on your local environment.

Here you see an Example of AKS CLI with Auto Scaler with max count of nodes 😉

Installing Azure Kubernetes Cluster via Template

Create Azure Kubernetes Cluster via Template in the Portal

Here you find an Example at GitHub for a Template deployment

Now you have your Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Cluster (AKS) running in the Cloud, you want to deploy your Container workloads on the Cluster. In the following steps you see different deployments.

Deploy Container workload with Azure DevOps Project

Deployment Center

First you select your repository where your source code is of your workload.

Set the information right and click Next.

Simple example Click Next

Create a Container Registry.

Building Pipeline with Azure DevOps.

Here you see the Building in Microsoft Azure DevOps.

Build, test, and deploy in any language, to any cloud—or on-premises. Run in parallel on Linux, macOS, and Windows, and deploy containers to individual hosts or Kubernetes.

Here you find all the information about Microsoft Azure DevOps for your workloads, code and Deployments.

Deploying Container workload completed with Azure DevOps.

 

Deploy Container Workloads via Visual Studio Code

When you download and install Visual Studio Code on your computer, you can install the Azure Kubernetes extension for VSCode.

Install Kubernetes extension for VSCode

VSCode with Kubernetes Extension

Here you see Microsoft Visual Studio Code connected with my Azure subscription where my Azure Kubernetes Cluster is running. With the standard Helm Repository packages for deployment to your AKS Cluster. Here you see a WordPress yaml file which I deployed to the Kubernetes Cluster on Azure.

Just Select your Package and Install on Azure Kubernetes.

From here you can into the Container and read the logs.

I’m using Visual Studio Code a lot for Azure Kubernetes but also for Docker Containers and images.
Making Azure ARM JSON templates and this great for Infrastructure as Code.

 

Azure Monitoring with Container Insights

In One Dashboard you can see the Status of all your Clusters

 

Azure Monitor Container Insights Live View

Because we installed Azure Monitor for Containers on the Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Cluster, we can live see what is happening inside the Kubernetes Cluster with the containers. This is a great feature when you have a issue with a Container for troubleshooting fast and see what is happening.

Conclusion

Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Cluster is fast and easy to manage. You can upgrade your Cluster without downtime of your Container workload. With Azure Monitor for Containers you can see what’s happening inside the container and you can set alerts when something went wrong. This keeps you in Controle of the solution. With Deployment center alias Azure DevOps Projects you can deploy your workload via Azure DevOps Pipeline and work on versioning, testplans, Azure DevOps repo and work together with a Team on the following releases. Working with Azure Kubernetes Multi node pools with Linux and Windows on the same Cluster is possible. Try it yourself and start with a Proof of Concept for your Business.

JOIN Containers in the Cloud Community Group on LinkedIn


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#Microsoft Windows Insiders and Windows Terminal Preview #WindowsInsiders #Winserv #MVPBuzz

Microsoft Windows Insiders Program

To be the first with the Microsoft Windows Insiders Community testing all the New features is awesome to do!
I’m a Windows Insider since October 1st, 2014 and I like to see every week what’s new? In the Feedback HUB Preview you can Follow other Windows Insiders and see the Challenges and features requests. From there you can give them feedback or vote for the new features.

Windows Insiders Feed Back HUB

To become a Microsoft Windows Insider, you have to register your self here : BECOME AN INSIDER

In the Windows Insiders HUB you find also the New announcements of the Preview Build versions. Microsoft Windows Insiders also have a blogsite here to follow:

Windows Insiders Blogpost site

When you are active in the Microsoft Windows Insiders Community you can Earn badges and Learn a lot of the New Features Microsoft releases every week. This gives you always a step a head and It’s fun 🚀😎👍

Earning Badges

It’s not only the Windows 10 Insiders program but also Windows Server Insiders or Microsoft Edge Insiders
Here you find more information :

Windows Server Insider Program

Microsoft Edge Insider Program

And of course keep up-to-date via Social Media here:

@windowsinsider

@donasarkar

@JenMsft

@MSEdgeDev

@windowsserver

Which recent Features do I like in Microsoft Windows Insiders Preview Build?

Well Let start Right a way with the Dark Side Theme in Windows Insiders 😎👍🚀

Much better for my eyes 😍

One of the latest new Features in Windows Insider Preview Build 18922 is Windows Terminal Preview from the Marketplace.

Click on Get

Just Click on Launch

It’s in really early Preview with version 0.2.1715.0

Windows Terminal Preview

Here begins the cool 😎 part with Settings opening profiles.json file to edit :

JSON Settings of Windows Terminal Preview

Here I Changed the JSON file for my Ubuntu Linux Terminal with a Great New Background.

You Have to add these lines in the JSON file here:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe\RoamingState

Under “Icon” :

“backgroundImage” : “ms-appdata:///roaming/yourimage.jpg”,
“backgroundImageOpacity” : 0.75,
“backgroundImageStrechMode” : “fill”,

Save Profiles.json and you will see that the background will be Awesome in Ubuntu Terminal :

How Awesome is this !! 😎🚀👍

Conclusion:

I Love my Hobby and my Hobby is my Work !
The Microsoft Windows Insiders Program is Awesome together with the Community to make Windows a Great product for everyone.


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What is Microsoft Azure Sentinel? #SIEM #AI #Analytics #Azure #Security #ContainerInsights

Building on the full range of existing Azure services, Azure Sentinel natively incorporates proven foundations, like Log Analytics, and Logic Apps. Azure Sentinel enriches your investigation and detection with AI, and provides Microsoft’s threat intelligence stream and enables you to bring your own threat intelligence.

Microsoft Azure Sentinel is a scalable, cloud-native, security information event management (SIEM) and security orchestration automated response (SOAR) solution. Azure Sentinel delivers intelligent security analytics and threat intelligence across the enterprise, providing a single solution for alert detection, threat visibility, proactive hunting, and threat response. Read more about Azure Sentinel Preview here

Run a Log Analytics query from Azure Sentinel and use Bookmarks to Hunt

Configure your own Data-Connector to Azure Sentinel Workspace

Read here more about Connecting data sources

Happy Hunting