Ignite 2017 @ Orlando Day 1

Today was the first day of Ignite 2017 which was about to kick off with a key note from Satya Nadella. Unfortunately it was a lot of the same slides and info as from Inspire 2017, so it was a bit of a waste of time, and since we had a lot of drinks at some very nice places in Orlando and a sprinkler fight with some InSpark colleague’s the night before it would have been nice to get a couple of more hours of sleep 😉 .

Empower IT and Developer Productivity with Azure
After the keynote i started with the session from Scott Gutherie. It was packed with info but a couple of things besides the session from Corey with Massive VM sizes with 128 Cores and multiple Terrabytes of memory were interesting to me:

  • Update management:
    Update Management is in preview now, and as i noticed in my own subscription not available for all machines, don’t no the prereqs for that yet. But you can enable Update management to scan vm’s for updates it needs on Windows and Llinux. You can also include Onprem Machines. It’s then displayed in a nice dashboard
  • Change Tracking
    With Azure Change Tracking in the OMS suite you can track changes in a VM through Log Analytics on a big nummer of resource. For example on File level, Registry, process and service level. Here to a slick displayed dashboard to get a good overview of what happend.

After a horrible lunch experience the real sessions would start. Here is a quick overview with some valuable take away for myself within my focus

Virtual Machine Diagnostics on Microsoft Azure
This was a short 20 minute session in the OCCC South hall Expo Theather #10. A new powershell script is release to get the health from a VM and output it to a json formated overview. With Get-AzureRMVmHealth.ps1 you can get a quick overview of several details like is my nic up, whats the ip, what port is used for RDP, is the admin account disabled, whats the username, are all vital services for remote access running and lots more! Give it a try with the following command

Get-AzureRmVmHealth.ps1 -resourcegroupname “RSGname” -Name “VMName”

Another new command is available in AzureRM.Compute 3.4.0 which is Invoke-AzureRMVmRunCommand. With this command you can correct error’s that you noticed in the output from the Get-AzureRmVmHealth.ps1. For example if you discover that the admin account is disabled, you can enable it. Or if you find out that the RDP port is for some reason changed to 3390 instead of 3389 you can change it with the Invoke-AzureRmVmRunCommand to restore access to te VM again. Really Cool stuff.

There was also a little part about the serial output option in azure for Linux VM’s. Instead of a screenshot that updates every minute you get a realtime output now! Really helpfull.

Cloud Infrastructure: Enabling New Possibilities Together

Azure Storage Box:
I have used the Azure Import/Export service a couple of times now and it is not that user friendly, also most of the time you need a lot of USB drives to get the job done. With the Azure Storage Box you can hire a 100TB storage system to backup all the data with SMB/Cifs with several supported backup or storage solutions like Veeam, Commvault, Veritas, Netapp and more to the disk, it’s encrypted and a very robust storage device which reduces the change of busted/broken disks.

Azure Policies:
With Azure Policies you can enable Just in Time Access to Azure Iaas VMs. For example you can set a policy that RDP is by default closed on a number or all VM’s. So you cannot connect to the server under normal conditions. I picked RDP but i could also be SSH or any other port. But in case you need it you can request access through Azure Security Center. Based on a set of rules that access is granted for a specific time.

Discover What’s new with Windows Server Management Experience
This sessions was all about Project Honolulu the new server management experience. I did not have the change yet to try it out myself, but what was demonstrated (video not live) looked very promising in regard to speed, looks and usability. There is also an option to write your own extensions to add more features to the interface. Right now there are extensions for Windows Updates, Fail over Cluster Manager, Storage Spaces Direct and Virtual Machine Manager were as for VMM the new Honolulu interface is added to the VMM menu context to open specific parts in the Honolulu interface. In the current months there are working on adding the new Remote desktop interface (RDMi), but also integrate powershell, remote desktop, Azure Backup and more.

Honolulu can be deployed in several topologies were Manage from Anywhere is one of them. Here you are able to access your entire environment from the internet to.

Some other quick features:

  • No AD dependency
  • No Agent’s
  • No IIS it has it’s own light weight HTTPS interface
  • No SQL is required

But it’s not clear yet on if this is just for SMB or also enterprises because there is no agent and caching it could get very nasty performance wise if you add 1000 or more servers to it. If it ends up a decent management tool that you could use for almost all your management tasks this might work, otherwise it’s just another management interface on top of all the others but just smoother looking.

That’s it for day 1, not sure if i have the time to create a blog every day, but i will try and update if possible.

 

Greetings
Pascal


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