Friday, May 27, 2016

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 103

Join myself and co-host, Azure Technical Specialist Marc Kean, as we take a closer look at the backup options available from Azure. We speak about things such as Azure Backup for files and folders, backup for applications and especially Azure Site Recovery. There is of course coverage of the latest cloud news from the world of Microsoft as well as details about technologies such as Azure Resources Manager.

As always don't forget to send us you questions and feedback as well as leaving review to help grow our audience. We appreciate you taking the time to listen.

or can listen to this episode at:

http://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-103-azure-backup-and-recovery/

or subscribe to this and all episodes in iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me anyfeedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

Marc Kean

Robert Crane

Windows 10 app for OneDrive

Skype for Business for Mac

Microsoft Gigjam

Azure Recovery Service Vault goes GA

Azure Cool Storage

Azure Backup for Files and Folders

Azure Backup for Applications

ARM Azure Site Recovery [VIDEO] - Part 1

ARM Azure Site Recovery [VIDEO] - Part 2

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Azure Backup for Applications

In a previous article I showed how the first step into Azure is typically to use Azure backup for files and folders. I also covered off how you can restore files via that method. That backup method works great for static files and folders on a network but what about applications such as SQL, SharePoint, Exchange, etc where important data also resides? You typically can’t backup the data because it is ‘in use’ by the application. In most cases you need a special ‘agent’ that allows the data inside these applications to be backed up even when the data is in use. Luckily, Azure provides that with a service called Azure backup for applications.

This walk through covers how to use Azure Backup for applications with Azure Resource Manager. if you are looking for how to do this in the older ‘classic’ Azure Service Manager check out my previous article on that topic:

Azure Backup Server for Applications configuration

Azure backup for applications is an extension of Azure backup for files and folders. You’ll back the data up into the same Azure Backup Vault that I detailed how to create in a previous article. What I’ll therefore show you here now is how to set up Azure backup for applications.

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You’ll need to navigate back to the Azure Recovery Vault in the new Azure portal. When you do you should see a screen similar to that shown above. Select the Backup button at the top of the page.

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You’ll now be prompted to work through the steps required to configure the Azure backup. For the option Where is your workload running? Select On-premises from the selections available. For the option What do you want to backup select either Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SQL or Microsoft Exchange (i.e. an application).

When you do you’ll see a warning message appear below prompting you to click on it to get started. Do so.

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You’ll be taken to the Prepare Infrastructure blade as shown above. You’ll now need to download the dedicated Azure Backup software. This is different from what was used with Azure Backup for files. It is in fact a version of Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM). To download the DPM software select the Download link. This will open a browser windows to:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49170

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You are now taken to the download page for the Azure Backup for applications software as shown above. Select the Download button to continue.

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You’ll need to select all the components and download them to the machine on which you plan to install the software. You’ll note that this software is much larger (at 3GB) than that for Azure Backup for files and folder, that is because this Microsoft Data Protection Manager.

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Once the software has downloaded, kick off the setup and select Next to continue.

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Select the location where the files can be extracted. Typically, just accept the default and press Next to continue.

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Select Extract to expand the compressed files from the download.

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You should now see the files being extracted as shown above.

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Ensure the Execute setup.exe is select and press the Finish button.

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The above splash screen should now appear. Select the Microsoft Azure Backup option under the Install column in the top left.

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You may see some additional software components being installed as shown above.

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Select Next at the Welcome screen to continue.

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Select the Check button in the top right to verify the current computer meets the requirements for the Azure Backup software.

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Hopefully everything is in order and the check are passed as shown above.

Select Next to continue.

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The backup software will need to store its data in an SQL database. You can either elect to install a new version of this or use an existing version. Typically, you’ll allow the installation to create a instance of SQL server and install the SQL software.

Select the Check and Install button in the top right to continue.

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For Azure Backup software to install successfully you’ll need to ensure you have .Net 3.5 SP1 as well as ensuring that the machine can access a Domain Controller. Typically this means it is a member server in the network attached to the Domain Controller. You can install the software on a Domain Controller if you wish but you may need to take additional steps to accomplish this. Here is an article on this:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff399416.aspx

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If however, there are no red flags you should see a summary of the confirmation as shown above. Select Next to continue.

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You’ll now need to specify a password that will be tied to a system account for the installed software. Enter and appropriate password and select Next to continue.

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Typically select the option to allow Microsoft updates and select Next to continue.

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You will now see a summary of the installation. If all is good, select Next to continue.

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The first step in the installation process will be the registration of the software with the Azure Recovery vault. You’ll need to browse to the location of the downloaded vault credentials. These will then be validated as shown above.

Select Next to continue.

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As with the Azure Backup for files and folders, you’ll now need to enter or generate a strong passphrase to use to provide encryption of the backed up data.

Remember that you need to save this pass phrase in a location independent of the machine that you are currently using. If you lose the password you will be unable to restore the data you backup here, so best practice is to ensure you have multiple copies of the password.

Select Next to continue.

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The registration process will now complete.

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The installation process will then continue with the installation and configuration of SQL Server as shown above. The process will then proceed to complete the installation of the Azure Backup for applications.

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When the process is complete you should all tasks have been completed successfully.

Press Close to complete the process.

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You should see two icon now displayed on the desktop, one for the Azure Backup for applications program and one for an Azure Backup for applications PowerShell environment. Select the Azure Backup for applications program to launch the software.

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You should now see Azure Backup for applications (basically Microsoft Data Protection Manager) as shown above.

Future articles will cover how to use this software to actually backup and restore from network locations.

In summary, if you are looking to backup more than files and folders to Azure you need to install Azure Backup for applications which means basically installed the Microsoft Data Protection software on a server in the network which is connected to an Azure Recovery Services vault configure using Azure Resource Manager.

For more details about using Azure Backup for applications see:

Preparing to back up workloads using Azure Backup Server

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

SharePoint updates have hit my tenant

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When I took a look at my App Launcher in Office 365 I found that Sites has now been replaced with SharePoint. This tells me that the new SharePoint experience in Office 365 has arrived for my tenant.

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If I then select that icon and navigate to my individual Site Collections I see a new page as shown above.

I am receiving these changes because my tenant is on the first release cycle. Normal tenants won’t see these changes immediately but they will start flowing through.

If aren’t aware of these changes to SharePoint, now is the time to prepare for the major changes that are coming down the road with SharePoint. You can read more about this here:

https://blogs.office.com/2016/05/04/the-future-of-sharepoint/

Watch out for future articles on these updates and what impact they’ll have for Office 365 users.

Prepare for a OneDrive for Sync client upgrade

A heads up for everyone using OneDrive for Business sync client with tenants of less than 250 users.

Beginning in May 2016, Office 365 customers with fewer than 250 Office 365 licenses will be required to use the OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client to sync OneDrive for Business files. This requirement will be rolled out between May 2016 and July 31, 2016 and will not apply to on-premises customers or customers with more than 250 Office 365 licenses.

From:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Transition-from-the-previous-OneDrive-for-Business-sync-client-4100df3a-0c96-464f-b0a8-c20de34da6fa

I wrote an article about the different OneDrive Sync clients a while back that may also help answer some questions:

The various OneDrive Sync clients

Basically, this will ensure all Office 365 installations with <250 users will be using the NextGen sync client.

 

Monday, May 23, 2016

SBS to Azure event in Perth

I am happy to announce that I’m heading back to Perth on June 2, 2016 to speak at a Microsoft SBS to Azure event. You can register here:

https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032778010&Culture=en-AU&community=0

it is a morning session focused on giving you an overview of how to successfully transition a standard SBS environment to Azure and Office 365. You get plenty of strategy, demos and hopefully your questions answered.

I hope to see you there.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 102

We had a few technical hitches getting this episode out and we apologise for the delay but thanks to the hard work of our producer Marc Kean and guest Paul Ward we have stitched together this episode for you all about Windows 10 deployments.

Marc and I are joined by Paul Ward to talk about Windows 10 deployments as well as tool like System Center. We discuss the update of Windows 10 for consumers as well as enterprise as well as were we see the future of the Windows platform from Microsoft leading. There is also our usual update on all the cloud news around Office 365 and Azure. It's been almost 12 months since the release of Windows 10 so listen along and join in the anniversary celebrations.

As always don't forget to send us you questions and feedback as well as leaving review to help grow our audience. We appreciate you taking the time to listen.

or can listen to this episode at:

http://ciaops.podbean.com/e/episode-102-paul-ward/

or subscribe to this and all episodes in iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ciaops-need-to-know-podcasts/id406891445?mt=2

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ciaops/need-to-know-podcast?refid=stpr

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.

Resources

Marc Kean

Robert Crane

Azure cool storage now available

Azure Site Recovery now available via Resource Manager

New SharePoint book - Beyond the Basics

The future of SharePoint

Updates to SharePoint Online are coming

Project Madeira

Miracast

Windows Phone 10 Continuum

System Center Dudes

Windows Noob

Coretech

System Center on Technet

Friday, May 20, 2016

Enabling Azure Remote App

You can think of Azure Remote App as basically Remote Desktop Services (RDS) as a service. At this point in time you will need to enable Azure Remote App using the ‘classic’ portal. Here’s how you do it.

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Firstly, login to the Azure portal and scroll down the options on the left until you identify the option for Remote App that appears like:

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Select this.

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Typically, when you select this you will see that no current RemoteApp collection has been configured as shown above.

Select the Create a RemoteApp Collection link.

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This will display the configuration dialog as shown above. Enter a collection name, region, plan and template image.

The region is the data center in which you wish to host this Remote App service. Typically you’ll want to select the region that is closest to you.

There are currently four pricing tiers and you can find more information about these here:

Azure Remote App pricing plans

Typically you’ll want to select the Standard or Premium Plan.

You can then select from the template image to use for the remote server. You have the choice of a number of preconfigured images or you can use your own if it has been suitably prepared. In this case the Office Professional Plus (30-day trial) will be select to provide Office applications to users.

When ready, select the Create RemoteApp Collection at the bottom of the page.

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You should now see that RemoteApp collection has commenced creation as shown above. This process will take 15 – 30 minutes typically.

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You’ll see that there is also the option to create a RemoteApp collection with a Virtual Network. This allows the RDS server to be placed on an existing Azure LAN so it can share other Azure resources. This article won’t cover this specifically, it will be covered in an upcoming article.

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You may also see that by default you receive a 30 day trial of RemoteApp. If you want to upgrade to paid subscriptions immediately ensure you select the option provided at the top of the screen as shown above.

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After the service has been enabled you will a check mark as shown above. Select the service name to view the settings.

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Under the User Access option you will a list of any users who have access. You can add users that have Microsoft Account or if they are part of the Azure tenant already.

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Under the Publishing option you can see all the applications that will be available to users. These applications are those that are currently on the virtual machine image used.

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You can make additional options available by selecting the Publish button and either manually entering the directory path or you can select from the start menu as shown above.

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Users can then use the appropriate RemoteApp application on their device to access this instance of RemoteApp and run the applications. Above is an example of the Windows 10 Universal App. Remote App device clients can be downloaded from:

https://www.remoteapp.windowsazure.com/en/

That has been only a basic overview of how to get RemoteApp up and running in Azure. Look out for more upcoming articles on RemoteApp including deeper dives into configuration and management.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Creating an Azure Resource Group using PowerShell

At the beginning of my recent post about creating an Azure files backup using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) and the Azure portal I detailed how to create an Azure Resource Group. This is of course not the only way that you can create an Azure Resource Group, you can also use PowerShell.

Before you use PowerShell make sure you have read my article:

Connecting to Azure Resource Manager via PowerShell

and you follow the steps outline to connect to your Azure Resource Manager account.

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If we look at the Azure portal we see there is currently only one Resource Group called CIA.

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Once connected to the Azure tenant with PowerShell run the command:

new-azurermresourcegroup –name “name” –location “data-center”

where you need to enter the desired “name” and “datacenter” here I have chosen to create a new Azure Resource group called cia2 located in the Australia East data center (“australiaeast”).

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Once the command has completed successfully, if you now return to Azure portal and refresh the Resource Group display you should see a new Azure Resource Group has been created as shown above with the name you selected (here cia2)

You can now use this Azure Resource Group to put all sorts of resources into. I’ll cover more on how to do that specifically with PowerShell in an upcoming article, however, that’s how easy it is to create an Azure Resource Group using PowerShell.

Creating a Basic LAN in Azure

I’ve just uploaded a video presentation I gave a while back on creating a basics LAN in Azure. The process uses the Azure Service Manager portal to do this in a ‘classic’ cloud deployment. Note, this is not the same as with the Azure Resource Manager (ARM). I’ll be doing something around that soon.

Hopefully, this will give you a basic idea of what’s involved in creating a LAN in Azure.

Connecting to Azure Resource Manager via PowerShell

There is no doubt PowerShell is the premier way to configure and manage things like Azure. However, there has always been a challenge actually connecting to the environment to get the ball rolling.

The first thing that you need to do to connect to Azure Resource Manager via the command line is ensure that you have PowerShell 5 installed and configured for Azure Resource Manager. This previous article of mine:

Life is far easier with PowerShell 5

which will show you how to not only configure your PowerShell environment on a Windows 2012 R2 server but also install the modules required to access Azure Resource Manager.

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Once you have launched the PowerShell environment enter the following commands to load the ‘classic’ Azure Service Manager and the newer Azure Resource Manager modules into the session:

import-module azure

import-module azurerm

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You’ll now need to login to your Azure account and in this case you’ll login to the Azure Resource Manager account using the command:

login-azurermaccount

Typically a dialog will now appear asking you to enter your Azure account login and password.

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When this has been successfully completed you should details of the account echoed back to you as shown above.

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If you also want to access the ‘classic’ Azure Service Manager account issue the command:

add-azureaccount

You may need to login again with your Azure account details.

Once complete you’ll again be echoed back the details of that account as shown above.

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We will continue to work with the newer Azure Resource Manager here. So if you now issue the command:

get-azurermsubscription

You will see the details of the Resource Manager subscription as shown above. The important thing here is typically the subscription name (here ‘Azure Pass’). You’ll typically need to refer to the subscription by name when using PowerShell commands for Azure.

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The recommendation way to do this easily is to issue the command:

$subscription=get-azurermsubscription

This will store the results of the get-azuresubscription command in a variable called $subscription.

To extract the actual name of the subscription and store it in a variable issue the command:

$subscriptionnname = $subscription.subscriptionname

In this case, the command will store the string ‘Azure Pass’ into a variable called $subscriptionname that can be used later throughout the script.

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You can then issue the command:

select-azurermsubscription –subscriptionname $subscriptionname

To select the Azure Resource Manager subscription to work with (remembering that it is possible to have multiple different subscriptions inside a single Azure tenant).

You should see the Azure Resource Manager account details echoed back to you as shown above.

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If you also want to target the older Azure Service Manager subscription then you should issues similar commands:

$subscriptionold = get-azuresubscription

$subscriptionnameold = $subscriptionold.subscriptionname

select-azuresubscription –subscriptionname $subscriptionnameold

as shown above.

Now you can work with you Azure tenant and PowerShell commands for both Azure Resource Manager and the older Azure Service Manager if required.

As you can appreciate with scripting and PowerShell there is lot more we can do to improve the connection experience and I’ll look to detail that in the future but this should at least get you started.