A question I often get is ‘why should I use Windows Server Core edition’? This is difficult to manage and I do not like a server without a graphical interface.
The first thing I always tell you is, you DON’T HAVE to do anything, but my advice is to do it. Especially for a number of crucial server roles.
Some advantages of Windows Server Core edition at a glance:
Continue reading “Install and configure ADDS on Windows Server 2022 Core in Azure (Part 2)”
Today, I’m going to show you how to install and configure Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2022 Core edition on Azure.
I’ve used some ARM templates to deploy my two domain controllers in Azure, based on Windows Server 2022 Core edition. These servers are in a separate subnet within my Azure environment. In this example, Í’ve two domain controllers, mss-dc-core001 and mss-dc-core002.
Continue reading “Install and configure ADDS on Windows Server 2022 Core in Azure (Part 1)”
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!
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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.
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!
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: …..’
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
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
Now you’re good to go!!
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. It is easy to configure in just a few steps. By using virtual network peering, it’s possible to easily add Azure Bastion to an existing configuration in Azure.
- Configure a new virtual network for Azure Bastion
- Create a new subnet named ‘AzureBastionSubnet’ required for Azure Bastion
- Configure virtual network peering to your other networks
- Create an Azure Bastion host
- Login in the VM through the Azure portal using Azure Bastion
- See the list of active sessions in the Azure Bastion Host properties
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.
Getting into scripting can be daunting. It’s easier to just use existing scripts found online, but if you choose this route you’ll quickly run into limitations. If you take the time to learn how to create your scripts, trust me, you’ll never look back!
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