Archives For Configurations

mind-the-gap

Based on the current builds, compared to Server, Nano Server has 93 percent lower VHD size, 92 percent fewer critical bulletins and 80 percent fewer reboots!

Deploying Nano Server to Azure

I’ve been curious about Nano Server for a while now. And I recently noticed that it was available on Microsoft Azure. This post is definitely from a developers point-of-view. It goes through the steps required to create a functional Nano Server Virtual Machines (VM) on Microsoft Azure.

Nano Server is ideal for many scenarios:

  • As a “compute” host for Hyper-V virtual machines, either in clusters or not
  • As a storage host for Scale-Out File Server.
  • As a DNS server
  • As a web server running Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • As a host for applications that are developed using cloud application patterns and run in a container or virtual machine guest operating system.

The Adventure

Nano Server is a remotely administered server operating system (OS). Wait. Let me repeat this because it’s important… Nano Server is a remotely administered server operating system (OS). Developers, Nano Server is a server OS optimized for clouds and data centers. It’s designed to take up far less disk space, to setup significantly faster, and to require far fewer restarts than Windows Server. So why does this matter? Well it means more resources, more availability and stability for our Apps. And it also means that it’s time to learn new skills, because there is no local logon capability at all, nor does it support Terminal Services. However, we have a wide variety of options for managing Nano Server remotely, including Windows PowerShell, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Windows Remote Management, and Emergency Management Services (EMS). Continue Reading…

Ice-Shot-Glasses

Microsoft Azure has a lot of options when it comes to provisioning environments and resources. In my last post about troubleshooting Virtual Machine allocations, I enumerated a few of these options and briefly mentioned that I favored destroying environments to shutting them down. In this post, I will try to give more context around my preference.
Continue Reading…

522032651_a4efb16f62

Oops . . . did I delete that VM?

Accidents happen. Resource Locks help prevent them.

The Resource Lock level is applied at the resource group or resource scope. These can be set by the administrators can be set to CanNotDelete.

Using a modified version of the ARM Template from a post on creating a CentOS Virtual Machine, let’s provision a VM that is protected it from accidental deletion. The best thing about creating locks in ARM Templates, is that it centralizes the configuration. It makes it easier to maintain and simplifies our workflow.

As a best practice, we should consider creating Resource Locks for mission critical resources in our Azure Resource Manager (ARM) Templates.

Continue Reading…

multi-geo

While I was playing around with the Azure Resource Manager Copy Operation, I started thinking about what I could do with it. The first wild idea that popped into my head was, to use it to deploy multi-geo environments from a single ARM Template.

Alright, some of you might think that it’s not such great idea, and I can appreciate that. But I’m just too curious, so let’s give this a chance. Continue Reading…

ARM Resource Group

Deploying 20 CentOS VMs in 4 Minutes!

I recently started to toy around with scenarios that required me to deploy multiple duplicates of the same CentOS Virtual Machine configuration. Working on this scenario got me curious. So I decided to build a template that would allow me to deploy 20 CentOS Virtual Machines each with one 1TB data disk and one public IP addresses.

To my surprise, deploying these 20 Standard A1 CentOS Virtual Machines on Microsoft Azure took 4 minutes!

Building the ARM Template

Let’s start by taking a CentOS ARM Template from a previous post. It will be our starting point for this exercise. Now, let’s removed the extra data disk and removed the Custom Script for Linux Virtual Machine Extension.

To duplicate a resource, we must use the copy operation. It enables us to use an index number or to iterate through an array of values that can be used when deploying a resource.

"copy": {
          "name": "nodeCopy",
          "count": "[parameters('vmCount')]"
}

In this specific scenario, we want all our Virtual Machines to belong to the same Virtual Network and Subnet. Therefore, we need to duplicate each Virtual Machine, their Network Interface Cards (NIC) and their Public IP Addresses.

The following template, demonstrates the use of copyIndex() and concat(), to generate predictable identifiers for each copy. Continue Reading…

lockdown

Lock it Down!

Accidents happen. Resource Locks help prevent them.

The Resource Lock level is applied at the resource group or resource scope. These can be set by the administrators and current values include CanNotDelete and ReadOnly.

Using a modified version of the ARM Template from a post on creating a CentOS Virtual Machine, let’s provision a VM and protect it from accidental deletion.

As a best practice, we should consider implementing Resource Locks for mission critical resources. Continue Reading…

huge-shark

A Monster VM Azure Resource Manager Template

In April I wrote a post about building a monster Virtual Machine using PowerShell on Microsoft Azure. Since then, Microsoft has released version 2 of the Azure Resource Manager (ARM). This version allows us to define a Virtual Machine, its data disks and its Desired State Configuration (DSC) VM Extensions as a template. Seeing this as a great opportunity, I decided to convert my first PowerShell script to an ARM template that would create a Virtual Machine and striped data disk.

The Target Virtual Machine Configuration

16 Cores
112 GB of RAM
800 GB of local SSD for temp disk
32 TB for the data disk
50,000 IOPS for the data disk
512 MB per second for the data disk

Continue Reading…

lift-and-shift-service

Having written about lifting and shifting a Console Application, I decided to mirror the scenario and describe how a similar method can be used to lift and shift a Windows Service to Microsoft Azure.

Moving a Service to Microsoft Azure

Every time I dig a little deeper into Azure, I’m amazed at how much there is to know. Having done a few projects with Cloud Services in the past, I thought it would be interesting to see if it was possible to lift and shift a Windows Service into an Azure Worker Role.

Lift and Shift: The action of moving a workload to a new environment, without altering the application’s code.

Continue Reading…

clock-work

Scaling Azure Cloud Services

When we build applications on the cloud, we usually favor scaling-out over scaling-up. Consequently, scaling in and out is supported out of the box on Microsoft Azure. On rare occasions, there is a business need to scale-up during peak hours and to scale-down for the quiet hours. This blog post will show you how to achieve this with the help of Microsoft Azure Automation and with PowerShell.

Keep in mind, that scaling up and down requires us to be creative. Continue Reading…

lift-and-shift-5

Moving to Microsoft Azure

Every time I dig a little deeper into Azure, I’m amazed at how much there is to know. Having done a few projects with Cloud Services in the past, I thought it would be interesting to see if it was possible to lift and shift a Console Application into an Azure Worker Role.

Lift and Shift: The action of moving a workload to a new environment, without altering the application’s code.

Continue Reading…