BEEMUG Summer Night: 05/09/2019

July 30, 2019 at 12:55 pm in Azure, beemug, eveningevent, free, Workplace&Mobility by Wim Matthyssen

 

A lot of you are still enjoying a well-earned vacation with family or friends. But we at BEEMUG are already planning our first evening event after summer, which will be held on Thursday 05/09!

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During this evening you will have the opportunity to mingle with peers, learn something and meet your local community leaders to ask the questions you have always wanted to ask.

Following our new concept, we changed the location for the event to give everyone the opportunity to (at least once) get there without facing heavy traffic. This time we found a location in Ghent.

The formula is still straightforward and simple: we deliver one session in the field of Workplace and Mobility and one in Cloud and Datacenter with time to network in between the sessions.

The agenda for this evening:

Timeslot Speaker(s) Track
18:00u – 19:00u Welcome + Food & Drinks
19:00u – 20:00u Tim De Keukelaere
Ken Goossens
Session 1: Mobile Device Management, BYOD vs Fully managed devices
20:00u – 20:30u Pitstop
20:30u – 21:30u Wim Matthyssen
Christophe Lams
Session 2: 7 habits every Azure Admin must have
21:30u – …. Network drink

This edition, Cegeka is so kind to host the event at their office in Ghent and they will also sponsor the catering. Also, your parking ticket will be validated at the end of the evening.

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Address:

Cegeka Business Solutions NV

Sluisweg 2 Bus 9
9000 Ghent
Belgium

 

Parking B – Ghelamco Arena (next to Brico), Cegeka offices are located at the 4th floor.

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So please already mark your agenda’s and join us once again for a cool night out and learn something while you’re at it!

Please register via the below Eventbrite.

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Install the Azure Portal app (Preview) to manage your Azure resources

May 8, 2019 at 4:04 pm in Azure, Azure Management, Azure Portal app, Cloud, Preview by Wim Matthyssen

In addition to the Azure Portal and the Azure mobile app, there is now another option available to access and manage all your Azure resources, namely the Azure Portal app. Although it is still in preview, it already gives you the same experience as the Azure Portal, without the need of a browser, like Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

This comes in handy, when for example you want to connect to the Azure Portal f from any kind of “Management server” or from a Windows client which has restrictions to use any kind of browser.

To get started you first need to browse to https://preview.portal.azure.com/app/Download and click on the Download the Azure Portal app button to start the download.

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Once downloaded you need to run the AzurePortalInstaller.exe file.

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Once installed you can now open the Azure Portal app from your Windows 10 Start menu or by opening the search icon on the taskbar and looking for azure.

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You need to sign in with your Azure account and when you have done that you can start using the app for managing all your Azure resources just like you are used to with the Azure Portal.

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Hope you enjoy this new app, I already do.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Azure PowerShell Error: “Your Azure credentials have not been set up or have expired, please run Connect-AzureRmAccount to set up your Azure credentials”

February 27, 2019 at 6:28 pm in Azure, Azure credentials, Azure PowerShell by Wim Matthyssen

While working on a new Azure IaaS deployment for a customer, I encountered the following error when running several Azure PowerShell cmdlets.

“Your Azure credentials have not been set up or have expired, please run Connect-AzureRmAccount to set up your Azure credentials”

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Running the Connect-AzureRmAccount command for several times, like proposed in the error message, did not solve the problem. Neither did opening a new PowerShell window or even completely restarting my Surface laptop.

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I finally got it fixed by running the Remove-AzureRmAccount cmdlet, which removes all credentials and contexts (subscription and tenant information) associated with that specific Azure account.

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After executing the Remove-AzureRmccount cmdlet , and after login in again using the Login-AzureRmAccount cmdletall other cmdlets ran again like they should.

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Hope this helps!

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

PowerShell: AzCopy download and silent installation

February 22, 2019 at 10:52 am in AzCopy, Azure, Download, PowerShell, PowerShell Script, Silent installation by Wim Matthyssen

AzCopy is a free command-line tool that is offered by Microsoft. It allows you to easily copy and transfer data (data migration) from and to Azure storage. It is designed for high performance transfers and can be deployed on both Windows and Linux systems (separate versions). AzCopy for example allows users to copy data between a file system and a storage account, or between storage accounts. Users have the possibility to select items by specifying patterns, like wildcards or prefixes, to identify the needed files for upload or download. It currently supports Microsoft Azure Blob, File and Table storage.

To automate the download and silent installation process of this useful tool, I wrote the below PowerShell script which does all of the following:

  • Create a Temp folder on the C: drive if not already available.
  • Create an AzCopy download folder in C:\Temp if not already available.
  • Download the latest Azcopy .msi (Windows) file.
  • Install AzCopy silently without any user interaction.
  • Delete the .msi file after installation.
  • Remove the AzCopy folder.
  • Exit the PowerShell window.

 PowerShell script

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If you prefer you can download the complete script from the TechNet gallery.

More information and how to use AzCopy you can find over here.

This concludes this blog post, have fun using AzCopy for moving or copying data to or between storage accounts.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Create an Azure Monitor action group with Azure PowerShell

December 27, 2018 at 12:40 pm in action groups, automation, Azure, Azure Monitor, Azure PowerShell, beemug by Wim Matthyssen

Azure Monitor, Microsoft’s built-in monitoring service, allows you to monitor and gain more visibility into the state of your resources from a single place in the Azure portal, to help you quickly find and fix problems.

To notify users that an alert has been triggered, Azure Monitor (and also Service Health alerts) uses action groups. This feature allows an owner of an Azure subscription to group a collection of actions to take when an alert is triggered. Owners can create an action group with functions such as sending an email or SMS, as well as calling a webhook and re-use it across multiple alerts. Action groups can be created through the Azure portal, but to automate the process you can also use Azure PowerShell.

In the below example a new action group, called email-ag, is created. To use the script, copy it and adjust it for your own purpose. Save it as .ps1.

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You can check all existing action groups in your subscription, by running the below cmdlet. In my example the previously created action group email-ag is shown.

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Like earlier said, you can also Add, validate or manage action groups through the Azure portal by opening Monitor, selecting Alerts and selecting Manage action groups. For more information you can check out the documentation page.

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Hope the script comes in handy!

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Azure: Unable to connect to VMs in a peered VNet from P2S VPN

October 11, 2018 at 8:50 am in Azure, Azure Networking, Azure virtual network, P2S client, P2S VPN, RDP, VNet peering by Wim Matthyssen

These days when setting up a greenfield Azure IaaS environment for customers, we use the hub-spoke network topology with shared services. In this topology the HUB network is used as central point of connectivity and a place to host services that can be consumed by the different workloads hosted in the spoke VNets. All spokes are peered with this Hub network, to isolate all workloads. Whenever I work remotely on these environments, I mostly use a Point-to-Site (P2S) connection to securely connect to the different VNets from my client devices.

However last week while deploying a new environment for a customer, I stumbled upon a problem where I couldn’t RDP (private IP addresses) to the virtual machines (VMs) in the different spokes. The RDP access to the VM’s in the Hub VNet worked without any issues.

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This is caused, because by design the P2S client will have routes listed for all VMs in the HUB VNet (which hosts the Virtual Network Gateway). However, even though the HUB VNet and the other VNets are connecting via peering, the P2S client will not have any routes presented in its configuration to discover the VMs in the other VNets. In order for the P2S client to be able to reach all VMs (trough for example RDP) located in the peered VNets, a static route for these VNets should be added in the routes.txt file of that specific connection. You can follow the steps below to get this working.

Solution

Open Run, type %appdata% and press Enter.

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Open Microsoft – Network – Connections – Cm and select the right connection folder. Next, open the routes.txt file in Notepad (to open just double-click).

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Remark

You can also find the correct path to the routes.txt file in the P2S VPN log file. You can open this file by opening your P2S connection and selecting on Properties instead of Connect. In the opened Properties page select View Log. Search for ActionPath, which will show you the location of the file.

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In the opened routes.txt file, add the static routes for the other VNets.

For example:

ADD 10.6.0.0 MASK 255.255.240.0 default METRIC default IF default

ADD 10.7.0.0 MASK 255.255.240.0 default METRIC default IF default

ADD 10.8.0.0 MASK 255.255.240.0 default METRIC default IF default

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Save the file, and connect again. You should now be able to RDP to all other VMs in the spoke VNets.

Hope this helps and for any questions feel free to contact me through my Twitter handle.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmathyssen)

Microsoft Ignite 2018 recap

October 4, 2018 at 9:26 am in Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft Ignite 2018, Orlando, Windows, Windows 10, Windows Admin Center by Wim Matthyssen

Last week I visited the Microsoft Ignite 2018 conference in Orlando with some colleagues. 10,000 km of walking later and sitting back her at home thinking about the past exciting week. I tought it’s a good time to write a recap, quietly hoping the writing will help battling jet lag. :)

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After a long flight and a stopover at Dulles International Airport in Washington it was really nice that we could pick up our badge directly at the airport which spared us the morning line before the start of the event. I planned almost all my sessions I wanted to follow before the event and the MS Events app really came in handy to check my schedule, get event notifications, messages and to fill in all evaluations. The navigation function in the app also came in really handy telling me how to get from one session to another. You should know that the venue of Ignite was the OCCC, a huge complex on International Drive in Orlando, combining two conference centers and the Hyatt Regency connected together by a Skybridge.

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The thing I was really happy about was that I wore comfortable shoes and clothes, because I did a lot of walking, really a lot of walking. I would advise if you’re ever planning to go to Ignite wear shoes were you can at least walk 10 km a day in, otherwise do not do Ignite in them! Orlando itself is a beautiful city, with a lot of theme parks like Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, which hosted the Ignite Celebration on Thursday evening. If you ever have the chance to go there, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is truly magical.

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It was my first time at Ignite and my main focus was to learn as much as possible and get note of all announcements and changes around Azure, and I must say I got lots of that. Next to all Azure related sessions, I also followed a few of them around Windows Admin Center and Windows 10. For the most part, the quality of all sessions I followed was excellent only the rooms were sometimes a bit cold due to the airco.

Announcements

Below you can find some announcements, I gathered during the technical breakout and theater room sessions I followed:

  • Microsoft partners with Adobe and SAP for new Open Data Initiative.
  • Microsoft Teams Screen Sharing which allows you to screenshare in Teams without needing to escalate to a meeting first.
  • SQL Server 2019 preview announced.
  • Windows Server 2019 general availability (GA) in October, together with Windows Server version 1809.
  • Azure Firewall a stateful firewall as a service GA.
  • Windows Virtual Desktop a virtual desktop experience which lets you run Windows 10 in the cloud, available in Preview.
  • Announcement of Microsoft Learn, a new learning platform to optimise your Microsoft skills.
  • Azure SQL Database Managed Instance a new deployment model of Azure SQL Database GA.
  • Azure Blueprints in Preview, which let you define user access, policies and resources in Azure.
  • Azure Management Groups available to organise and governance all your resources between all your subscriptions.
  • Azure Resource Graph GA which allow you to easily query, explore and analyse all your Azure cloud resources at scale.
  • Azure Migrate now also supports Hyper-V.
  • Azure Monitor now includes Log Analytics and Application Insights for collecting and analysing telemetry of your cloud and on-premises resources and applications.
  • There will be 2 models of the Surface Hub 2, the Surface Hub2S coming Q2 2019 and theSurface Hub 2X coming in 2020.
  • Azure Data box, Microsoft’s heavy-duty data transfer appliance is now GA.
  • Announcement of Azure Sphere, a Linux-based operating system created by Microsoft for Internet of Things applications.

If you’re interested in getting an overview of all announcements Microsoft did at Ignite, be sure to check out this Book of News.

Session Overview

Below you can find a few sessions I followed in person and I recommend to take a look at (click the link to get to the YouTube video):

I had a lot of sessions planned in my schedule that I did not manage to attend but I will take time to watch the recordings and slides. Like every year you can catch up the session recordings that are available on YouTube or the Microsoft Tech Community, but if you’re interested you can also download all Ignite content locally with the following PowerShell script from MVP Michel de Rooij (@mderooij): https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Ignite-2016-Slidedeck-and-296df316

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For everyone who could not attend Ignite in person and still want to get the chance to follow some sessions live and explore the latest cloud technologies, Microsoft has announced, Microsoft Ignite | The Tour. which takes place in a lot of cities all around the world. You can check out the schedule over here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ignite-the-tour/

I want to end this blog post with saying that Microsoft Ignite rocked! It doesn’t matter if you’re an ITPro or DevOps, if you ever have the change to go there, you shouldn’t hesitate because it’s really a great and fantastic experience. In my opinion, there’s not much that Microsoft can do to improve Ignite, everything was handled like it should for such hugh event and the content was great and will keep my busy absorbing in the next few weeks. Hope to be back again in Orlando in November next year

Configuring VNet peering through the Azure Portal resulted in a Peering Status – Failed

September 6, 2018 at 12:19 pm in Azure, Azure Networking, Azure portal, Azure PowerShell, VNet, VNet peering by Wim Matthyssen

Virtual network peering is a mechanism that seamlessly connects two Azure virtual networks (VNets). Once peered, the virtual networks appear as one, and resources can be accessed from both VNets via their private IP Addresses.

While creating a new peering through the Azure Portal, it resulted in a created VNet Peer with a PEERING STATUS Failed. Deleting the Peering also failed. Probably something went wrong in the back or the Portal was stuck and giving failure, showing the Failed status as a result. Like in most cases when you are troubleshooting Azure issues, Azure PowerShell comes to the rescue.

By running below PowerShell script (copy and save as .ps1), I was able to get the resources updated using the get and set command, which successfully Connected the VNet peer.

PowerShell script

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I hope the above script comes in handy whenever you face the same issue. Till next time.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Unable to RDP to an Azure VM due to a CredSSP Encryption Oracle Remediation error

June 27, 2018 at 7:22 pm in Azure, Cloud, CredSSP, Encryption Oracle Remediation, RDP, Remote Desktop Connection, VM, Windows 10 by Wim Matthyssen

After applying some Windows updates on my Windows 10 Version 1803 home pc I was unable to make a Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) connection to some Microsoft Azure virtual machine(s) (VM).

When I made an RDP connection, I received the following error message:

An authentication error has occurred. The function requested is not supported. Remote computer: <computer name or IP>. This could be due to CredSSP encryption oracle remediation. For more information, see https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=866660.

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What is CredSSP and why did it cause the error

The Credential Security Support Provider protocol (CredSSP) is a security protocol utilized to process authentication requests for separate applications like RDP. It allows you to securely forward credentials encrypted from the Windows client to the target servers for remote authentication.

Because of a critical vulnerability that has been discovered in CredSSP, which affects all versions of Windows and could allow remote attackers to exploit RDP and WinRM to steal data and run malicious code, Microsoft has released security update(s).
You can find the list of the corresponding KB number(s) for each operating system here: https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-us/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2018-0886

In my case my recently updated Windows 10 pc could not communicate with a non-updated server (not allowed to setup an insecure RDP connection).

Workaround

To solve the error, first of all, I needed to temporarily change the policy settings on my Windows 10 to gain RDP access to the server.

To do so, open Run and execute gpedit.msc to change the settings in the Local Group Policy Editor. Browse to Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System. Open Credentials Delegation in the left pane.

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Change the Encryption Oracle Remediation policy to Enabled, and Protection Level to Vulnerable.

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You can also use the following PowerShell script to do it in an more automated way: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/PowerShell-Workaround-956e0d7e.

Or you can simply use this command line one-liner which can also be run in PowerShell (run as admin):

After this change, I was able to setup an unsecure RDP connection to the server(s) where I installed the missing security update.

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After deploying the specific update on the server(s), I was able to connect to it without the error and with the Encryption Oracle Remediation settings reset to the default.

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Of course you can also use PowerShell to set everything back to the default (copy and save as .ps1).

Or like before you can simply use a command line one-liner in PowerShell (run as admin):

This concludes this blog post, hope it helps if you face this error.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Azure: Clean up unused, inactive or old directories from your Azure subscription

June 20, 2018 at 9:31 am in AAD, Azure, Azure Active Directory, Azure AD, Azure tenant, B2B, Cloud, GDPR, MyApps by Wim Matthyssen

I am already working as an Azure Consultant/Architect for almost 5 years. In those 5 years I setup a lot of Azure IaaS/PaaS environments for different customers. To do all the necessary work involved in such setup, I mostly was invited to their Azure tenant as admin with my Microsoft account (personal account) or my work account (B2B user) to do all the necessary work. When all the work was done a thing mostly forgotten is to clean up that specific user in Azure Active Directory (AAD), causing that tenant still showing up or even starting as the default directory when logging on to the Azure portal. After a while you could even be unable to be invited to a new tenant because the maximum of 20 AAD’s is reached for that specific account.

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Until some time ago, May 14 2018 to be specific, to unlink those lingering directories you had to contact another global admin of the inviting organization to have that account removed from their AAD tenant. Even as an admin you were not able to delete your own guest account. Sometimes, when a lot of time was passed since you last worked for that customer, finding a global admin for that tenant to delete that user could be a lot of work.

Luckily, thanks to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this can now be done in a much easier way. A B2B user can now easily leave an organization on their own (self-service leaving), to which he or she has been invited at any time, without having to contact an administrator.

Keep in mind that when a user leaves an organization, the user account is soft deleted in the directory. By default, the user object moves to the Deleted users state in AAD but is not permanently deleted for 30 days. This soft deletion enables the administrator to restore the user account (including groups and permissions), if the user makes a request to restore the account within that 30-day period.

To leave an organization you can follow the below steps:

Log in with your B2B account at https://myapps.microsoft.com/

When logged in select your name on the access panel in the upper-right corner.

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Under Organizations, select the organization you want to leave.

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Select your name again in the upper-right corner.

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Select Leave organization next to the correct organization.

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When asked to confirm, select Leave.

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After a while you should receive an email at that specific account, telling you that you left the organization.

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Repeat these steps if you need to leave any other organization you are associated with.

Hope this helps and thanks to my colleague Guido (@ggibens) for pinpointing me to this new simplified capability.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)