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Microsoft SystemCenter blogsite about virtualization on-premises and Cloud

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AWESOME #Microsoft Azure E-Books for your #Cloud Journey Today #Azure #AzureStack

Download Azure Strategy and Implementation Guide Here

Each organization has a unique journey to the cloud based on its own starting point, its history, its culture, and its goals. This document is designed to meet you wherever you are on that journey and help you build or reinforce a solid foundation around cloud application development and operations, service management, and governance.  An important concept covered in this book is a strategy for identifying and moving specific workloads based on their actual value to the business. Some emerge in a new form infused with cloud design principals that were otherwise not available in the past. Others receive targeted improvements to extend their lifetimes. Still others move as-is, using the “lift and shift” approach that requires minimal change. Because of the unique capabilities of the Microsoft Cloud and the Microsoft Azure platform, workloads that must remain on-premises because of latency or compliance requirements can fully participate in the journey because of the ability for an organization to run Azure services on-premises using Azure Stack. A Great E-book to Start your journey to the Cloud

Download The Developers Guide to Microsoft Azure SE here

Microsoft created The Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Azure to help you on your journey to the cloud, whether you’re just considering making the move or you’ve already decided and are underway. This eBook was written by developers for developers. And it is specifically meant to give you, as a developer, a fundamental knowledge of what Azure is all about, what it offers you and your organization and how to take advantage of it all.

Download the Microsoft Azure Virtual Datacenter E-Book here

This guide is intended for enterprise IT architects and executives. Using the lens of the physical datacenter, the guide discusses an approach to designing secure, trusted virtual datacenters on the Azure platform. Azure Virtual Datacenter is not a specific product or service but rather a way to think about cloud infrastructures. It offers proven practices and guidance to help smooth your migration to the cloud. At the end of this guide, you can learn about the upcoming Virtual Datacenter Automation guidance. This guidance includes a collection of scripts and Azure Resource Manager templates that will help you build an Azure Virtual Datacenter using the trusted extension model.

Download the Microsoft azure Virtual Datacenter Lift and Shift Guide here

This guide is a starting point when considering the migration of existing applications and services. The processes described below are meant to be iterative. By working to identify a first round of candidates for lift and shift, you will build an understanding of what’s required to host and maintain applications in Azure, along with increasing the accuracy of cost estimates. This knowledge will make identifying subsequent candidates much easier. Note that the Azure platform is continuously adding features and services, and costs can change (generally lower) as new capabilities come online. Although applications and services might not be candidates for lift and shift migrations now, they might be in the future, and any iterative review process should take platform changes into account.

May these Awesome Azure E-books help you to build your Cloud Services Today


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Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) with Microsoft #Azure #Cloud #AzureStack #HybridCloud

Break down video of the essentials needed to plan and implement your solutions on Microsoft Azure IaaS. This 7-minute intro covers compute, virtual machines, containers, networking, storage and management options in Microsoft Azure.

When you transform your datacenter on-premises to Microsoft Azure Cloud Service, these Architecture references can help you
to make the right chooses for your business needs. The Azure Architecture Center contains guidance for building end-to-end solutions on Microsoft Azure. Here you will find reference architectures, best practices, design patterns, scenario guides, and reference implementations.

Start here for your Microsoft Azure Architecture designs

Microsoft Azure Architecture Center

On the left site of this page you can download the complete content of Microsoft Azure Architecture Center into a PDF file 😉
Looks like this :

When your transition and your Architecture is done on Paper you can move save to Microsoft Azure Cloud Services.

Accelerate your digital transformation:
Now is the time to move to Azure and reap the rewards of cloud technology, including the ability to scale up or down quickly, pay only for what you use, and save on compute power. Whether you are deploying new virtual machines, moving a few workloads, or migrating your datacenters as part of your hybrid cloud strategy, the Azure Hybrid Benefit provides big savings as you move to the cloud.

Have a look at the Microsoft Azure Hybrid Use Benefit

Here you find some handy links to Microsoft Azure Cloud Services :

Microsoft Azure Products Technical docs

Microsoft Azure SDK and Tools

Getting started with Microsoft Azure products

Microsoft Azure Resources

Here you find the Whitepaper of Azure Virtual Datacenter Lift and Shift Guide but also an E-book of Azure Virtual Datacenter from the Azure CAT Guidance Team which can help you to start your transition of your datacenter to the Microsoft Azure Cloud.


Microsoft Mechanics all Azure

When you have workloads in your on-premises Datacenter which may not run in any public Cloud or via Internet, you can run Microsoft Azure in your Datacenter via Microsoft Azure Stack.

Build modern applications across hybrid cloud environments

Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, bringing the agility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing to on-premises environments. Only Azure Stack lets you deliver Azure services from your organization’s datacenter, while balancing the right amount of flexibility and control—for truly-consistent hybrid cloud deployments.

Microsoft Azure Stack Overview

Hope this blogpost will help you out with your journey to the Microsoft Azure Cloud.

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Use the Azure Cosmos DB Emulator for local development and testing #Azure #CosmosDB #DevOps #Docker

The Azure Cosmos DB Emulator provides a local environment that emulates the Azure Cosmos DB service for development purposes. Using the Azure Cosmos DB Emulator, you can develop and test your application locally, without creating an Azure subscription or incurring any costs. When you’re satisfied with how your application is working in the Azure Cosmos DB Emulator, you can switch to using an Azure Cosmos DB account in the cloud.

The Azure Cosmos DB Emulator for DevOps is easy to install :

Download de MSI

Docker Hub



You can Attach Azure CosmosDB Emulator in Visual Studio Code 😉

When your development and testing in Azure CosmosDB Emulator is Done and Ready
for the Cloud, you can Move it to CosmosDB in Azure.

More information on Microsoft Azure CosmosDB Emulator on Docs.

Here you see What’s New in Azure Cosmos DB Video :

Lot of Success with Azure CosmosDB !

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#Microsoft Secure #DevOps Kit of #Azure to Secure your Cloud #Security


The “Secure DevOps Kit for Azure” (will be referred to as ‘AzSDK’ henceforth) is a collection of scripts, tools, extensions, automations, etc. that caters to the end to end Azure subscription and resource security needs for dev ops teams using extensive automation and smoothly integrating security into native dev ops workflows helping accomplish secure dev ops with these 6 focus areas:
1. Secure the subscription: A secure cloud subscription provides a core foundation upon which subsequent development and deployment activities can be conducted. An engineering team should have the capabilities to deploy and configure security in the subscription including elements such as alerts, ARM policies, RBAC, Security Center policies, JEA, Resource Locks, etc. Likewise, it should be possible to check that all settings are in conformance to a secure baseline.
2. Enable secure development: During the coding and early development stages, developers should have the ability to write secure code and to test the secure configuration of their cloud applications. Just like build verification tests (BVTs), we introduce the concept of security verification tests (SVTs) which can check for security of various resource types in Azure.
3. Integrate security into CICD: Test automation is a core tenet of devops. We emphasize this by providing the ability to run SVTs as part of the VSTS CICD pipeline. These SVTs can be used to ensure that the target subscription used to deploy a cloud application and the Azure resources the application is built upon are all setup in a secure manner.
4. Continuous Assurance: In the constantly changing dev ops environment, it is important to move away from the mindset of security being a milestone. We have to treat security as a continuously varying state of a system. This is made possible through capabilities that enable continuous assurance using a combination of automation runbooks, schedules, etc.
5. Alerting & Monitoring: Visibility of security status is important for individual application teams and also for central enterprise teams. We provide solutions that cater to the needs of both. Moreover, the solution spans across all stages of dev ops in effect bridging the gap between the dev team and the ops team from a security standpoint through the single, integrated views it generates.
6. Cloud Risk Governance: Lastly, underlying all activities in the kit is a telemetry framework that generates events capturing usage, adoption, evaluation results, etc. This allows us to make measured improvements to security targeting areas of high risk and maximum usage before others.

The Secure DevOps kit for Azure is here on Github

Provision Security in Subscription

·       Subscription Health Scan

·       Subscription Security Provisioning

·       Subscription AccessControl Provisioning

·       Subscription Activity Alerts

·       Azure Security Center (ASC) configuration

·       Subscription Security – ARM Policy

·       Update subscription security baseline configuration

More information on each item can be found here on Github

Develop Security, Spot Check security via Scripts

• Security Verification Tests (SVT)

Express Route-connected Virtual Networks (ER-vNet)

More information on these items on Github

Deploy securely from VSO Build/Release Pipeline

  • Security Verification Tests (SVTs) in VSTS pipeline
  • Security Verification Tests (SVTs) in Jenkins pipeline (Preview)

The AzSDK contains Security Verification Tests (SVTs) for multiple PaaS and IaaS services of the Azure platform. As we have seen so far, these SVTs can be manually run against one or more target resources held in resource groups or tagged via a {tagName, tagValue} pair. While it is invaluable to run these SVTs periodically from a PS console (to ensure that the subscription and the different resources that comprise your application are in a secure state), a key aspect of dev ops is to be able to automate such tests and integrate them as part of the dev ops workflows and release pipelines. In other words, while checking that SVTs pass in an ad hoc manner is a good practice, it is important to be able to also ensure that security control configuration remains intact in higher environments.
The CICD extensions feature of AzSDK makes automated security configuration enforcement possible by making SVTs available as a Visual Studio Extension in the Marketplace so that engineering teams can run them within build/release pipeline. Once the build/release task is configured, SVTs run against a target deployment in an Azure subscription. Upon completion, SVTs will report the pass/fail status for controls along with aggregate control results. Hereafter, all the different ‘out-of-box’ build/release workflow options from the CICD engine (e.g., VSTS) can be used as ‘next steps’ based on the outcomes of SVTs. (For instance, one can decide whether to fail the release outright or to continue despite failures while sending an email to the build/release owners or to hold progress until someone manually approves, etc. Furthermore, if all SVTs pass in the pre-prod environment, then a release can be ‘promoted’ to prod.)
Outcomes of the SVT execution can also be routed to an OMS workspace configured to receive various events generated by the AzSDK.

More information on Build / Release Pipeline

Periodically scan in production to watch for Drift

Baseline Continuous Assurance

• Overview
• Setting up Continuous Assurance – Step by Step
• Continuous Assurance – how it works (under the covers)
• Update existing Continuous Assurance Automation Account
• Remove Continuous Assurance Automation Account
• Fetch details of an existing Continuous Assurance Automation Account
• Continuous Assurance through central scanning mode (Preview) – Step by Step

More information on Baseline Continuous Assurance here on Github

Single Security Dashboard across DevOps Stages

OMS Solution for AzSDK

  • Overview
  • Components of the AzSDK OMS Solution
  • Setting up the AzSDK OMS Solution (Step by Step)
  • Next Steps
  • Appendix
  • Creating an OMS workspace
  • Testing OMS connectivity
  • Routing AzSDK events to OMS
  • Leveraging other OMS Solutions from the Solutions Gallery

The Alerting & Monitoring features of AzSDK empower dev ops teams with the following capabilities:
a single pane of glass view of cloud security across dev ops stages
visibility to control status for their Azure subscription and critical enterprise/application resources
pre-configured search queries for creating alerts to facilitate action on security drift
Out of the box, these capabilities can be leveraged via the Operations Management Suite (OMS) solution in AzSDK.
However, a dev ops team can equally easily leverage a different system for log analytics (e.g., Splunk) and view the AzSDK control evaluation events in the alternate system. This can be accomplished by using via connectors for Event Hubs or Webhooks in the AzSDK.

More information on Security Monitoring with a Single Dashboard here on Github

Make Data-driven Improvements to Security

Overview Security Telemetry

  • Control Telemetry
  • Organization Level Setup
  •  Local Control Telemetry
  •  Understanding Data in App Insights
  • App Insights Visualization
  •  Usage Telemetry
  • Enable/Disable Usage Telemetry
  • FAQs

The Secure DevOps Kit generates telemetry events from all stages of dev ops. That is, events are generated when an engineer runs a scan ad hoc or when SVTs are run in CICD or subscriptions are scanned via Continuous Assurance (CA). The telemetry can be collected and aggregated across an organization. When combined with other organization metadata (e.g., a mapping of subscriptions to applications or service lines or business groups), this can yield a powerful platform for supporting a data-driven approach cloud risk governance and allow organizations to drive measured and targeted security improvement initiatives in a continuous and incremental fashion (just like the rest of dev ops). The telemetry data from AzSDK can be leveraged in two key ways:
Application Insights based – called Control Telemetry (will be renamed to Org Telemetry soon). There are two ways possible. One, configure it centrally, two, configure it specifically in end-user’s machine
API based – this is a custom solution using WebAPI and SQL to collect events and enrich it with organizational metadata. This lets an organization track and drive adoption and usage of the AzSDK and provides a window into the org’s DevSecOps Maturity. API based telemetry will be release in coming months when we release documents for how organization can customize AzSDK for their needs

More on Security Telemetry you find here on GitHub

Fetch information about various AzSDK components

  • Overview
  • Subscription information
  • Control information
  • Attestation information
  • Host information

This command provides overall information about the AzSDK which includes subscription information (alert/policies/ASC/CA version etc.), security controls information (severity, description, rationale etc.), attestation information (statistics, attestation justification, expiry etc.), host information (AzSDK settings/configuration, AzureRM Context etc.). ‘Get-AzSDKInfo’ command can be used with ‘InfoType’ parameter to fetch information.

More information about Get-AzSDKInfo on Github

Start with Microsoft Azure ARM Templates

Use Microsoft Visual Studio Code to work with JSON ARM Templates and Azure subscription


Hope these Microsoft DevOps Azure Security SDK resources are helpful for your organization.



Cheers James.


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#Microsoft Azure Security Center Overview #Cloud #Security #HybridCloud #Azure

Microsoft Azure Security Center provides unified security management and advanced threat protection across hybrid cloud workloads. With Security Center, you can apply security policies across your workloads, limit your exposure to threats, and detect and respond to attacks.

You can select an existing Log Analytics workspace to store data collected by Security Center. To use your existing Log Analytics workspace:
• The workspace must be associated with your selected Azure subscription.
• At a minimum, you must have read permissions to access the workspace.

You can edit the default security policy for each of your Azure subscriptions in Security Center. To modify a security policy, you must be an owner, contributor, or security administrator of the subscription. To configure security policies in Security Center, do the following:
1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
2. On the Security Center dashboard, under General, select Security policy.
3. Select the subscription that you want to enable a security policy for.
4. In the Policy Components section, select Security policy.
This is the default policy that’s assigned by Security Center. You can turn on or off the available security recommendations.
5. When you finish editing, select Save.

Here you find more on Set security policies in Azure Security Center

Some policies need the upgrade Enhanced Security

Contact information for Notifications

Azure Security Center provides unified security management and advanced threat protection for workloads running in Azure, on-premises, and in other clouds. It delivers visibility and control over hybrid cloud workloads, active defenses that reduce your exposure to threats, and intelligent detection to help you keep pace with rapidly evolving cyber attacks.
Pricing tiers
Security Center is offered in two tiers:
The Free tier is automatically enabled on all Azure subscriptions, and provides security policy, continuous security assessment, and actionable security recommendations to help you protect your Azure resources.
The Standard tier extends the capabilities of the Free tier to workloads running in private and other public clouds, providing unified security management and threat protection across your hybrid cloud workloads. The Standard tier also adds advanced threat detection capabilities, which uses built-in behavioral analytics and machine learning to identify attacks and zero-day exploits, access and application controls to reduce exposure to network attacks and malware, and more. The Standard tier is free for the first 60 days. Read here more…….

What are OS Security Configurations?
Azure Security Center monitors security configurations using a set of over 150 recommended rules for hardening the OS, including rules related to firewalls, auditing, password policies, and more. If a machine is found to have a vulnerable configuration, a security recommendation is generated.
Customization of the rules can help organizations to control which configuration options are more appropriate for their environment. This feature enables users to set a customized assessment policy and apply it on all applicable machines in the subscription.

• Currently OS Security Configuration customization is available for Windows Server 2008, 2008R2, 2012, 2012R2 operating systems only.
• The configuration applies to all VMs and computers connected to all workspaces under the selected subscription.
• OS Security Configuration customization is available only on Security Center’s Standard tier.

Download the Baseline configuration JSON file

You can make a Custom Baseline with Visual Studio Code and Upload to Azure

Microsoft Azure Security Center QuickStart :

Configure Security Policy

Managing security recommendations in Azure Security Center

Security health monitoring in Azure Security Center

Managing and responding to security alerts in Azure Security Center

Documentation :

Microsoft Azure Security Center Documentation 

Microsoft Azure Security Center Forum

Planning guide
This guide covers a set of steps and tasks that you can follow to optimize your use of Security Center based on your organization’s security requirements and cloud management model. To take full advantage of Security Center, it is important to understand how different individuals or teams in your organization use the service to meet secure development and operations, monitoring, governance, and incident response needs. The key areas to consider when planning to use Security Center are:

Security Roles and Access Controls
Security Policies and Recommendations
Data Collection and Storage
Ongoing non-Azure resources
Ongoing Security Monitoring
Incident Response

Here you will learn how to plan for each one of those areas and apply those recommendations based on your requirements.

All Events view in Azure Security Center

Upgrade to standard Tier for Hybrid Security

Search with analytics

Queries can be used to search terms, identify trends, analyze patterns, and provide many other insights based on your data.

Have a look and play with Azure Log Analytics.

Getting Started with the Analytics Portal

in this tutorial you will learn to write Azure Log Analytics queries. When completing this tutorial you will know how to:

  • Understand queries’ structure
  • Sort query results
  • Filter query results
  • Specify a time range
  • Select which fields to include in the results
  • Define and use custom fields
  • Aggregate and group results

Getting Started with Queries

Azure Security Center gives you Recommendations

For example to Encrypt your Virtual Machines in Azure with a Link

Integrated Azure security solutions
Security Center makes it easy to enable integrated security solutions in Azure. Benefits include:

Simplified deployment: Security Center offers streamlined provisioning of integrated partner solutions. For solutions like antimalware and vulnerability assessment, Security Center can provision the needed agent on your virtual machines, and for firewall appliances, Security Center can take care of much of the network configuration required.
Integrated detections: Security events from partner solutions are automatically collected, aggregated, and displayed as part of Security Center alerts and incidents. These events also are fused with detections from other sources to provide advanced threat-detection capabilities.
Unified health monitoring and management: Customers can use integrated health events to monitor all partner solutions at a glance. Basic management is available, with easy access to advanced setup by using the partner solution.

More on Integrated Azure Security Solutions

Compute Security Overview

Compute Security and Components view

Networking Security Overview

Storage & Data Security Overview

Identity and Access Overview in Azure Security Center

Application Whitelisting

Just in time virtual machine (VM) access can be used to lock down inbound traffic to your Azure VMs, reducing exposure to attacks while providing easy access to connect to VMs when needed.

Attack scenario
Brute force attacks commonly target management ports as a means to gain access to a VM. If successful, an attacker can take control over the VM and establish a foothold into your environment.

One way to reduce exposure to a brute force attack is to limit the amount of time that a port is open. Management ports do not need to be open at all times. They only need to be open while you are connected to the VM, for example to perform management or maintenance tasks. When just in time is enabled, Security Center uses Network Security Group (NSG) rules, which restrict access to management ports so they cannot be targeted by attackers.

More on Just in Time Virtual Machine

Security Alerts

Azure Security Center’s advanced detection capabilities, helps you identify active threats targeting your Microsoft Azure resources and provides you with the insights needed to respond quickly

More on Azure Security Center detection capabilities

Custom Alert Rules

What are custom alert rules in Security Center?

Security Center has a set of predefined security alerts, which are triggered when a threat, or suspicious activity takes place. In some scenarios, you may want to create a custom alert to address specific needs of your environment.

Custom alert rules in Security Center allow you to define new security alerts based on data that is already collected from your environment. You can create queries, and the result of these queries can be used as criteria for the custom rule, and once this criteria is matched, the rule is executed. You can use computers security events, partner’s security solution logs or data ingested using APIs to create your custom queries.

More information about Custom Alert Rules in Azure Security Center

Threat Intelligence

Azure Security Center Playbooks

What is security playbook in Security Center?
Security playbook is a collection of procedures that can be executed from Security Center once a certain playbook is triggered from selected alert. Security playbook can help to automate and orchestrate your response to a specific security alert detected by Security Center. Security Playbooks in Security Center are based on Azure Logic Apps, which means you can use the templates that are provided under the security category in Logic Apps templates, you can modify them based on your needs, or you can create new playbooks using Azure Logic Apps workflow, and using Security Center as your trigger.

More on Azure Security Center Playbook

Hope this Microsoft Azure Security Center Overview will help to make your Hybrid IT more Secure !

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#Microsoft Azure Log Analytics Query Playground Available #MSOMS #Azure #Analytics #HybridCloud

Azure Log Analytics

You can access Log Analytics through the OMS portal or the Azure portal which run in any browser and provide you with access to configuration settings and multiple tools to analyze and act on collected data. From the portal you can leverage log searches where you construct queries to analyze collected data, dashboards which you can customize with graphical views of your most valuable searches, and solutions which provide additional functionality and analysis tools.

If you have no current monitoring in place for your Azure environment, you should start with Azure Monitor which collects and analyzes monitoring data for your Azure resources. Log Analytics can collect data from Azure Monitor to correlate it with other data and provide additional analysis.
If you want to monitor your on-premises environment or you have existing monitoring using services such as Azure Monitor or System Center Operations Manager, then Log Analytics can add significant value. It can collect data directly from your agents and also from these other tools into a single repository. Analysis tools in Log Analytics such as log searches, views, and solutions work against all collected data providing you with centralized analysis of your entire environment.

Microsoft Azure log analytics is very powerful for Hybrid IT management and getting you in control of your Hybrid Cloud Datacenter(s).

Select Data by type

You can change the chart here

Computers sending Heartbeat with date and time

Here you can export to Excel, PowerBI or Share the Query

Set your Query in a Time range

Here you find Online documentation and Query Reference guide

Start Today with Azure Log Analytics !

To play free with Microsoft Azure Log Analytics and Query on all the solutions there is a Demo environment available.

More links for Microsoft Azure Log Analytics :

Azure Log Analytics Query Language

Azure Log Analytics Query Examples

Azure Log Analytics website

Azure Log Analytics tech Docs Online

Microsoft Azure Management Blog

Microsoft Operations Management Suit (OMS) Blog

Social Media :

Microsoft Azure on Twitter

Microsoft OMS on Facebook #MSOMS

Get started with the Microsoft Azure Log Analytics Query Language today to get you and your Business in Control with innovative Hybrid IT Management.



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JOIN the NEW Community Group #Containers in the #Cloud #Azure #Docker #Kubernetes #DCOS #Linux

Today I Started a Community group called Containers in the Cloud on LinkedIn

Join and Help the community with Containers for Applications in the Cloud or on Every Infrastructure.
Share your Container knowledge with the community and Education.

Hope to see you there as a free member to build an Awesome virtual Community and it’s all about Containers 😉