TechEd 2014, Day 2…

2017-07-27T00:01:02+00:00May 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+00:00May 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+00:00September 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+00:00July 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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