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Azure Interactives

10:46 am in Azure, Azure Interactives, Cloud by Wim Matthyssen

 
Azure is a growing collection of integrated services that IT professionals and developers can use to build, deploy or manage applications in the cloud. With so many services now available, most of the time it is somewhat of a challenge to find the right information. To help you have a clear overview, Microsoft has released a new beta webpage, the Azure Interactives, which will guide and introduce you to all the various services that are available on Azure.

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From this interactive page, you can easily navigate to the three experiences listed below, to display and find all information you want.
 

Azure Products

From here, you can easily select a specific Azure product and find all information, documentation and pricing links about it.

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Cloud design patterns

This page will give you architecture guidance and lists common problems and patterns for your cloud applications.

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Azure security + operations management

This page will give you a guide on how to efficiently manage and protect your Azure and on-premises resources.

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Have fun checking this all out.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

MABS v2: Unable to install DPM Remote Administration console on a W2K8 R2 SP1 server because mi.dll is missing

9:32 am in Azure, Azure Backup, Azure Backup Server, DPM Remote Administration, mi.dll, Microsoft Azure Backup Server, Microsoft Azure Backup Server v2, PowerShell, WMF 5.1 by Wim Matthyssen

While installing the DPM Remote Administrator console on a Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (W2K8 R2 SP1) for remote administration of a customers Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS) v2, I stumbled upon the below error message, which resulted in the setup being aborted:

The Program can’t start because mi.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

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This error shows up because one of the following requirements is not installed: Windows Management Framework 4.0, .NET Framework 4.0 or Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 Update 4

needs to be installed to be able to deploy the DPM Remote Administration console on a W2K8 R2 server.

To fix the issue, I checked if all latest Windows Updates were installed. Afterwards I installed the Windows Management Framework 5.1 (WMF 5.1), .NET Framework 4.0 and the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 on the W2K8 R2 SP1 server, which can be downloaded from the link above. To ease up and to automate the installation, you can use the below PowerShell script (copy and/or save as .ps1) to get things downloaded somewhat faster.

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When the C:\Temp folder opens after the downloads, run Install-WMF5.1.ps1. (PowerShell window with Administrator privileges) to install WMF 5.1

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Before rebooting, also run the two other packages, dotNetFx40_Full_setup.exe and vcredist_x64.exe (if required). When done reboot the server.

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When the server is rebooted, check if mi.dll exists under C:\Windows\System32.

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You can now start Setup.exe (Microsoft Azure Backup Server folder) and start the DPM Remote Administration installation.

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Hope this post helps whenever you face the same problem.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

MABS v2: Error [0x8007007b] when performing a System State Backup on a DC running on a VMware VM

8:33 am in Azure, Azure Backup, Azure Backup Server, Cloud, Error [0x8007007b], MABS, MABS v2, Power, PowerShell, VMware by Wim Matthyssen

While configuring a Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS) v2 at a customer site, I encountered a problem while performing a System State Backup of their domain controllers (DC’s). The Protection Status showed Replica is inconsistent.

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When looking in the Monitoring tab, following detailed message is show:

DPM cannot create a backup because Windows Server Backup (WSB) on the protected computer encountered an error (WSB Event ID: 517, WSB Error Code: 0x605A140).(ID 30229 Details: Internal error code: 0x8099ED0)

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Because the first part of making a System State Backup is done by the local Windows Server Backup (WSB) feature, logon to the protected server and open Windows Server Backup (Server Manager – Tools – Windows Server Backup). There a message was shown indicating that the last backup has Failed.

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To view the error message a bit more in detail, open the Windows Server backup log file (with the exact date and timestamp) located in C:\Windows\Logs\WindowsServerBackup.

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In the log file the following error message was shown:

Error in backup of C:\windows\\systemroot\ during enumerate: Error [0x8007007b] The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.

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When looking in the Event Viewer (Application log) I could also find the following errors (CAPI2 – 513, Backup – 517):

Event ID 513

Cryptographic Services failed while processing the OnIdentity() call in the System Writer Object.

Details:

AddLegacyDriverFiles: Unable to back up image of binary Microsoft Link-Layer Discovery Protocol.

System Error:

Access is denied.

Event ID 517

The backup operation that started at ‘‎2017‎-‎11‎-‎16T15:16:22.000076700Z’ has failed with following error code ‘0x80780049′ (None of the items included in backup were backed up.). Please review the event details for a solution, and then rerun the backup operation once the issue is resolved.

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Because all those errors descriptions do not really tell you what exactly is going wrong causing the backup to fail, you need to use the Diskshadow command-line tool to determine if there is an issue with the functionality of the VSS service or any of the application independent VSS writers.

To open the Diskshadow tool interface start PowerShell with elevated privileges and enter the below commands to write the output to a logfile.

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When the logfile (c:\out.txt) is created open it with notepad and search for \\.

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In my case, I found out there was an issue with the vsock.sys driver, which is part of the VMware vSockets Service and which is usually located in the C:\Windows\system32\drivers folder.

To fix the issue open the Registry Editor and go to the following location, HKLM\system\controlset001\services\vsock and changed the Start value to 1.

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Also change the ImagePath entry from \SystemRoot\system32\DRIVERS\vsock.sys to system32\DRIVERS\vsock.sys.

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When you have changed all those registry keys, logon to your MABS server and right click the failed System State backup and Perform a consistency check… (be aware that this could take a while). If the fix also solved your issue it would show OK when completed.

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Hope this helps whenever you face the same error in your MABS environment. If you have any questions feel free to contact me trough my Twitter handle.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

MABS v2: Creation of a Protection Group fails with error 33507 related to running Trend Micro Antivirus

9:39 am in Azure, Azure Backup, Error 33057, MABS, Microsoft Azure Backup Server, Microsoft Azure Backup Server v2, PowerShell, Trend Micro by Wim Matthyssen

Last week while assisting a customer with the deployment of a new Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS), I ran run across error 33507 when creating a new Protection Group.

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In the Event Viewer on the MABS error 370 was shown several times.

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After troubleshooting for some time, I finally found out the problem was caused by the Trend Micro antivirus (version 12.0.1708) running on the MABS. The issue is caused by an incompatibility between Trend Micro and the DPM filter driver.

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When the antivirus was disabled MABS was able to create the Protection Group. But because running a server without an antivirus solution is not an option you can resolve the issue by adding the following registry key on any MABS server running with Trend Micro.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TmFilter\Parameters
Add DWORD (32 bit)
BypassDPMfilter, vaule of 1

You can add the registry key quite easy by running the following PowerShell one-liner (run PowerShell as an administrator).

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After adding the registry key, reboot the server and try the process of creating a Protection Group all over again. I should work now.

Lesson learned, sometimes it’s the easy stuff. Disabling antivirus during a backup problem is often step 1. Now it was more like step 10 but at least in the end it helped fixing the issue. Till next time.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Azure PowerShell: Your Azure credentials have not been set up or have expired (classic – ASM)

8:56 am in ASM, Azure, Azure PowerShell, PowerShell by Wim Matthyssen

Last week, after a long time I was cleaning up an Azure ASM environment with Azure PowerShell for a customer when I stumbled upon the following error:

“Your Azure credentials have not been set up or have expired, please run Add-AzureAccount to set up your Azure credentials.”

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After checking the account settings, everything seemed valid. So probably for some reason, some old settings were cached causing the problem.

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Solution:

After trying and testing out some cmdlets, the following finally solved the issue:

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When you have run the above cmdlet, try to run the Add-AzureAccount cmdlet and afterwards any other cmdlet to see if this also solves the issue for you.

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Hope this helps you when you are facing the same issue.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Azure IaaS: Deploying B-series VMs

10:18 am in ARM, Azure, Azure PowerShell, B-Series VMs, IaaS, PowerShell, Public Cloud by Wim Matthyssen

Last week Microsoft introduced the B-Series VM size in preview. These B-Series VMs can run workloads that burst in their performance, but do not need continuous full performance of the CPU. Servers that would be eligible for this new “burstable” VM size are servers with small databases, webservers, development servers, quality assurance (QA) and test servers. But also servers with other workloads that do not utilize the full located vCPUs are grate candidates to benefit and lower costs by using a B-Series VM.

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Herby a list of the 6 B-Series VM sizes, which are currently available in Preview in the following Azure Regions (Europe-West, US-West 2, US-East, Asia Pacific-Southeast):

Instance Size vCPU vMemory: GiB Tempory Storage / Local SSD: GiB Max data disks Max NICs Credits banked / hour Max Banked Credits
Standard_B1s 1 1 2 2 2 6 144
Standard_B2s 2 4 8 4 3 24 576
Standard_B1ms 1 2 4 2 2 12 288
Standard_B2ms 2 8 16 4 3 36 864
Standard_B4ms 4 16 32 8 4 54 1296
Standard_B8ms 8 32 64 16 4 81 1944

You can also read more about this new VM size here and find all pricing info

Now I am going to show you how you can deploy a new B-Series VM trough Azure PowerShell.

First, you need to request quota to be able to deploy this B-Series VMs. To do so you should logon to the Azure portal and go to Help + support. To request an increase or to be able to deploy B-Series VMs, select New support request.

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You need to create a Quota support case for Cores. So, on the NEW SUPPORT REQUEST page, select Issue type as “Quota” and Quota type as “Cores”. Also, select the Subscription and the correct Support plan. Click Next.

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Select Severity “C – Minimal Impact”, Deployment model “Resource Manager” and the correct Location, which in my case is West Europe. Select as SKU Families that requires an increase “BS Series” and set the NEW LIMIT higher than before, for example 15 instead of 10. Click Next.

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In the Contact Information blade, select your Preferred contact method, provide a Response time, select your preferred Language and fill in the Contact Information. Click Create to create the new support ticket.

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In my case I received an email after the quota was been approved, which normally does not take that much time. So from here we can go further with the deployment.

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If you open Azure PowerShell, and run following commands, you can now built a new B-Series VM. You can copy the commands or save them to as a PowerShell script (.ps1). Do not forget to adjust all variables were needed.

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Hope this helps you getting started with this new B-Series VMs.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Azure Backup: Create a Recovery Services vault with Azure PowerShell

9:46 am in Azure, Azure Backup, Azure PowerShell, PowerShell, Public Cloud, Recovery Services vault by Wim Matthyssen

A Recovery Services vault is an online storage entity used to backup workloads to the Azure cloud. You can use it to hold backup data for various Azure services such as IaaS VMs (Linux or Windows) and Azure SQL databases, but it can also be used by System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) or Azure Backup Server (MABS v1 and MABS v2) to enable cloud backups.

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These days it is quite easy to create or manage a Recovery Services vault through the Azure portal, but it is even faster when you make use of a scripting language like Azure PowerShell to automate the setup. Therefore, below you can find the PowerShell script I mostly use to do all the work for me. You can just copy and paste or you can download the complete script (.ps1) from the Microsoft TechNet gallery.

To use the script, first adjust all variables to your use. Afterwards login into an Azure PowerShell window as an administrator and when asked login with the credentials for your Azure Subscription.

The script will first create a Resource Group and then the Recovery Services vault in your Azure Subscription. At the end, it will also set the storage redundancy for the newly created vault. Keep in mind that you can only use Locally Redundant Storage (LRS) or Geo Redundant Storage (GRS).

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Useful Azure PowerShell cmdlets for Azure Backup

List all available Azure Backup PowerShell cmdlets

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List all available Recovery Services vaults in your subscription

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Hope this post helps you when you start using Azure Backup.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Azure IaaS: Troubelshooting Windows Update error 8024402F

3:31 pm in 8024402F, ARM, ASM, Azure, hybrid cloud, PowerShell, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Update, WSUS by Wim Matthyssen

 
Last week I was troubleshooting a Windows Update issue at several Azure IaaS VMs for a customer. All those Windows Server 2012 R2 servers were workgroup members and had no Network Security Group (NSG) attached which could block the connection to the Microsoft Update servers. But whenever starting Windows Update the below error was shown after a few minutes.

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To get this error fixed I followed the below steps. Be aware that you can retry running Windows Update again after each step because it could be already working again.

 

Step 1

If the server has been configured to use WSUS to get its updates, first wipe out those registry keys by running the below command in a PowerShell window (with admin privileges). Press Y to delete all registry keys when asked:

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This also may reset some Windows Update settings, for instance, the one that decides if updates should install automatically or after asking permission.  Therefore, you need to set your preferred settings afterwards.

Check for updates using Windows Update and see if the issue has been resolved, if not proceed to step 2.

 

Step 2

If you still receive the same error, run the following PowerShell Script to rename the SoftwareDistribution and catroot2 folder. These folders, which are maintained by the WUAgent (Windows Update Agent), are essential components for Windows Update. However, sometimes the content of these folders could prevent Windows Update from applying new updates to the server. When having trouble with Windows Update, it is safe to delete this folder. The server will always re-download all the necessary files, or re-create the folder and re-download all the components, if removed.

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Now please check for updates using Windows Update to see if the issue has been resolved.

 

Step 3

If step 2 also does not fix the problem, you could try running the below command from an elevated PowerShell window. This command will import proxy information used by Internet Explorer in the Windows HTTP Services (WinHTTP). Several server roles, like the Microsoft Windows Update client, rely on WinHTTP to manage all HTTP and HTTPS traffic. Windows Update uses it mainly to scan for available updates.

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Step 4

As a last solution, you could try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter tool. To download and startup this tool run the below PowerShell commands.

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When the tool opens, go through all steps to get Windows Update fixed.

If all goes well, Windows Update should be working again by the use of one of the above steps. Hope it helps and if you have any questions feel free to contact me through my twitter handle.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

MABS: DPM database size has exceeded the threshold limit (ID 3168)

10:18 am in Azure, Azure Backup, DPM database, ID 3168, MABS, Microsoft Azure Backup Server by Wim Matthyssen

Last week I saw the below Warning message pop up at a customer’s Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS). The description of this Warning message described the following:

“DPM database size has exceeded the threshold limit.

DPM database size: 1.15 GB

DPM database location: e:\DPMDB\ on “servername” (ID 3168)”

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I could also find the same Warning message in the Event Viewer.

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The message itself was confusing because the E: drive where the DPM database is located had plenty of free disk space and the DPM Database size alert was unmarked as you can see in the below screenshots.

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Another important point is that the only way to open the Tape Catalog Retention box (on a MABS server) is by clicking the Modify Catalog Alert Threshold size … link which is only show in the Recommended action field of the warning message itself.

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However, in the end I was able to solve this warning, by marking the setting Alert me when DPM database size reaches: and changing the size to 10 GB. Afterwards I unmarked this setting again and pressed OK. Almost directly after that, the Warning message disappeared.

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Conclusion

Probably this warning message is some sort of bug in the MABS software or some kind of leftover from DPM 2012 (tape backups) on which the MABS v1 code is based. For the moment, the only way to get rid of this Warning message is by using the above workaround.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through my twitter handle.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Microsoft Azure Backup Server: Unable to configure protection for a SQL database (ID 3170 and 33424)

2:45 pm in Azure, Azure Backup, ID 3170, ID 33424, MABS, Microsoft Azure Backup Server, SQL Server by Wim Matthyssen

Last week while configuring backup for some SQL databases for a customer with the Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS), I received the following Protection Status error: Unable to configure protection.

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When opening the Monitoring tab on the MABS server, to investigate the problem, I found the following description for the error:

DPM could not start a recovery, consistency check, or initial replica creation job for SQL Server 2012 database “SQLServername\model” on “SQL Server” for following reason: (ID 3170)

The DPM job failed for SQL Server 2012 database “SQLServername\model” on “SQL Server” because the protection agent did not have sysadmin privileges on the SQL Server instance. (ID 33424 Details:)

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You can also find the similar error description in the Event Viewer on the MABS server, by opening the Application and Services LogsDPM Alerts.

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As the error suggests, the problem is that the built-in NT Authority\SYSTEM does not have sysadmin rights on that SQL Server instance. So to resolve this issue, perform the following steps. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio on the SQL server. Open Security, open Logins, select the NT\AUTHORITY SYSTEM user and click Properties. In the Server Roles screen sysadmin should be checked, what for this specific database was not the case. So check sysadmin and press OK to save. You need to repeat this step for all instances having this problem.

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After fixing this, you need to perform a consistency check on the MABS for all those databases with status Unable to configure protection. To do so right-click the unprotected database and select Perform consistency check …, which will retry the protection and solve the problem.

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After completion, the Protection Status should be showing OK.

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Hope this helps you fixing this problem when it occurs. If you have, any questions feel free to contact me through my twitter handle.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)