Vol. 19, #23 - June 9, 2014 - Issue #983

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Deploying Apps using Microsoft Azure Resource Groups

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Deploying Apps using Microsoft Azure Resource Groups
    • Tip of the Week: Printing sharing in Windows Server 2012
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Microsoft Virtual Academy
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. Events Calendar
    • Americas
    • Europe
    • Asia Pacific
  4. Webcast Calendar
    • MSExchange.org Webinar: PST Files – The Hidden Threat to Your Next Project
    • Register for Webcasts
  5. Tech Briefing
    • Enterprise IT
    • Windows PowerShell
    • Security
    • Citrix
  6. Windows Server News
    • Keeping aim at cloud compliance's moving target
    • An overview of the top VDI platforms
    • Are your job skills ready for hyper-convergence?
    • Using Modern.ie to test desktop Web applications
  7. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • Should A Person Touch 200,000 Volts?
    • Magician Darcy Oake's Disappearing Act on 'Britain's Got Talent'
    • World's First: Kevin Richardson Playing Soccer With Wild Lions
    • 7-Year-Old Black Belt
  8. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • Free Study Guide for Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409:

 

Free Study Guide for Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409:

Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center. This study guide for Microsoft's 74-409 Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center exam will take you through each of the exam objectives, helping you to prepare for and pass the examination.

Read now!

 

Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter is all about a new way of deploying apps in the Microsoft Azure public cloud. We welcome David Tesar, Technical Evangelist for the worldwide Developer Platform Evangelism (DPE) team at Microsoft, who has contributed the guest editorial for this week's issue of WServerNews.

Apps have transformed the computing world over the last several years. First it was cellphones, then tables and now even PCs can run apps. I may be wrong but in my mind Steve Jobs was the Father of the App, and in many ways he was also the Father of much of the marketing happening nowadays as this Dilbert comic strip illustrates:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969051554

And now on to our guest editorial by David Tesar...

Deploying Apps using Microsoft Azure Resource Groups

Azure Resource Manager introduces an entirely new way of thinking about your Azure resources. Instead of creating and managing individual resources, you can manage even complex applications such as a multi-tiered cloud services using a resource template. Once you have the resource template defined for your application, you can deploy, manage, monitor, and do reporting with you application as a logical unit. Utilizing this product feature assists in automating the deployment of your infrastructure as code and making a DevOps transformation in your company.

A resource group template is a collection of JSON strings that defines a resource group for an application. The template defines the resources that are typically needed for the entity, such as Websites, database servers, databases and storage accounts, and includes parameters for user-defined values, such as the names and properties of the resources.

In the remainder of this article, I will walk you through the process of downloading a gallery sample resource group template of a Web site with a SQL database and deploy it to Microsoft Azure using Azure PowerShell. After the deployment we will show you a screenshot of what it looks like in the new Microsoft Azure portal.

Download a Resource Group Template from the Azure Gallery

1. Open Azure PowerShell console.

2. Execute the following PowerShell command to change from the Azure module to the Azure Resource Manager module.

Switch-AzureMode AzureResourceManager

Note: Beginning in version 0.8,0, the Azure PowerShell installation includes the Azure and AzureResourceManager modules, and AzureProfile, a module of cmdlets common to both modules. The Azure and AzureResourceManager modules are not designed to work together in the same session. When you use the Azure PowerShell cmdlets, the Azure module is imported into the session by default. To remove the Azure module from the session and import the AzureResourceManager and AzureProfile modules, use the Switch-AzureMode cmdlet.

3. Execute the following PowerShell command to authenticate to Microsoft Azure and download the subscriptions associated with the account.

Add-AzureAccount

4. In the Sign-in to Windows Azure dialog box, enter your Microsoft Account and click Continue. You may be required to enter the password on the next step.

5. Once the authentication process is complete, one of your subscriptions is set as the default subscription.

6. Execute the following PowerShell command to get the list of resources from the group gallery templates.

Get-AzureResourceGroupGalleryTemplate

7. You can review specific gallery template properties using the -Identity switch as shown in the below screenshot.

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8. To save this gallery template as a JSON file, we use the Save-AzureResourceGroupGalleryTemplate cmdlet as shown below.

Save-AzureResourceGroupGalleryTemplate -Identity Microsoft.WebSiteSQLDatabase.0.1.0-preview -Path [FILE-PATH]

Deploy the Application from the Resource Template

1. Once you have the template downloaded, you would likely want to customize the application parameters to meet the needs of your specific environment. For instance, you might want to change the SQL server connection string varibles.

2. After you've customized the template (if desired), now it is time to deploy it using the following sample PowerShell command:

New-AzureResourceGroup -Location [LOCATION] -Name [RESOURCE-GROUP-NAME] -TemplateFile [JSON-File-Path] -StorageAccountName [STORAGEACCOUNT] -siteName [WEBSITENAME] -hostingPlanName TestPlan -siteLocation "North Europe" -serverName [SERVERNAME] -serverLocation "West US" -administratorLogin Admin01 -Verbose

Note on Dynamic Template Parameters: To get the parameters, type a minus sign (-) to indicate a parameter name and then press the TAB key. Or, type the first few letters of a parameter name, such as siteName and then press the TAB key.

3. When you enter the command, you are prompted for the missing mandatory parameter administratorLoginPassword. Enter the administratorLoginPassword and press Enter. This keeps your password encrypted and not visible to users. You could also leave out other parameters and then get prompted for them instead if desired.

View the Deployed Application in the Microsoft Azure Portal

1. Open Internet Explorer and browse to the new preview Azure Portal

2. Click the Browse button from the Hub Menu on the left side of the window.

3. In the Browse menu, click on Resource groups.

4. Notice that in the Resource Groups pane, there is a list of resources. Check that your resource group was created.

5. Navigate to the Resource Group and check that there is a website and a SQL database with the names you defined in PowerShell.

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6. Open the web browser to the website URL specified in the resource group PowerShell commandlet during deployment.

Note: Since you haven't deployed any content to this website yet it will be blank. If desired, you can setup continuous integration and continuous deployments from source code repositories but this is outside of the scope of this article.

Summary and Resources

Resource Groups are an excellent way to automate your deployments by creating infrastructure as code and a significant product feature to help transform your organization in the new world of DevOps. To learn more about Microsoft Azure, Resource Groups, and relevant DevOps technologies from Microsoft, check out the following resources:

About David Tesar

David is a Technical Evangelist for the worldwide Developer Platform Evangelism (DPE) team at Microsoft. You can find his blog here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969099976

Send us feedback

Got comments or questions concerning this week's editorial? Let us know at [email protected]

Tip of the Week: Printer sharing in Windows Server 2012

The following tip was excerpted from my book Training Guide: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 from Microsoft Press:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969106101

Windows Server 2012 now supports several different ways of enabling the deployment of print shares:

For more information on printer-sharing technologies supported by Windows Server 2012, see:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969111367

GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]

Recommended for Learning

This week we have some new arrivals from Microsoft Press:

Windows Server 2012 R2 Inside Out Volume 1: Configuration, Storage, & Essentials
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969116679

Windows Server 2012 R2 Inside Out Volume 2: Services, Security, & Infrastructure
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969121586

Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 R2 Training Guide
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969125461

High-Performance Windows Store Apps
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969129586

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Some announcements from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:

June 17-19: Windows 8.1 Update for Enterprise Jump Start

Windows 8.1 Update, along with Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Phone, can simplify the migration, deployment, and management of tomorrow's IT environments, while tangibly improving today's end-user experience. Find out how with the free, three-day "Windows 8.1 Update for Enterprise" Jump start, on June 17, 18, and 19 (from 9‒11:30 PDT). Get the latest tips from TechEd and //Build, and even prepare for MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure and MCSA: Windows 8.1 certifications. Register here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969134617

Now on-demand: Building Apps for Windows Phone 8.1 Jump Start

Want to design and build Windows Phone 8.1 apps using XAML and C#? Watch "Building Apps for Windows Phone 8.1," a course focusing on how to create universal app projects in Visual Studio that share a high percentage of code and that target both Windows and Windows Phone. No prior experience with developing Windows Phone 8 apps is required. View here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969163102

Watch now: SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines - Developer Jump Start

SQL Server developers, are you wondering how Microsoft Azure can help you prepare for your organization's deployment to the cloud? Do you want to find out how to simplify the process and optimize performance? Watch this on-demand course and learn how to build and deploy apps running SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines. Or find out how to move existing on-premises databases and applications to the cloud as-is. If you're a DBA or solution architect with some SQL Server experience and you want to know more about Azure, this demo-filled session is also for you! Watch here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969168227

Microsoft Corporate BI and SAP BI Integration Jump Start on-demand

Wondering how to successfully deliver BI in your organization? Whether you approach self-service BI from the IT side or from Corporate, the new SAP BI add-in for Excel can help you light it up. Watch as Microsoft's popular experts deliver this course which explores fascinating real-world case studies and helps you go beyond the same old reports, build visual models, and collaborate with your users. View the course here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969173789

Quote of the Week

"The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own." - Albert Ellis

Until next week,
Mitch Tulloch

Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don’t receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we’ll try to troubleshoot things from our end.

 

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Tired of your Active Directory management tools? With Hyena, centralize and simplify all Windows and Active Directory management without scripting. Download a free, fully functional 30-day trial.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401972287023

Free Study Guide for Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center. Read it now!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1402041064104

Mouse Jiggler is useful for avoiding screensavers or other things triggered by idle detection that, for whatever reason, you can't turn off any other way:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401972295179

Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401972310867

ActionTec Screenbeam Pro lets you enjoy your favorite videos, photos and movies on the best display in the house:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401972313273


Events Calendar

Americas

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) in July, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969182492

Microsoft SQL Server PASS Summit 2014 on November 4-7, 2014 in Seattle, Washington
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969184820

Europe

TechEd Europe on October 27-31, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969191555

Asia Pacific

TechEd New Zealand on September 9-12, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969193852

Add your event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 95,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

 

Webcast Calendar

MSExchange.org Webinar: PST Files – The Hidden Threat to Your Next Project

Join Microsoft Exchange MVP Steve Goodman and Peter Mullens, Product Marketing Manager for C2C on Thursday, June 12, 2014, at 2pm EDT, 7pm BST for an informative discussion on the challenges managing data and PSTs before, during and after an upgrade or migration.

Register Here

During this interactive webinar you'll learn:

Sign up for this informative live event!

Register for Webcasts

Add your Webcast

PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

 

Tech Briefing

Enterprise IT

Configuring MDT Monitoring - Behind the scenes (Deployment Research)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969245196

Deploying Work Folders with AD FS and Web Application Proxy (WAP) (File Cabinet Blog)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969249680

 

Windows PowerShell

Step-By-Step: Utilizing PowerShell History Viewer in Windows Server 2012 R2 (CanITPro)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969254883

Slipstream Adobe Reader with PowerShell (ConfigMgr System Center)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969258946

 

Security

Accidentally stealing the Internet (BGPMon)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969263384

Developing an Information Security and Risk Management Strategy (Part 2) (WindowSecurity.com)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969270477

 

Citrix

XenDesktop 7.1 Planning on Hyper-V 2012 R2 Pt.3 (The Citrix Blog)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969274899

"New" Citrix Best Practices (The Citrix Blog)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969279759


Windows Server News

Keeping aim at cloud compliance's moving target

You work in an industry with a large list of growing regulations, especially regarding security in the cloud. Fortunately, now is your chance to ensure that you're taking the right steps to meet compliance standards - read this thorough list of key questions you should have on your radar so you can evaluate your company's position and areas for improvement.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969288821

An overview of the top VDI platforms

VDI provides a consistent user experience across devices so employees can be more productive no matter where they're working from. However, with so many viable software and platform options available, choosing the right one for your organization can be tricky. Read on for an in-depth look at four VDI platforms with leading features and capabilities, as well as unbeatable prices.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969293868

Are your job skills ready for hyper-convergence?

Hyper-convergence is having a swift and major impact on today's infrastructures, forcing IT pros to master new skill sets in order to stay relevant in the job market. Get an inside look at how your own skill sets stack up against your peers and technology trends, and get exclusive advice at how you can brush up your abilities.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969298477

Using Modern.ie to test desktop Web applications

Web browser and application compatibility are huge challenges enterprise desktop administrators face. Fortunately, Microsoft has introduced a new solution, Modern.ie, which enables you to test for compatibility issues upfront. Read this insightful tip sheet to review factors to keep in mind for both testing and security purposes when using Modern.ie.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969304149


WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

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Should A Person Touch 200,000 Volts?

An excellent demonstration of the basics of electricity to a group of middle school students:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969311931

Magician Darcy Oake's Disappearing Act on 'Britain's Got Talent'

Magician Darcy Oake does the ultimate dissapearing act. But where does he go?
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969316556

World's First: Kevin Richardson Playing Soccer With Wild Lions

The Lion Whisperer Kevin Richardson plays soccer with a pack of wild lions to promote his wildlife sanctuary and Van Gils suits.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969321103

7-Year-Old Black Belt

7-year-old Mahiro makes a stunning presentation of Kankudai, an advanced karate exercise that consists of offensive and defensive moves against eight opponents.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1401969325775


WServerNews - Product of the Week

Free Study Guide for Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409:

Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center. This study guide for Microsoft's 74-409 Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center exam will take you through each of the exam objectives, helping you to prepare for and pass the examination.

Read now!

 

WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.