Cloud and Datacenter Management Blog

Microsoft Hybrid Cloud blogsite about Management


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What’s New in Azure Security Center! #ASC #Security #Azure #SecOps #SIEM

What’s New in Azure Security Center

Security Center is in active development and receives improvements on an ongoing basis. To stay up to date with the most recent developments, this page provides you with information about new features, bug fixes, and deprecated functionality.

November 2020

Updates in November include:

Azure Defender

Microsoft Azure Defender Dashboard

Azure Security Center’s features cover the two broad pillars of cloud security:

  • Cloud security posture management (CSPM) – Security Center is available for free to all Azure users. The free experience includes CSPM features such as secure score, detection of security misconfigurations in your Azure machines, asset inventory, and more. Use these CSPM features to strengthen your hybrid cloud posture and track compliance with the built-in policies.
  • Cloud workload protection (CWP) – Security Center’s integrated cloud workload protection platform (CWPP), Azure Defender, brings advanced, intelligent, protection of your Azure and hybrid resources and workloads. Enabling Azure Defender brings a range of additional security features as described on this page. In addition to the built-in policies, when you’ve enabled any Azure Defender plan, you can add custom policies and initiatives. You can add regulatory standards – such as NIST and Azure CIS – as well as the Azure Security Benchmark for a truly customized view of your compliance.

Here you can read about Microsoft Azure Defender on Docs.

Additional threat protections in Azure Security Center

Microsoft Azure Security Center Team is working hard on additional threat protections for :

  • Threat protection for Azure Network Layer
  • Threat protection for Azure Resource Manager ( Preview)
  • Threat Protection for Azure Cosmos DB ( Preview)
  • Threat Protection for Azure WAF
  • Threat Protection for Azure DDoS Protection

More information about additional Threat protections here on Docs.

What is Azure Sentinel?

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 here more about Microsoft Azure Sentinel

Who to follow on Social Media for Azure Security Center

On twitter you have to follow Principal Program Manager at Microsoft C+AI Security Yuri Diogenes : @yuridiogenes

On YouTube you can subscribe to Azure Security Center in the Field ( #ascinthefield) YouTube

Microsoft Azure Security Center Website

Microsoft Azure Sentinel Website

On Microsoft Tech Community platform : Become an Azure Security Ninja

On LinkedIn JOIN the Microsoft Azure Monitor & Security for Hybrid IT Community Group

 


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Windows Admin Center with Azure Security Center integration #ASC #WindowsAdminCenter #Winserv #Azure

Windows Admin Center for Hybrid IT Management

As an Administrator, I like to work with Microsoft Windows Admin Center, It’s a locally deployed, browser-based app for managing Windows servers, clusters, hyper-converged infrastructure, as well as Windows 10 PCs. You can download Windows Admin Center here and use it for Free in your Production environment. What is Windows Admin Center? What are my benefits? Here you see Windows Admin Center Architecture how it works.

Windows Admin Center Architecture.

So you can use Windows Admin Center everywhere, you can Install it on a Server on-premises without any internet connections, or in a hybrid way with a internet connection for Cloud
services integrations like Azure Backup, Azure Security Center, Azure Monitor or Azure File Sync and to manage your Virtual Machines in the Cloud.
Microsoft is now busy with Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal in Preview to manage your Hybrid Datacenter. Here you find a blogpost about it in the Microsoft Tech Community.

Manage Internet Access in Windows Admin Center.

Datacenter Administrators want to manage Windows Servers in an Easy way but it must be secure. Microsoft has some user access options for using Windows Admin Center.
The one I like most is Microsoft Azure MFA (Two-Factor-Authentication) on your Windows Admin Center environment. Here you find more information about User Access WAC.

Choose the right Windows Admin Center installation for your environment:

Windows Admin Center Installation types.
These are Production Ready.

But don’t forget the Microsoft Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal Preview :

Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal Preview.

Windows Admin Center | Management | Azure Security Center Integration.

The Power of a Modern Management tool like Windows Admin Center is the Extensions feature to integrate with external Services like Azure Cloud Services, or third party vendors like Dell EMC or HP, Fujitsu, Data-On with great management solutions. An other example of a Windows Admin Center Extension are Containers. 

In the following steps you will see how easy it is to manage and integrate Azure Security Center into Windows Admin Center for your Servers.

When you have installed Windows Admin Center, you have to add your Microsoft Azure Subscription into WAC.

Azure Registration in Windows Admin Center.

In the upper right you have the settings icon of Windows Admin Center, from there you can select Azure and do the registration. What it will do is making a API with your Microsoft Azure subscription:

Here you see the Registration in Microsoft Azure.

When that is completed successfully, you can add the Microsoft Azure Services via Extensions in Settings. We are going to Select Azure Security Center.

Install the Microsoft Azure Security Center Extension.

From here you have installed the basics for your Servers, now the Microsoft Azure Security Center feature is added in the left management bar at each Server in Windows Admin Center.
Now we only have to register the Servers into Azure Security Center with Windows Admin Center.

Here you see my MVPLAB Machines.

I have two Azure Stack HCI virtual Machines and I like to know if they are secure. ( Skywalker01 and Skywalker02) I start with the Azure Security Center Installation on Skywalker01 VM.

Azure Stack HCI VM called Skywalker01.mvplab.cloud
Sign into Azure.

Select your Azure Subscription, Create or Use existing workspace.
Select Region, and Create or use existing Resource Group.
Click on Setup.

The Virtual Machine will be added to Azure Security Center.

From here it need some time to do the job with doing assessments, getting the metadata of the server with log analytics. Microsoft Azure Security Center will come with security recommendations like:

Here you can do a Quick Fix and do Remediation.

 

After a view minutes the Security issues are also coming into Windows Admin Center.

Here I get some Security advice in Windows Admin Center for Skywalker01 VM

Here you see the Power of the Azure Cloud with Log Analytics and the
Azure Security Center baselines for Skywalker01 Azure Stack HCI VM.

I forgot Skywalker02 VM to do the monthly security updates and that is a Security Risk too of course :

Skywalker02 Azure Stack HCI VM at High Security Risk.
(No updates)

Of course we have Windows Updates in Windows Admin Center, Just have to select and approve the updates for Skywalker02 to solve this high Risk issue.

Skywalker02 Azure Stack HCI VM Security Risk Solved 😉

Conclusion

In a Hybrid IT world today is Better Together my motto with Windows Admin Center and Microsoft Azure Security Center you have a Great solution. You can make your own Azure Security Center Baseline policy to deploy on your Windows Servers to make them more Secure. Get a High Security Score ! And don’t worry you can add all your Windows Servers into Windows Admin Center if they are on-premises or in the Cloud.
With Azure MFA Two-Factor access authentication, you make your Management tool Windows Admin Center more Secure for your environment. If you don’t use Windows Admin Center yet, start Today !

More Information :

Windows Admin Center on Twitter : @servermgmt

Windows Admin Center Docs 

Windows Admin Center Website

Follow The Windows Admin Center Blog on Microsoft Tech Community

Join the Windows Admin Center Community


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Windows Admin Center and The Container Extension #WAC #Containers #Winserv

Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center is a locally deployed, browser-based app for managing Windows servers, clusters, hyper-converged infrastructure, as well as Windows 10 PCs. It comes at no additional cost beyond Windows and is ready to use in production. If you want to work more secure with Windows Server Core images without the GUI or with Microsoft Azure Stack HCI operating system then Windows Admin Center is the tool for the Administrator to manage your workloads on-premises or in the Cloud. You have one web based interface for all your Server consoles (MMC) to manage your Hybrid Datacenter.
Here you can read more about Microsoft Windows Admin Center and download the free software.

Get the best with Windows Admin Center Extensions

Windows Admin Center and the Container Extension

When you have installed Microsoft Windows Admin Center you can configure the settings and extensions for your environment. When you want the benefits of the Microsoft azure Cloud Services you can configure your Azure subscription and add the extensions to your Windows Admin Center. There are also Third Party extensions like Dell, DataOn, Fujitsu and more.
Here you find more information about how extensions work.

Container Extension

In the following step-by-step guide we will work with the Container Extension of Windows Admin Center on a Windows Server 2019. You have already added the server in WAC and installed the Container extension. In my MVPLAB.CLOUD is that Windows Server 2019 datacenter Starship01.mvplab.cloud. When you open the server you will come in the Overview of the Windows Server:

Click on Containers.

Click on Install for the Docker installation on Starship01.mvplab.cloud.

This will install Docker on the Windows Server 2019 and reboot when it’s ready to use for Containers. From this moment you can work with Windows Containers on the host via Windows Admin Center.

Remote Desktop in Windows Admin Center, the docker host is installed with the Windows Filter by default.

When you want to use Docker Linux Containers with Windows Server 2019 host, you have to configure the Linux kit LCOW with a distro on the host. More info here

Containers on Starship01.mvplab.cloud

To start with containers you can create your own, or pull an image from Docker Hub with Windows Admin Center. In my case I pull Windows Server 2019 ltsc with IIS image.

mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore/iis  (Image)

windowsservercore-ltsc2019 (Tag)

Click then on Pull.

Select your image and click on Run.
Give your Container a name and set your settings.

Click on Run.

Click on Containers tab and you will see your running Container

More details you see the IP-Address of the Container.

IIS is running on Windows Server 2019 ltsc in a Docker Windows Container.
That was easy right 😉

Making your Own Docker file with Windows Admin Center Container Extension

When you have your own Github repository with your software, you can make your own docker file and make a docker image on your host for deployment. To show this I have used this sample on Microsoft docs, but you can clone also a github repository and copy the dockerfile on the host.

I copied the dockerfile on the host C:\BuildImage.

—————

# Sample Dockerfile

# Indicates that the windowsservercore image will be used as the base image.
FROM mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:ltsc2019

# Metadata indicating an image maintainer.
LABEL maintainer=”jshelton@contoso.com”

# Uses dism.exe to install the IIS role.
RUN dism.exe /online /enable-feature /all /featurename:iis-webserver /NoRestart

# Creates an HTML file and adds content to this file.
RUN echo “Hello World – Dockerfile” > c:\inetpub\wwwroot\index.html

# Sets a command or process that will run each time a container is run from the new image.
CMD [ “cmd” ]


Here is the Microsoft docs website

Image Creation in progress

New Image Created with Windows Admin Center

Running your Own Container image

Container “Hello World – Dockerfile” running

Conclusion :

In Windows Admin Center comes ITpro world and DevOps world Together in One web based console like with the Container extension. Microsoft is developing really fast in Windows Admin Center to get all the right Feature for ITPro, DevOps and SecOps Administrators in one place. Awesome are the Windows Admin Center Extensions, developers makes these better and better to do the job for Administrators 🚀
Windows Server 2019 Core and Azure Stack HCI are Operating systems without a GUI, and with Windows Admin Center they are really good to manage, update and keeping in control of security.
I like Windows Admin Center a lot and it Rocks for managing your hybrid Datacenter 😉

Send your comments and feedback via Microsoft GitHub repo by opening a new issue for the Container Extension. Follow @vrapolinario on Twitter

 

You can Follow Windows Admin Center here on Twitter : @servermgmt


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Manage Servers On-premises with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services #Azure #Arc #Security #Cloud #AzureMonitor #ASC

Microsoft Azure Arc Servers On-Premises and Azure Cloud Services

Earlier I wrote a blogpost about Microsoft Azure Arc services installation to manage on-premises Servers with Azure Cloud Services, like Azure Monitor and Azure Security Centre from the Cloud.
Here in this post you will see the Newest Microsoft Azure Cloud Services to Manage and Monitor your Servers on-premises with security and compliance included.

Azure Arc Extensions settings of the Server.

Here you can see we have installed the Microsoft Monitoring Agent for Azure Monitor and log analytics, second we have installed the dependency Agent for Windows for
insights, Performance and Service maps. Here you find more information about Virtual machine extension management with Azure Arc for servers (preview)  

After initial deployment of the Azure Arc for servers (preview) Connected Machine agent for Windows or Linux, you may need to reconfigure the agent, upgrade it, or remove it from the computer if it has reached the retirement stage in its lifecycle. You can easily manage these routine maintenance tasks manually or through automation, which reduces both operational error and expenses.

Managing and maintaining the Connected Machine agent

Azure Arc Insights Performance monitor

The Azure Arc Insights Performance monitor is there by default and installed with the following dashboards :

  • CPU Utilization
  • Available Memory
  • Logical disk IOPS
  • Logical disk MB/s
  • Logical disk Latency
  • Max logical disk used %
  • Bytes Sent Rate
  • Bytes Received Rate

Azure Arc Logs Analytics

Of course you can make your own custom Dashboards in the Azure Portal with your own triggers, so in this way you get the same Azure Monitor Innovative Tools for your On-Premises Servers. 😉

Within Microsoft Azure Arc Insights, you can also see a Service Map of the Server

Here is were the dependency agent comes in, you get a service map of the Server and see the communication lines with other resources. In this picture you see Server Yoda01 a Domain Controller of my MVPLAB.
You can see that there are three Clients are logged on the domain controller.

Microsoft Azure Security Center for Azure Arc Servers

 

One of the most powerful and important features of Microsoft Azure Cloud platform is Security! Microsoft Azure Security Center (ASC) is a unified infrastructure security management system that strengthens the security posture of your data centers, and provides advanced threat protection across your hybrid workloads in the cloud – whether they’re in Azure or not – as well as on premises.

Here you see my Azure Arc Servers (On-Premises) in Azure Security Center.

Azure Arc Server in Azure Security Center recommendations Summary

Five security assessments passed the test, but Azure Security assessment has two recommendations one is Medium Risk and one low.

Here you see the Security advise and the Remediation to take action on your Server.

Microsoft Azure Security Center Overview with the Overall Secure Score.

Security controls – Each control is a logical group of related security recommendations, and reflects your vulnerable attack surfaces. A control is a set of security recommendations, with instructions that help you implement those recommendations. Your score only improves when you remediate all of the recommendations for a single resource within a control.

To immediately see how well your organization is securing each individual attack surface, review the scores for each security control.

 Here you find More information about Azure Security Center Secure Score

To get your Azure Arc Servers (On-premises) complaint for the business and security, you can use Microsoft Azure Arc Policies

Azure Arc Policies to meet your Compliance state.

Conclusion

Microsoft is bringing Azure Cloud Power tools everywhere with Azure Arc Services to give you modern tools like Azure Monitor and Azure Security Center to keep you in control, Secure and Compliant for your business. Keep following Microsoft for Hybrid IT Management, because more awesome features are added every day in Microsoft Azure Cloud Services. Let’s start to get your Azure Security Score UP and UP 😉


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Download the Microsoft Azure Migrate E-Book for your Cloud Migration #Azure #Migrate #Cloud

Microsoft Azure Migrate E-Book

Download this e-book to learn about Azure Migrate, Microsoft’s central hub of tools for cloud migration. In this e-book, Microsoft will cover:

  • What is Azure Migrate
  • How Azure Migrate can help your migration journey
  • Running a datacenter discovery and assessment
  • Migrating your infrastructure, applications, and data
  • Additional learning resources

Download the Free Azure Migrate E-Book here

More information about Microsoft Azure Migrate Tools on my Blog :

Microsoft Azure Migrate Assessments in Action VMWare to Cloud


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Microsoft Azure ARC for Hybrid Infrastructure Management #Cloud #Azure #Hybrid

Microsoft Azure ARC and Manage your Infrastructure

Azure Arc for servers (preview) allows you to manage your Windows and Linux machines hosted outside of Azure on your corporate network or other cloud provider, similarly to how you manage native Azure virtual machines. When a hybrid machine is connected to Azure, it becomes a connected machine and is treated as a resource in Azure.

Azure ARC

Generate a script to onboard target machine.
Read more here for connecting hybrid Machine.

Connect hybrid machines to Azure from the Azure portal

The latest Azure ARC 2020 Updates via Microsoft Mechanics with Travis Wright


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#Microsoft Windows Admin Center and Azure Backup Management #WAC #Azure

Microsoft Windows Admin Center

Microsoft Windows Admin Center is a web based App working in your modern browser like Edge or Chrome to manage your datacenter infrastructure. You can download it here
You can manage Windows Servers, Windows10 Desktops, Clusters, Hyperconverged Clusters, Storage Spaces Direct and more in a Hybrid environment and that’s what I like.
My Servers can be on-premises or in the Cloud like Azure and will manage them with Windows Admin Center.

Download the Windows Admin Center Overview Poster

Here you find all the Microsoft documentation about Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center and Azure backup integration

 

When you have Windows Admin Center running you can register with Microsoft Azure first in the settings of Windows Admin Center.

Register to your Azure Subscription, just follow the instructions.

Install Azure Backup Extension at Available extensions.

From here the basic settings are done and we will have a look at my MVP LAB to backup a virtual Server.

Windows Admin Center in Domain MVPLAB.CLOUD

I have selected stormtrooper01.mvplab.cloud Windows Server 2019 and on the left Azure Backup.

You can read here more about Microsoft Azure Backup

Click on setup Azure Backup.

Here you select the Azure Subscription and the Backup Vault
and this will be a system state backup.

Next Step is Backup Schedule and Encryption key.

IMPORTANT: Keep this Encryption key somewhere save !
You need this key for recovery and Microsoft does not have access to that key.

Azure Backup Schedule settings.

When you apply here it will setup the Azure backup agent and your policies.

Backup is scheduled.

Here I did the Backup by hand.

Here you see the backup in the Azure Backup Vault.
Backup done via Windows Admin Center 😉

Here you see a video from Microsoft Mechanics at Ignite with Jeff Woolsey

Follow Windows Admin Center here on Twitter

Don’t forget to give feedback or great ideas !


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#Microsoft Azure Migrate Assessments in Action #VMWare to #Cloud

Azure Migrate

This blogpost is about the Microsoft Azure Migrate tool in the Cloud doing Azure Migrate assessments to see if your on-premises Datacenter is ready for Azure Cloud Services. Before you migrate your workloads with Azure Migrate to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, you want to know the costs before the migration and what your options are in the transition. For example when you have hardware in your on-premises Datacenter which is too high qua hardware specs like Memory, CPU and storage and you can do with less Compute power, then the performance assessments are really interesting. From here you see a step-by-step guide for VMWare workload assessment(s) to Azure Cloud.

Azure Migrate preparation for VMware workload

When you search for ‘Azure Migrate’ in your Azure Subscription and click on the services you will see the Azure Migrate Overview screen. When you don’t have a Microsoft Azure subscription yet, you can get one here

Click on Assess and Migrate Servers.

Before we go further with the server migration assessments for VMware, there are more Azure Migration tools available to do assessments and migrations like the following goals :

 

For Databases Microsoft Azure Migrate uses the Data Migration Assistant for the Assessment and the Data migration to Azure SQL Cloud.
The Data Migration Assistant (DMA) helps you upgrade to a modern data platform by detecting compatibility issues that can impact database functionality in your new version of SQL Server or Azure SQL Database. DMA recommends performance and reliability improvements for your target environment and allows you to move your schema, data, and uncontained objects from your source server to your target server.

 

To identify the right Azure SQL Database / Managed Instance SKU for your on-premises Database you can use the CLI with a Script :

Here you find more detailed information about the Data Migration Assistant

When you have a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure on-premises and you want to migrate to Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) you can use this Azure Migrate tool :

ISV Lakeside with SysTrack

You can vote for the tools or scenarios that you would like to be integrated with Azure Migrate via this Online form

When you are in the beginning of your Cloud Transition journey, what will go first to the Cloud?

  1. On-premises mail to Microsoft Office 365
  2. File Server Clusters to Office 365 into Teams, Onedrive for Business
  3. From Apps On-premises to SaaS or Paas solutions
  4. From On-premises Websites to Azure Cloud Solutions like Azure Web App.
  5. From SQL Clusters On-Premises to Azure SQL Managed Instances in the Cloud
  6. And at last Migrate Servers to Azure IaaS

Of course there are much more scenarios like Lift and Shift or modernize your workload in the Cloud like moving to Azure Kubernetes Services for example instead of IaaS Virtual Machines.

So when you want to start moving your On-premises Website(s) or WebApp, Microsoft Azure Migrate Services has a tool for that too :

Assess any app with an endpoint scan. Download the Migration Assistant and start your .NET and PHP app migration to Azure App Service.

Click on Assess

and from here you can plan your migration.

At last when you have to move a big enterprise On-premises Datacenter to the Azure Cloud with a lot of Servers for example 10.000, you can use Azure Data Box Migration
The Microsoft Azure Data Box cloud solution lets you send terabytes of data into Azure in a quick, inexpensive, and reliable way. The secure data transfer is accelerated by shipping you a proprietary Data Box storage device. Each storage device has a maximum usable storage capacity of 80 TB and is transported to your datacenter through a regional carrier. The device has a rugged casing to protect and secure data during the transit.

Azure Data Box

When you want to read more about Microsoft Azure Migrate go to the website.

Microsoft Azure Migrate assessment for VMware platform

First we make the Azure Migrate Project ready in the Microsoft Azure Portal.

Select the right Azure Subscription and Resource group to collect the metadata reported by your On-premises environment. Give your Migrate project a name and select the geography.

Here you can select from different Assessment Tools
Select Azure Migrate Server Assessment

Here you can select from different Migration Tools
Select Azure Migrate Server Migration

Add your Tools in the Azure Portal.

Here you see both Microsoft Azure Migrate tools for the Assessment and the Migration as well.
We are going for the Assessment quick start, so click on discover

From here we select with VMware vShere Hypervisor, so you can download the Azure Migrate Appliance for VMware ( 12GB Ova file).

You can also work with an Import CSV file but that’s Preview.

Now you can download and Install the Azure Migrate Virtual Appliance on VMware.
Follow the instructions here

When you have installed the Microsoft Azure Migrate Virtual Appliance for VMware successfully in your environment and has access to all the Virtual Machines then you can run the setup in the Appliance to make connectivity with your Azure subscription.

This will check all the prerequisites and get the updates.

Getting access to vCenter Server with the right permissions.

Now when your Azure Migrate Virtual Appliance for VMware is ready and collecting metadata, we see in the Microsoft Azure Portal the discovery running :

Discovery is in Progress.

After a view minutes we have discovered the Servers running on VMware platform On-premises.

Discovered Servers

Now we have the Servers in our metadata, we can do the Assessment(s) to get all the information we want for preparing to migrate to Azure Cloud Services. Click on Assess.

From here you give the Assessment a name and then you go to the properties of the assessment by clicking on View All

Here you can set the parameters for the assessment for example based on :

  1. Reserved instances
  2. Storage types
  3. Sizing criterion like Performance-Based
  4. Percentile Utilization
  5. Azure VM series to use
  6. Discount
  7. VM Uptime
  8. Offer pricing like Enterprise Agreement Support or Pay-As-You-Go
  9. Hybrid Benefit offer.

Here I made different Azure Migrate Assessment groups with different parameters to see the difference in Costs.

Here you see for example Migrate As Is On-Premises and Performance-Based, but also an Azure Migrate Assessment without SQL Cluster Nodes. In this way you can make your own Azure Migrate Assessment with all your Servers or just a view Servers of your On-premises solution which you want to Migrate to Azure Cloud Services.

Overview of your Azure Migrate Assessment

Server is ready for migration

 

Server Ready but with conditions

Microsoft Azure Migrate gives you all the information to make the right decisions to migrate you workload from VMware to Microsoft Azure Cloud. When the Azure Migrate Assessment(s) are ready you can make a CSV export file to check the information before you migrate.

Overview of the Azure Migrate Assessment

Azure Migrate Assessment based on Performance for the VM
and there is a separated tab for Storage.

When your assessment is done, you can do the migration by replicating them to Microsoft Azure.

Here you can see the Azure Migrate for VMware (Agentless) steps

More Microsoft Azure Feature resources :

Dependency mapping helps you to visualize dependencies across machines

Setup Agentless Dependency visualization for assessment (Preview) 

Assess the readiness of a SQL Server data estate migrating to Azure SQL Database using the Data Migration Assistant

Conclusion

Microsoft Azure Migrate gives you insight information about your own On-Premises Datacenter by doing assessments to get the right migration information to move to Microsoft Azure Cloud. It gives you Azure Cloud costs before you do any migration at all, based on Total Cost of Owner (TCO) ship you can calculate if your solution in the Microsoft Azure Cloud is cheaper or not. Realize that’s it is not always about the money but also :

  • Innovations
  • Time to market
  • New Features
  • Flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Availability
  • Not owning hardware anymore
  • Less management (Hardware)

Hope this blog post helps you by your transition journey to Microsoft Azure Cloud


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Windows Admin Center Rocks for Managing Hybrid DataCenters #WAC #Azure #Winserv

Microsoft Windows Admin Center for Hybrid IT Management

I really like to work with Microsoft Windows Admin Center for managing my Hybrid workloads Windows Servers in Azure Cloud Services but also our On-premises Servers on Hyper-V and VMware platform. Even our physical Windows Servers can be managed from Windows Admin Center.

You can extend on-premises deployments of Windows Server to the cloud by using Azure hybrid services. These cloud services provide an array of useful functions, including the following:

  • Protect virtual machines and use cloud-based backup and disaster recovery (HA/DR) with Azure Site Recovery.
  • Track what’s happening across your applications, network and infrastructure with the help of advanced analytics and machine learning in Azure Monitor.
  • Simplify network connectivity to Azure with Azure Network Adapter.
  • Keep virtual machines up to date with Azure Update Management.

Azure hybrid services work with Windows Servers in the following configurations:

I’m working with Windows Admin Center since day one, and you see the hybrid management tool evolving with great new features to make your life as an Administrator more easier. For example you get notifications when there are updates in extensions.

Notification details about update Extensions

When you click on the link “Go to Extensions” you will see the Extensions installed and the Updates which you can install from there.

Here you see an Azure Security Center Extension update.

There are not only Microsoft extensions, but also third party solution extensions and you could build your own extension for your solution. Here you find all the information about Windows Admin Center Extensions

Third Party Windows Admin Center Extensions

Installing a New extension is easy to do, the Azure Cloud Shell (Preview) was the last extension I installed in my Azure MVP Lab to work with. Azure Cloud Shell is an interactive, authenticated, browser-accessible shell for managing Azure resources. It provides the flexibility of choosing the shell experience that best suits the way you work, either Bash or PowerShell. Cloud Shell enables access to a browser-based command-line experience built with Azure management tasks in mind. So how does this look in Windows Admin Center?

Install the Azure Cloud Shell (Preview) Extension

You find the Installed Azure Cloud Shell in the pulldown menu of WAC

Copy your code here https://microsoft.com/devicelogin

You will see this screen when you copy-paste the code

When you go back to Windows Admin Center you will see you are connected with Azure Cloud Shell CLI 😉

Azure Cloud Shell in Windows Admin Center

from here you can manage all your Azure Cloud Services via the Azure Cloud Shell CLI with Bash or Powershell.
Here you find more about Microsoft Azure Cloud Shell tools and Features.

you can add an Azure Network Adapter to your on-premises servers to help you securely connect the server to an Azure Virtual Network.

Read more about adding Microsoft Azure Network Adapter (Preview) in the top 10 Features of Windows Server 2019. Nice link speed of 40 Gbps 😉

For Management of your Windows Servers you need some tools and consoles. Windows Admin Center is supporting you to get the Management consoles in one place to do your administration and updates.
The next tree Features are in Windows Admin Center to manage your Windows Server.

Powershell inside WAC of my Domain Controller

Windows PowerShell is a task-based command-line shell and scripting language designed especially for system administration. Built on the .NET Framework, Windows PowerShell helps IT professionals and power users control and automate the administration of the Windows operating system and applications that run on Windows.
Here you find more information about Windows Commands

Windows Update in Windows Admin Center.

Of course you need to update your Windows Servers, and what I like in WAC is that you get the information if an update needs a reboot before you click on Install Updates. This option is good for my Azure MVP Lab but when you need to update more then 100 Servers, you would do that centrally managed like with Update Management solution in Azure

Windows Remote Desktop in WAC

Remote Desktop is one of the Features of Windows Admin Center, to take over the desktop for installations of Applications for example.

Windows Admin Center got a lot more Features and Tools to Manage your Windows Servers in a Hybrid world.
Like these :

  • Storage
  • Security
  • System Insights
  • Scheduled Tasks
  • Installing Roles and Features of Windows Server
  • Registry
  • Processes running on your Windows Server
  • Managing and deploying Clusters
  • and much More………

You can install the following Resources to Manage with WAC

Windows Admin Center Overview

Conclusion:

Microsoft Windows Admin Center is the New Management tool for your Hybrid IT Management to Controle your Servers for your Business. It got all the Management consoles covered of Windows Servers to manage from one tool.
It’s easy to use and It keeps you Up-to-date of what is happening on your Windows Server but also what is New and updated. With Microsoft Windows Admin Center your are learning on the job and that’s what I Like 😉
Hope you will use Microsoft Windows Admin Center too for your Business, download it here for Free!


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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  😉