Free eBook – How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center – Second Edition

If you have experience with the Windows Admin Center, you might already have deduced it is a powerhouse of functionality making light of important server management tasks. If you’re just adding it to your system administrator toolbox, welcome to the wonder of Windows Admin Center!

With so much functionality, figuring out where to focus is key. Whether you’re just setting out with Windows Admin Center or wanting to realize its full potential, start with Altaro’s free 160+ page second edition eBook, How To Get The Most Of The Windows Admin Center.

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Written by Microsoft Cloud & Datacenter Management MVP Eric Siron, it covers the latest developments like the Control Azure Stack HCI, use of WinRM over HTTPs and integration with Azure Monitor, amongst others. It’s a comprehensive guide on everything from installation methods and security considerations to integrating Windows Admin Center into an existing environment. There is even a brief history lesson along with a comparison to alternatives so you should get a solid overview of Windows Admin Center, why chose it and how to work with it.

An all-new server management experience when it was introduced, Windows Admin Center modernized administrative activities with a centralized HTML 5 web application. Just add servers, clusters, desktops, and Azure virtual machines into a personalized, persistent interface, and manage their roles, features, software, registry, PKI certificates, and more. And with Microsoft’s latest investment into the Windows Admin Center and new functionality, there is now even more server management power to work with.

Learn to simplify and optimize your server management tasks – Download your free eBook now!

Enable Azure Hybrid Benefit with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

In Azure, you have the option to bring in your own licenses (Azure Hybrid Benefit). If you deploy a virtual machine using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, this option is not enabled by default. Certainly for test environments, demos, but in many cases also production environments, you want to enable this option.

By adding the line below to your ARM template, the Azure Hybrid Benefit is enabled.

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Remove DVD drive on Azure virtual machine

When you deploy a new virtual machine, for example Windows Server 2016/2019 or 2022, you’ll get the C: drive with the operating system, the D: drive for the TEMP storage (most of the VM types) and a DVD drive.

The DVD drive is not needed in some situations, for example on domain controllers. This type of servers you want to harden the security as much as possible. So, for domain controllers we’re deploying in our customer environments, we want to disable the DVD drive.

We run the following command when deploying new domain controllers in Azure.

## Disable DVD drive
Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\cdrom -Name Start -Value 4 -Type DWord

After this step, reboot the server and your DVD drive is gone!

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Error: ‘User failed validation to purchase resources’ when deploying a virtual machine

Today I’ve deployed a new virtual machine within Azure using the Windows Server 2022 Azure Edition Preview Marketplace image. After running my Powershell script, I received an error:
’User failed validation to purchase resources. Error message: ‘You have not accepted the legal terms on this subscription: …..’

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So, let’s take a look at the legal terms, also using Powershell. I’ve used a couple of variables.

$azureVmPublisherName = "MicrosoftWindowsServer"
$azureVmOffer = "microsoftserveroperatingsystems-previews"
$azureVmSkus = "windows-server-2022-azure-edition-preview"
$Version = "latest"


Get-AzMarketplaceTerms -Publisher $azureVmPublisherName -Product $azureVmOffer -Name $azureVmSkus

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As you can see, the legal terms are not accepted yet!! With a small Powershell command, we can accept the legal terms.

Get-AzMarketplaceTerms -Publisher $azureVmPublisherName -Product $azureVmOffer -Name $azureVmSkus | Set-AzMarketplaceTerms -Accept

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Now you’re good to go!!

Use Azure Bastion to access your virtual machine in Azure

As most of you know, it’s possible to provide a virtual machine in Azure with a public IP address. This IP address can then be used to build a connection to, for example, RDP or SSH.

This way of connecting takes place over the Internet, which entails a great security risk. In many environments we see jumpbox or stepping stone servers, which are placed in the DMZ. These servers can be accessed from the Internet, and from these servers a connection can be made to a server or multiple servers on the internal network.

Such an arrangement is not safe, unmanageable and vulnerable. Azure Bastion is a great addition to facilitate a secure connection to a virtual machine in Azure. Azure Bastion integrates into the Azure portal, requiring multi-factor authentication. The virtual machines do not need to have a public IP address, so they are not accessible directly from the Internet.

Azure Bastion is a fully managed, autoscaling and hardened PaaS service, to provide you secure RDP and SSH connectivity. Het is eenvoudig te configureren in slechts een aantal stappen. Door gebruik te maken van virtueel netwerk peering, is het mogelijk om Azure Bastion eenvoudig toe te voegen aan een bestaande configuratie in Azure.

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  1. Configure a new virtual network for Azure Bastion
  2. Create a new subnet named ‘AzureBastionSubnet’ required for Azure Bastion
  3. Configure virtual network peering to your other networks
  4. Create an Azure Bastion host
  5. Login in the VM through the Azure portal using Azure Bastion
  6. See the list of active sessions in the Azure Bastion Host properties

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Now you can securely connect through Azure Bastion to a virtual machine running RDP or SSH. As you can see, the virtual machine I’m connecting to has no public IP address, only a internal IP address.

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Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge 2021

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During this month (March 2021), you can do the ‘Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge to earn a free Microsoft Exam voucher for the following exams:

AZ-104: Microsoft Azure Administrator
DP-100: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure
MS-700: Managing Microsoft Teams
MS-100: Microsoft 365 Identity and Services
MS-101: Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security
DA-100: Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI
SC-200: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst
SC-300: Microsoft Identity and Access Administrator
SC-400: Microsoft Information Protection Administrator

This is a great opportunity to raise your knowledge and get one Microsoft exam for free!

You can find register and find more information about the challenge in the link below!
https://csc.docs.microsoft.com/ignite/officialrules/March2021

Free ebook ‘Azure for Architects’

Do you want to know all the ins and outs about cloud computing. What is the cloud? What is Azure? What kind of functionalities and concepts are available within this cloud?

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You’ll find all  the answers in this great free ebook ‘Azure for Architecs’.

Download the free ebook here.