Microsoft Azure is coming fast and furious with new and enhanced features and functionality on what seems like a daily basis. One that caught my eye, as a former TS Admin in what seems like a previous lifetime, is Remote App.
“Azure RemoteApp can be used by IT to enable employees to securely access their corporate applications from a variety of devices (including mobile devices like iPads and Phones). Applications can be scaled up or down quickly without expensive infrastructure costs and management complexity.”
As more and more users go mobile we are still tasked with providing them the applications they require to get the job done. Email, IM, file services are easy to provide and even Office apps are available to all thanks to the release of Office for iPad, iPhone, Android and of course Windows Phone. Where the challenge lies is with the custom applications or applications that can’t
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Thelazyadmin.com has been around for almost 10 years and has covered a variety of topics, mostly things I am interested in or am working with. That said there are TONS of other great resources that I follow and read and I’ve been thinking about sharing some of the great tips and tricks others have written. I’ve tossed around the idea for a while and going forward will do this on a monthly basis. This is mostly stuff that I find cool and interesting and all with a TLA how-to kind of feature! That said here is the April 2014 edition of Must Read (I figured that was a better title than Shit You Should Read)
Thelazyadmin.com April 2014 Articles – Hey I am still allowed to pimp my own stuff! This month has been all about Azure
Build a Step By Step Hyper-V and VMM Lab with Powershell – This
Continue reading Must Read – April 2014 Edition
One of the benefits, outside of cost and lower admin responsibilities, of an Azure Web Site over a VM running web services is scalability. With an Azure Web Site you can easily scale your web site up or down as required. There are three options when it comes to scaling your website depending on the level of service you have for your website.
- Shared – Manual configuration of up to six (6) instances
- Basic – Manual configuration of up to three (3) VM sizes and up to three (3) instances
- Standard – Automatic scaling of up to three (3) VM sizes and up to ten (10) instances based on schedules and/or CPU
To configure scaling for a Shared Azure Web Site simply log in to the Azure Management Portal, select the web instance and click on Scale then drag the slider to show the number of instances and click Save.
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With your website running in Azure you can take advantage of some of the basic monitoring and alerting capabilities that Azure provides to keep track of usage, performance and any HTTP related errors. You may want to monitor the web site for basic information such as Data Out and CPU time as those are two metrics that will affect billing. Another reason you’ll want to monitor these is to ensure your websites aren’t stopped when you exceed your resource usage. I’m running Thelazyadmin.com via my MSDN account which has $110/month in free credits and a $0 spending limit. Now I have no worries as this account runs the website and a few demos here and there but it could be a concern for larger production websites.
When you open up the Azure Management Portal and browse to your Azure Web Site instance you will see a Monitor tab, click that and
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As I stated earlier I migrated Thelazyadmin.com to Azure Web Sites. The WordPress install and migration went smooth and the last thing I had to do was update DNS. You will need your website to be running in Shared, Basic or Standard modes and you can edit this under Scale for your web site instance.
The first thing you need to do is add the domain you want to use to your Azure Web Site instance. Before you can add the domain you’ll need to add a verification record to your DNS Zone File for the domain. I host my DNS at GoDaddy so I logged in and created a CNAME record to point awverify.thelazyadmin.com to awverify.thelazyadmin.azurewebsites.net.
Next, in the Azure Management Portal go
Continue reading Custom Domains and Azure Websites
So the otherday I had a few hours to spare and took it upon myself to finally migrate Thelazyadmin.com from a Windows Server 2008 VM to Azure Web Sites. Why? Well for one I was getting tired of having to apply updates and patches to the Windows OS and SQL database on the server and it never really worked 100%. Sure the front end was fine but there were some nagging backend issues that I was too lazy to fix. In the end it was a good hour of effort. To start I simply created a blank WordPress install on Azure.
Selected WordPress (the English one)
Next you’ll have to provide some basic information including a globally unique subdomain name under the azurewebsites.net domain. You’ll
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One of the easiest access points to Azure is storage. It is ridiculously cheap, easy to leverage and a great way to get your feet wet with Azure. Azure Recovery Services allows you to backup Windows Server Backup or System Center DPM to Azure for roughly (at the time of this writing) $0.30/GB per month with the first 5GB free. This also includes network traffic inbound as well as outbound (aka data restores). To get started you’ll need the following:
- Microsoft Azure Subscription
- Management Certificates
- Windows Server 2012
- Azure Backup Agent
Setting up an Azure subscription is easy and once you have that the first step is to create a certificate. You can create a self signed certificate easily using the MAKECERT tool.
makecert.exe -r -pe -n CN=AzureBackupCert -ss my -sr localmachine -eku 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.2 -len 2048 -e 01/01/2018 AzureBackup.cer
With the CER file created the next step is to create the Backup Vault. Log in to the
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Office 365 offers some very compelling reasons to move your organization’s email to the cloud. From easier management, lower costs to providing the latest and greatest experience to your end users it makes a lot of sense. We are seeing more and more Office 365 adoption across the board from smaller organizations to large, global organizations. Microsoft is also making it easy with training, deployment incentives and ever decreasing cost per mailbox. Before you jump on board there are a few things you need to know…
Hybrid Deployments – Unless you are a very small organization moving everything to Office 365 (i.e. a SBS replacement) you will be deploying a hybrid solution with at minimum one Exchange 2010 SP3 or better server. The Office 365 portal does not give you the full set of management features you are used to having with an on-premises Exchange server. Some of the daily tasks
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A while back Microsoft made an announcement stating that you would only be billed for VMs that were running. This was a big step as previous to this you paid for a VM whether it was running or not. That said there seems to be some confusion around what “running” is in the Azure cloud.
A VM can be in one of four different states:
- Running (Provisioning) – when you first create a VM in Azure, as it is going through the deployment process it will be in this state.
- Running – once deployed and started the VM will be in the running state.
- Stopped – if you shut down a VM via an RDP session, or are rebooting, the VM will go into this state
- Stopped (Deallocated) – if you shut down a VM via the Azure Management Portal or the API it will release all it’s resources and shutdown
Now you might think that
Continue reading Azure IaaS VM Billing
With PowerShell the defacto standard for Windows management I’ve started digging into it a little more as I need to. Recently I had to use PS to seize the FSMO roles from a failed DC. Now in my lab I only had two DCs, DC01 and DC02. DC01 was the first and therefore held the FSMO roles and I didn’t need to do anything to figure out where they were.
But in a larger environment you may need to run the following commands to determine where the roles are held. There are two commands we need to use, Get-ADForest for the Schema Master and Domain Naming Master roles and Get-ADDomain for the PDC Emulator, RID Master and Infrastructure Master roles.
Now you could look the role holders up in your documentation (you have documented this right?) but it might be quicker to fire up PowerShell and run the following commands:
Get-ADForest <domain_name> |
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