Download Microsoft Ignite 2017 session content

This script can download all the Microsoft Ignite slidedecks and videos that are available from the Ignite portal. Very useful if you want to watch all the movies and sessions once again!! In this example I’ll download only the sessions with the keyword “IaaS”. But you can also download all the content, or just by title, speaker, etc.

Download the script from Microsoft Gallery here.


\Get-IgniteSession.ps1 -DownloadFolder C:\Ignite2017 -Keyword "IaaS"

Microsoft Ignite 2017 Orlando, Florida!!

Within a couple of days, I’ll be visiting Microsoft Ignite 2017 in Orlando, Florida. With a lot of great content, it will be a great event!! I’ve already schedule my sessions and figured out some partners and companies I want to visit.

The main focus for this week is, Microsoft Azure (IaaS and PaaS). Hope to see you guys in Florida!! If you want to meet somewhere, please contact me by e-mail or Twitter! @Mark_Swinkels.

Microsoft Azure Architecture Center overview

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The Microsoft Azure Architecture Center is the place when you want to start building Cloud Services in Azure or to start using Hybrid Cloud technologies.All the things you need to know are available within the Azure Architecture Center:

  • Architecture Guides:
  • Reference Architectures;
  • Design Patterns;
  • Best Practices;
  • Design Review Checklists;
  • Scenario Guides;
  • And many, many, many more…….

Start here your Microsoft Cloud Journey with Azure Architecture Center

Veeam – 750 euro in FREE Cloud Services

Over 200,000 businesses rely on Veeam® for comprehensive, on-premises data protection. With this new program Veeam and its Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) partners provide a simple and cost effective way for customers to try backup and disaster recovery in the Cloud.

By using a VCSP, customers can avoid the cost and complexity of building and maintaining an off-site infrastructure while meeting their business and regulatory requirements for off-site backup and disaster recovery.

Extend Availability to the Cloud with Veeam Cloud Connect and Veeam partners to ensure your business remains Always-On™!

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5nine AzSec for Azure Security

5nine AzSec - Azure Security Simplified

5nine AzSec is an intuitive standalone application that creates, maintains and manages inbound/outbound traffic rules for virtual machines in Azure. Firewall log data is collected, displayed and managed in a central console.

5nine Cloud Security with AzSec is a bundled offering that includes 5nine Cloud Security and 5nine AzSec. This integrated solution enables hybrid cloud administrators to manage firewall rules, alerts and logs across Azure and Hyper-V environments from a single access point.

  • Easy Firewall Configuration: Apply firewall rules in a single step instead of using complex scripts or the Azure portal.
  • Automate Firewall Rule Configuration: Built-in templates enable you to easily apply firewall rules and reduce the risk of misconfiguration for virtual machines running in the Azure environment.
  • Simplify Anomaly Discovery: The firewall log export allows you to view and analyze firewall log data right from within the 5nine Cloud Security Anomaly Analysis module, and export logs to Splunk or other SIEM systems.
  • Monitor Azure from One Location: Review your Azure subscription resource groups, status, usage and billing summary from within 5nine’s interface.
  • Consolidate Hybrid Cloud Management: Configure firewall rules and view log data across Azure and Hyper-V environments from a single access point.*

 

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List all VM sizes in Microsoft Azure per Location

Sometimes it’s realy useful to list all the different VM sizes in Microsoft Azure for one Location, for example ‘West Europe’. You can see for example: the VM size, the number of cores, Memory, Max disk count, OS disk size, Resource disk size, etc.

Very powerful to have an overview when choosing the right virtual machine within Microsoft Azure IaaS.


## Login to your subscription using PowerShell
Login-AzureRmAccount
## List all VM sizes in Location 'West Europe'
Get-AzureRmVMSize -Location 'West Europe'

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How to: Implementing Storage Spaces insides Azure Virtual Machines

Within an Azure Virtual Machine, you should never store your (personal) data on the C: drive or the temporary disk. You can attach new storage disks to the virtual machine, how many disks depends on the VM size you’ve choosen.

View all VM sizes in Microsoft Azure:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/virtual-machines-windows-sizes

In my example I’ve choosen the ‘DS1v2’ VM size, so I can attach two extra (premium storage) disks. Because the maximum size of an disk in Microsoft Azure is 1023 GB, I’ve created multiple disks. Both disks are attached to the virtual machine and we’re going to implement Storage Spaces within the virtual machine. Storage Spaces is software defined storage (SDS) from Windows Server 2012 R2 and above.

Storage Spaces is a built-in Windows Server Role. When combining all the data disks, you can create one, or more, big data volumes in your Windows Virtual Machine. Extremely powerful for example file servers.

1.) First of all I’ve created a new virtual machine using the Azure Portal

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2.) Next I’ve created two new disks (premium storage – SSD) with tthe size of 1023 GB.

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3.) Next I’ve logged in into the new created virtual machine and configured Storage Spaces.

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4.) The next step is to create a new virtual disk

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5.) The final step is to create the new volume for storing your data on.

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As you can see, there’s a new volume of 2 TBwithin the virtual machine. If you’re changing the size of the virtual machine, it is also possible to add some more disks to the virtual machine and extend the Storage Spaces with more terabytes!!

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Altaro VM Backup v7

A couple of weeks ago Altaro has released the new version of Altaro VM Backup v7. Within this version there’re some great new enhancements and features. Here are some of the new features and enhancements:

  • Boot from Backup
  • Support for Windows Server 2016
  • Augmented Inline Deduplication

With all these great new features and enhancements, Altaro VM Backup is a really nice solution for backup and disaster recovery in your virtual environment.

Altaro Offsite Server existed in the previous version, but was improved and has also an upgraded user interface.

Installation process:
The installation process of Altaro VM Backup v7 is really, really easy. In just a few steps, the installation is done. Really easy, really fast and just within a couple of minutes you’re ready to rock! If the Windows Firewall is turned on, all the necessary ports are configured automatically for you. After succesfully completing the installation, you can launch the management console. From this console you can perform all the configuration and management.

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Configuration:
When you start the console the first time, there’s is quick wizard. In three easy steps, you can configure the software and you’re ready to make the first backups!

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Three steps during the quick wizard:

  • Step 1 – Add Host
    Add your hypervisor to the configuration. It could be a standalone server or cluster environment (Hyper-V or VMware). Within the new version there’s also support for Windows Server 2016!
  • Step 2 – Backup Locations
    Add some backup locations to the configuration. You can choose the following options:
    Physical Drive: USB, eSATA, iSCSI, Internal Drive
    Network Path LAN Only: Network Drive, NAS or other Network Location
    Offsite Locations: Mostly used for Disaster Recovery
    Option 1: Altaro Offsite Server over WAN/Internet Connection
    Option 2: Local backups are copied to one or more rotating drivers.

Simply add one or more backup locations and ‘drag and drop’ the VM’s to one of the backup locations.

  •  Step 3 – Take Backup
    When you take the first backup of your VM’s, they will be assigned to the default retention policy of two weeks on both Backups and Office Copies. You can change the retention to assign a different policy or create a new custom policy that meets your business goals. The default retention policies are ‘Never delete’, ‘2 weeks’ (default), ‘1 month’ or ‘6 months’.

By default the VM’s are not assigned to a backup schedule. There are two backup schedules available out of the box.

  1. 20.00 on Sa and Su
  2. 22.00 on Mo, Tu, We, Th and Fr

Off course you can create your own backup schedule or multiples schedules to meet your business goals. Easily drag and drop your virtual machines to the right schedule to assign that particular virtual machine to the schedule.

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Augmented Inline Deduplication
In pre-version 7 there was also a ‘deduplication’ technology called ‘Reverse Delta’. It’s not exactly the same technique as deduplication, but it served the same purpose. On a VM basis only the most recent data is placed in the most recent backup file. So this will save a lot of diskspace on a VM basis.

With the new version there’s a great new technology called ‘Augmented Inline Deduplication’. The backup operations are not only quicker, but far more efficient for storage as well. It will dedupe data across all your backed-up workloads!! All the backups are stored in a central repository and using a hash database to keep track of the deduped blocks. For example, 20 servers with Windows Server 2016 installed, there’re some similar files and data within each server. With the new Augmented Inline Deduplication technology, the similar files and data is only stored once!! And remember, the process occurs inline. This means that the process runs during the backup, not afterwards!!

So you don’t need to send more data to your backup repository then needed and it’s amazing fast! In my example I’ve 6 Windows Server 2016 virtual machines. When you look at the overall deduplication status, I saved about 88% percent on my storage. So this is incredibly efficient and the backup operations are really fast!

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Dashboard

When you start the management console, you’ll see the main dashboard. You can see the most important things in one overview (Backup drive status, Active & upcoming Operations, Deduplication & Compression status, Recent Operations). It’s a really powerful dashboard with all the information in one overview.

Free Up Disk Space
It might be useful to delete some older backups. You can easy start a wizard, so you can delete previous backups within a few steps. Most of the time you use this option if you’re low on diskspace.

Boot from Backup
A great new feature within the new release of Altaro VM Backup is ‘Boot from Backup’. Now it is possible to boot a virtual machine directly from your backup. There are two options available, ‘Verification Mode’ or ‘Recovery Mode’.

The verification mode is very useful just to verify your backup is useful to recover from. The second option is to start a virtual machine directly from the backup, but also performing a full recovery of that virtual machine (Disaster Recovery). As soon as the VM is booted, a full restore operation takes place in the background.

When choosing the ‘Verification Mode’ the virtual machine will be booted directly from the backup location. Also you can enable ‘Disable network card’. So the new machine is fully isolated from your production environment!
From the console, you can connect to the specific virtual machine and login to the VM. After choosing ‘Discard VM’ the virtual machine will be shutdown and removed from your hypervisor (Hyper-V in my example). Very powerful to use without interrupting your production environment.

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Sandbox & Verification
The Sandbox Restore feature allows you to test your virtual machines backups using a ‘Sandbox approach’ to ensure that the live original virtual machine is nog corrupted. This feature gives you two options:

  1. Verify Backup Folders. Verify your backup folders without attaching the virtual machines to the hypervisor. This should be used to verify the integrity of the data stored on the backup drive.
  2. Perform Full Test Restore. Performing a full test restore allows you to verify your backup data for a virtual machine as well as restore it to disk as a clone and attach it to the hypervisor to Ensure that it boots. This will not effect your live virtual machines!!

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You can also schedule some ‘Test Drills’ so the whole sandboxing process is automated for you on a given time. Very powerful to guarantee the integrity of your data and virtual machines.

File Level Restore
If you want to restore only some files or data to your virtual machine, but not the whole VM and configuration, you can use ‘File Level Restore’. From the wizard you can select the specific virtual machine, the back-up to restore from and the data you want to restore. Next you’ve to choose a local folder or a network folder where to extract the files.

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Altaro Offsite Server (Master Encryption Key):
When you’re creating a backup of your virtual machines, the data is on one single location. For disaster recovery it could be very useful to replicate the data also to another external location. In case of a disaster, you can boot directly from the ‘offsite server’ and your workloads are up and running again.

You need to configure an offsite location. This could be a physical disk, USB disk, LAN location or even a external location connected through the WAN (the Internet). In my environment I’ve attached some physical disks. Configure the new location and simply drag and drop the virtual machines to the new location. In my environment I only need two server: the domain controller (HV2016-DC01) and my webserver (HV2016-WEB01). All the other servers are included in the normal backup window.

One very important feature is ‘Master Encryption Key’. The Master Encryption Key is used for Offsite copies of all virtual machines & backups of any virtual machines which have been configured to use Encryption. Note: Encryption is disabled by default.

From the management console you can select the specific servers you want to copy to the offsite location and start the copy operations. Also very fast, very easy and powerful! Within a couple of minutes the virtual machines are copied to the offsite location(s). The speed depends on the bandwidth to the offsite location. Also in the offsite copies data deduplication is used.

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Conclusion:
Altaro VM Backup v7 is easy to install and configure. Within 15 minutes the first backup can be made. With some great new features and enhancements like ‘Windows Server 2016 support’, ‘Boot from backup’, ‘Offsite Server’, ‘File Level Restore’, ‘Sandbox & Verification’ and personally the greatest new feature Augmented Inline Deduplication, this version is a really nice solution to protect for virtual environment including disaster recovery.

Looking to the future, there could be ‘more’ cloud support, for example Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). Currently you can set up Altaro Offsite Server on Microsoft Azure. When you can backup virtual machines directly from Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS), this software should even more powerful and you have all the things you need to meet your business goals!

If you have any questions or you want to use Altaro VM Backup in your own environment, you can download the software and use it free for 30 days or completely free for 2 VM’s!!