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Happy SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR — APPRECIATION DAY – 20th Annual #SysAdminDay #Sysadmin #MicrosoftMVP #MVPBuzz #WIMVP   Leave a comment

There are a lot of things you can say but still I think this song makes a good point. (youtube link)

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Click the picture

 

Also a must see :

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Posted July 26, 2019 by Robert Smit [MVP] in sysadminday

Azure Security Center: How to Protect Your Datacenter with Next Generation Security   Leave a comment

Join this Free Webinar With Thomas Maurer and Andy Syrewicze.

Azure Security Center: How to Protect Your Datacenter with Next Generation Security

Security is a major concern for IT admins and if you’re responsible for important workloads hosted in Azure, you need to know your security is as tight as possible. In this free webinar, presented by Thomas Maurer, Senior Cloud Advocate on the Microsoft Azure Engineering Team, and Microsoft MVP Andy Syrewicze, you will learn how to use Azure Security Center to ensure your cloud environment is fully protected.

The webinar covers:

· Azure Security Center introductions

· Deployment and first steps

· Best practices

· Integration with other tools

· And more!

Being an Altaro-hosted webinar, expect this webinar to be packed full of actionable information presented via live demos so you can see the theory put into practice before your eyes. Also, Altaro put a heavy emphasis on interactivity, encouraging questions from attendees and using engaging polls to get instant feedback on the session. To ensure as many people as possible have this opportunity, Altaro present the webinar live twice so pick the best time for you and don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you like!

There are certain topics in the IT administration world which are optional, but security is not one of them. Ensuring your security knowledge if ahead of the curve is an absolute necessity and becoming increasingly important as we are all becoming exposed to more and more online threats every day. If you are responsible for important workloads hosted in Azure, this webinar is a must.

Webinar: Azure Security Center:

How to Protect Your Datacenter with Next Generation Security

Date: Tuesday, 30th July

Time: Webinar presented live twice on the day. Choose your preferred time:

● 2pm CEST / 5am PDT / 8am EDT

● 7pm CEST / 10am PDT / 1pm EDT

Save your seat

 

 

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Posted July 25, 2019 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Altaro

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Its almost there SySAdminDay System Administrator Appreciation Day July 26, 2019 – 20th Annual. Your chance to WIN BIG with #altaro #SySAdminDay @AltaroSoftware   Leave a comment

Your network is secure, your computer is up and running, and your printer is jam-free. Why? Because you’ve got an awesome sysadmin (or maybe a whole IT department) keeping your business up and running.

Show your appreciation

Friday, July 26, 2019, is the 20th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day. On this special international day, give your System Administrator something that shows that you truly appreciate their hard work and dedication.

Source: https://sysadminday.com/

 

At this point vendors are giving some nice Swag away Take a peek at Altaro , They are giving the option to test some software and the option to win great prices.

How to enter the contest & WIN

  1. Download Altarto VM Backup by filling in the form above
  2. Install Altaro Backup (takes < 15 mins)
  3. Win a guaranteed €20 Amazon voucher

To get some Prices go to https://www.altaro.com/sysadmin-day/

https://www.altaro.com/sysadmin-day/

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Posted July 24, 2019 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Altaro

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Azure VM vs Disk vs Costs, Does Size matter ? or a Higher price for better specifications #Azure #Storage #Performance   1 comment

Building in Azure is easy and the wizard takes you to all the steps and you have a working VM. choosing the right size is different often it has a link to the on premise world 4 core CPU and 8 GB memory. and the disk I need 1 TB disk space. All simple but then things get complicated the performance needs to be better CPU is fine Memory well 60 %  plenty of disk space. Bigger VM perfect.

Still slow Whole VM runs at 20-60% users are complaining must be this Azure thing someone else his computer runs slow.

I often hear this. But is it really slow or is your measurement wrong ?

When you pick a machine on premise what do you take performance or Cost ? <> performance and then cost right and at the end you settle with the cost vs. performance.

But in Azure what do you take performance or Cost ?<> 100% Costs, VM’s are expensive.  This is not always wrong but sometimes is paying a bit more the best approach

In my sample here I show you the performance in a Disk with different machine types, and not picking the right components doesn’t give you the right performance. but it may well function on your workload, but then you may pay to much for you over sized configuration.

In my sample I need a VM with 300 IOPS and one with 4000 IOPS and I need one with 27000 IOPS CPU and Memory are in this case not important as it is more i/o intensive.

I pick a default Azure VM an D machine, put some disks to the machine one HDD-S30 ,SSD-E30 ,SSD-P30,SSD-P60 

 

VM Type Disk Type MiB/s I/O per s
Standard D2s v3 (2 vcpus, 8 GiB memory) HDD-S30 2.01 514.23
  SSD-E30 2.21 566.27
  SSD-P30 13.29 3403.51
  SSD-P60 12.33 3157.46

 

First goal met 500 IOPS and an cheap machine but this could also an Azure B type VM much cheaper. then I wonder why use SSD over HDD for the IOPS it’s the same speed and latency there is a point SDD are performance steady, but for normal workload. Costs If you have a lot of transactions then SDD may be cheaper. A fact is nobody knows how expensive the HDD disk are, have you ever calculated the Storage transactions ?

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below is a overview of the disk latency.

25th |    100.325 |    N/A |    100.325 HDD-S30

25th |    100.012 |   N/A |    100.012 SSD-E30

25th |      4.545 |    N/A |      4.545   SSD-P30

Comparing all the SSD disks and pick the right performance is not hard Microsoft did a great job on explaining this. on Microsoft docs

Disk size

Premium SSD sizes P30 P40 P50 P60 P70 P80
Disk size in GiB           1,024 2,048 4,096 8,192 16,384 32,767
IOPS per disk           Up to 5,000 Up to 7,500 Up to 7,500 Up to 16,000 Up to 18,000 Up to 20,000
Throughput per disk           Up to 200 MiB/sec Up to 250 MiB/sec Up to 250 MiB/sec Up to 500 MiB/sec Up to 750 MiB/sec Up to 900 MiB/sec

When you provision a premium storage disk, unlike standard storage, you are guaranteed the capacity, IOPS, and throughput of that 

 

When you provision a premium storage disk, unlike standard storage, you are guaranteed the capacity, IOPS, and throughput of that

that is interesting In my D2 machine and with a P30 I got only 3400 IOPS, so this is wrong ? Well according to the disk but the VM can only deliver 3200 IOPS with the 3400 IOPS delivered its perfectly normal then.

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The same test again with a better Azure VM and the same disks.

 

VM Type Disk Type MiB/s I/O per s
Standard DS3 v3 (4 vcpus, 14 GiB memory) HDD-S30 2.01 514.01
  SSD-E30 2.21 566.63
  SSD-P30 21.58 5523.51
  SSD-P60 51.00 13056.39

 

The requirements are there 5500 Iops for a disk that need to deliver 5000 IOPS that’s good. but what about the P60 disk , again a had cap to the VM max of 12800 IOPS

The latency is not that different for this you need a different kind of VM

25th |    100.256 |        N/A |    100.256  HDD-S30

25th |    100.008 |        N/A |    100.008 SSD-E30

25th |      4.416 |        N/A |      4.416 SSD-P30

25th |      2.135 |        N/A |      2.135  SSD-P60

Comparing the Azure VM’s selected on IOPS and select the right machine

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selecting the F4 VM that can deliver 16000 lops according the sheet .

VM Type Disk Type MiB/s I/O per s
Standard F4s (4 vcpus, 8 GiB memory) HDD-S30 2.01 514.01
  SSD-E30 2.21 566.63
  SSD-P30 21.58 5523.51
  SSD-P60 50.85 13018.46

 

Did not get the 16.000 lops in fact it produce almost the same results ad the DS3 only double the costs.

SSD-P60 latency measurement 4k blocks vs 64K blocks

25th |      2.171 |        N/A |      2.171

25th |      3.088 |        N/A |      3.088  <> 64kblocs

So this strange big machine still not hitting the limits CPU and memory is low. Seems good but not the performance

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Checking the Microsoft site : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sizes-compute

You can see a different specs result. this means the machine can’t deliver the IOPS and the Size table thinks he can. Results are bad.

Standard_F4s_v2 4 8 32 8 8000 / 63 (64) 6400 / 95 2 / 1750

 

Then lets pick a Azure VM than can deliver the iops. a F16 big VM costly but can it deliver I compare both tables In the Azure portal and the Docs

  But on the other side on the Docs https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sizes-compute

Standard_F16s_v2 16 32 128 32 32000 / 255 (256) 25600 / 380 4 / 7000

 

VM Type Disk Type MiB/s I/O per s
Standard F16s v2 (16 vcpus, 32 GiB memory) HDD-S30 2.01 514.09
  SSD-E30 2.21 566.63
  SSD-P30 21.60 5529.96
  SSD-P60 63.76 16321.29

 

This looks OK now 16000 IOPS.

But what If I build a stripe set from the SSD-P30 and SSD-P60 and HDD-S30 and SSD-E30 what would be the iops ? (it’s a bad idea to mix different disk types this is just a sample)

What if we create a stripe set ?

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Worse performance than if I user the SSD-P60 alone. Bad config to do this. 

 

HDD and SSD

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Both Disks have around 500 IOPS each and now they can produce a 1000 IOPS that’s not bad

But what happens if I combine all the disks into a Storage space direct ? combining all the disk you have and build a new disk JBOD.

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Also a Bad Idea and a waste of resources and Money an P60 disk combined with a S30

That’s all about the little side step, but it keeps me thinking…. -What if

Below is a list with similar iops performance  And Instead of using 1 SSD-P60 I’ll use 3 disks on paper I should have 3x 16000 IOPS = 48000 IOPS and 3x 500MB/s =1500 MB/s that is massive right. stripe set or Storage space or storage space direct ? all valid options but what machine do I need to handle the performance.

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I selected 3 types a E32,DS5 and a DS14 all with big price difference but similar specs .

Standard_E32s_v3 2 32 256 512 32 64000 / 512 (800) 51200 / 768 8 / 16000
Standard_DS5_v2 16 56 112 64 64000 / 512 (688) 51200 / 768 8 / 12000
Standard_DS14_v2 3 16 112 224 64 64000 / 512 (576) 51200 / 768 8 / 12000

 

First I build a Storage Pool on the DS5_V2

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Nice Capacity good latency and decent performance a round 29000 IOPS of 3 disks, in a Mirror set I’ll loose a disk so the performance is good better than I expected.  To hit the limits I should add 2 more disks to this config and see if they can handle the performance.

25th |      2.025 |        N/A |      2.025

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I’ll run the same test on a E32-8s_v3

Bigger VM much more performance, higher price.

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So overall the cheaper VM can produce the same disk performance. but the machine is $1000 cheaper per month. Again it depends what you are doing with the VM

Now the same configuration with Storagespaces Direct just to see if the performance is better, keep in mind that every run the machine performance can be a bit different so in the same range I see this as the same performance.

The S2D results on a E32 VM

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And even a step higher an expensive VM with 432 GB memory. With an S2D Cluster.

 

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So same performance when Running a StorageSpace or S2D cluster and no change on the machine type. in fact the DS5 machine is slightly better. it saves $2000 per month. If you don’t need the CPU and memory from the VM.

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So size does matter but it depends on what size you are looking right. Azure is like Lego but different. Combining the pieces makes a great solution.

Below I created a table Cost vs performance, I also compared the datasheet in the azure portal to the DOC pages and I think you should keep this page as a reference. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sizes-memory

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This shows you that in complex configurations there is no one size fits all and it comes to testing and adjusting, Tools may help you but picking the right VM size and choose the right storage can take some time. As in this I only compared disks but what if I choose Netapp files or some other disks like ultra SSD’s

And Now I did this config with 3 P60 disk that cost  $1000 each = $3,121.92 (in azure Calculator) it gets me ~30.000 IOPS

Now On the DS5 machine a 2 way mirror Auto created.

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It nags me that I can’t get the max from the VM, the must be something wrong in my configuration. lets do some quick testing change VM and Disk types

With 6 times a SSD-P30 disk  I’ll get 27.000 IOPS on the DS5 Machine

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When using a Stripeset this hits the VM limit of 768 true put. Less IOPS but more speed. So Configuration is also KEY in the used hardware.

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Lets tweak the config a bit and see if we can pass the 50.000 Iops and hit the machine limit.

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With read cache enabled and 8 P30 disks. that’s not bad right.

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The P40 disks have 7500 IOPS each will this break the record ?  (6x P40 disk storage space)

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First test same result a bit lower, but there is more to get. Testing now With 8 P40 disks

(8x P40 disk storage space)

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(8x P40 disk storage space) Manual configuration.

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(8x P40 disk storage space) Manual configuration. with 6 columns

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That’s not bad the DS5 hits the limit.

On Microsoft Ignite 2015 Mark Russinovich did a demo, where he showed a virtual machine with Premium Storage that hit over 64,000 IOPS. Well This beats the record but the Azure hardware is much better now right.

Lets Switch to some big Azure VM

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64 Cores lets see If I can use some of these cores in the S2D config.

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Oh ok it seems I need more cores or less workload on this.  But easily hit the IOPS limit on this machine.

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Overall in this is what do you need and test this also with a different configuration. Not only on price but also on performance.  In the first section I used 3x a P60 disk cost $3.000 a even better result I get with 8x P30 disk cost $1.000

Picking the right configuration can only be don based on testing and create some references for you. Azure machines and storage is changing all the time its getting better all the time. It all depends on your workload but there is no one size fits all !

 

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Posted July 9, 2019 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Azure

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Renewed as Microsoft MVP for 2019-2020 Switching to Azure #MVPBuzz #MVPAward #Azure #MicrosoftMVP #WIMVP #windowsinsider   Leave a comment

 

I am proud to announce that I was awarded by Microsoft, with the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for 2019-2020 in the category Microsoft Azure. I also hold a MVP Award in Windows Insider #WIMVP. This is my 11th Microsoft MVP award since 2009, and I couldn’t be more excited about this one.

I migrated my Self too the Cloud, took my 11 years to get from On premise to the Azure Cloud. But still looking forward to see the new Azure previews and write blogs,workshops,etc.

A big thank you for the Blog readers and twitter @ClusterMVP Followers Thanks!  

robert smit Microsoft MVP for 2019-2020 Switching to Azure #MVPBuzz #MVPAward #Azure #MicrosoftMVP #WIMVP #windowsinsider  robert smit Microsoft MVP for 2019-2020 Switching to Azure #MVPBuzz #MVPAward #Azure #MicrosoftMVP #WIMVP #windowsinsider

The first Award was in 2009 as Cluster MVP, this was a small group and since then the group merged to Cloud and Datacenter.

 

robert smit Microsoft MVP for 2019-2020 Switching to Azure #MVPBuzz #MVPAward #Azure #MicrosoftMVP #WIMVP #windowsinsiderrobert smit Microsoft MVP for 2019-2020 Switching to Azure #MVPBuzz #MVPAward #Azure #MicrosoftMVP #WIMVP #windowsinsider

Some Impressions of the MVP status.

Who are MVPs?robert smit Microsoft MVP for 2019-2020 Switching to Azure #MVPBuzz #MVPAward #Azure #MicrosoftMVP #WIMVP #windowsinsider

Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. They are always on the “bleeding edge” and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions, to solve real world problems. MVPs make up a global community of over 4,000 technical experts and community leaders across 90 countries and are driven by their passion, community spirit, and quest for knowledge. Above all and in addition to their amazing technical abilities, MVPs are always willing to help others – that’s what sets them apart.

Source https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/Overview

 

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Posted July 3, 2019 by Robert Smit [MVP] in MVP Award

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How to start with Microsoft #Azure #Bastion Service, secure VM access #AzureBastion #jumpserver #PaaS #WAC   Leave a comment

In case you may missed this Azure has released a new service called Bastion. So what is the fuzz about this new service and why should you use this ?

Bastion can Manage RDP/SSH to VMs over SSL using private IP on the VM.

Azure Bastion is a fully managed PaaS service that provides secure and seamless RDP and SSH access to your virtual machines directly through the Azure Portal. Azure Bastion is provisioned directly in your Virtual Network (VNet) and supports all VMs in your Virtual Network (VNet) using SSL without any exposure through public IP addresses.

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So basically it is the old Jump server that you already used to get into the Azure VM’s if needed. It can access all virtual machines within a virtual network through a single hardened access point. Exposing the bastion host as primary exposed public access helps lockdown of public Internet exposure and limit threats such as port scanning and other types of malware targeting your VMs.

A jump server as PaaS services.

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This seems nice but as always is it free or is it costly ? Well in the Azure Calculator you can see the Costs.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/azure-bastion/

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Ho do we start with Bastion.

 

First we need to register the new resource in Azure this is always needed to get to work with the new Azure components.

Keep in mind this can take some time to register

Get-AzProviderFeature -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Network

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With the Powershell command below we are registering the Bastion service into our subscription and network.

Register-AzProviderFeature -FeatureName AllowBastionHost -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Network

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Now that we triggered to register the Bastion services we need to wait

Check if it is done

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Then register the network again. with your subscription and the Microsoft.Network provider namespace

Register-AzResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Network

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Now that this is done we can start with the Configuration, and there a multiple ways on how to get there. by the market place or directly in the VM

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In the VM almost all the items are pre defined and ready to go if you want to go with the defaults.

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In the marketplace you need to find the bastion and select the new resource.

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Select and create the resource. Configure this accordantly and select the proper network.

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The starting point is almost the same the first one is already in the VM network and the one from the market place is just a blank one , where you need to select your network.

In this LAB I’ll go for connection directly from the VM.

Lets start in the VM go to connect and select bastion and use Bastion

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As I want to move forward quickly I already see some red lines. I need a /27 Subnet.  This is currently not in my network so I need to create a new subnet in the used Azure network.

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As shown below the extra subnet is created to connect to the AzureBastion

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The subnet inside your virtual network to which Bastion resource will be deployed. The subnet must be created with the name AzureBastionSubnet. This lets Azure know which subnet to deploy the Bastion resource to. This is different than a Gateway subnet. Click Manage subnet configuration to create the Azure Bastion Subnet. We highly recommend that you use at least a /27 or larger subnet (/27, /26, etc.). Create the AzureBastionSubnet without any Network Security Groups, route tables, or delegations. Click Create to create the subnet, then proceed with the next settings.

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Now that the Subnet is added we can creating the Bastion service.

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The validation started a it is created.

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Now that it is created we can connect to the VM with HTML5 the connection is similar with WVD RDP connection to the VM.

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You can see the created subnet.

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Connecting With chrome or with Microsoft Edge is no problem you do need to configure the popup blocker

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Web based RDP connection keep in mind the background is filtered out.

For connection with the browser you will need to allow the popup showing

 

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now that the portal has access the connection will proceed. Unless your VM is in the Wrong region

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Currently only the following regions are supported :

  • West US
  • East US
  • West Europe
  • South Central US
  • Australia East
  • Japan East
 

This is a nice feature but if you running already a hybrid site why not using the Windows admin center here you can also connect with the HTML5 browser to the Azure VM. the only thing here is you will need to connect to an external IP with proper NSG or to the internal IP with a S2S VPN connection.

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https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/azure-bastion/

 

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Posted June 20, 2019 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Azure

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Windows server 2019 Upgrade virtual machine version in Hyper-V #hyperv #winserv #hybrid   Leave a comment

Why should I upgrade the virtual machine configuration version?

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When you move or import a virtual machine to a computer that runs Hyper-V on Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, or Windows 10, the virtual machine"s configuration isn’t automatically updated. This means that you can move the virtual machine back to a Hyper-V host that runs a previous version of Windows or Windows Server. But, this also means that you can’t use some of the new virtual machine features until you manually update the configuration version. You can’t downgrade the virtual machine configuration version after you’ve upgraded it.

The virtual machine configuration version represents the compatibility of the virtual machine’s configuration, saved state, and snapshot files with the version of Hyper-V. When you update the configuration version, you change the file structure that is used to store the virtual machines configuration and the checkpoint files. You also update the configuration version to the latest version supported by that Hyper-V host. Upgraded virtual machines use a new configuration file format, which is designed to increase the efficiency of reading and writing virtual machine configuration data. The upgrade also reduces the potential for data corruption in the event of a storage failure.

 

With PowerShell we check what versions I have running

Get-VM * | Format-Table Name, Version

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As you can see I have version 5.0 – 9.0 running time for some upgrading.

This VM has version 5 and I’m upgrading this to version 9.0 , Windows server 2019 default.

Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Update/Server 2019 9.0     True

Update-VMVersion HYD-DC1 

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Confirming and done.

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If you want to upgrade all vm’s   then use a *

Update-VMVersion *

Get-VMHostSupportedVersion –Default

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Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Update/Server 2019 9.0     True

In the table below you can see the versions between the OS versions and LTSC and SAC.

Supported VM configuration versions for long-term servicing hosts

The following table lists the VM configuration versions that are supported on hosts running a long-term servicing version of Windows.

Hyper-V host Windows version 9.1 9.0 8.3 8.2 8.1 8.0 7.1 7.0 6.2 5.0
Windows Server 2019
Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019
Windows Server 2016
Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB
Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows 8.1

Supported VM configuration versions for semi-annual channel hosts

The following table lists the VM configuration versions for hosts running a currently supported semi-annual channel version of Windows.

Hyper-V host Windows version 9.1 9.0 8.3 8.2 8.1 8.0 7.1 7.0 6.2 5.0
Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903)
Windows Server, version 1903
Windows Server, version 1809
Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809)
Windows Server, version 1803
Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803)
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709)
Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703)
Windows 10 Anniversary Update (version 1607)

 

 

 

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Posted June 5, 2019 by Robert Smit [MVP] in Windows Server 2019

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