Server 2003 EOS, Part 2…

2017-07-27T00:01:00+00:00 January 28th, 2015|Uncategorized|

(Please see Server 2003 EOS, Part 1 for background)

Well, folks, the Server 2003 EOS is just 167 days away as I type this in late January…  What is the “EOS” you ask?  I’m glad you asked…

I just finished presenting the first part of our 4-part webinar series, “The Windows Server 2003 Comfort Trap”.  Part 1 is called “Foundations”, and you can watch it at this link, and its also embedded below in this page. I go into pretty good detail about what the EOS is, why you should be concerned, and some tips and approaches to help you get started in preparing.  

So grab some popcorn and cocoa, and watch the movie!  It’s only about 33 minutes long, and might just be your first step in getting yourself out of the Comfort Trap!

Update: By the way, the other Session can now also be seen here:

Thanks to all that attended the live webinar!  And thanks to all those that pointed out that I have the wrong date in the first slide… I promise to have that fixed for the next session.  😉

Speaking of which, in the upcoming sessions in this series, we’ll be bringing on other special guests from Coretek to tell their stories and give great insight into the areas which are their strengths.  I know I’m looking forward to it!  See you then…


Managing Multiple Azure Subscriptions from PowerShell…

2017-07-27T00:01:01+00:00 July 24th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Hi folks, Jason here again – this time with some Azure PowerShell goodness to share.

A while back I set up an Azure trial subscription.  Following Jeremy’s post last year, “How to manage Azure from PowerShell on your PC“, I was able to get PowerShell to connect to my free trial subscription, creatively named “Free Trial”.  Coretek was kind enough to provide me with an MSDN Premium license.  Since the MSDN Azure subscriptions get $99 a month in Azure credit, it was high time to switch over to that Azure account and leverage that credit!  This subscription was also creatively named… “Visual Studio Premium with MSDN”.

Once again I followed Jeremy’s steps to import the Azure Publish Settings file – this time for the new subscription.  I ran Get-AzureVM… but I wasn’t seeing any VMs for my MSDN subscription.  Take a look:

…In the above screen capture, XENAPP1 is a VM in my old, un-loved Free Trial subscription.  Running Get-AzureSubscription showed me that I did indeed have access to two subscriptions, as expected:

So that begged the obvious question… how do I connect to my VMs in my other subscription?  Well that’s easy enough to do.  Just run the following cmdlet:

Select-AzureSubscription –SubscriptionName “Visual Studio Premium with MSDN”

…of course, change the subscription name to match your own.  NOTE: the subscription name is case sensitive!

One more tip for you, Dear Reader.  If you close your Azure PowerShell window and come back, it will revert back to whatever subscription is the default subscription.  That will always be the first subscription you set up.  The fix is simply adding the –Default switch to the end of the above cmdlet.  Now that’ll be where your Azure cmdlets do their magic as you go forward.

Now when I run Get-AzureVM I get the VMs I am looking for:


Azure PowerShell Errors Pt. 2…

2017-07-27T00:01:01+00:00 July 16th, 2014|Uncategorized|

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, I showed you how to re-install in order to eliminate the errors.  But at the end of that post, you surely noticed that while I fixed one problem, I seemigly created another.  Now it appears that I have red error text because it can’t load my profile script, and tons of scripts prompting me to execute.  It looked like this:

Unexpected Azure Errors...

This is strange… because I’m fairly certain my ExecutionPolicy is set to something lower, like RemoteSigned…  Hmm.  Let’s take a look at what my *combined* policy is set at, by issuing the Get-ExecutionPolicy -List command like this:

Get-ExecutionPolicy -List

That’s strange too.  But I see now that there’s a limiting policy on the *process*, so at least I know why this is happening (by the way, ignore that Unrestricted on LocalMachine 😉 ).  Clearly, I’m shooting myself in the foot with the cumulative permissions.  So, let’s try and figure out how that restriction is getting set on my system by chasing down the PowerShell link.  Right-click on the Windows Azure PowerShell icon and choose Open File Location:

Open File Location

Then, right-click on the Windows Azure PowerShell link and choose Properties.  And guess what we find:

Windows Azure PowerShell Properties

Yes, it appears that the shortcut/tile/link has hard-coded the ExecutionPolicy of AllSigned, which means it will permit only execution of — and request your validation of — certificate-signed scripts. 

Aside: This is where I tell you that normally, using AllSigned is probably a good thing; and although I’m not making an official recommendation of lowering that setting in production, I will tell you honestly that I typically use RemoteSigned on my laptop and feel it to be sufficient for my needs. 

So with that clarification out of the way, let’s change this setting and make our life a lot easier.  To do so, change:

C:WINDOWSSysWOW64WindowsPowerShellv1.0powershell.exe -NoExit -ExecutionPolicy AllSigned -File "C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SDKsWindows AzurePowerShellAzureShortcutStartup.ps1"

…to (you will be prompted for Administrator-level permission):

C:WINDOWSSysWOW64WindowsPowerShellv1.0powershell.exe -NoExit -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -File "C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SDKsWindows AzurePowerShellAzureShortcutStartup.ps1"

…and now things should be back to normal. 

Normal Azure Startup - Hooray!

Look!  Even my startup script runs now.  Ah…  Feel that?  It’s Azure Zen goodness…



Azure PowerShell Errors Pt. 1…

2017-07-27T00:01:02+00:00 July 10th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Following up my original post from last year, “How to manage Azure from PowerShell on your PC“…

If you haven’t updated your Azure PowerShell installation in the last few months, you very well may be seeing errors that say Requested value (something) not found, like this:

Requested Value (something) Was Not Found

The first thing you should do is to go to Control Panel -> Programs, and take a look at the version of the Windows Azure PowerShell listed there.  But, I suspect that if you’re reading this, you already know it’s older and out of date…  like mine was:

Azure PowerShell Old Version

How do you fix it?  Easy.  Just re-install on top of the existing.  In fact, if you go back to my original installation post and follow the install process, it will put in the newest, correct version.  After clicking the installation link, the Web Platform Installer launches, like this:

Web Platform Installer

If you click on “options”, you’ll see what it will be installing…

Web Platform Installer Details

Upon launch, you have to allow the startup scripts to run (Why is this?  More on this in Part 2!)…

Azure PowerShell Accept message...

…and allow, and allow, and allow (again, more on this in Part 2)…

Azure PowerShell Accept and Accept...

And finally, you should be good to go.  Your Programs listing should now look more like this:

Azure PowerShell New Version

…and once again, your shell should look like it once was:

Azure PowerShell Working Again

Happy Azuring!



TechEd 2014, Day 2…

2017-07-27T00:01:02+00:00 May 13th, 2014|Uncategorized|

TechEd Channel 9 Live

My brain hurts, and it’s only Tuesday.  
But let me clarify; mostly my brain hurts because with everything I learn here at TechEd, I simply realize how much more there is to learn… to discover…  to do…

Let me catch you up on a few session-related highlights over the last 2 days:


Okay, I’ll be honest.  It’s just *neat* to get to see in person all the folks that have been a part of all the training videos and podcasts I watch (CBT Nuggets, Microsoft Virtual Academy, Channel9, etc.), and books/blogs I read, etc.  So far at TechEd 2014, I’ve taken sessions from — or shared conversations with — folks like Jeremy Moskovitz, Don Jones, Jeffrey Snover, Pete Zerger, Rick Claus, and more.  I owe so much thanks and appreciation to these folks for all the work they’ve done in helping me and the community at large, and it was cool to be participating in the big picture on some small level.  And did I mention it’s only Tuesday?


I won’t go back over the thing I mentioned in yesterday’s announcements on Day 1, but there were a few announcements in deep technology today.  

  • From the GP team, via Jeremy Moskovitz: A *very* in-depth KB article to go with a fix for an old cPassword security limitation:
  • From the Jones/Snover comedy team: PowerShell Desired State Configuration for Linux via OMI.  I saw it demonstrated.  Absolutely awesome.  And more to come in that regard, I’m sure…

Things I Can’t Wait to Lab

The list of things I need to rush home and experiment with is growing.  It started with RemoteApp yesterday, but now I’ve got more DSC testing to do (thanks Don), IaaS/PaaS Azure Pack testing (thanks Pete), I have to re-do my home lab networking with dVMQ and vRSS and Multi-Tenant Gateway (thanks Greg, I’ve already ordered a new manageable GB switch for the additional vLANs).  And so on…

The Pace

Don Jones said something today that I think summed up my feeling perfectly, and I’ll do my best to quote him correctly here.  He said that change is speeding up; and that “…Your main skill is going to be keeping up

[with technology]…”

Totally.  Let’s run.

TechEd 2014, Day 1…

2017-07-27T00:01:02+00:00 May 12th, 2014|Uncategorized|

TechEd Keynote Panel

I remember a couple significant moments in my career when new technologies were born that might not have been immediately recognized as the innovative technologies that they really would become.  Things that seemed cool at the time perhaps, but became something much larger.  Today, the announcement (and explanation) of Microsoft RemoteApp might have been one of those moments. 

But even though I’m blown away by RemoteApp, there were a bunch of announcements!  Here are my top few of the day:


The new RemoteApp (now in preview), built on RDS technology, offers two options with which you can deliver apps to users — straight out of Azure!  I guess now we know why the RDS clients were recently released for Mac/IOS and Android, eh? 😉  Anyway, RemoteApp comes in 2 options: the first is the simpler “Cloud” option, with canned Microsoft productivity apps.  The second “Hybrid” option is more complex, but in a nutshell permits you to deliver apps right from your own templated RDS server; built how you want, with the apps you want.  That’s right, *your* corporate apps, available after authentication via a browser, served over RDS technology.  Servers that provide the service for your users automatically scale up and down based on load.  Wow.

Azure Site Recovery

Expanded (and rebranded) from the well-known Hyper-V Recovery Manager, Azure Site Recovery (coming preview soon) utilizes VMM to permit you to replicate Private Clouds of Virtual Machines right into Azure.  The previous version, of course, only permitted this functionality between two of your own sites.  But what if you did not have a second site?  Solved. 


ExpressRoute (in general availability today) utilized various connectivity vendors, providing high-speed connectivity directly into Azure.  The best part of this is that if you already have Internet or Branch connectivity from one of the vendors that have partnered with Microsoft for ExpressRoute, you can have linkage into Azure with very little change.  And the list of vendors is growing…

Azure Files

Think of Azure Files (in preview now) as a “file share service” that servers can consume inside of Azure.  This way, you can save yourself having to deal with servers to serve servers inside the Azure space.  More to come on this…

Still other announcements include intra-Azure, cross-region, routed inter-connectivity capbility, and multi-site/premises connection to Azure (meaning more than one of your locations can connect into your cloud), and so on.

It’s been a whirlwind day.  Oh, and by the way… If you go to the Channel 9 page for TechEd Day 1, you’ll get the chance to hear *me* ask a question of the presenters. I’m not telling you where…  😉

How to Manage Azure from PowerShell on your PC…

2017-07-27T00:01:03+00:00 September 11th, 2013|Uncategorized|

If you use Azure day-to-day like I do…  and you use PowerShell day-to-day like I do…  then it’s time to put them together like chocolate and peanut butter!  What I mean is, let’s use the power of PowerShell to easily manage your Azure services.

I’ll assume that if you’re still reading this, you have an Azure account (if you don’t, you can get a free trial), and you have a Windows 7 or higher PC or server on which to run PowerShell. 

Install the Azure PowerShell modules
Go to the Azure download page, and at the bottom left, download the “Windows Azure PowerShell” bits and install.  Here’s the direct link to the bits, as of this writing.  It’s just a few clicks and a few minutes to let the web-installer do its thing. 

Once Azure PowerShell is installed, hit Start and type PowerShell to see that you now have another option for PowerShell, called “Windows Azure PowerShell”;  click it! 


Configure the “publishsettings” file

Next we need to link your Azure account with your PowerShell session.  We do this by getting your “publishsettings” file from Azure, and stuffing it into PowerShell.

Run the command: Get-AzurePublishSettingsFile


…This will launch a browser and you will be prompted to authenticate to Azure (if not already).  You will be prompted for download choices, and you should save file to local folder; something like c:tempAppsAzure that I use in the following example.

Next, we import the settings file with the following command: Import-AzurePublishSettingsFile


…of course it depends on what you named the file when you saved it, but this is a standard name format.

Finally, delete the “publishsettings” file — it contains a management certificate file that shouldn’t be left lying around once imported.


…and that’s about it!  You are now linked to your Azure account and can control your world by command.  Let’s start by taking a look at some of the relevant commands:
get-command *azure*

Mmmm…  Those look like fun commands!


Kick the tires

You know, as long as we have an active session, let’s see how I last left my testing lab with a Get-AzureVm command:


…Hmmm…  It looks like I left my Windows Server 2012 R2 “preview” VM shut off.  Let’s start it up with a Start-AzureVM command, specifying the VM name as well as the Service name:


Well, that was fun, but now lunch is over and it’s time to shut down the lab “preview” machine again.  But I just want to shut down the VM for later use, not to de-provision the VM and have to re-create it later.  So, I’ll use the Stop-AzureVM command with the -StayProvisioned flag.


…and so on, and so on.  Now that we’ve got you all set up and have stepped through some basic commands, you should be well on your way to chocolate and peanut butter goodness!

For more detail, make sure to see the Azure PowerShell “Get Started” tutorial:

And for even more detail, view the Azure PowerShell Cmdlet reference guide:

Now *you* go have some fun!




Coming This Fall: Windows Azure Cloud Appliances

2017-07-27T00:01:09+00:00 July 20th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Addressing one of the key objectives of cloud computing, Microsoft today said its Windows Azure platform will be available as an appliance that can run on customer and partner premises.

The company revealed plans to offer the Windows Azure Appliance at its Worldwide Partner Conference, which began today in Washington, D.C. The appliance, which Microsoft has talked up conceptually for several months, will be offered later this year by key partners — initially Dell, Fujitsu and Hewlett-Packard Co. The appliance will enable private clouds based on huge turnkey systems equipped with the Windows Azure platform, server, storage and network infrastructure. eBay said it too will use the appliance.

“The Windows Azure appliance fundamentally takes the Windows Azure service and extends it,” said Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools business, speaking in the opening keynote of WPC. “It extends it to our service providers, allowing you to have exactly the same capabilities within your data center, providing that capability to your customers, and it can be extended to our larger customers that want to provide IT services within their own organizations.”

Details of the new appliance were vague, including cost, configuration and how they will be rolled out to customers. Muglia did say the new appliance is based on Windows Azure and SQL Azure with hardware specified by Microsoft, allowing service providers to either offer their own hosted Azure-based services or provision the appliances initially to large data center customers on-premise. The availability of such private cloud implementations addresses issues of control and compliance that have made cloud computing unfeasible to many corporate and government customers.

“The benefits are associated with control, compliance and keeping the data locally, data sovereignty. These are important benefits that allow for much more extensive solutions being built around this cloud environment,” Muglia said.

For eBay, the appliance will ease deployment without moving its huge auction and PayPal payment processing service off premises. “If I want to deploy an application today for within my data centers I need to secure the hardware, provision a network, hook up the load balancer and make it part of the infrastructure,” said James Barrese, eBay’s VP of Technology, speaking at a press conference following the keynote.

Dell, Fujitsu and HP will all offer the appliances later this year, based on pre-defined hardware specifications by Microsoft. The hardware vendors said they see opportunities for both offering hosting services to customers as well as selling systems to very large enterprises such as government agencies and large corporations.

Though the companies are not discussing the configurations, the initial implementations will house just shy of 1,000 servers, Muglia said. One partner that appeared totally surprised by the launch of the appliance was Harry Zarek, CEO of Compugen in Toronto. When confronted on camera by Jon Roskill, the new Corporate VP for Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group said, “We have been a Microsoft partner for 20 years, having gone through the traditional product resale and service support. We had a fear that this business was going to trickle through our hands and move into the data center. We had a big question what we would be left with. This is the missing link, this is the piece we need to give us the destination over the next few years, in the cloud, and we have an important role to play.”

Muglia said the cloud has forced Microsoft to reinvent itself and will require its partners to do the same. It’s a change that is inevitable, it is a change that allows us all to deliver new value, it’s a change that thankfully is not happening overnight, and it is a change we will embrace together,” he said.

Source:, By: Jeffrey Schwartz

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