Use PowerShell DSC and Azure Automation to Create an Active Directory Domain

Because of the recent domain change of my blog, I decided to completely start over again with my lab in Azure. I’ve been working with Desired State Configuration Configs in Azure for quite a few years, but never used them for my own lab environment. It felt a bit overkill to do that, but now I wanted to start over and do everything right.

This step-by-step installation guide explains how to create a DSC Configuration in Azure Automation and how to apply this on your domain controller in Azure.

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Azure – Windows Server Licensing Explained

This article describes the licensing options you have when you want to deploy Windows Server Virtual Machines in Azure. It’s getting complicated when you start using the Hybrid Use Benefit solution, so always contact Microsoft or your licensing supplier. Please note that I will not answer any licensing questions.

Built-in Licensing for Windows Server

This type of licensing is by-far the most easy to use but it can be an expensive solution. You deploy an Azure Virtual Machine from the Portal or PowerShell and the licensing costs are automatically included with the Virtual Machine costs. But what if you want to use your existing KMS licenses which you’ve bought with your Enterprise Agreement? Or you want to use Windows Server Standard licenses instead of Datacenter licenses?

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Avanade announces new Microsoft Azure Stack solution

Last Tuesday Avanade announced the new Avanade Azure Stack Solution. Avanade delivers this solution from client site, at remote locations or hosted in Avanade’s own datacenters. Azure Stack is an extension of Azure to on-premises locations. People tend to forget that Azure Stack is not just a replacement of your physical servers running a hypervisor like Hyper-V. It’s a true hybrid cloud solution. You get features like Disaster Recovery with instant fail-over, Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities, Load Balancing, the new Portal experience and so on. I’m really excited to tell you more about this great solution.

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Azure – A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name

Some error outputs are not always useful. Especially when they make no sense for the issue you have.

Error message:

New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment : A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name ‘YOURPARAMETER’

Solution:

This error occurs because of at least the 2 following issues:

  • You didn’t specify a parameter for ‘YOURPARAMETER’ in your JSON template. That’s what the error says. If you forget to specify a parameter with the New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment cmdlet, you’ll see a prompt to insert a value for that parameter. But if you add a paremeter like -Name “VM01” to the command while it’s not specified in the JSON template, you’ll see this error.
  • The JSON code you provided isn’t valid. Always validate your JSON code. You can use http://www.jsoneditoronline.org/, paste your code and look for the red “X” buttons after a line number.

Did you find another issue where this error occurs? Please let me know in the comments section.

Cheers!

Configure Azure VPN with PfSense and a Dynamic Routing/Route-based Gateway

In this step-by-step, I’ll show you how to configure PfSense with an Azure Site-to-Site VPN by using a Dynamic Routing Gateway/Route-based Gateway. This even works with a VPN behind a NAT setup. I was looking for a stable solution that could handle the new Route-based (IKE v2) Gateways. This tutorial is based on the new Azure Portal.

Prerequisites

  • A Hyper-V Host (Windows 10 is fine as well)
  • 2 Hyper-V Virtual Networks. One called “External Virtual Network” and one called “Internal Virtual Network”.
  • A Hyper-V VM with PfSense installed with NAT configured between the internal and external virtual network. Just download the ISO from the PfSense website and create a Generation 1 VM with it. Give it 512 or 1024 MB RAM and 1 vCPU and follow online installation instructions.

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Azure 70-534 Exam Tips – April 2016

Recently I passed the 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam. I was thinking about stopping with the Azure exams but I couldn’t resist it to pass this exam as well. Today I passed the 70-534 – Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam with 857 points. I think that the 70-534 exam is a lot easier than the 70-533 exam. Most of the questions where questions where you had to select the Azure features that you could use in a specific situation. This blogpost is written with the knowledge needed for the 70-533 exam in mind.

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