SysAdmin Horror Stories – FREE eBook #Altaro   Leave a comment

SysAdmin Horror Stories – FREE eBook

SysAdmins’ funniest and most horrifying stories

Last year’s ebook, SysAdmin Horror Stories Vol1 by Altaro, highlighted some of SysAdmins’ funniest and most horrifying stories. It proved so successful, that Altaro decided to produce a second edition this year: they’ve gathered some more real-life stories to share with you, that are both funny and horrific!

We all know that a SysAdmin’s job is no easy task, and apart from constantly having systems to update, bugs to fix and users to please, SysAdmins encounter all sorts of situations throughout their careers. From tech situations to funny anecdotes, terrible mishaps or incidents with colleagues, this eBook includes real stories of what SysAdmins go through on a daily basis.

It’s very easy to download as no registration is required. Click on Download and it’s yours. It includes more than 20 short stories but this one is my personal favourite .

SysAdmins’ funniest and most horrifying stories

Download your FREE copy today & Happy Halloween!clip_image006

Posted October 20, 2020 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Altaro

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PerfInsights self-help diagnostics tool in Azure Troubleshooting and reporting #Reports #Diskspd #performance #problems #Azure #Azurefiles #S2D   1 comment

Running DiskSPD is a great tool and gives you a lot of detail on how fast or what the performance is of the Storage. With the PerfInsights you get more info and a nice graphic.  Also you get also some recommendations about the issues on the devices.

PerfInsights

PerfInsights is a self-help diagnostics tool that collects & analyzes the diagnostic data, and provides a report to help troubleshoot Windows virtual machine performance problems in Azure. PerfInsights can be run on virtual machines as a standalone tool, or directly from the portal by installing Azure Performance Diagnostics VM Extension.
If you are experiencing performance problems with virtual machines, before contacting support, run this tool. PerfInsights collects various information about the virtual machine, disks/storage pools configuration and performance logs such as:

  • System event logs
  • Network status for all incoming and outgoing connections
  • Task list for all applications currently running on the system
  • SQL Server database configuration settings and error logs (if the VM is identified as a server that is running SQL Server)
  • Storage reliability counters
  • Important Windows hotfixes
  • Installed filter drivers
  • Firewall Rules

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Looking at the options you can do the /? or /List to get more info.

PerfInsights

The \list

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You can start with the tool here 

  1. Download PerfInsights from https://aka.ms/PerfInsightsDownload
  2. Extract the content to a folder of your choice
  3. Open a CMD/PowerShell instance, browse to the folder where the binaries were extracted to and run: “PerfInsights.exe /r benchmark /AcceptDisclaimerAndShareDiagnostics"

This scenario runs the Diskspd benchmark test (IOPS and MBPS) for all drives that are attached to the VM

With this you get the basic information and give you some insights. Playing with the options is the best way to get some more insights about the performance

Running the tool is reporting the steps that are tested.

PerfInsights

Now that the Tool has run the output is a zip file with the captured data. this can be extracted and there is a HTML that opens the report. The Zip files are stored in the root of the perfinsights folder.

PerfInsights

Opening the Report brings you a detailed report.

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Looking at the Disk performance reports

PerfInsights

Showing the IOPS of the Disk.

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There is great info in the report and is often used also by Microsoft product support.

####################

# Not supported options!!

But looking at the tool I was curious on how it creates the diskspd reports and in what is the basic values.

In the RuleEngineConfig.json you can find the DiskSPD test and these where not my common settings.  8KB block size and 1GB file.

This can be changed but the file will be overwritten when the  tool get updated as these should normally not be changed.

"$type": "Microsoft.Azure.Performance.Diagnostics.Contracts.DiskSpdRunnerConfiguration, Microsoft.Azure.Performance.Diagnostics",
      "Name": "DiskSpdRunner",
      "Enabled": false,
      "DatFilePath": "_diskSpd_test",
      "DatFileName": "testfile.dat",
      "DatFileSize": "1024M",
      "RunDurationSec": 90,
      "WarmupDurationSec": 30,
      "OSDiskRunSession": {
        "Enabled": true,
        "Runs": [
          {
            "Name": "IOPS",
            "Iterations": 3,
            "QueueDepth": 16,
            "WriteRatio": 100,
            "BlockSize": "8k"
          }

 

Next that this can be changed and get some great reports Some components are also turned off    "Enabled": true,  or  "Enabled": false keep in mind changing the setting also change the output.  the log files can get BIG!

Ii is a funny tool with some nice options to have a quick overview of the server.

 PerfInsights

Download PerfInsights from https://aka.ms/PerfInsightsDownload

 

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Posted October 13, 2020 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Azure

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Azure Migration Services – Easy Cloud Migration Services #Azure #Cloud #ASR #Migrate #azops #VMware #Database   Leave a comment

This blog post is a bit long sorry for this tons of screen shots to give you more detail. This is all based on Hyper-v but the same steps are there for Vmware! I could have create two blog post one based on the Assessment and one on the Replication. but now you have all the details together.

Azure Migrate is there for sometime this tool makes your life easier when you want to migrate to Azure. This can migrate Vmware or Hyper-v to Azure. The process is similar as the Azure Site Recovery Process but this is only for Disaster. In the old days it is used also for migration but the Azure Migrate is much more flexible. placing VM’s on the existing network or on a different one.  New functions are released every month . https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/migrate/whats-new

For this Blog I used a Hyper-v Server and some VM’s that are migrated to an existing network in Azure. I also used 2 methods one with the Azure Migrate: Server Assessment and Azure Migrate: Server Migration  the big difference is with the Azure Migrate: Server Migration there is just a cut over no upfront assessment it creates a replica and place this in Azure.

In most of the initial migrations Customers want lift and shift. This is a method if you want to move quickly to Azure. better is to do a Server Assessment before the migration or rebuild the server on a new OS if needed.

Step 1 is in the Azure portal type Azure Migrate and check the assess and migrate.

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I create a new Project for this and create a new resource group. and I choose also the geo location.

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Based on hyper-V we download the Exported VM from the Azure portal and import this VM into the Hyper-v server.

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select the right platform. The migration process for VMware is similar than the Hyper-V VM once the VM is connected to the portal.

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We select the Hyper-v VM   in the preparation we choose to download the 9GB Migration Appliance.

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When doing this on a Migration Server directly you get a warning that IE is not supported anymore.  I used Edge chromium instead. As the connections with IE failed, So a better Browser is needed.  Get Edge https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge?form=MA13DE&OCID=MA13DE

Importing the VM with the Hyper-v Wizard is an easy and quick step use the Hyper-v manager to import the VM

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Then start the VM and the EULA is displaying and it is also the start of the migration Wizard.

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Remember to use a different browser than IE. Currently IE is in the Migration server.  Get Edge https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge?form=MA13DE&OCID=MA13DE

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We start the Migration Configuration Wizard – Remember not use IE

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With the basic configuration steps we start connecting the Migration server to the Hyper-v server.

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In this connection wizard we select the just created Migration project in the Azure portal. ( if you have multiple the select the right one as this is been connected to this hyper-v server)

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If you have trouble to register the server Check your DNS / user account / Browser / WMI ( in a standalone site could this be an issue)

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These credentials will connect to my Server. not the VM’s

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You can use FQDN or the IP to connect to the Hyper-V server.

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I changed the DNS to get some common errors.

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Setting the DNS correctly These are common errors and often seen in standalone configurations.

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This can take some time as mentioned below.

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After the registration we can follow the steps in the Azure Portal.

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We let this run for some time and come back later… and we move to the Database migration.

We do a different step. As the migrate tool is not showing you all the pieces

Setting up the Database Migrate. is in the same steps. but in the Azure migration blade some screens are only found in the resource groups.

Setup the Database migration project.

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In this I choose the Preview option things may change when it is GA. But lets see how it works.

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When this is done, I noticed that the download is not always starting https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53595

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When the project is created you can see the Database overview but see the real config you need to go to the resource group.

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The fun part here is I created first the screenshots and add later the text but doing this I had a hard time on finding the configured items as not all components are in the migration blade. So back to the resource group there I find the hints.

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The Azure Database Migration Service can be opened from the resource group as shown above.

The Discovery

When the discovery is done, then we can start with the fun part.

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Here my 33 VM’s are scanned and all without an Agent.

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Now that the Hyper-v Host is completely scanned we can start with the assessment of the VM’s

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First we create some profiles on region and size that the VM’s will get.

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This can be changed if needed

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We create some Scan profiles and target location, I used the Dv4 machine types with no temp disks.

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These machines are indexed and now I pick 2 for an assessment. and place them into a group

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When this is ready we can see the scan results. estimated price details and the VM SKU choice

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For best result you can install an agent to get more in-depth information

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When the machine is not connected to an OMS workspace (Azure log analytics ) not all the info can be displayed as the service dependency’s

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Add the VM to a new Workspace or to an Excising one Configure the right steps. I add a new Workspace for the Migration as this data can be removed after the migration SO I don’t want it in my current workspace.

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Once the Agent is reporting to the workspace and you run a new assessment a Service map can be displayed.

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Nice dashboard on the Cost and migration status, after this it is easy to migrate to Azure or you may need to do some extra work to migrate this server to Azure.

Azure Replication Migration

When Looking in the portal We can also create a Different Migration direct replication the lift and shift method. This uses the ASR tooling but with a difference here you can choose on what network the VM must land.

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Installing the ASR agent on the Hyper-v Server.

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Don’t forget to Finalize your registration ! this can be done after the Agent installation

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Installing the ASR agent

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Now that the Agent is installed we need to register this to Azure. Make sure You have downloaded the Credential file

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Load the Cred file into the Agent and finishes the installation

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Now we can start the Replication of the VM’s

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important here to finish de registration I was forgotten this so the replication did not work.

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I choose a demo VM that Can be migrated to Azure.

The Migration

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Pick hyper-v or Vmware depending what you using.

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I pick a VM

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Selecting the resource group and Network where the VM lands. This is great now you can place the VM direct in the right spot.

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My VM name is “windows” we these names are not allowed in Azure and are protected names. therefor I need to rename the VM

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The replication is started and we do a Test migration.

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There are no issues SO we start the test migration from the Azure blade.

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Now that the failover is successful we do the cutover and run the VM in Azure. Similar as in ASR but there is no replication back.

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In the Azure portal we can see the machine is running, login into the machine and check everything runs smoothly.

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The VM is migrated Lift and shift. and placed on a selected network.

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The replication is set to normalimage

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Now that the VM is migrated and running we can remove this from the Hyper-v server. as the machine is not deleted on-premises.

Download this e-book to learn about Azure Migrate, Microsoft’s central hub of tools for cloud migration. In this e-book, we’ll cover:

  • What is Azure Migrate
  • How Azure Migrate can help your migration journey
  • Running a datacenter discovery and assessment
  • Migrating your infrastructure, applications, and data
  • Additional learning resources

Download

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Posted September 21, 2020 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Azure

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Backup Best Practices in Action #Altaro #Backup #Cloud #Data   Leave a comment

 

Backup Best Practices in Action – The Backup Bible Part 2

The Backup Bible is an ambitious project produced by Altaro and written by Microsoft MVP Eric Siron that aims to be the definite guide to backup and disaster recovery for companies of all sizes.

The first eBook in the series was published earlier this year and focused on how to create a robust backup strategy including the key stakeholders you’ll need to deal with and the questions you’ll need to ask yourself to prepare yourself for a potential data loss event.

Part 2 – Backup Best Practices in Action – follows on from this starting point explaining how to implement this strategy and showing the reader what secure backup looks like on a day-to-day basis.

https://www.altaro.com/ebook/backup-bible.php?LP=smit-sc-Article-ebook-backup-bible-2-EN&Cat=SC&ALP=ebook-ebook-backup-bible-2-smit-sc-article&utm_source=smit&utm_medium=sc&utm_campaign=ebook-backup-bible-2&utm_content=article

The eBook is focused on providing practical implementation using actionable steps in each section providing the reader with the knowledge to bring the theory to life. It covers:

· Choosing the Right Backup and Recovery Software

· Setting and Achieving Backup Storage Targets

· Securing and Protecting Backup Data

· Defining Backup Schedules

· Monitoring, Testing, and Maintaining Systems

· And More!

The Backup Bible is an essential resource for anyone who manages data on a daily basis. For any business, data is your lifeline. A significant data loss can cause irreparable damage. Every company must ask itself – is our data properly protected?

You can download both part 1 and part 2 for free right now! The final part of the series, on disaster recovery, will be released later this year. By accessing the available parts, you’ll automatically receive the final eBook direct to your inbox when it is released later this year!

What are you waiting for? Get your eBook now!

 

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Posted September 11, 2020 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Altaro

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Windows Server LTSC vNext Preview Build 20206 #SMB #WindowsServer #StorageSpacesDirect #WinServ #AzureHybrid   Leave a comment

A new build of the Windows Server vNext Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release that contains both the Desktop Experience and Server Core installation options for Datacenter and Standard editions Build 20206. There are a lot off under water improvements. like the SMB 3.1.1. protocol better security and performance capabilities. Extended Migration options.

Windows Server LTSC vNext Preview Build 20206

What is new :

  • File Services: SMB improvements
  • Storage Migration Services improvements
  • AFS Tiering support preview
  • Compress files copied over SMB with robocopy
  • SMB Direct + RDMA encryption

More in-depth on the improvements : https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2020/09/02/announcing-windows-server-vnext-preview-build-20206/

How to Download ?

Directly on the Windows Server Insider Preview download page.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windowsinsiderpreviewserver

Choose the LTSC ISO or VHDX, it’s a quick download and ready to start with.

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It is great that There are 18 languages for the server OS but personally I really hate this. keep your server English. Issues can easily be found and people can help you better but his is totally my opinion.

Windows Server vNext Long-Term Servicing Channel Preview is available in ISO format in 18 languages, and in VHDX format in English only.

The following keys allow for unlimited activations:
Standard: MFY9F-XBN2F-TYFMP-CCV49-RMYVH
Datacenter: 2KNJJ-33Y9H-2GXGX-KMQWH-G6H67

Windows Server vNext Semi-Annual Preview The Server Core Datacenter and Standard Editions are available in the 18 supported Server languages in ISO format and in VHDX format in English only.

The following keys allow for unlimited activations:
Standard: V6N4W-86M3X-J77X3-JF6XW-D9PRV
Datacenter: B69WH-PRNHK-BXVK3-P9XF7-XD84W

 Windows Server LTSC vNext Preview Build 20206

How to Download

Registered Insiders may navigate directly to the Windows Server Insider Preview download page.  See the Additional Downloads dropdown for Windows Admin Center and other supplemental apps and products. If you have not yet registered as an Insider, see GETTING STARTED WITH SERVER on the Windows Insiders for Business portal.

Want to learn more about Windows Server Hybrid and Windows Server on Azure IaaS VMs?

Manage hybrid workloads with Azure Arc

You will learn to describe Azure Arc, implement Azure Arc with on-premises server instances, deploy Azure policies with Azure Arc, and use role-based access control (RBAC) to restrict access to Log Analytics data.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe Azure Arc.
  • Explain how to onboard on-premises Windows Server instances in Azure Arc.
  • Connect hybrid machines to Azure from the Azure portal.
  • Use Azure Arc to manage devices.
  • Restrict access using RBAC.

Check out the learning module here.

Implement scale and high availability with Windows Server VM

You’ll learn how to implement scaling for virtual machine scale sets and load-balanced VMs. You’ll also learn how to implement Azure Site Recovery.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe virtual machine scale sets.
  • Implement scaling.
  • Implement load-balancing virtual machines.
  • Implement Azure Site Recovery.

Check out the learning module here.

Start with Azure https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/?WT.mc_id=AZ-MVP-4025011

Start with Intune https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/mem/intune/fundamentals/free-trial-sign-up?WT.mc_id=EM-MVP-4025011

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/solutions/hybrid-cloud-app/?WT.mc_id=AZ-MVP-4025011

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Posted September 4, 2020 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Windows Server 2019

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