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Archive for the ‘Virtualization’ Category

Azure ASR’s SLA-backed enhanced VMware to Azure solution is now ready to replicate your on-premises workloads to Azure

You heard right. Microsoft has launched an enhanced version of its Azure Site Recovery (ASR) targeted especially for VMware customers.

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The concept of ASR is very simple: organisations will be able to replicate their VMware virtual machines (VMs) to Azure, update and then run them in Azure as a disaster recovery option. They will be charged a small amount by VM but won’t have to pay for compute or storage until the VM is up and running in Azure.

To note, Azure Site Recovery, as part of Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS), enables your organisation to gain control and manage your workloads no matter the source: Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware or OpenStack.

 

Some of the key ASR characteristics:

  • With non-disruptive recovery testing, you can easily test the failover of your VMware virtual machines to Azure within minutes, and validate your workload’s performance in Azure, without impacting on-going replication or the production workload.
  • With ASR-integrated failback, start replicating your Azure virtual machines back to your on-premises ESXi environment, and failback to the original or an alternate location when your on-premises site is once again available for use.
  • Heterogeneous workload support, automated VMware vCenter Server discovery
  • Continuous data protection (CDP), one-click failovers with ASR Recovery Plan
  • Rich health monitoring and e-mail notifications.

I’ve been working with ASR for a while and I definitely recommend it.

Ready to start using ASR? Check out additional product information, to start replicating your workloads to Microsoft Azure using Azure Site Recovery today. You can use the powerful replication capabilities of Site Recovery for 31 days at no charge for every new physical server or virtual machine that you replicate.

You can read the announcement at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ga-enhanced-migration-and-disaster-recovery-for-vmware-virtual-machines-and-physical-servers-to-azure-using-asr/

Technologies that work together to create Microsoft’s SDN solutions

January 10, 2016 1 comment

With the upcoming Windows 2016 and System Center 2016, there will be many technologies that will work together to create Microsoft’s Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions and the best part is that you can already check them by downloading and deploying Windows 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview.

  • Hyper-V Network Virtualization, which enables virtualization of tenant networks on top of a shared physical network infrastructure. , which are being performed by hardware appliances (such as load balancers, firewalls, routers, switches, and so on) are increasingly being virtualized as virtual appliances. Microsoft has virtualized networks, switches, gateways, NATs, load balancers, and firewalls.
  • Network Controller, which provides a centralized, programmable point of automation to manage, configure, monitor, and troubleshoot virtual and physical network infrastructure in your datacenter.
  • RAS Gateway for High Availability and failover, which can be deployed in multitenant mode to provide network traffic routing to and from virtual and physical networks, including the Internet.
  • Software Load Balancing (SLB) for SDN, which can be used to evenly distribute tenant and tenant sub-networks traffic among virtual network resources. The Windows Server SLB enables multiple servers to host the same workload, providing high availability and scalability.
  • Datacenter Firewall. A new service. It is a network layer, 5-tuple (protocol, source and destination port numbers, source and destination IP addresses), stateful, multitenant firewall. When deployed and offered as a service by the service provider, tenant administrators can install and configure firewall policies to help protect their virtual networks from unwanted traffic originating from Internet and intranet networks.
  • Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) and Switch Embedded Teaming (SET). When you use a converged NIC to combine both RDMA and Ethernet traffic using a single network adapter, it will help you reduce the capital expenditures that are associated with each server in your datacenter, because you need fewer network adapters to manage different types of traffic per server.  The converged NIC allows you to use a single network adapter for management, Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA)-enabled storage, and tenant traffic. SET is a NIC Teaming solution that is integrated in the Hyper-V Virtual Switch. SET allows the teaming of up to eight physical NICS into a single SET team, which improves availability and provides failover.
  • Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). When configured Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) provides you with the ability to manage the routing of network traffic between your tenants’ VM networks and their remote sites. BGP reduces the need for manual route configuration on routers because it is a dynamic routing protocol, and automatically learns routes between sites that are connected by using site-to-site VPN connections.
  • System Center. VMM can be used to deploy Software Defined Networks

 

Source: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt590952.aspx

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 TP4 released

Microsoft today announced the release of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4.

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This new build includes new features that enables hybrid datacenter solutions.

The three main features: Hyper-V Containers, Software-defined datacenter capabilities and increase agility and Enhanced management capabilities:

Hyper-V: Now includes an early preview of nested virtualization, along with Direct Device Assignment, and improved PowerShell support for VM upgrades. Nested virtualization can be used in dev and test scenarios and is a key enabling technology for Hyper-V Containers.

  • Networking:  high availability for the network controller, better East-West load balancing, enhanced container networking, and support for live migration. New: Virtual Machine Multi-Queue to enable 10G+ performance.
  • Storage:  Storage Spaces Direct to support all-flash configurations with NVMe SSD and SATA SSD devices, and Erasure Coding for increased storage efficiency. Also in this release, support for Storage Health Service provides easier health monitoring and more streamlined operations, with a single monitoring point per cluster. Storage QoS now supports adjusting the normalization size of the algorithm from the current default 8 KB settings. Additional enhancements are designed for increased control, such as maximum bandwidth settings for a VHD/X.
  • Security: Enhancements to shielded VMs and the Host Guardian Service are directed toward ensuring readiness for production environments. Just Enough Administration, which limits administrator rights for additional security, has been expanded to domain controllers and server maintenance roles.

 

Make innovation easier with Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4.

Core enhancements in System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4 include:

  • Advanced software-defined datacenter support for Windows Server 2016 including new technologies such as patching of hosts while provisioning, simplified logical network creation, scale-out file server with Storage Spaces Direct and SAN storage automation, and improved storage monitoring.
  • Protecting customer IP through shielded VM’s and Guardian Host deployment and management
  • Easy to use monitoring improvements in Operations Manager through data-driven management of alerts and enhanced visualization

Download Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-technical-preview

Download System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-system-center-technical-preview

 

Hybrid Cloud Computing with Microsoft and Red Hat

November 5, 2015 1 comment

Microsoft and Red Hat announced a partnership that will help customers embrace hybrid cloud computing by providing greater choice and flexibility deploying Red Hat solutions on Microsoft Azure.

redhat-msRed Hat Enterprise Linux will be the preferred option for enterprise Linux workloads on Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft Azure will become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider, enabling customers to run their Red Hat Enterprise Linux applications and workloads on Microsoft Azure. Red Hat Cloud Access subscribers will be able to bring their own virtual machine images to run in Microsoft Azure.

Customers will be offered cross-platform, cross-company support spanning the Microsoft and Red Hat offerings in an integrated way, unlike any previous partnership in the public cloud. By co-locating support teams on the same premises, the experience will be simple and seamless, at cloud speed.

Red Hat CloudForms will interoperate with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, offering Red Hat CloudForms customers the ability to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux on both Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure. Support for managing Azure workloads from Red Hat CloudForms is expected to be added in the next few months, extending the existing System Center capabilities for managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux

In addition, Expanding on the preview of .NET on Linux announced by Microsoft in April, developers will have access to .NET technologies across Red Hat offerings, including Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, jointly backed by Microsoft and Red Hat. Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be the primary development and reference operating system for .NET Core on Linux.

Source: http://www.redhat.com/en/about/press-releases/microsoft-and-red-hat-deliver-new-standard-enterprise-cloud-experiences

Cloud domain controller as a services with @Azure AD Domain Services @microsoftenterprise

That’s right Cloud AD as a services. A fully managed domain by Microsoft : Azure AD Domain Services to manage Azure IaaS workloads.

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Azure AD Domain Services It’s a cloud based service which gives you a fully Windows Server Active Directory compatible set of API’s and protocols, delivered as a managed Azure service.

You don’t need to provision a Virtual Machine running Domain Controller on Azure as a IaaS anymore and have those domain controllers synchronize to their on-premises Active Directory servers using a VPN/Expressroute connection.

You can now turn on support for all the critical directory capabilities your application and server VM’s need, including Kerberos, NTLM, GROUP POLICY and LDAP.

For scenarios like Disaster Recovery and hybrid cloud deployments, it is just perfect. It means a full value of Windows Server AD in the cloud domain, without having to deploy, manage, monitor and patch domain controllers.

There are many scenarios that can be explored with this new feature.

You can enable Azure AD Domain Services for any existing Azure AD tenant – the same tenant you use with Office 365 or other SaaS applications. Azure AD Domain Services are available now.

For pricing, please check : http://azure.microsoft.com/pricing/details/active-directory-ds/

To start:

  1. You already deployed Azure AD Connect (to sync identity information from the on-premises Active Directory to your Azure AD tenant. This includes user accounts, their credential hashes for authentication (password sync) and group memberships)
  2. Create the ‘AAD DC Administrators’ group and then add all users who need to be administrators on the managed domain to it. These administrators will be able to join machines to the domain and to configure group policy for the domain.
  3. Configure the Network. Select or create the Azure virtual network you’d like to make domain services available in. Ensure the following:
    • The virtual network belongs to a region supported by Azure AD Domain Services. See the region page for details.
    • Ensure the virtual network is a regional virtual network and doesn’t use the legacy affinity groups mechanism.
    • Ensure your workloads deployed in Azure Infrastructure services are connected to this virtual network

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  4. Enable Azure AD Domain Services for your Azure AD tenant, by going to the Configure tab of your Directory, selecting Yes on ‘Enable Domain Services for This Domain’, specifying the domain name and selecting the Azure Virtual Network. Click on Save to confirm.
  5. Update DNS settings for the Azure virtual network to point to the new IP address of the Azure AD Domain Services you just enabled.
  6. Enable synchronization of legacy credential hashes to Azure AD Domain Services. This is a required step. By default, Azure AD does not store the credential hashes required for NTLM/Kerberos authentication. You need to populate these credential hashes in Azure AD so users can use them to authenticate against the domain.
     Done. In simple tasks yu setup your AD as a Services in Azure.
 A few notes:

A few salient aspects of the managed domain that is provisioned by Azure AD Domain Services are as follows:

  • This is a stand-alone managed domain. It is NOT an extension of your on-premises domain.
  • You won’t  need to manage, patch or monitor this this managed domain.
  • There is no need to manage AD replication to this domain. User accounts, group memberships and credentials from your on-premises directory are already synchronized to Azure AD via Azure AD Connect.
  • Since the domain is managed by Azure AD Domain Services, there is no Domain Administrator or Enterprise Administrator privileges on this domain.

Challenges of Cloud Adoption

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The Cloud approach addresses elastic scale, agility, costs and time to market, by allowing organizations not only to deploy a solution quickly but also to scale up/down based on demand. Cloud adoption is sky rocketing, there’s no doubt about it. However, when it comes to investments in the Cloud, how are you planning and assessing business and IT requirements?

  • Is your current IT infrastructure and resources meeting the required business SLA’s?
  • How you foreseeing capacity issues?
  • Are you connecting IT resources to business outcomes and unifying IT processes with business cycles?
  • How does your business maintain the system availability and resilience?
  • How are you maximizing the utilization of the resources within your IT infrastructure? 

With this whitepaper, we will help you find the answer to those questions, covering the challenges in deployment, management and automation phases with some tips and considerations.

 Download the whitepaper

You can also register for Savision’s complimentary webinar, presented by MVP Alessandro Cardoso on Adopting the Cloud. The webinar will be presented by MVP Alessandro Cardoso, and will be co-hosted by Savision’s co-founder and VP of Product Management, Dennis Rietvink.

Register for the webinar:

September 9 at 9:00 am CEST | 5:00 pm AEST

Is System Center Operations Manager still relevant in the Cloud?

EXCLUSIVE Whitepaper: Is OpsMgr still relevant in the Cloud by MVP Cameron Fuller

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The addition of the Cloud has truly changed how we monitor in Microsoft solutions. In this whitepaper, Microsoft MVP Cameron Fuller tackles the elephant in the room and answers the question of the relevance of Operations Manager. Find out whether Operations Manager is still relevant in the world of the Cloud
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