Cloud and Datacenter Management Blog

Microsoft Hybrid Cloud blogsite about Management


Leave a comment

#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


Leave a comment

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!


Leave a comment

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  😉


Leave a comment

#Microsoft Azure Central Monitoring for your Team #Dashboards #Azure #ContainerInsights #Apps

Full Screen Monitoring

When you install Azure Virtual Machines or Kubernetes Clusters in the Microsoft Cloud, It’s important to monitor your workload and keep your IT department in Control for the Business. Metric alerts in Azure Monitor work on top of multi-dimensional metrics. These metrics could be platform metrics, custom metrics, popular logs from Azure Monitor converted to metrics and Application Insights metrics.

When you have important alerts, you want to take action based on your rules.

Take action on Alerts

Make your Own rules based on Alerts.

IT Department of a company has most of the time different teams with each having it’s own responsibility of workloads in the Microsoft Cloud. For example, the Servicedesk is supporting the Business and they like to see if all the Services are up and running for the Business. The Infrastructure Team wants the same, but on deep level components of the Services like Memory, Network, Storage, CPU, Performance, Availability and more. The Technical Application Team is interested if the application is running and working with all the Interfaces, Databases, and/or Azure Pipelines.

Each Team can build there own Azure Dashboard(s) in the Microsoft Cloud.

Here I Have made an easy example of my Windows Server 2019 Virtual Machines and my Azure Kubernetes Cluster in One Microsoft Azure Dashboard :

You can Start from Azure Monitor Metrics

Or you can Start from the Virtual Machine Blade here.

When you have your Azure Monitor metrics ready with the right information then you can create it in your Azure Dashboard for your Team.

 

Select another Dashboard.

Create your Own Dashboard.

Now we have the first VM with CPU percentage in the Azure Dashboard.

Here I have added More Virtual Machines to the Same Metric Chart.

When you have Azure Kubernetes Cluster to monitor :

From here you can Add Container Insights information into your Azure Dashboard :

Adding Azure Monitor Container Insights of KubeCluster01

The Azure Monitor Container Insights logs for your Dashboard information, with Pin to Dashboard.

 

When you right click with your mouse on the dashboard, you can edit your dashboard with more Azure Resources
from the tile Gallery. Here you can read more about creating your Own Azure Dashboard with Action Rules.

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, these metrics and logs are automatically collected for you through a containerized version of the Log Analytics agent for Linux and stored in your Log Analytics workspace.

 

Read here more about Azure Container Insights with Live Logs.

Follow and Join the community on LinkedIn

JOIN Azure DevOps Community 

JOIN Containers in the Cloud Community 

JOIN Azure Monitor and #Security Community 


Leave a comment

Build your hybrid strategy with #AzureStack and Azure Stack HCI #HybridCloud #DevOps

Azure Stack HCI solutions are available for customers who want to run virtualized applications on modern hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) to lower costs and improve performance. Azure Stack HCI solutions feature the same software-defined compute, storage, and networking software as Azure Stack, and can integrate with Azure for hybrid capabilities such as cloud-based backup, site recovery, monitoring, and more.
Adopting hybrid cloud is a journey and it is important to have a strategy that takes into account different workloads, skillsets, and tools. Microsoft is the only leading cloud vendor that delivers a comprehensive set of hybrid cloud solutions, so customers can use the right tool for the job without compromise.

Microsoft Announcing Azure Stack HCI: A new member of the Azure Stack family


Leave a comment

#Microsoft System Center 2019 GA – Whats New #Sysctr #SCVMM #SCOM #SCDPM #Azure

Download Microsoft System Center 2019 Now

Hybrid Integration

As enterprise environments now span on-premises to the cloud, customers look to leverage the innovation in Azure services using their on-premises tools. To enable this, Microsoft has integrated System Center with a set of management services in Azure to augment the on-premises tools.

  • With Service Map integration with System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), you can automatically create distributed application diagrams in Operations Manager (OM) that are based on the dynamic dependency maps in Service Map.
  • With Azure Management Pack, you can now view perf and alert metrics in SCOM, integrate with web application monitoring in Application Insights, and monitor more PaaS services, such as Azure Blob Storage, Azure Data Factory, etc.
  • Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2019 enables simplified patching of VMs by integrating with Azure Update Management.

What is New in Microsoft System Center 2019

Read here what is new on Microsoft System Center 2019 for your IT Management :

New features in VMM 2019
See the following sections for detailed information about the new features/feature updates supported in VMM 2019.
System Center 2019 – Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) supports rolling upgrade of a Hyper-V host cluster from Windows Server 2016 to Windows Server 2019. Versions earlier to VMM 2019 supports rolling upgrade to 2016 from 2012 R2 This article provides the upgrade information for System Center 2019 – Virtual Machine Manager (VMM).

New features in DPM 2019
See the following sections for detailed information about the new features/feature updates supported in DPM 2019.


Modern Backup Storage (MBS) was introduced in System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2016 to deliver 50% storage savings, 3X faster backups, and more efficient, workload-aware storage. DPM 2019 introduces further performance improvements with MBS resulting in 50-70% faster backup with Windows Server 2019. This article provides the upgrade information for System Center 2019 – Data Protection Manager (DPM). 

New features in Operations Manager 2019
See the following sections for detailed information about the new and updated features in System Center 2019 – Operations Manager. Features and updates introduced in Operations Manager version 1801 and 1807 are included in version 2019. Plan your Upgrade to SCOM 2019

Service Map integration
Service Map automatically discovers application components on Windows and Linux systems and maps the communication between services. It automatically builds a common reference map of dependencies across your servers, processes, and third-party services. Integration between Service Map and System Center Operations Manager allows you to automatically create distributed application diagrams in Operations Manager that are based on the dynamic dependency maps in Service Map.

System Center Configuration Manager Documentation

New in System Center Orchestrator

New in System Center Service Manager

New in System Center Service Management Automation

New in System Center Service Provider Foundation


Leave a comment

#Microsoft Azure Sentinel (Preview) Overview #Azure #Sentinel #Security #Analytics #SIEM

 

Microsoft Azure Sentinel

Microsoft 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.

  • Collect data at cloud scale across all users, devices, applications, and infrastructure, both on-premises and in multiple clouds.
  • Detect previously undetected threats, and minimize false positives using Microsoft’s analytics and unparalleled threat intelligence.
  • Investigate threats with artificial intelligence, and hunt for suspicious activities at scale, tapping into years of cyber security work at Microsoft.
  • Respond to incidents rapidly with built-in orchestration and automation of common tasks.

In the following step-by-step guide you get a global overview of Azure Sentinel :

Search for Azure Sentinel in the Azure Portal.

Click on Create

Connect or add your Workspace.

Click on Add Azure Sentinel

Azure Sentinel is added to your workspace.

Azure Sentinel Overview

Security Analytics

Learn here more with Microsoft Azure Monitor analytics queries

Here you can play with Azure Log Analytics 😉

Here you can collect all your Security Cases

Azure Sentinel Build-In Dashboard Solutions

Azure AD Audit Logs

 

Linux Machines Security

When you have your Azure Sentinel Solutions in place with alerting rules and telemetry and analytics is coming to your workspace, Hunting is the next Threat management tool :

Azure sentinel Hunting

Working with Tags and Collaborate with Teammates

Launch Investigations and Bookmark

Working with Azure Notebooks for Azure Sentinel

Welcome to the Azure Sentinel repository! This repository contains out of the box detections, exploration queries, hunting queries, dashboards and playbooks to help you get ramped up with Azure Sentinel and provide you security content to secure your environment and hunt for threats. You can also submit any issues or feature requests as you onboard to Azure Sentinel. For questions and feedback, please contact AzureSentinel@microsoft.com

Azure Sentinel Notebooks on GitHub

 

Get started from here to Configure your Azure Sentinel Environment

Choose your Data Collections for Azure Sentinel Security

Lot of Choice already Build-in for you.

From here you can make your own Azure Sentinel Analytics Alert Rules.

Alert Rules

Create Alert rules with the right mappings, triggers, and scheduling, response automation.

Add your own playbooks for your Security

Unlock the power of AI for security with Machine Learning

Machine Learning in Azure Sentinel is built-in right from the beginning. We have thoughtfully designed the system with ML innovations aimed to make security analysts, security data scientists and engineers productive. One such innovation is Azure Sentinel Fusion built especially to reduce alert fatigue.

Building your Full Screen Dashboard for Monitoring

More information about Azure Sentinel Intelligent Security :

Start here free with Azure Sentinel Preview

Microsoft azure Sentinel Docs

Microsoft Azure Sentinel on GitHub

Join Microsoft Azure Monitor & Security for Hybrid IT Community