Enroll your devices in Intune and deploy a new App in the Azure Portal
Posted by Florent Appointaire on January 24, 2018
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Microsoft Intune

After seeing on how to start with Intune in the new Azure Portal, we will see how to enroll devices (iOS, Android & Windows 10) and how to deploy applications on them.

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5 Tips to Master VMware vCenter Server Appliance
Posted by Vladan Seget on January 23, 2018
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VMware vCenter server appliance is evolving with every major release of VMware vSphere Suite. The product, which manages the whole vSphere infrastructure, can be either installed on a Windows server or deployed as pre-configured virtual appliance called vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA).

Over several VCSA releases, VMware managed to make this product equal to the Windows-based one, and it pushes the development even further so now the Linux based product has more features than the vCenter server installed on Windows.

However, many VMware admins are also Microsoft guys and like the graphical user interface to work with. That’s why today we’ll have a look at 5 Tips to manage this appliance. We won’t go into the configuration steps within this post as this has been documented many times.

VMware vCSA Restart services

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Why should you install the latest VMware vCenter 6.5 Update 1d /1e?
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on January 18, 2018
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Throughout the last month, VMware has released two important updates for virtual infrastructure management server – VMware vCenter 6.5 Update 1d and 1e. Both updates have significantly improved the functionality of the vCenter management server, despite it’s just one more letter added to Update 1.

VMware vCenter 6.5 Update 1d

vCenter 6.5 Update 1d is interesting because it includes an updated HTML5 client for administrating vSphere virtual infrastructure. Its previous version has been included in vSphere Update 1 and since that time, there has been more than a dozen of vSphere Client updates released on VMware Labs website.

Keep in mind that this client still doesn’t support the functionality of vSphere in full. You can learn about its current functionality difference from vSphere Web Client in this article. These differences are described for 3.31 client version included in vCenter 6.5 Update 1d and at the moment of writing this article, the 3.32 version was released.

VMware Patch Portal

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Start configuring Intune in the new Azure Portal
Posted by Florent Appointaire on January 17, 2018
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Microsoft Intune image

With the new Azure portal launched some months ago now, Microsoft is trying to move all management console in this new portal, and it’s the case with Microsoft Intune.

To manage your Intune subscription now, you need to pass through the Azure Portal.

To remember, Intune is a service to manage the mobility of your IT environment (mobile phone, laptop, etc.).

I’ll now explain to you how to start with this new interface.

To start, be sure to have an Intune subscription associated with your account.

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Choosing proper V2V converter for smooth VM migration
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on January 16, 2018
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Introduction

Migrating your VMs from one hypervisor to another may be a bit of a challenge if you don’t have some decent virtual machine converter at hand. Different hypervisors have their own proprietary VM formats: VMDK, VHD and VHDX, QCOW, you name it. The problem is that one VM format can be not supported on other platforms. In this case, a V2V converter is a must-have. Now, the question arises: which converter should I choose?

V2V converter

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Cluster Rolling Upgrade from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016
Posted by Boris Yurchenko on January 11, 2018
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During its lifetime, any system reaches a point when it needs to be upgraded, either in terms of hardware or software. Today, I will talk about such changes, in particular, about upgrading Windows Failover Cluster nodes from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016 with no production interruption. Thanks to Microsoft, we do have a Cluster Rolling Upgrade procedure at our fingertips, and I am going to get through it and confirm it works for virtualized disks as cluster shared volumes in Windows Failover Cluster. This procedure assumes rebuilding nodes with clean OS deployment one by one, while the production keeps running from the other cluster node.

To begin with, I have a 2-node Windows Failover Cluster with Windows Server 2012 R2 installed on the nodes. The cluster has got 2 CSVs along with the Quorum. The whole system is configured in a hyperconverged scenario.

Joining a node to a Windows Failover Cluster

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5 useful tips to work with VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on January 10, 2018
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Nowadays, many VMware vSphere administrators manage their virtual infrastructures with VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 (vCSA). This solution currently is a full-fledged alternative to the VMware vCenter for Windows which becomes a thing of the past.

For ones who use vCSA not that long, this post provides several procedures which simplify solutions’ daily use. Let’s have a look at how they may come in handy.

vCenter Single Sign-On

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Improve your Cluster Shared Volume security with Microsoft BitLocker
Posted by Ivan Ischenko on January 4, 2018
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Introduction

Nowadays, every company is doing its best to protect its data, which is pretty much its most valuable asset. As you know, data is vulnerable to unauthorized access and that’s when Microsoft BitLocker saves the day. BitLocker is the encryption technology from Microsoft, which makes possible to encrypt the Logical Volume on the transparent blade-based level (not physical disk). In this article, we will see how to encrypt Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) using Microsoft BitLocker to protect your data against unauthorized access.

Starting from Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has added the BitLocker support for Cluster Shared Volumes to create an additional layer of protection for sensitive, highly available data. It allows adding an extra barrier to security by allowing only certain user accounts access to unlock the BitLocker volume. BitLocker uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption algorithm with either 128-bit or 256-bit keys. As to authentication options…well, there are few to choose from. You can authenticate by specifying a PIN or by storing a key on a flash drive, which you would then need to insert in order to boot the system.

Bitlocker Drive Encryption status

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What’s Split Brain and how to avoid it like the plague?
Posted by Sergey Sanduliak on January 3, 2018
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In this article, we will discuss the split brain issue, and different approaches to prevent it from happening.

The situation when communication loss between the cluster nodes is caused by network connection problems is called network partition, which can lead to split brain. According to Wikipedia, split brain is a computer term, based on an analogy with the medical split-brain syndrome. It can be a real horror for a system administrator to handle the consequences of a split brain.

A split brain can happen if active nodes lose all synchronization and heartbeat connections between them at the same time and are not able to communicate anymore to define the synchronization state of the partner node. Split brain indicates data or availability inconsistencies originating from the maintenance of two separate data sets with overlap in scope.

split brain syndrome

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Step by Step: Backing Up Windows System State into Azure
Posted by Augusto Alvarez on December 28, 2017
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Using the Azure Backup features for your on-premises platform is a great way to start introducing your organization into cloud services. So, if you haven’t explored the service yet, this is a good option since it should not be disruptive with your current backup process or any critical service you are providing. In this article, we’ll review a simple step-by-step process to set a System State backup of one of your on-premises machines to Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft Azure Backup image

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