Free ebook: Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure, Second Edition

This book focuses on providing essential information about the key services of Azure for developers and IT professionals who are new to cloud computing. Detailed, step-by-step demonstrations are included to help the reader understand how to get started with each of the key services. This material is useful not only for those who have no prior experience with Azure, but also for those who need a refresher and those who may be familiar with one area but not others. Each chapter is standalone; there is no requirement that you perform the hands-on demonstrations from previous chapters to understand any particular chapter.


Download the free eBook here.

How to: Resize hard disk in Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

Resizing a virtual hard disk in Azure Resource Manager is really easy to do through the Azure Managent Portal. In a few clicks you can extend the virtual hard disk size. Note that the VM should be turned off!! So you need to plan a maintenance window!!
You can also extend the virtual hard disk with PowerShell. In this example I’ve extended the data disk from 25 to 30 GB.

# Specify the VM
$VM = Get-AzureRmVM -ResourceGroupName MSS-DEMO -VMName MSS-DEMO-DC01
# Set the new size of the data disk
Set-AzureRmVMDataDisk -VM $VM -Name MSS-DEMO-DC01-20160801-100246 -DiskSizeInGB 30
# View the new size of the data disk(s)
# Update the configuration in Azure
Update-AzureRmVM -VM $VM -ResourceGroupName MSS-DEMO

2016-08-01_10h31_33    2016-08-01_09h45_27    2016-08-01_10h11_55

2016-08-01_10h12_18    2016-08-01_10h25_33    2016-08-01_10h25_49

2016-08-01_10h31_15     2016-08-01_10h32_11    2016-08-01_10h33_23

1.) Login to the Azure Management Portal
2.) Check the current size of the data disk. In my example 25 GB
3.) Start PowerShell and login to your Azure subscription
4.) Change the data disk to the new value
5.) Update the configuration to Azure
6.) Check the new size of the data disk with PowerShell or within the Azure Management Portal.
In my example the new size is 30 GB.


Microsoft Azure Cloud Services Overview

This dashboard gives you a overview of all the services within Microsoft Azure. When you select one of the services, you’ll get an URL to pricing, SLA, documentation and some more stuff. Very useful to understand the power of Microsoft Azure.


Download the Cloud Services Overview here


Free eBook: A Hyper-V First Aid Kit Troubleshooting 5 common issues

Altaro released a free eBook “A Hyper-V First Aid Kit – Troubleshooting 5 Common Issues”. This eBook is very useful for troubleshooting your Hyper-V environment. This eBook covers the 5 common issues in an Hyper-V environment and some examples. Also some very useful scripts and command.


Download the free eBook now!


How to: Create multiple VM’s in Hyper-V within a few seconds

Automation is one of my favorite things. Some actions are just time consuming, so let’s automate these things!! For example, create a demo environment within Hyper-V. This environment needs 8 VM’s. With a few lines of code, this is realy easy to automate, off course with PowerShell.

## Create 8 Gen2 Virtual Machines
## 4 vCPU per VM
## 1 GB per VM
## C: drive 50 GB Dynamic
## D: drive 50 GB Dynamic
## NIC renamed to MGMT
$vSwitchName01 = "NIC - PRI"
$InstallRoot = "E:\DEMO"
$VMName = "HV-0"

## How much VM's 1..8 = 8 VM's
1..4 | % {
New-VHD -Path ($InstallRoot + "\$VMName" + "$_\" + "\$VMName" + "$_" + "_C.vhdx") -SizeBytes 50GB -Dynamic
New-VHD -Path ($InstallRoot + "\$VMName" + "$_\" + "\$VMName" + "$_" + "_D.vhdx") -SizeBytes 50GB -Dynamic
New-VM -VHDPath ($InstallRoot + "\$VMName" + "$_\" + "\$VMName" + "$_" + "_C.vhdx") -Generation 2 -MemoryStartupBytes 1GB -Name ("$VMName" + "$_") -Path $InstallRoot -SwitchName $vSwitchName01

Set-VMProcessor -VMName ("$VMName" + "$_") -Count 4
Set-VM -VMName ("$VMName" + "$_") -AutomaticStopAction ShutDown -AutomaticStartAction StartIfRunning
Enable-VMIntegrationService ("$VMName" + "$_") -Name "Guest Service Interface"

Rename-VMNetworkAdapter -VMName ("$VMName" + "$_") -NewName "MGMT"
Set-VMNetworkAdapter -VMName ("$VMName" + "$_") -Name "MGMT" -DeviceNaming On

Add-VMScsiController -VMName ("$VMName" + "$_")
Add-VMHardDiskDrive -VMName ("$VMName" + "$_") -ControllerType SCSI -ControllerNumber 1 -ControllerLocation 0 -Path ($InstallRoot + "\$VMName" + "$_\" + "\$VMName" + "$_" + "_D.vhdx")

Start-VM -Name ("$VMName" + "$_") | Out-Null

Within a few seconds, I’ve 8 VM’s up and running.

2016-03-23_10h10_00    2016-03-23_10h10_44    2016-03-23_10h11_23

/ Happy Automation!

Free Whitepaper: Understand Microsoft Hyper Converged Solution

This whitepaper is written by Romain Serre and Charbel Nemnom which describes Microsoft Hyper-Converged solution in Windows Server 2016 using Storage Spaces Direct, Hyper-V and network technologies. The second part of this document shows an example of this implementation.


This document is written with my friend Charbel Nemnom which covers Hyper-Converged architecture in Windows Server 2016. This document describes technologies related to Microsoft Hyper-Converged model based on Storage Spaces Direct (S2D), Storage Quality of Service, ReFS, Hyper-V, Nano Server and some networking features such as RDMA, Switch Embedded Teaming (SET) and SMB.

In the second part of this document, we walk you through a step by step process on how to implement this solution on top of four virtual Nano Servers fully automated.

This document is with regards to the last Microsoft public information and the latest build of Windows Server 2016, we want to emphasize that this whitepaper will also be updated as we move forward to keep up with all the great things that is happening in the Microsoft CloudOS Platform.

We hope you find this document useful and helpful. If you have any questions, comments or errata you find in this whitepaper are welcome and encouraged.

Table of Contents:
Credit Page
Software-Defined Networking
Software-Defined Compute
Software-Defined Storage
Nano Server
Windows Server 2016 Licensing
Implementation Guideline
Nano Server Deployments
Storage Spaces Direct Deployments
Host a VM on the solution
Storage Quality of Service

Free WhitePaper: Storage Efficiencies with Hyper-V at the Virtual and Physical Layer

Thin provisioning, UNMAP and checkpoints/snapshots are powerful technologies when used wisely. And to truly benefit, we must master them. This will allow us to better deliver storage and offer data protection.

While these technologies can be used at the physical layer (storage array), at the virtual layer (Hyper-V) or a combination of both, what we choose depends on the environment, budget and workloads. They offer:

  • cost reduction
  • operational benefits in ease of use
  • operational benefits in speed of recovering to points in time
  • operational benefits in offering data to Development Operations (DevOps) teams

This white paper will help you understand these concepts better in order to make better decisions for your needs.