Help Microsoft learn about Backup/Recovery and DR for Azure Stack

Microsoft unveiled Azure Stack at Ignite 2015 conference earlier this year. If you have not yet watched the Ignite session explaining Azure Stack you can watch the recording here.

Azure Stack 

Microsoft is reaching out to you to answer a few quick questions on how you (plan to) use backup/recovery and DR on your private or hosted clouds. 

This will help to clarify the investments in this area.

Take the survey

Note: The link to the survey has an expiration. I’ll remove this blog once the link is inactive.

Hyperconverged with Windows Server 2016

There has been a lot of development the last couple of years on the Hypervisor and Storage landscape.
Where in the past we did big investments in separate infrastructure for Compute and Storage Array Network (SAN), now we see developments that beholds a combined infrastructure for both.

While the big vendors not seemed “All-in” on the Hyperconverged technology there have been very successful starts-ups focusing on this technology like Nutanix and Simplivity. Also VMware is picking up with the announcement of EVO:RAIL at VMworld in October 2014.

Hyperconverged with Windows Server 2016

This May, at the Microsoft Ignite conference, Microsoft announced their new Windows Server 2016 operating system.
Although there are many new features shipping with this release, one particularly caught my eye:

Storage Spaces Direct

With Storage Spaces Direct we have the ability to pool local disks of multiple servers to one big virtual disk.
This virtual disk can we add to a Failover cluster and use it as shared storage. I will write this down again: Use local disks as shared storage.
With this functionality Microsoft also announced they will support running Hyper-V Virtual Machines on the same servers as your using for your storage.
Voila, Hyperconverged with Windows Server 2016.

I know an illustration works better than words so this is what a Hyperconverged infrastructure will look like.


Hyperconverged makes your infrastructure drastically less complex, If you need extra storage or compute power, just shove an extra server in your cluster and you’re ready to go!
The storage virtualization software (Storage Spaces) will take care of the rest and will rebalance your data across the servers.

This above described functionality is all out-of-the-box with Windows Server 2016. Although Windows Server 2016 is planned for release somewhere around the summer 2016 timeframe, there are already public previews out to test.
You can download the Windows Server 2016 public previews here.

Thank you for reading my post.
I regularly write about Microsoft technologies on various blogs.
If you would like to read my regular posts then feel free to also connect via Twitter @DarrylvdPeijl

Lessons learned: DSC Pull Security and Integration with WAPack [DUPSUG]


Last Dutch PowerShell User Group (DUPSUG) on May 26th I presented a session on end-2-end Secure DSC Pull Services. The demo scripts can be found here: and I have recorded the demo and posted it on youtube for your review.

On top of that, I demoed interaction / integration between components like DSC Web Pull Server, PKI, VM Role, SMA and Hyper-V.

In this blog post I’m going to describe and share the demo pieces I have shown for the integration / interaction demo. It is a build up from the previous 10 part blog series on DSC integration with Windows Azure Pack VM Roles. So if you are missing pieces to follow or prerequisite knowledge, please start reading here:

During this post, links will be provided to download the presentation and the files.


Azure Stack – What’s new and what’s changed

At Ignite 2015 Microsoft announced Microsoft Azure Stack. Microsoft brings with this version literally the Public Azure to your own Datacenter. Azure stack will contain the same bits as they run in Azure. So that’s looking really promising as I can’t even imagine how many services they offer in Azure. The big keyword here is consistency. When you as a tenant creating a new deployment they will allow you to take that deployment and run it in Azure, the Service Provider running Azure Stack and your own data center if you are running Azure Stack. And that’s a big change versus the last 2 editions of Azure Pack. But as Daniel Neumann  mentioned on his blog, it is not an updated version of Azure pack, but an entirely new product. In this blog post I am going to highlight the new features that makes all this consistency possible. You see in the image below that Azure Stack and Azure consist of the same building blocks, starting with the Cloud Infrastructure or as we also know it as the fabric. On top of that they provide the Azure portal and on top of that we deploy our services no matter if it is running Windows or Linux.


Microsoft Azure Stack Announcement

From Azure Announcement blog


“Microsoft is the only cloud vendor that builds and runs its own hyper-scale datacenters and delivers that technology back to customers. We are infusing our experience into our hybrid cloud technology through battle-hardened cloud infrastructure and integration of Azure design points for greater consistency between Azure and customers’ datacenters. We are bringing the next wave of this innovation to our customers with Microsoft Azure Stack.

Built on the same core technology as Azure, Microsoft Azure Stack designed to bring Azure to your datacenter for the deployment of enterprise and modern applications at any scale. Azure Stack enables IT professionals to transition from traditional IT control methods to providing users and developers access the tools they need when they need them, while still maintaining central control.

  • Empowering users and developers with a consistent, self-service cloud experience: Azure Stack brings the ease of cloud application deployment to the on-premises datacenter, supporting the same experience as Azure with Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates (made available in preview last week at BUILD). ARM templates provide a gateway through the Azure portal for seamless service delivery across Azure and datacenters, reducing friction in the hybrid environment. Users can deploy workloads to Azure or on-premises based on business requirements, focusing on the application itself rather than the infrastructure. Azure Stack enables access to many of the same Azure IaaS and PaaS services on-premises, with the same intuitive self-service experience they would have with Azure. Azure Stack also empowers developers to innovate faster and on their terms by providing access to the broadest set of development tools and platforms.
  • Improving flexibility with cloud-inspired software defined infrastructure: Azure Stack extends Microsoft’s investments in the software-defined datacenter across compute, software-defined storage, software-defined networking, and software-defined security. These innovations provide a flexible and more secure datacenter architecture
  • Speeding time to value with simplified deployment: The deployment and configuration of private and hybrid clouds can be daunting and resource-intensive. Azure Stack will offer a simplified deployment and configuration experience.

Customers will be able to take advantage of the first Azure Stack features in preview this summer.  For more information, visit”

Microsoft Azure Stack Video and ARM Templates

Here is a video of the Microsoft Azure Stack introduction at Ignite by Jeff Woolsey


What Jeff did not show because of time constraints: deploying an Azure Resource Manager Template

Here is just one example:



Microsoft Ignite 2015 Notes

Here are some random notes from Ignite 2015


  • Server Technical Preview 2 on Technet
  • 130k IOPS in Azure VM is very impressive
  • Windows Server 2016 User Voice
  • Win10 will be “Azure AD Aware”-will have something called AzureAD join
  • Azure Operational Insights generally available & becomes a part of Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS)
  • If you don’t provide a computername in the unattend.xml for Nano, It will be named “minwinpc” No unique name being generated
  • Test the Storage QoS feature in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2 using the guide at…
  • Channel9 Session Downloader v1.81
  • Data Deduplication in Windows Server Technical Preview 2
  • Office 2016 Public Preview now available
  • Nano Server can be  installed as a Generation 2 VM from a VHDX by using convert-WindowsImage.ps1 with -VHDPartitionStyle to GPT
  • Azure Networking: User defined routing, multiple NIC’s, and expanded appliance catalog in Azure networks
  • You can place all kinds of resources in an Azure Resource Group and use a single-click parameterized template to deploy it to Azure or in your own datacenter (with Azure Stack)
  • Enhanced ExpressRoute Connectivity between on-premises and Azure
  • image
  • Windows 10 is the last version of Windows. Everything else will be an update


Theme Night focusing on Hybrid Identity & Business Continuity

It is a great time for big Microsoft events. We’ve just closed the door on Build 2015 in Los Angeles. Today the colossal new event Microsoft Ignite is about to open its doors and soon we’ll have the local Microsoft TechDays. We are seeing fantastic developments around Azure, Windows Server, Windows 10, Open Windows Platform, Continuum and Hololens. We may even get a glimpse of the new Azure Pack.

The SCUG NL & user groups offer you to follow these developments closer to home. Just before Techdays 2015, we organize our second Theme Night called:

“Azure to the rescue: Hybrid Identity & Business Continuity”


In this second edition of Theme Night, Simon May and Sergio Pattinama will talk about Hybrid Identity, Windows 10 and Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery based on Azure Site Recovery (ASR). Simon will dive into the world of Hybrid Identity. How to you connect your on-premises Active Directory and Azure Active Directory and why this is an important part of Microsoft Online Cloud Services such as Azure, Office 365 and Microsoft Intune. Next Sergio Pattinama will show how to set up Azure Site Recovery to make DR scenarios easily accessible for customers with Hyper-V, VMware and even physical servers. Replication to your own second datacenter, a hosting provider datacenter or the Azure datacenter are possible targets for ASR. In the third and final presentation, Simon May will talk about enterprise mobility with Windows 10.


May 27, 2015


  • 16:30 – 17:00: Reception
  • 17:00 – 18:00: Diner/Buffet
  • 18:00 – 19:00: Hybrid Identity – Simon May
  • 19:00 – 19:15: Break
  • 19:15 – 20:15: Business Continuity – Sergio Pattinama
  • 20:15 – 20:30: Break
  • 20:30 – 21:30: Enterprise Mobility – Simon May

What are “Theme Nights” ?

During these events we keep you up-to-date with topics regarding Azure, Hyper-V & System Center!  Developments in IT-land go so fast that it is very hard to only touch the surface of these subjects. We choose a Theme Night to go deeper on the individual topics and hope to give you a deep understanding of a particular topic. We try to get (international) renowned speakers, often MVP in the field.

Free ticket to Techdays 2015

During this “Theme Night” we’ll raffle a free ticket to TechDays 2015! The Dutch event will be on May 28-29, a top-event with 150 sessions you really shouldn’t miss.

Of course we close with a food and drinks.

Please be quick to register as from experience we know we normally sell out quite rapidly!


Startbaan 8
1185 XR Amstelveen


We aim to maintain a low threshold with these events, so there is no fee. Still we try to keep the number of no-shows as low as possible. You can help by registering only if you’ll definitely turn up. If something else comes up, please cancel your registration so it becomes available to others again.
Without sponsors this event would not be possible. We thank inovativ for making this event possible!

On behalf of Inovativ, en SCUG.NL we hope to see you in Amstelveen on May 27th

Azure IaaS Toolkit

I was at the Azure Global Bootcamp last month where we built a number of Azure VMs and networks. We also configured load balancing and several other settings. When I came home, I thought that it would be much easier if we could manage endpoints, load balancers and network security groups via a GUI. So the end result is available on the TechNet Gallery. Please look at it and if you have any feedback please let me know.

àAvailable on Technet Galleryß

When you start the tool, it discovers an already connected Azure subscription. If not, you can add one by using Add Azure Account.

You can then browse through your Cloud Services and VMs inside of the Cloud Services.

There is an overview of the VM you selected where you can quickly connect, stop, start or delete your VM. Be careful with the delete. The confirm doesn’t seem to work somehow, so it’s not included in the script. Only the last VM in the service will give a warning.


Nested Hypervisor in Windows Server vNext

In his presentation at Build 2015 on Windows and Hyper-V Containers, Taylor Brown almost casually mentioned that in the next version of Windows Server, it will be possible to enable Hyper-V in a Hyper-V VM. The news was broken by fellow Hyper-V MVP Ronald Beekelaar who attended this great session in San Francisco.

Very quickly dozens of emails appeared in my mailbox from very enthusiastic fellow MVPs who have been begging for this feature for several years now. In fact I have also pleaded for nested hypervisor as we often have to build labs and prepare demos which include Windows Azure Pack. Some of its features can do without a Hyper-V server or cluster such as websites, databases, service management automation, but if VMM and infrastructure as a service is involved, we badly miss a Hyper-V host to deploy VM Roles. Of course we could add physical host to the lab, but with so many consultants in our CloudOS team, there just isn’t enough hardware.

Now that Microsoft has acknowledged that nested Hyper-V will be possible in a future build of vNext, it will be much easier for us to start learning the new Azure Pack and the many new features of Virtual Machines v2, equivalent to public Azure that is on the roadmap.

The real reason why Microsoft introduces running Hyper-V within Hyper-V is the anticipated new service to run Hyper-V Containers in Azure. Just like hypervisors abstract the operating system from the hardware, containers abstract the application from the operating system. There are two types of containers: Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V Containers. The former runs on the bare metal and the latter requires the Hyper-V hypervisor so that Containers can run in Hyper-V VMs. It stands to reason that Hyper-V Containers are much more suitable for Azure than giving customers access to the physical host, which would simply be impossible.

So expect to be running Hyper-V containers in an Azure VM (probably of the Nano Server type), running on the Azure fabric and once this is possible, you will also be able to run other guests inside an Azure VM. Because the same version of CloudOS will be available to public Azure, hosted Azure as well as private Azure, you can benefit from this new technology wherever it suits you best.

I can hardly wait for this new technology to become generally available!

If you want to see the session on Containers by Taylor Brown and Mathew John, take a look at the slides and recorded presentation: