Data Protection Manager Now Available as Azure IaaS

 

Azure IaaS workload protection using Data Protection Manager - System Center: Data Protection Manager Engineering Team Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

The supported configuration is illustrated in the above diagram. The DPM installation prerequisites remain the same, as described in the TechNet documentation.

  • DPM is supported on any Azure IaaS virtual machine that is size A2 or higher.
  • DPM can protect workloads that run across multiple Azure cloud services that have the same Azure virtual network and Azure subscription.
  • The number of disks that can be used for the target storage (DPM storage pool) is limited by the size of the virtual machine (maximum of 16). For more information about size limits, see Azure Virtual Machines.

via Azure IaaS workload protection using Data Protection Manager – System Center: Data Protection Manager Engineering Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs.

Microsoft Azure Versus VMware on Containers

Some basics if you are new to containers. CargoContainer Applications run inside containers.  Containers believe they are running on an independent operating system but in fact they are running in isolated partitions sharing a single operating system while other containers are also running other applications using the same operating system.  Where in traditional hypervisor virtualization a server will run several virtualized operating systems and applications.  Remember ESX?

Here is a popular graphic explaining the difference between the two types of virtualization.  The top of the graphic shows the hypervisor style of virtualizing and operating system an application while the lower portion shows a single operating system using Docker container software to virtualize the operating system while several instances use that one virtualized operating system.
docker-containers

Who cares?

Some companies think this is the future of virtualization, dismissing the traditional hypervisor model of virtulization as an archaic technology like the CD-ROM, good in its day but no longer needed. “Everything at Google runs in a container” according to Google.  Their entire cloud infrastructure is running on containers.  Also using another application to dynamically cluster containers known as Kubernetes. https://developers.google.com/compute/docs/containers The most popular container software today is known as Docker, like the formerly popular OG pleated pants, still worn by some, minus the ess. San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals

Microsoft’s Approach

How has Microsoft and VMware reacted to this new (not really) virtualization technology?  Microsoft to its credit has worked to embrace the technology by allowing customers to use it within Microsoft Azure.  In fact I am going to quote their explanation of Docker and Kubernetes because they do such a nice job of explaining them. “Docker is an open-source engine that automates the deployment of any application as a portable, self-sufficient container that will run almost anywhere. Kubernetes is an open source cluster management tool, a declarative technology supporting orchestration and scheduling of Docker containers.” Here is what they have actually implemented of the two technologies into Azure.

The key features we have implemented are documented in the Kubernetes project and can be summarized as:

  • Build a container and publish it to Azure Storage
  • Deploy an Azure cluster using container images from Azure Storage or the Docker Hub
  • Configure an Azure cluster
  • Update the Kubernetes application on an existing cluster
  • Tear down an Azure cluster

Keeping in mind that containers run on *nix, this is quite a departure from the traditional Microsoft.  While adoption and continued development will demonstrate if Microsoft has really embraced the technology at this point it looks like they are living up to their announcement back in July where they stated they would support containers and were joining the opensource development project.

MS-AZ-Kubernetes

VMware’s Approach

VMware also announced their partnership with Google, Docker and Pivotal last week during VMworld.  Their approach is slight different but also similar to Microsoft.  The major difference in VMware’s approach is that they support containers on top of their hypervisor.  While Microsoft’s approach is more inline with the spirit of how the technology was intended to be used.  Based on what VMware has announced it seems more like they are taking the traditional defensive approach I would expected Microsoft to have taken in the past.  I am not faulting VMware for this and I am sure they are making the best decisions regarding the technology that they feel is best for their vision of the company.  Keep in mind that they have recently purchased Air-Watch and I believe that coupled with the fact that their parent company EMC (for now) is a storage company I believe they are planning to compete with AWS and Microsoft in the DaaS (Desktop as a Service) space.

I don’t think VMware is ready to compete with Microsoft in the DaaS space, they don’t have the same configmgr tools as Microsoft, they don’t own the operating system but they are getting there so it will be an interesting battle over the next decade.

Microsoft raises Azure availability, lowers prices

Microsoft has now promised to deliver a service-level agreement (SLA) of 99.99 percent availability, equivalent to a downtime of just 53 minutes per year.

This will come as a welcome increase from the 99.95 percent previously delivered, particularly given the number of Azure outages that have occurred in recent weeks.

Alongside this, the firm has introduced a new low cost performance level called S0, enabling more customers to benefit from features in the Standard Tier. The monthly cost of S0 will be $15 and will be available from November, when the new price scheme launches.

via Microsoft raises Azure availability, lowers prices.

Recovering Your Files from CryptoLocker Free Tool from FireEye

Your Locker of Information for CryptoLocker Decryption | FireEye Blog.

Kudo’s to FireEye for not only building and hosting this tool so consumers can get their files back but also for their effort to acquire a large number of the private keys that made this possible.  FireEye does some very great work and always acts honorably.

To help solve the problem of victims’ files still being encrypted, we leveraged our close partnership with Fox-IT. We developed a decryption assistance website and corresponding tool designed to help those afflicted with the original CryptoLocker malware.”

https://www.decryptcryptolocker.com/

Azure Active Directory Sync – Beta 2 Details

Azure AD Sync Beta 2 includes new features, scenarios, troubleshooting tools and improves stability.

New in Beta 2

    • Selective synchronization which enables you to only sync attributes required for the services you want to enable
    • AD password reset with multi-forests
    • Exchange hybrid deployment in multi-forests environments which enables you to have mailboxes in Office 365 as well as in your on-premises exchange

Sign up for the beta here.

Azure AD Sync Optional Features
Azure AD Selective Sync

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More details can be read in Alex Simons post on the TechNet Blog

Azure RemoteApp Preview

Microsoft Azure RemoteApp is currently in preview and you can try it for free.

What is Azure RemoteApp?

RemoteApp allows you to make programs that are accessed remotely through Azure appear as if they are running on the end user’s local device.  Instead of  the situation where they would typically connect to a Remote Desktop Session and then run the app on the desktop of the host.

Supports Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows RT.

There are two types of deployments for RemoteApp

    • Cloud based deployment which hosts the app and its data in Azure
    • Hybrid based deployment which hosts the app in Azure but the data resides within your network instead of the cloud

Typical scenarios where you might consider using Azure RemoteApp include

    • Mobile, home, or branch based employees
    • If you need to run multiple versions of the same app (like Access)
    • VDI replacement or supplementation
    • Shared computers such as labs, kiosk, customer service, hotelling, temporary employees
    • DevOps or app testing

Here are some resources to get you started