Microsoft Azure: Schedule an Auto-Shutdown

Today when I was meddling with my Virtual Machine (VM) in Microsoft Azure, I chanced upon this new feature known as “Auto-shutdown” under the section “Schedules” although this was originally released in November 2016. The piece of news can be found here. With this naming, it tells it all that Microsoft is helping us consumers to save some costs! (Thanks Microsoft!) #MicrosoftIsGreat.

Azure-AutoShutDown-01

Clicking on it further brings me into this simple form.

Azure-AutoShutDown-03

As you can see that this form is rather simple to operate which also means that it is missing some features that I can think off immediately upon seeing this.

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Microsoft Azure team has built this feature to allow you to shut down at anytime at your convenience which is down right the whole purpose of this. I faced with tons of issues with time zone where I set an alarm at 6pm (GMT +7) and after a flight, it does rang only at the specified time zone even I return to my home land which is in (GMT +8).

One of the immediate limitation of this is, once you scheduled a time to have the resource to be shut down. It will be on run on a daily basis, which means that I will need to manually start the Virtual Machine if I need to. Well, a list of awesome features that I hope to see on this Schedules will be:

1) Auto-StartUp – Automatically start the resource if it is not in the Stopped State at a specified time.

2) Allow more granular control such as:

  • Control by Shutting down on a specified day of the week/month
  • Control by Starting up on a specified day of the week/month

3) What is better is, if I can even start/stop a resource by using my Mobile Device (regardless of Email/Mobile Application)

Cheers,
Milton

Microsoft Azure: Schedule an Auto-Shutdown

Goodbye Y2014, Welcome Y2015!

I am really thrilled when I am writing this entry as this is the last entry to this blog for the year 2014. This year contains lots of ups and down and many changes have been made this year. Looking at my blog entry that I have made in December 2013 where I detailed out some of the goals that I would like to achieve in year 2014.

Let’s start off with some of the highlights of the year.

Travel

So, how much have I moved around this year?

January – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – Leisure
March – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – System Center Universe APAC 2014
September – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – Business
October – Hong Kong – Leisure
November – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Business
December – Lombok, Indonesia – Leisure

This year is all about the region and hopefully in the following year, I will get to travel more within the APAC region for Leisure and Business purposes.

Career

In November, I made a big switch in my career to focus on Enterprise Mobility where I joined AirWatch by VMware as an Application Support Engineer covering the ASEAN region. Is it goodbye to SharePoint? Well, yes or no. It is because as much as I am interfacing with my clients, I do see a lot of integration between various Enterprise Repositories and the AirWatch platform.

Thank you Dimension Data for the good three years of time!

Community

So… In year 2014, I am involved with…

  • PowerShell Saturday (Singapore) – February, May, August & December – 4 face-to-face sessions
  • PoSHBreakfast aka PowerBreakfast – May, June, July, August, October, November & December – 7 sessions delivered over Lync
  • Community Technology Update (CTU) – November – 1 day face-to-face all day event
  • Entries to my Blog
  • Technical Reviewers for PacktPub

Personal Growth

  • Managed a team of three Software Developers & System Engineers
  • Deep dived into many Technical aspect of stuffs in AirWatch.
  • Soft skill gained when meddling with Enterprise Customers.
  • Gained experience in Product Management

 

So what’s the expectation in Year 2015? Let’s keep it simple.

  1. Be the trusted Enterprise Mobility Expert in APAC
  2. Raise awareness about PowerShell and Enterprise Mobility across APAC
  3. Gather more speaking engagement during PowerShell Saturday and PoSHBreakfast
  4. Help more customers to achieve readiness and achieve better ROI with their Enterprise Mobility Deployment.
  5. Engage in more Product Management activities
  6. Provide more consultancy to Small-Medium Enterprise (SME)
  7. Sharing knowledge with people.

Cheers!

Milton Goh

Goodbye Y2014, Welcome Y2015!

Hola! It’s Q4’ now! Windows 10? MVP?

Time flies! We are now into 4th Quarter of the year and usually it means more work till end of the year where people starts to go on vacation especially during Christmas period. So yesterday was the 1st of October where there are a couple of highlights going on globally.

  1. Announcement of newly-minted and renewed Microsoft MVPs. – For this, it would be exciting if I am being awarded but I know I have not done enough yet to deserve that award. Nevertheless, I will continue trying, contributing to this huge community that I have received lots of goodies (information) from.
  2. Technical Preview of Windows 10 – This is interesting as Microsoft has welcome everyone to be part of the building process to help provide feedback to the desire OS that users want / need. If you are still unsure of the Technical Preview – find it here.

I didn’t have the energy to stay up all night waiting for the link to be active so early in the morning when I hop out of bed, I quickly refreshed the URL and started downloading the ISO. After that, the next thing I did was asking myself whether that piece of OS would be available on Microsoft Azure yet. To my surprise, it is! Then I took Windows 10 off on a spin on Microsoft Azure.

If you still do not have a Microsoft Azure account, I would encourage you to sign up here.

Let’s start the ball rolling…

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_01

*Hooray!* See! Windows Server Technical Preview October 2014~

The next few screen shot will be familiar for some if you have played around with Microsoft Azure (Virtual Machine / IaaS) before.

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_02

*Shucks* – “Fastest fingers first!” Obviously I lost it…

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_03

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_04

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_05

OK, we are almost there… It is provisioning and should be ready in a couple of minutes. That’s something I really like about using Microsoft Azure. I could skip wasting time and it increases my productivity especially when I am trying to find out some small items like available features or configurations.

After spinning up the Windows 10 Virtual Machine in Microsoft Azure, below is some of the noticeable changes that I have found out after meddling with it for around 30 minutes.

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_13

*Proof* – I am running Windows Server Technical Preview (aKa Windows 10) as the overall outlook is still very similar to Windows Server 2012 / R2 although the BGINFO on Microsoft Azure still tells me I am running Windows Server 2012 R2.

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_12

1) Taskbar

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_06

An additional icon beside “Server Manager” which I will explained about it later. Document folder icon also has a new icon image.

2) Start Menu (is back!)

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_07

3) Multiple Desktop (somehow, this is what I have experience when I was using Mac OS in the past with my Mac Mini, MacBook Pro & iMac)

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_08

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_09

This is really good if you are very organized person. Probably good for me when I decided that when I am writing PowerShell scripts, I should not be looking at my Social Media programs like Twitter. Smile with tongue out

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_10

Ability to add (don’t know whether it is unlimited or limited yet) more desktop.

4) More icons changes

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_11

5) Additional Role (Merging the Multipoint Services)

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_14

This is something not available in Windows Server 2012 R2 where I verified using one of my Virtual Machine.

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_MissingFeatures01

6) Missing Features

Notice that there is one feature that is missing starting from Windows 10. The Windows Identity Foundation 3.5.

This is a screen that I have in Windows Server 2012 R2 and can’t be found in Windows 10.

Windows10_TechnicalPreview_MissingFeatures02

Overall, I really like how Microsoft has decided to allow the general public to do the testing, provide the necessary feedback and always listening to customers feedback. I will continue meddling with this new OS in the coming weeks and how it fits into a typical enterprise.

Cheers.

Milton Goh

Hola! It’s Q4’ now! Windows 10? MVP?

Is your organization still using legacy Windows Server?

As per the question in the title, is your organization still using legacy Windows Server? I would consider anything before Windows Server 2008 R2 as legacy, so if you fall into this category, you may want to consider watching this webinar to gain useful insights and information on how you can migrate from these legacy Windows Server to the newer version of Windows Server.

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I am really interested in this session because while working for some of my clients, they do have legacy applications that require it to be run on as old as Windows Server 2000. I really hope that I can gain more insights from this webinar so that I can persuade my clients to move to the latest operating systems so that their applications can be consolidated.

So when will this event be?

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Register here now!

After the event, we can definitely discuss anything we have derived from the session and after collating it with our real-world experience, we can any other information together.

Cheers.

Milton Goh

Is your organization still using legacy Windows Server?

Configuring KEMP Technologies Virtual LoadMaster

Hooray! It’s a Sunday today and I didn’t really do anything except for meddling around with my lab environment and completed some of the long overdue tasks. So one of the major milestone that I have hit today is that I have successfully configured my lab environment to use KEMP Technologies Virtual LoadMaster to simulate out how easy it is to use their solutions to create a load-balanced zone.

So, I started off with spinning up two virtual machines and perform the necessary such as getting the machine updated (the usual stuffs which I can’t live without having to do so even if I know I might screw the image up within days!).

So basically, the two virtual machine has IIS installed so that I can use it as a Web Server. For the basic, I will be using pure HTML pages and not going to dwell deeper in using customize ASP.NET solutions which I will be covering in future with a new project codenamed, NerdExpenses.)

Basic Web Servers Environment

Above is a simple architecture that I have deployed i my lab environment where the KEMP Technologies LoadMaster is running virtually on Hyper-V. At the point of writing, I can’t find any proper Visio Stencils from KEMP Technologies to represent the Virtual LoadMaster series so I have chosen to use one of the given ones which can be obtained here.

I remembered during the last Technical Summit that I have attended weeks ago, Benjamin Hodges shown us how easy it is to configure KEMP Technologies LoadMaster and through the technical deep-dive, it really proven that this solutions is really made so easy that anyone can simple click through the setup (of course, if it is your first time configuring it, it may take some time to get used to the user-interface – however, trust me. it’s really neatly done up!)

Take a look at the video below which I have done up, apology for the poorly done up work as this is the first time I am using Camtasia Studio 8.0. Will definitely learn it well and produce more quality video the next time!

That’s all for this time round, the next time I will be posting how easy it will be to replace the load-balancing feature in Microsoft Azure with KEMP Technologies one.

Regards,
Milton Goh

Configuring KEMP Technologies Virtual LoadMaster

Unboxing the NetGear ProSafe FVS318G

It’s has been a while since I bought this device from Amazon and it has been shove on my table for awhile because I was really held up with some work. So on this day, first day of year 2014, I am opening it up and start to meddle with it and Windows Azure.

Let’s kick start with some visual images of what is in the box.

2013-12-20 23.23.28 

2013-12-20 23.23.40

Comments: To me, this box is really very decently designed. Just my 2 cents.

So what’s inside the box?

2014-01-01 11.30.01

2014-01-01 11.30.08

By the way, I will not be posting how I can going to setup this VPN to Windows Azure because there are others folks like Matthew Hitchcock and Bhargav Shukla which have done a good job at describing their experience. Without them, I wouldn’t be hook out with this NetGear VPN. This means that I have way more to learn from them.

I will be blogging more on how I actually use this VPN device to hook up with my on-premises to extensively demonstrate the features between Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Cheers. Happy New Year!

Milton Goh

Unboxing the NetGear ProSafe FVS318G

Milton’s Lab Environment

Since the release of Windows Server 2012 R2, I decided that I should blow up my lab environment and do some re-configuration. However, before I kick in some changes, I want to ensure that my current lab environment meets the bare minimum so that I can test different scenarios for the new features in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Therefore, I drew up a simple diagram or rather the high level architecture diagram of how my devices will talk to each other.

High-Level-Lab-Architecture

With this, at least I can setup the following basic features.

  • Failover Clustering
  • Live Migration
  • Disaster Recovery when I have another switch in-place *

Time to hoot some more hardware so that my Hyper-V Host 02 can be put in place…

Till then…

Milton’s Lab Environment