Azure DNS and Static IPs

I run a domain in Azure, meaning I have domain controllers and a lot of VMs joined to my domain. I run applications on those VMs such as System Center 2012 R2 components, SQL Server, customer web portals, Active Directory Federation Services, and so on. In any production environment I like to utilize static IPs…


Microsoft Azure (IaaS) Cost Estimator Tool

Until now, when evaluating datacenter compute resources and estimating costs in the cloud has been a challenge. Typically we’re looking at a physical or virtual machine configuration such as CPU size, memory, disk space and so on. However, there are other resources that are more difficult to estimate such as bandwidth usage, storage transactions, and…


Back up an Azure VM using Microsoft Azure Automation

Backing up a virtual machine in any cloud can be cumbersome. However with Microsoft Azure Automation, backing up a virtual machine (VM) can be done in just a few easy steps and be scheduled to run when you need it to. Next I’ll walk through how to create an Azure Automation Runbook to back up…


Microsoft Azure Automation

Automation within Microsoft Azure? Yes it’s real. Last week during the Microsoft Build conference Azure Automation was announced. Azure Automation allows you to do the following: Azure Automation allows you to automate the creation, deployment, monitoring, and maintenance of resources in your Azure environment using a highly scalable and reliable workflow execution engine. Orchestrate time-consuming…


Move VM’s between Hyper-V and Windows Azure

One of the benefits when working with Hyper-V and Windows Azure is the portability of Virtual Machines. For example when Virtual Machines are created in Windows Azure, you have the option to pull them down and run them on your Hyper-V servers or you have the option to push Hyper-V Virtual Machines to Windows Azure….


Create a self-signed certificate for use with Windows Azure using a Windows script.

If you’ve worked with Windows Azure you’ll know that a certificate is required to interface with Windows Azure from external tools such as PowerShell and Visual Studio. However management certificates are also required to interact with Windows Azure as well. For example, the solutions within System Center 2012 require a management certificate to manage or…


Virtualizing SQL Server on Hyper-V and on Windows Azure VMs

I’ve been asked the question by many organizations: “can we virtualize SQL Server?” My answer is typically yes, however there are several factors to consider before moving SQL Server workloads to a virtualized environment. For the purposes of this post I’ll focus on virtualizing SQL Server on Windows Server Hyper-V, however several, if not all…


Backing up Servers to Windows Azure Backup via Recovery Services

Looking for a quick method to back up your Windows servers however you don’t want to consume any more onsite storage? Windows Azure Backup Vault is the answer. Windows Azure Backup Agent is an add-on for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 that you can download and install to schedule…


System Center Virtual Machine Manager & Service Templates

Traditionally system administrators and engineers deploy virtual machines on a one off basis.  However the issue I have with this methodology is it takes too long to deploy and integrate the necessary tiers to host an entire application (or even an simple one). What if there was a way to connect, configure, and deploy all…


Working with Windows Azure Storage

Q: What’s an easy and cost effective (e.g. free) method for me to access Windows Azure storage and upload .VHD files? NOTE: The following isn’t a complete list and there are many tools and suites available however I focused on tools that are easy to use and are primarily free. A: There are a variety…