Cloud and Datacenter Management Blog

Microsoft Hybrid Cloud blogsite about Management


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#MVPLABSerie Azure Update Management Center (Preview) and #AzureArc enabled Servers #AzureHybrid

Microsoft Azure Update Management Center (Preview)

Update management center (preview) is a unified service to help manage and govern updates for all your machines. You can monitor Windows and Linux update compliance across your deployments in Azure, on-premises, and on the other cloud platforms from a single dashboard. Using Update management center (preview), you can make updates in real-time or schedule them within a defined maintenance window. Here you can find more information about Azure Update Management Center

In the following step-by-step guide, we will start with Azure Update Management Center (Preview) and Microsoft Azure Arc enabled Windows Servers running on-premises in my mvplab.local domain.

With getting started you can configure the environment.

I start here with my Azure Arc enabled Storage Server.

You have options like Hotpatch

We Check manually for Updates on Windows Server mvpstore01
Click on OK for Assessment.

Here are the Windows Server Security updates.
You can click on One-time-Update
But first we look in Update Management Center.

Here you see the Pending Windows Updates in Azure Update Management Center
Open query 

Microsoft Azure Resource Graph Explorer can be really powerful tool

When you have to manage many Windows Servers you can get the status
of these Azure Arc enabled servers and export the results into a CSV file.
Here you find some Azure Resource Graph Explorer queries

Now we start to Install One-time Updates.

Include Update Classification
Click on Add

Click on Next

Select the option if you want to reboot or not.

Review and Install

Updates installed on the Azure Arc Enabled Windows Server.

In Azure Update Management Center Overview Dashboard
you can see that one machine is completed.

For Monitoring you can make your own workbooks.

I like this History, to see if updates are successful or not.

Conclusion

Microsoft Azure Update Management Center is still in Preview but it’s a new way to manage all of your updates on your Servers on-premises with Azure Arc enabled, or on Azure Cloud, but also in other Clouds if you want. One Update Management Center from the Azure Portal is Awesome to work with and gives you control and overview of your update compliance in your datacenter(s).
Important: This Great tool is still in preview and not for production environments yet until it’s made GA by Microsoft and you have the full support on this awesome management tool.

JOIN Azure Hybrid Community Group on LinkedIn

 


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#MVPLABSerie Azure Hybrid with Arc Enabled Windows Servers on-premises #AzureHybrid #Winserv

Microsoft Azure Hybrid with Arc enabled Servers

the last MVPLABSerie blogposts was about Windows Servers Insider with mvplab.local domain and SQL Clustering on-premises :

Today every company wants to benefit from Cloud to achieve more for the business. Microsoft made Azure Arc to simplify governance and management by delivering a consistent multi-cloud and on-premises management platform.

Microsoft Azure Hybrid

In the following steps we are going to onboard the Windows Insider Servers and Windows 11 Insider Beta Virtual Machine which are running in mvplab.local domain into the Microsoft Azure Cloud. We will install the Azure Connected Machine Agent via a PowerShell Script in the next steps :

Login in the Azure Portal

1. Search for azure arc
2. Click on Azure Arc.

Getting Started with Azure Arc

Click on Servers and then Click on Add.

Here you can Choose for the right script.
I choose for Add Multiple Servers with a Service Principle.
Click on Generate Script.

Read the prerequisites access to port 443.
view Outbound URLs link.
Click Next

Select the right Azure Subscription and Resource Group.
Select your Azure Region.
Select Operating System
Select the Connectivity method.
Click on Next

If you don’t have a Azure Service principal, you can create one here.

Click on Create Service principal.

Create your Service Principal

Copy your Client ID and Client Secret !
You need this later.

Select the just created Service Principal.

Here you can Tag the Arc Servers.
Here you can read more about Tagging
Click on Next

Choose the Deployment method :
Basic Script or Configuration Manager ( I choose for Basic)
Download the Script

I have copied the script to my Domain Controller On-premises here.

Open with PowerShell ISE the OnboardingScript.ps1
and Copy / Paste your
Service Principal Client ID and Secret here in the Script.
Click on save and run the script.

Start PowerShell in Admin modus

Run Script .\OnboardingScript.ps1

Server is connected with Azure 🙂

Here is the Azure Arc Enabled Server, my Domain Controller.

Here I have all the Azure Arc Capabilities available for my Domain Controller.
Azure Hybrid

With the Same Script I added the mvplab.local Windows Insider Servers to Azure
They are all Azure Arc Enabled Servers.

On all Azure Arc enabled Servers is the Azure Connected Machine Agent installed.

Conclusion

In a simple way you can deploy Azure Arc agent on your on-premises Servers to make them Azure Arc Enabled so you can enjoy the Azure Hybrid features from the Cloud. IT management and Security from Azure becomes available for your on-premises Servers.
It’s not only Infrastructure but also Data Services and Application Services what you can use for your Azure Hybrid Solution.
In the next Blogpost we will have a look at the Microsoft Azure Arc Features in my mvplab.local domain.


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MVPLAB Serie Installing SQL Server 2022 CTP on Windows Server Insider Cluster #SQLServer #WIMVP

SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1

In this blogpost of MVPLAB Serie, we are going to install Microsoft SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1 on my Windows Server Insider Preview Cluster in mvplab.local domain. Before this blogpost I installed the following basics in mvplab.local domain :

Now we are going to install the Backend of the datacenter, and that is SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1 on a Cluster resource with the first SQL Instance for databases which is High Available (HA).

First we download SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1

SQL Server 2022 Preview is the most Azure-enabled release of SQL Server yet, with continued innovation in security, availability, and performance.

  • Integration with Azure Synapse Link and Azure Purview enables customers to drive deeper insights, predictions, and governance from their data at scale.
  • Cloud integration is enhanced with disaster recovery (DR) to Azure SQL Managed Instance, along with no-ETL (extract, transform, and load) connections to cloud analytics, which allow database administrators to manage their data estates with greater flexibility and minimal impact to the end-user.
  • Performance and scalability are automatically enhanced via built-in query intelligence.
  • There is choice and flexibility across languages and platforms, including Linux, Windows, and Kubernetes.

Mount the ISO file and Copy the files to a local disk location, then run Setup as Administrator with your personal Domain Administrator Account to install SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1. Before the installation read Configure Cluster accounts in Active Directory (AD)

Click on Yes.

Click on the left on Installation
Then Click on New SQL Server Failover Cluster Installation

Here I choose for the Developer edition.
Click on Next

Accept the License terms
Click on Next

Check for Updates (recommended)
Click on Next

Check the Warnings and solve issues.
Click on Next

I Installed only the default for SQL Database.
(You can install later Shared SQL Features if you need them.)
Click on Next

Specify a network name for the New SQL Server Failover Cluster.
mvpsql01
Click on Named Instance and type INSTANCE01
Click on Next

Click on Next

Select your Cluster disk
Click on Next

Select IPv4 and type the IP-Address of your Cluster Resource
mvpsql01
Then Click on Next

Select your domain Service accounts and type the passwords.
Select if you want Maintenance Tasks privilege to your SQL Server Database Engine Service.
Click Next

Here you can add the SQL Admin Group from Active Directory (AD)
Click on top tab Data Directories

I Changed the User Database Log Directory.
Here you can set your directories.
Have a look at the Other TAB fields, I set Memory later.
When you finished all the Tabs then click Next

Check the Summary and click on Install

SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1 Installed Successfully Click on Close.

This was on the first mvpfs01.mvplab.local, now you have to do the installation on the other node mvpfs02.mvplab.local.
Here we will add a SQL Node to the Cluster.

 

Click on the left on Installation
Then Click on Add Node to a SQL Server Failover Cluster

Add Node in Progress

Add Node to SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1 Failover Cluster is Successful
Click on Close

Here you see your SQL Server 2022 CTP2.1 Cluster Instance Running in Failover Cluster Manager.

Here I installed the new Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) version 19 preview 2

Connecting the High Available SQL 2022 CTP2.1 Cluster Resource Instance01.

And you can connect the SQL Instance with Azure Data Studio 😉

With Azure Data Studio you can install marketplace extensions working with your SQL Instance.
Here you find more information about Microsoft Azure Data Studio

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MVPLAB Serie Cluster Aware Updating – CAU for Windows Server Insider #WindowsServerInsider #MVPBuzz #Winserv

Cluster Aware Updating (CAU)

In my last MVPLAB Serie blogpost, I wrote about setting-up a Microsoft Domain mvplab.local and making a Windows Server Insider Cluster with an iSCSI Target Host Server for Shared iSCSI Storage provisioning. First thing I did was Installing Windows Admin Center for Hybrid IT Management. With WAC we can Manage the Cluster Nodes but also the Cluster, Installing new features via Windows Admin Center like Kubernetes for running Containers and microservices. But first we start with Microsoft Cluster Aware Updating to keep your Cluster up-to-date.

Windows Admin Center Cluster Manager

Installing Cluster Aware Updating

In the following steps you can see how easy it is to install Cluster Aware Updating with Windows Admin Center on your Windows Server Cluster, in my case mvpcl01.mvplab.local

Go to your Windows Server Insider Cluster

In Cluster Manager, go to Updates.
Click on Add Cluster Aware Updating Role

Successfully configured Cluster Aware Updating (CAU)

On both Cluster Nodes is the Update Available.
Click on Install

Click on Install

Look at the status to see what is happening on the Cluster Nodes.

First Cluster Node is done

Both Cluster Nodes are updated successfully.

Here you can read more about Microsoft Cluster Aware Updating

Conclusion

Microsoft Windows Admin Center is the Administrator Management tool to use in your hybrid datacenter. You see how easy it is to configure Cluster Aware Updating (CAU) on your Cluster. When you use Windows Server Core or Azure Stack HCI then Windows Admin Center is really handy instead of command-line tools or PowerShell scripting.  here you can find more information about
Cluster Aware Updating requirements and Best Practices

Here you can JOIN the Windows Admin Center Community Group on LinkedIn


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#Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25140 #Winserv #WindowsServerInsider #WAC

Here you can Download Windows Server Insider Preview Build

Ps. I downloaded the VHDX file for Hyper-V, but you can get also the ISO file here.

Getting started with the Windows Insider Program for Windows Server

Get exclusive access to Windows Server Insider Previews and Remote Server Administration tools and help shape the future of Windows Server in the Windows Insider Program for Windows Server. Register here for the Windows Server Insider program 

From here you can build your own local domain and Clusters in your LAB to test all the Features Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25140 has. Checking new Security features and doing your own pen tests.

Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25140.

Microsoft Vulnerable Driver Blocklist 

Testing security with Kali Linux Rolling distro in WSL 2.0 against Windows Server Insider
in my Lab. And give feedback about features and or issues on Windows Server Insider :

Give feedback on Windows Server Insider Preview Builds

And of course don’t forget Windows Admin Center for your LAB to manage your Servers, Azure Virtual Machines and your Clusters. You can download WAC here

What is new in preview is Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal with Azure Arc Enabled Servers.

Windows Admin Center in the Azure Portal for Arc Enabled Servers 😉
Manage your Servers from the Cloud.

Conclusion

With Windows Server Insider Builds and Windows Admin Center, you can test and make your own LAB environment together for free. You can give the Microsoft product group feedback to make the product better. In the mean time your are learning new features and security in Windows Server Insider Preview Build and WAC before you go into production 🙂
I say a good win win situation and it’s fun to setup your own hybrid LAB.

Follow Microsoft Windows Server Insider Team on Tech Community

 

 

 


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Running #Ubuntu and #Debian Linux distro on Windows Server 2022 Preview with #WSL2

Running Ubuntu and Debian Linux Distro on Windows Server 2022
Preview Build 25120.1010 with WSL 2.0

In the Week of MS-Build 2022 Event, Microsoft is announcing that WSL 2.0 is coming to Windows Server 2022 Preview Build on twitter.

In the following step-by-step guide we will install Windows Subsystem for Linux 2.0 (WSL) on Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25120.1010 to run Ubuntu and Debian Linux Distro’s.

Here you can download Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build ISO or VHDX disk
when you are registered as a Windows Insider.

Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview Build 25120 Installed.

Install the latest updates.

Open Windows Server Manager.

I Have installed the following :

  • Containers ( because I like this for later in my MVP Lab )
  • Hyper-V
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • VirtualMachine Platform
  • Reboot the System after installation.

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart

When the Virtual Server is up, you have to bring it down to make nested virtualization possible when you run your server on a Hyper-V Host like me.

On the host in PowerShell administrator mode :

Set-VMProcessor -VMName WIN2022 -ExposeVirtualizationExtensions $true

Start the Virtual Machine.

wsl –install

wsl –update

WSL 2.0 is Installed

wsl –status

wsl –install -d Ubuntu

I did the same for Debian wsl –install -d debian

Here you can see both Linux distro’s on Windows Server.

Here we are running both WSL 2.0 Linux distro’s Ubuntu and Debian on Windows Server Insider Preview Build together at the same time 😉

Here I’m running VSCode on Remote WSL Debian Linux distro.

More information about Microsoft WSL you can find here on Docs.

Important:

All this is still in Preview and not ready for production environment yet. I installed this all in my MVP Test Lab for learning and testing. Hope you find this useful for your test environment to play with the newest Windows Server 2022 Insider Preview and WSL 2.0 with
all kind of Linux distro’s.


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Download Windows 11 Security E-book #Windows11 #WIMVP #WindowsInsiders

This Microsoft E-Book gives you an overview about security in Windows 11 with in different layers of security.

  • Hardware Security
  • Operating System Security
  • Application Security
  • Identity and Privacy
  • Cloud Services
  • Security Foundation
  • Upcoming Features

Different Security Layers in Windows 11

Be aware of all the Microsoft security features in Windows 11 and download the free Microsoft Windows 11 Security Book here


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Windows Admin Center and Deploying Windows Server Insider Build 25099 Core #WindowsAdminCenter #Winserv #WIMVP

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 about Windows Admin Center.

Benefits

  • Simple and modern management experience
  • Hybrid capabilities
  • Integrated toolset
  • Designed for extensibility

Languages
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 Backup
  • Azure File Sync
  • Azure Site Recovery
  • Azure Network Adapter
  • Azure Monitor
  • Azure Update Management
  • and More…

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 your Secured-Core status

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.

Conclusion

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.

Windows Admin Center Community Group on LinkedIn


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#Microsoft Windows Server and SMB Protocol #Winserv #WindowsServer2022

Server Message Block (SMB)

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.

Policy Update successfully.

GPResult /r to see the results.

Get-SmbServerConfiguration | Select EnableSMB1Protocol

or

Get-SmbServerConfiguration

You can still as a administrator enable SMBv1 on your Server with :

Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB1Protocol $true

When the Server gets a reboot, SMBv1 will be disabled by GPO again.

When you have maintenance window for updates for example, you can un-install the SMBv1 Feature in Server Manager. This procedure needs a restart of the Windows Server.

Go to Server Manager remove features.

Click on Remove Roles and Features.

Remove the mark at SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support Feature.

Click on Remove.

Click on Close and Reboot the Server

Now SMBv1 protocol on the Windows Server is disabled and will use a higher version of SMB like version 2.x or 3.x.

More Microsoft information can be found here on Docs.

SMB over QUIC on Windows Server 2022

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.

Here you find a Great blogpost of Ned Pyle

SMB over QUIC: Files Without the VPN

Conclusion

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.


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Windows Admin Center and Windows Server 2022 #Docker Host – Azure Container Instances and #AKS #WAC #Azure #Winserv

Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center runs in a web browser and can manage :

  • Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 11, Windows 10
  • Azure Stack HCI
  • Clusters
  • Containers; Docker, Kubernetes, AKS
  • Azure Virtual Servers, Azure integration via extensions like Azure Monitoring, Azure Security, and much more….
  • Lot of extensions to manage for example third party solutions.

This goes with the locally Windows Admin Center gateway installed on Windows Server or domain-joined Windows 10 /11.

Windows Admin Center Architecture.

Here you find more information about the Install options of Windows Admin Center

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.


You can download Microsoft Windows Admin Center here

Installing Docker Host on Windows Server 2022

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,
Hyper-V Isolation,
Memory,
CPU
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.

The ASP.NET Container in VSCode.
Download Microsoft Visual Studio Code here

(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:

Register your Azure Subscription with Windows Admin Center for Hybrid Benefit.
Here you find more information about Azure integration with Windows Admin Center

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) :

  1. Select your Azure Subscription which is integrated with your Microsoft Windows Admin Center.
  2. Select or Create the Resource Group for your Azure Container Instance.
  3. Give your Container a name.
  4. Select the Region in Microsoft Azure where you want your Azure Container Instance to run.
  5. Availability zones to select.
  6. Select your Image Source, I selected Quickstart images of Microsoft, but you can also select your own Container image.
  7. 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.

 

Setup AKS on Azure Stack HCI with Windows Admin Center

Create your Own locally Azure Stack HCI Cluster with Azure Kubernetes Services

Conclusion

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.

Important:

Some features in Windows Admin Center are preview and not production ready yet, like ACR and ACI Integration I just showed in preview.
Please feel free to provide Microsoft feedback on Windows Admin Center here.

JOIN Windows Admin Center Community Group on LinkedIn