GitHub has become the central location for open-source projects, samples, and even content – but primarily focused on developers. This new repository will focus on you: The ITPro/Ops person managing the environment in your company, keeping the lights on, supporting end-users or other IT teams.
The Microsoft Modern Infrastructure Cloud Advocates are responsible for the content on this repo, but sharing your handy script samples on this repo would be Awesome to manage Modern Azure Infrastructure, Azure Stack HCI, Windows Servers, Hyper-V, Containers and more. Have a look at the announcement on Microsoft tech community, Sharing together to make IT Better 😉
Baseline security is very important to have that in place to keep your Servers more secure in your datacenter. You want Hybrid Servers like Azure Arc enabled servers for example to be secure running in your datacenter. This begins to secure and have up-to-date Server hardware running in your datacenter. Monitor for security updates and install Server hardware based on best practices from the vendor.
Then the Operating System like Windows Server 2022 standard needs the OS Baseline security. This is called:
When your Windows Servers are security compliant by the rules of the company and/or Security Officer, then we can have a look at the Well Architected Framework (WAF) for Azure Arc Enabled Servers. Here you find an
This security baseline applies guidance from the Microsoft cloud security benchmark version 1.0 to Azure Arc-enabled servers. The Microsoft cloud security benchmark provides recommendations on how you can secure your cloud solutions on Azure. The content is grouped by the security controls defined by the Microsoft cloud security benchmark and the related guidance applicable to Azure Arc-enabled servers.
When you have read about Azure Arc Well Architected Framework (WAF) and you have your security in place, we can start with Microsoft Azure Arc.
Before you start implementing Azure Arc, you must have seen this Awesome website of Azure Arc Jumpstart!
The Azure Arc Jumpstart is designed to provide a “zero to hero” experience so you can start working with Azure Arc right away!
The Jumpstart provides step-by-step guides for independent Azure Arc scenarios that incorporate as much automation as possible, detailed screenshots and code samples, and a rich and comprehensive experience while getting started with the Azure Arc platform.
Our goal is for you to have a working Azure Arc environment spun-up in no time so you can focus on the core values of the platform, regardless of where your infrastructure may be, either on-premises or in the cloud.
You can manage your compliance and security policies with Azure Arc enabled Servers, Kubernetes, or SQL Managed instances to make your hybrid solutions with
the Microsoft Azure Cloud in a secure environment. When you work with security by design based on OSI model with 7 security layers and use Microsoft Arc enabled servers, you get also more Azure Hybrid security features like Azure Defender for Cloud, and much more.
Don’t forget the Microsoft Azure Arc Community Monthly Meetup
Windows Admin Center Version 2110.2 Build 1.3.2204.19002
Windows Admin Center is a customer-deployed, browser-based app for managing servers, clusters, hyper-converged infrastructure, and Windows PCs. It comes at no additional cost beyond Windows and is ready to use in production. Learn more aboutWindows Admin Center.
Simple and modern management experience
Designed for extensibility
Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Dutch (Netherlands), English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish, Swedish (Sweden), Turkish
In the following step-by-step guide I will deploy Windows Server 2022 Insider Build 25099 Core Edition with Windows Admin Center tool together with some great features for managing Windows Servers in a secure hybrid way with Microsoft Azure Cloud services. Like Azure Defender for Cloud, Azure Backup Vault, Azure Monitor, Security and more.
So I have Windows Admin Center 2110.2 installed and I have a Windows Server 2022 Hyper-V Server for my Virtual Machines in my MVPLAB Domain.
Now we will deploy the new Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25099.
In WAC on my Hypervisor in Virtual Machines
When you explore and open your Hyper-V Host and go to Virtual Machines, you can Click on Add and then on New for Creating your Windows Server Insider VM.
Create a New Windows Server Insider VM called StormTrooper01
Here you can configure your new Windows Server 2022 Insider VM with the following :
What kind of Generation VM (Gen 2 Recommended)
The path of your Virtual Machine and the path of your virtual disk(s)
CPU and you can make nested Virtualization too
Memory and use of Dynamic Memory
Network select the Virtual Switch
Network Isolation by VLAN
Storage, Create the size of the Virtual Disk. Choose an ISO or Select an existing VHD(x)
I Created a New 70GB OS Disk
and I want to Install the New Windows Server Insider OS from ISO.
Click on Browse
Here you Browse Default on your Hyper-V Host and select the ISO.
When the Windows Server ISO is selected you can hit Create
We get the Notification that the virtual machine is successfully created.
Only the Virtual Machine is now made with your specs and visible on the Hyper-V Host.
Select the New Virtual Machine (StormTrooper01) click on Power and hit Start.
After you started the VM, you can double click on it and go to Connect. Click on Connect to the Virtual Machine.
Now you are on the console via VM Connect.
Click on Install Now
We are installing Windows Server 2022 Insider Core edition, because we have WAC 😉
Installing Windows Server 2022 Insider Core Preview Build 25099 via Windows Admin Center
Create New Administrator Password.
And here we have Sconfig of the Windows Server 2022 Core.
via Virtual Machine Connect.
Now we can add and connect the New Virtual Machine with Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build in Windows Admin Center via IP-Address.
The Next step is to join the Windows Server 2022 Insider to my Domain MVPLAB.
Click on the Top on Edit Computer ID Click on Domain and type your domain name.
Click op Next Add your administrator account for joining the server
Reboot the VM.
Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Core edition is domain joined.
Now we have the New Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25099 running in Windows Admin Center, we can use all the tooling provided by WAC also in a Azure Hybrid way. Think about Azure Defender for Cloud, Azure Monitor. In Microsoft Windows Admin Center we also have a topic Azure Hybrid Center :
Here you see all the Azure Hybrid benefit features for your Windows Server 2022 Insider.
Microsoft Azure Arc
Azure File Sync
Azure Site Recovery
Azure Network Adapter
Azure Update Management
Microsoft Azure and the Windows Admin Center Team made the wizards customer friendly and easy to get those Azure Hybrid services for your Windows Server.
When you have your Server running, you want to make backups and Monitoring your Server for management. And after that you want to be in control of your security of your new Server. In the following steps you see some examples on the same Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build:
Microsoft Azure Backup via WAC
Click on Azure Backup
Select your Azure Subscription and the Azure Backup Vault.
Select your data and make the schedule.
Enter the Encryption passphrase and Apply.
Here you have Azure Backup Vault working together with WAC.
Azure Defender for Cloud Security
Click op Microsoft Defender for Cloud
Click on Setup
Add the right Azure Subscription and Workspace
Click on Setup.
Configuring Azure Defender for Cloud agent and Subscription.
Azure Defender for Cloud in Windows Admin Center on your Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build.
In Windows Admin Center there is also a Security tab for the Windows Server.
Here you can see if your system is supported for this security features 🙂
Enable the supported features and Restart de Virtual Machine.
And here you see my status overview.
Further more you can manage RBAC in Windows Admin Center when you have to work with different kind of users.
You can find RBAC in settings.
Windows Server Insider Core edition and Windows Admin Center are working better together! You have all the tools you need to startup your Windows Server and
manage it with WAC. Windows Admin Center is getting better and better to manage your Hybrid Datacenter and keep you as an Administrator in Control!
So is how I manage my MVPLAB but also for Production workloads I use Windows Admin Center and the Azure Portal together. With Microsoft Azure Arc Services
Azure Hybrid becomes your solution where Windows Admin Center can Support you with making Azure Stack HCI Clusters with Azure Kubernetes for your DevOps environment.
The Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol is a network file sharing protocol, and as implemented in Microsoft Windows is known as Microsoft SMB Protocol. The set of message packets that defines a particular version of the protocol is called a dialect. The Common Internet File System (CIFS) Protocol is a dialect of SMB. Both SMB and CIFS are also available on VMS, several versions of Unix, and other operating systems. Here you can see the versions of MS-CIFS and download free white papers
Today SMBv1 is a not save protocol and will be used by hackers for man in the middle attacks to compromise your data and systems. SMBv1 is a weak protocol and should not be used in your environment. There are still a lot of Windows Servers 2012 R2 in the world running in datacenters with SMBv1 by Default enabled. To make your Windows Server more secure, you can disable SMBv1 protocol via a Group Policy Object (GPO).
In the following steps we will disable SMBv1 on Windows Servers via GPO.
Open Group Policy Management in your Domain.
Click on Group Policy Object with your right mouse button.
Click on New.
Give your policy a Name.
I made also an temporary Exception policy.
Right click on your new Policy Object.
Click on Edit.
Go to Computer Configuration => Preferences => Windows Settings
Click on Registry.
Click on New and then on Registry Item.
Here you have to add the following Registry Properties:
Set these settings.
Set Path: HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters
Click on Apply for these Registry settings.
SMBv1 Disable setting is set in the Policy Object.
This is the path where we push the policy via GPO.
Here we Link the Existing GPO to the OU with the Windows Server 2012 R2
to disable SMBv1 Protocol.
Select your new Policy to disable SMBv1 Protocol.
We have now Linked the new GPO to Disable SMBv1
GPUpdate /force on your Server to disable SMBv1
To get the new GPO active on your Server.
SMB over QUIC introduces an alternative to the TCP network transport, providing secure, reliable connectivity to edge file servers over untrusted networks like the Internet. QUIC is an IETF-standardized protocol with many benefits when compared with TCP:
All packets are always encrypted and handshake is authenticated with TLS 1.3
Parallel streams of reliable and unreliable application data
Exchanges application data in the first round trip (0-RTT)
Improved congestion control and loss recovery
Survives a change in the clients IP address or port
SMB over QUIC offers an “SMB VPN” for telecommuters, mobile device users, and high security organizations. The server certificate creates a TLS 1.3-encrypted tunnel over the internet-friendly UDP port 443 instead of the legacy TCP port 445. All SMB traffic, including authentication and authorization within the tunnel is never exposed to the underlying network. SMB behaves normally within the QUIC tunnel, meaning the user experience doesn’t change. SMB features like multichannel, signing, compression, continuous availability, directory leasing, and so on, work normally.
Client Server Handshake and Data transfer differences.
When you still have Windows Servers running with SMBv1 by default enabled, for security you should disable SMBv1 protocol as soon as possible! Otherwise you make it easy for hackers to compromise your data with man in the middle attacks. In Windows Server 2019 and higher SMBv1 is disabled by default. Have a look at SMB over QUIC in your test environment and learn how secure it is and how it works for your security and data.
I’m working with Windows Admin Center every day to manage our datacenter and to mange my MVP LAB. When you have to install Windows Server Core
or Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Operating system, then Windows Admin Center is the right tool for you as an Administrator. You can use all the Server Manager tools via WAC
and you don’t have to work with Command-line tools only like CMD and PowerShell.
In my MVP LAB I have a Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Datacenter Edition Hyper-V Host, and I like to make a Docker Host Server for my Containers.
With Windows Admin Center it’s easy to roll out a Docker host Server for your Containers.
In the following steps I will Install a Docker Host Server on Windows Server 2022.
Open Windows Admin Center and connect to your Server.
I Have Container Extension installed version 1.150.0
Click on Containers and Click on Install Windows Admin Center will Restart your Server for the Docker Installation!
Hang on while Docker Host will be Installed on Windows Server 2022.
Docker Host Installed Successfully.
Docker Host Container Overview Screen on Windows Server 2022.
From here you can Pull containers images to the Docker Host.
This is what I did but…..
Instead of pulling a Container Image you can also Create your Own Container Image.
Here I’m Pulling a ASP.NET Container Image from Microsoft.
Pulled Container Image Successfully.
The ASP.NET Container Image is now Available on the Docker Host.
Select the Container Image and Click on Run.
Give the Docker Container a name.
You can Manage the ports,
And add addition Docker Run options,
Click on Run.
The ASP.NET Docker Container is running on Windows Server 2022.
When you Click on the running Container you will get options like :
Stats, Details, Logs, Console and Events.
When you Click on Console you will go remote by PowerShell to the Docker Host.
Here you got all the Docker commands 😉
And of course when you want to develop Containers as a developer you can use Microsoft Visual Studio Code as well.
(I’m using Visual Studio Code Insiders version in my MVP LAB)
Microsoft Azure Container Instances
Containers are becoming the preferred way to package, deploy, and manage cloud applications. Azure Container Instances offers the fastest and simplest way to run a container in Azure, without having to manage any virtual machines and without having to adopt a higher-level service.
Azure Container Instances is a great solution for any scenario that can operate in isolated containers, including simple applications, task automation, and build jobs. For scenarios where you need full container orchestration, including service discovery across multiple containers, automatic scaling, and coordinated application upgrades, we recommend Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).
For my MVP LAB Azure Container Instances (ACI) is a great way to run Containers fast in the Cloud and have a overview with Windows Admin Center for :
Here you have a overview of your Azure Container Instances in Windows Admin Center.
In the following steps I will create an Azure Container Instance via the Microsoft Azure Portal and show it in Windows Admin Center. For this you need to integrate Windows Admin Center with your Microsoft Azure Subscription. This you can do in settings of WAC:
When you have your Azure Account active in Windows Admin Center, go to the Microsoft Azure Portal and search for Container instances.
Click on Create Container Instances
Here you set the basics of your Azure Container Instance
Here you set the following items for your Azure Container Instance (ACI) :
Select your Azure Subscription which is integrated with your Microsoft Windows Admin Center.
Select or Create the Resource Group for your Azure Container Instance.
Give your Container a name.
Select the Region in Microsoft Azure where you want your Azure Container Instance to run.
Availability zones to select.
Select your Image Source, I selected Quickstart images of Microsoft, but you can also select your own Container image.
Then select the size for vcpu, memory, gpus for your Azure Container Instance application.
Click on Next for Networking.
I Selected Public for testing but here you can select private too
with your own DNS name Label with the
right ports and protocols.
At Advanced settings you can configure additional container properties and variables
here you can TAG the Owner of the Azure Container Instance.
Click on Review + Create.
Now you can Click Create or Download the template for Automation.
Have a look at the Options here what you can do with the Template from here.
Microsoft Azure Container Instance is Deployed and running.
Nginx Container Instance is running on Azure.
Now we have the Microsoft Azure Container Instance with Nginx running in the Cloud, we can see that in Windows Admin Center.
Azure Container Instance in Windows Admin Center in running state.
When you don’t need it anymore you can end it here or in the Azure Portal.
Azure Container Instance is stopped by Windows Admin Center.
Run your Own Azure Container Instances from the ACR via
Windows Admin Center.
Manage Kubernetes Clusters and Containers with Windows Admin Center
Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI is an on-premises implementation of Azure Kubernetes Service, which automates running containerized applications at scale. Azure Kubernetes Service is available on Azure Stack HCI, Windows Server 2019 Datacenter, and Windows Server 2022 Datacenter, making it quicker to get started hosting Linux and Windows containers in your datacenter. This is the High Available Container Solution on-premises from Microsoft, where you can run Containers and microservices in a isolated way in your datacenter with your DevOps Team. But you can also make your Azure Stack HCI Cluster hybrid with Azure integration and Azure Arc Services to benefit of Azure Hybrid Services.
Create your Own locally Azure Stack HCI Cluster with Azure Kubernetes Services
Microsoft product team of Windows Admin Center | Windows Server | Azure Stack HCI are working hard to make the Windows Admin Center Tool better and better to install and manage Container / microservices solutions. With Microsoft Azure extensions in Windows Admin Center and Azure Arc Services, Microsoft features from the Azure Cloud becomes available for your Containers like Azure Defender for Cloud with Container Insights, Azure Monitor, Azure App Services and much more.
Windows Admin Center is a Great Server Manager tool for your Windows Servers in your Datacenter. Especially when you use Windows Server Core or Azure Stack HCI.
Manage all your server environments with familiar yet modernized tools, such as the reimagined Server Manager and streamlined MMC tools, from a single, browser-based, graphical user interface. Admins can manage Windows Server instances anywhere: on-premises, in Azure, or in any cloud.
Operate hybrid seamlessly
Extend on-premises deployments of Windows Server to the cloud by using the Azure hybrid services found in Windows Admin Center. Use Azure for:
Backup and disaster recovery
Additional capacity for compute, file servers and storage
Centralized management for monitoring, threat protection and update management
In the following steps we will install Windows Server Core 20H2 version Build 10.0.19042 via Windows Admin Center on my Hyper-V Host called Starship01.mvplab.cloud.
I have Windows Admin Center already running for my MVPLAB with a Windows Server 2019 Hypervisor host. From here I will install a New Windows Server Core 20H2 Machine.
Click in the Left toolbar on Virtual Machines
and then on Add New
Deployment settings for the New Virtual Machine.
Here we set the following settings :
Virtual Machine Name
Generation VM ( gen 2 is recommended )
The path of the VM settings and Disk
a mark for nested virtualization ( for the Hyper-V feature )
Network / Virtual Switch
When you Add Storage you can select also the new ISO file for Installation.
I changed the Size of the Operating Disk from 127GB to 50GB
And I selected the path to the Windows Server Core 20H2 ISO.
Then Click on Create.
Windows Admin Center will create the Virtual Machine really fast.
Now the Window Virtual Machine Dark20H2 is created by Windows Admin Center on the Hyper-V Host, we can do the Windows Server Core 20H2 Installation by starting the Virtual Machine.
Before you Start running the VM, have a look at the settings
If you want you can set more Security features here.
You can set Encryption and Security Policy.
Start the Virtual Machine here for Installation of Windows Server Core 20H2
( The ISO is connected )
Installation of Windows Server Core 20H2 version Build 10.0.19042
The virtual Machine is running and now we can connect it via Windows Admin Center to do the installation of Windows Server.
Click on Connect
Use your Windows Admin Center account and mark
for the certificate. Then Click on Connect
Here we see the Console for the Windows Server Installation.
The Windows Server Core 20H2 is Installed.
Of course you can now configure the Machine via SConfig.exe, I only gave the Server name and a static IP address with DNS.
Via Windows Admin Center ( Manage) you can add the Machine to the domain.
Add the Server to the domain with your account and Click on Join
Server will Restart, Click on Yes
Dark20H2 Joined the Domain MVPLAB.CLOUD Successfully
Adding the Windows Server Core 20H2 to Windows Admin Center
Add Dark20H2.mvplab.cloud to Windows Admin Center.
Of course I want to manage the server with Windows Admin Center and use all the tools I need to securely manage this Server.
Windows Server Core 20H2 in Windows Admin Center.
First thing what I do in my MVPLAB is Windows Updates.
December Updates for Windows Server Core 20H2
Updates Installed Successfully 🙂
Azure Hybrid Services
Azure Hybrid Services
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, both for extending on-premises into Azure, and for centrally managing from Azure. Think of :
Windows Admin Center is a must have when you have to manage Windows Server Core versions, you don’t have to worry about all the Commands of Windows Server Core. With Windows Admin Center it becomes easy to do the complete installation of the server and this include also all features of Windows Server Core 202H2 Build 10.0.19042. It becomes really powerful when you use it in a Hybrid way by connecting to Microsoft Azure Cloud Services. Earlier I wrote a blogpost about Windows Admin Center and Azure Security Center
I Hope this is useful for you, and start your journey with Windows Admin Center & Windows Server Core versions 😉
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.
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.
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=”email@example.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” ]
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 repoby opening a new issue for the Container Extension. Follow @vrapolinario on Twitter
You can Follow Windows Admin Center here on Twitter : @servermgmt
In the following steps we install Docker for Windows enterprise on a Windows Server 2019 which is running on a hypervisor platform in this case VMware to run a Linux container in the Datacenter.
When you are on a virtualization platform like Hyper-V or VMware and you have installed de Virtual machine with Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Standard edition, you must make the virtual processors ready for virtualization.
(Nested Virtualization) otherwise you can’t install Hyper-V on VMware.
This is the error you get.
Enable this feature for virtualization to the guest OS for VMware.
Now we have Docker EE version 19.03.5 installed for Windows Server 2019.
It’s ready for Windows Containers.
But we want to run linux containers,
Now that we have Docker installed, we need to make some changes to the default configuration to enable support for Linux Containers. This involves setting an Environment variable and creating a docker daemon configuration file.
Dive in to Windows 10 with award-winning journalist and Windows Expert Ed Bott in this highly curated free eBook covering the top apps, accessories, and utilities included in the box with Windows 10.
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This eBook contains descriptions and hands-on advice to help IT Pros work faster and smarter. Some of these tools are for everybody—end users and experts alike—whereas some are strictly for professionals. A few are so specialized that you’ll only need them once in a blue moon. Collectively, though, they make up a toolbox that can save you (and your company) time and money.