Category Archives : IT Pro



Class schedules on Azure Lab Services
Class schedules on Azure Lab Services

Classroom labs in Azure Lab Services make it easy to set up labs by handling the creation and management of virtual machines and enabling the infrastructure to scale. Through our continuous enhancements to Azure Lab Services, we are proud share that the latest deployment now includes added support for class schedules.

Schedules management is one of the key features requested by our customers. This feature helps teachers easily create, edit, and delete schedules for their classes. A teacher can set up a recurring or a one-time schedule and provide a start, end date, and time for the class in the time zone of choice. Schedules can be viewed and managed through a simple, easy to use calendar view.

Students virtual machines are turned on and ready to use when a class schedule starts and will be turned off at the end of the schedule. This feature helps limit the usage of virtual machines to class times only, thereby helping IT admins and teachers manage costs efficiently.

Schedule hours are not counted against quota allotted to a student. Quota is the time limit outside of schedule hours when a student can use the virtual machine.

With schedules, we are also




Azure Stack IaaS – part one
Azure Stack IaaS – part one

This blog post was co-authored by Daniel Savage, Principal Program Manager, Azure Stack and Tiberiu Radu, Senior Program Manager, Azure Stack.

Azure Stack at its core is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform

When we discuss Azure Stack with our customers, they see the value in Azure Stack providing cloud-native capabilities to their datacenters. They see the opportunity to modernize their apps and address the unique solutions Azure Stack can deliver, but they often pause as they ponder where to begin. They wonder how to get value from the investments they have in apps currently running on virtual machines (VM). They wonder, “Does Azure Stack help me here? What if I am not quite ready for Platform-as-a-Service?” These questions are difficult, but the answers become more clear when they understand that Azure Stack at its core is an IaaS platform.

Azure Stack allows customers to run their own instance of Azure in their datacenter. Organizations pick Azure Stack as part of their cloud strategy because it helps them handle situations when the public cloud won’t work for them. The three most common reasons use Azure Stack are because of poor network connectivity to the public cloud, regulatory or contractual requirements, or backend




Configure resource group control for your Azure DevTest Lab

As a lab owner, you now have the option to configure all your lab virtual machines (VMs) to be created in a single resource group. This helps prevent you from reaching resource group limits on your Microsoft Azure subscription. The feature will also help by enabling you to consolidate all your lab resources within a single resource group. In result this will simplify tracking those resources and applying policies to manage them at the resource group level. This article will discuss improving governance of your development and test environments by using Azure polices that you can apply at the resource group level.

This feature allows you to use a script to either specify a new or existing resource group within your Azure subscription for all your lab VMs to be created in. It is important to note that currently we support this feature through an API, however we will soon be adding an in-product experience for you to configure this setting for your lab.

Now let’s walk through the options you have as a lab owner while using this API:

You can choose the lab’s resource group for all VMs to be created in going forward. You can choose an




Help us shape new Azure migration capabilities: Sign up for early access!

Based on Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery usage trends, we know that many of you are well along on your Azure migration journey. We’re now working on the next wave of innovation to further enhance and simplify your migration experience. We have a great opportunity for you to influence and shape product direction through early access to new capabilities.

Delivering an integrated end-to-end migration experience that enables you to discover, assess, and migrate servers to Azure is the goal. To that end, we have several new capabilities in our roadmap, including a new user experience with partner tool integration, Hyper-V environment assessment, and server migration enhancements. You are welcome to migrate your workloads to Azure using these new features, and we will enable you by providing production support.

If you’d like to be part of this awesome opportunity, please fill and submit this form as soon as possible. We will review your submission and follow up with on-boarding steps, including detailed guidance on how to participate and provide feedback.

Your feedback is extremely valuable in helping us improve our product offerings. We look forward to sharing more about what we’ve been working on and look forward to your inputs!




Adventure awaits: Azure Trivia is back!
Adventure awaits: Azure Trivia is back!

You know that feeling—the one that rushes in right after you’ve cracked an achingly tough problem or a tangled string of code. It’s the pure adrenaline, joy, and satisfaction you get from reaching the next level—a new challenge in and of itself.

This year’s #AzureTrivia celebrates your love of problem solving, growth, and adventure. Players will be taken on an exciting, mystical journey where you’ll not only pick up new skills, but test your technical prowess in order to unlock new lands and win some sweet, sweet swag.

Check out @Azure every Monday on Twitter for a new Azure-related question to tackle. Get it right and you’ll be entered to win a weekly prize. Just select your answer from multiple choices and tweet out the correct answer no later than 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Thursday each week. (Be sure to use the handy auto-generated tweet, including #AzureTrivia and the original image, for official entry to win.)

Pro tip: Come back every week for a brand-new problem to solve and the chance to win!

If you love playing #AzureTrivia and want a competitive edge, check out these free Azure learning resources to kick your problem-solving skills up a notch!




Apply the latest Azure Site Recovery capabilities with automatic agent update

One of the biggest hassles faced by administrators while using services provided by cloud providers is the need to catch up with the latest release and stay up-to-date. This involves downloading the latest software and performing frequent upgrades. In an enterprise scenario, this means going through various level of approvals and wait time before you can make any changes. It becomes even more cumbersome if downtime is involved.

Enable Site Recovery to manage automatic updates for Mobility Service

Azure Site Recovery has a monthly release cadence where it makes enhancements to existing features or add new capabilities. Architecture reference shows when you enable disaster recovery of Azure virtual machines, a component known as mobility service agent gets installed on the VM. In order to avoid the overhead associated with upgrading the agents, users can choose to enable Site Recovery to manage updates for you. Once you enable automatic update, the Mobility Service extension gets updated automatically with every new release.

What’s the advantage? You no longer need to plan for deploying the new versions with every release, and automatic update doesn’t require a reboot of your Azure Virtual Machines, nor does it affect on-going replication.

How to enable automatic updates?





Extension Host is coming to Azure Stack with the next update 1811

In August 2018, we informed Azure Stack users of a new capability coming to Microsoft Azure Stack though the blog post “Enhance security and simplify network integration with Extension Host on Azure Stack”. This capability further enhances security and simplifies network integration for Azure Stack. We are proud to share that Extension Host will be enabled by the next Azure Stack update, 1811. Please note, this update does require that two additional certificates be imported in advance.

Skipping the required preparation will result in a failure during pre-update validation checks, and will result in a halt to the updating process. There is still time to acquire these two certificates which are necessary for the integration of Azure Stack update 1811.

A validation check is already part of the newly released 1809 hotfix and it shows a warning alert in the operator portal if the required certificates have not yet been imported. This is a reminder with a call to action to follow the preparation guidance in order to be prepared for the upcoming Azure Stack update 1811.

New deployments of Azure Stack have been requiring these two additional certificates since September 2018. Please check with your Azure Stack hardware partner




Five habits of highly effective Azure users
Five habits of highly effective Azure users

There’s a lot you can do with Azure. But whether you’re modernizing your IT environment, building next-generation apps, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, or deploying any of a million other solutions, there are foundational habits that can help you succeed.

On the Azure team, we spend a lot of time listening to our customers and understanding what makes them successful. We’ve started to compile a handful of routine activities that can help you get the most out of Azure.

Stay on top of proven practice recommendations

Highly effective Azure users understand that optimization is never really finished. To stay on top of the latest proven practices, they regularly review Azure Advisor.

Advisor is a free tool that analyzes your Azure resource configurations and usage and offers recommendations to optimize your workloads for high availability, security, performance, and cost. Examples of popular Advisor recommendations include rightsizing or shutting down underutilized Virtual Machines (VMs) and configuring backup for your VMs.

You can think of Advisor as your single pane of glass for recommendations across Azure. Advisor integrates with companion tools like Azure Security Center and Azure Cost Management, which makes it easier for you to discover and act on all