Serial Console access on Azure Virtual Machine

Finally come the day that Microsoft was able to announce this feature. Accessing the serial console on an Azure VM is a huge step forward. But why is so important? It’s huge! Sometimes when our friend Mr Murphy comes and makes everything goes south, you are in a certain way limited on the diagnostic tools that you have, to troubleshoot the cause of that machine is not booting. Have access to the boot of the server (Linux or Windows) is crucial at this time. Serial Console access will end those day of redeploy a VM using the same disk, when this option is viable, off course. You can see the announcement here.

But let’s dive into the Accessing the Serial Console. On each VM that you have running on Azure, under the SUPPORT + TROUBLESHOOTING, you will find the Serial console (preview).

When you click on that, automatically start to connect to the Serial Console of that VM.

After a few seconds, finishes the connection. And show me this screen. But I can’t do anything.

If you scroll up, then some light at the end of the tunnel. OK, I need to enable the SAC (Special Administrative Console) on the server.

To access the Serial Console on the server you need the enable it. To enable, just follow the steps below:

  1. Connect to your VM through RDP (in this case a Windows VM)
  2. Open the cmd with elevated (administrative privileges)
  3. From the cmd prompt run the following commands
    bcdedit /ems {current} on
    bcdedit /emssettings EMSPORT:1 EMSBAUDRATE:115200
  4. Reboot the VM

And then, you have access to the serial console of your server.

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
Azure MVP

azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga

Azure Updates Series – August 2017

From the all the enhances or new features that Azure releases on the month of August, there was 2 that will make our live easier, at least in my opinion/experience/area of work off course:

  • Public Preview of Azure Event Grid
  • Enhance of Azure Monitor with new capabilities for diagnostics

Azure Event Grid is an important solution how to handle the challenging world of IoT. Most of the actual application based on IoT are built using events, the way that you respond to those events and initiate business process can be really difficult. With the increase of the serverless platforms, comes the grow of the event-based applications, there is where Azure Event Grid will help you.

On the announcement, Microsoft says that, Event Grid has built-in support for events that come from Azure services, like storage blobs and resource groups. Event Grid also has built-in support for custom and third-party events, using custom topics and custom webhooks. You can use filters to route specific events to different endpoints, multicast to multiple endpoints, and make sure your events are reliably delivered.

For more information about the Azure Event Grid, just look at Introducing Azure Event Grid.

Microsoft just add two new capabilities into Azure Monitor, the creation of multiple resource diagnostic setting per resource (in this case, in public preview) and you can send the metrics and the logs to a different subscription.

Why those capabilities are important, you may thing. The first one, creation of multiple diagnostic settings per resource, it makes easier to create a template with all the setting that you want to monitor/alert related to a specific resource. For example, if you want to monitor the diagnostic of your storage account to see what is going on, you need to enable several times and you could only send those logs and metrics to one storage account.

The second new capability, send the metrics and logs to a different subscription, it will make your live easier, if you are a Managed Services (for example), that you can centralize all your metrics into this subscription, without affecting other subscriptions.

For more information about the new capabilities, just look at the announcement of Azure Monitor: Enhanced capabilities for routing logs and metrics

 

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
Azure MVP

azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga

Azure MVP Award

What a better way to start the 150th Canada day receiving this email:

It’s a huge honor to belong to this Exclusive and Exquisite Elite Technical group. I have been before MVP, but then I lost when I joined Microsoft. But this time, feels completely different. It’s reinvigorating! Being an MVP is a tremendous responsibility and a pleasure at the same time.

This Award means that Microsoft, recognizes exceptional community knowledge share. It’s not something that you can study and pass on exam, it’s earned for the long hours blogging, speaking, preparing content and so on. But, my friends, it’s worth it, when you received this email. All your effort, time away from your family and friend is worth when you enter in this world.

But what is an Microsoft MVP?
Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. They are always on the “bleeding edge” and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions, to solve real world problems. MVPs make up a global community of over 4,000 technical experts and community leaders across 90 countries and are driven by their passion, community spirit, and quest for knowledge. Above all and in addition to their amazing technical abilities, MVPs are always willing to help others – that’s what sets them apart.

What is the MVP Award?
For more than two decades, the Microsoft MVP Award is our way of saying “Thanks!” to outstanding community leaders. The contributions MVPs make to the community, ranging from speaking engagements, to social media posts, to writing books, to helping others in online communities, have incredible impact. Key benefits to MVPs include early access to Microsoft products, direct communication channels with our product teams and an invitation to the Global MVP Summit, an exclusive annual event hosted in our global HQ in Redmond. They also have a very close relationship with the local Microsoft teams in their area, who are there to support and empower MVPs to address needs and opportunities in the local ecosystem. Other benefits include an executive recognition letter, an MSDN technical subscription, and an Office 365 subscription.

You can find more information on the MVP Site

I just want to share my happiness with all of you! Thank you for your support!

Cheers,
Marcos Nogueira
Azure MVP
azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga

Bigger disks on Azure Storage

If you follow the announcements during the Microsoft Build 2017 conference on the beginning of the month, one of the announcements was the increase of the size of the disks in Azure. Azure had a hard limit of a 1TB size disks. But those days are almost over. Oh Yeah Baby!

During one session at the Build 2017 about Big data workloads with Azure Blob Storage, they announce the increase of those disk limits. Today, Microsoft announce the preview of those disks.

So, what is that means? Beside the increase of the size, they are increasing the performance of the disks as well. Be able to have more space and IOPS is always nice.

New Disk Sizes Details

This table provides more details on the exact capabilities of the new disk sizes in Azure:

Disk Type P40 (Premium) P50 (Premium) S40 (Standard) S50 (Standard)
Disk Size 2048 GB 4095 GB 2048 GB 4095 GB
Disk IOPS 7,500 IOPS 7,500 IOPS Up to 500 IOPS Up to 500 IOPS
Disk Bandwidth 250 MBps 250 MBps Up to 60 MBps Up to 60 MBps

To see the session for further details

 

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga

Azure Cloud Shell Everywhere

WOW! Microsoft did it again! If you didn’t saw the announcements at the Microsoft Build 2017 Conference, you should!

They announce a lot of new things, but regarding Azure one of may favorite is the application for IOS specific!

I see this App, as a savior in so many ways! Those times that you have a problem and you need immediately access to run a PowerShell script or that an action like restart a virtual machine or even something else, now you have the right tools at your reach! Be able to access Azure subscription through my mobile phone is amazing!

From what I was able to see and play with is basically your azure portal but on a IOS App! I’ve been setting up and playing on Azure with this app and it’s is really good.

Here are some of the screenshots from the Azure IOS App.

 

As you have on the Azure Portal, you can select what you want to see, by choosing your favorite. This is the shortcut view of what is the most interesting to you.

When you select the resource the information and the tasks that you can do are really like what is available on the Azure Portal.

Even the notification that you have in the Azure Portal is available here. So you can track what is going on your Azure tenant.

When you select, the Virtual Machine is really good to see a lot of information. Usually on Apps for smartphones you have a subset of capabilities of the main too (in this case the Azure Portal), but with this Apps you can do >80% of your daily basic tasks through this App.

And as you expected, Azure Cloud Shell will be available on the Azure App as well. Although it’s not available yet. At least for me (see picture bellow).

But this is probably the serious reason why I will use this app a lot. I store a lot of my scripts in my OneNote and be able to copy/paste into this PowerShell window and setup a S2S vpn, for example, while you are waiting for your food arrived is something that every “Azure Geek”/”Azure Centric Nerd” dream of, Right? The possibilities are unlimited!

 

 

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga