Rodney Buike - Founder and original lazy admin.

Daniel Nerenberg - Lazy admin 2.0


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AutoScale Azure Virtual Machines

Well this was interesting.  Autoscaling Azure Websites is pretty easy, simply upgrade to the Standard Tier and configure your auto scale rules.  But what if that website is actually SharePoint and instead of Azure Websites you are using Azure VMs?  That takes a little more effort and a few options, namely Availability Sets and Load Balanced Endpoints.

For the sake of this post I just used the standard Public Virtual IP (VIP) which will work as long as I don’t shut down all the VMs running in the Cloud Service, plus I am just using the domain name.  If you are going to do this in production you should use a Reserved Virtual IP for your cloud service as this will stay the same or use a CNAME to point to your domain name.  To create a reserved VIP for your cloud service you’ll need PowerShell and the

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Azure Subscription Migration

As you might have read TheLazyadmin is now running on Microsoft Azure Websites.  It’s been here for a few months now.  I was initially doing some testing to see how it would go and was using my MSDN subscription.  Recently I’ve gained access to an Enterprise Agreement subscription at work and was encouraged to migrate my site to the company EA.  As my MSDN expired and I was not renewing it I looked into migrating subscriptions.


To migrate a service from one subscription to another you currently have to open a billing support case.  Then, depending on the service(s) being migrated there are a few things you need to take care of.  This is the email you’ll get when you open the request with some information I’ve added.

Here I am providing the process for Data Migration for your reference below. I kindly

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Azure Remote App

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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Must Read - April 2014 Edition 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) 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

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Scaling Azure Web Sites

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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Monitoring Azure Websites

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 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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Custom Domains and Azure Websites

As I stated earlier I migrated 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.

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 10.00.54 AM

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 to

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 4.46.19 PM

Next, in the Azure Management Portal go

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Installing Wordpress on Azure

So the otherday I had a few hours to spare and took it upon myself to finally migrate 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.

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 4.00.11 PM

Selected WordPress (the English one)

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 4.00.56 PM

Next you’ll have to provide some basic information including a globally unique subdomain name under the domain.  You’ll

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Backup Windows to Azure

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 -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 Email Migration - Need To Know

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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