Extending SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn Resource Groups with Storage Spaces on Microsoft Azure

The new Azure Preview Portal makes it super-easy to configure a highly available SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn Availability Group cluster with a new Azure Resource Group Template.  After completing 4 fields of information and clicking a single Create button, a complete cluster environment including an Azure Storage Account, Virtual Network, Active Directory Domain Controllers and…


Diagnose Azure Virtual Network VPN connectivity issues with PowerShell

Azure Virtual Network Gateways provide a great solution for quickly building secure cross-premises network connectivity for a Hybrid Cloud via IPsec site-to-site VPN tunnels. However, VPN tunnels can sometimes be a bit tricky to configure with certain on-premises VPN gateways.  When the VPN tunnel isn't able to connect between Azure and your on-premises gateway device…


Step-by-Step: Revoking and Reinstating Client VPN Certificates for Azure Point-to-Site VPNs

Microsoft Azure provides Point-to-Site VPN (aka. Client VPN) connectivity for secure remote access by development and operations teams to cloud-based workloads that are provisioned on an Azure Virtual Network.  Azure Point-to-Site VPN connectivity uses SSTP as a firewall-friendly tunneling protocol and certificates for mutual authentication of each client connection. You can find more details on…


Quick Tip: List Current Client Connections on Azure Point-to-Site VPN with PowerShell and REST API

Microsoft Azure provides secure access to cloud-based VMs for developers and IT operations teams via Point-to-Site VPN (aka. Client VPN) connectivity.  This solution uses SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol) to provide a secure, firewall-friendly solution that uses the native VPN client built-in with Windows 7 and later.  In a future article, we'll also look at…


Step-by-Step: Automated Provisioning for Linux in the Cloud with Microsoft Azure, XPlat CLI, JSON and Node.js ( Part 2 )

There's lots of tools that can be leveraged for automating Linux workloads on Microsoft Azure, including Azure Automation, PowerShell DSC for Linux, VM Agent Custom Scripts, Cloud-Init, XPlat CLI for Azure, Vagrant, Docker and third-party tools such as Chef and Puppet.  Azure provides a wide variety of automation options so that you can choose the…


Step-by-Step: Automated Provisioning for Linux in the Cloud with Microsoft Azure, XPlat CLI, JSON and Node.js ( Part 1 )

Since previously publishing the Quick Start Guide for Building Highly Available Linux Servers in the Cloud on Microsoft Azure, several people have asked me about ways in which Linux workload provisioning can be automated with Azure. There's lots of tools that can be leveraged for automating Linux workloads on Microsoft Azure, including Azure Automation, PowerShell…


Quick Tip: List all Static IPs on an Azure Virtual Network using PowerShell

We can assign static internal IP addresses for Azure Virtual Machines on a Virtual Network using either PowerShell or the new Azure Preview Portal. This is a useful capability for provisioning VM workloads that may require fixed IP address assignments, such as DNS servers. Provisioning a VM with a Static internal IP address using Azure…


Quick Tip: Listing all IaaS VMs or PaaS Roles on an Azure Virtual Network via PowerShell

When managing Microsoft Azure Virtual Networks via the Azure Management Portal, we can easily see a list of IaaS Virtual Machines and/or PaaS web/worker roles that are connected to a particular virtual network, as shown below. List of resources connected to Azure Virtual Network via Management Portal Question: How can I determine this same type…


Scripts-to-Tools: Automate Health Monitoring Alert Rules in the Cloud with PowerShell and the Azure Service Management REST API

After successfully provisioning new IaaS virtual machines or PaaS cloud services in Microsoft Azure, the focus often turns to workload monitoring for ensuring the continued health of the solutions we've deployed. Microsoft Azure includes native monitoring and email alerting capabilities for deployed workloads, and you can certainly extend monitoring to more granular levels with additional…


End-to-End IaaS Workload Provisioning in the Cloud with Azure Automation and PowerShell DSC ( Part 2 )

This article is Part 2 of a two-part series on automating the end-to-end provisioning process for IaaS workloads running on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.  This process includes orchestration of all tasks, provisioning cloud fabric resources, and configuring operating system and application workloads running inside Azure VMs. The end goal of this effort is to…