Microsoft had announced the limited preview of Azure Shared disks. With these announcement it will be possible to migrate clustered environments running Windows Server to Azure. This capability is designed to support SQL Server, Scale-Out File servers, RDS User Profile Disk and SAP ASCS/SCS servers running on Windows. Also Linux-based clustered file systems like GFS2 are supported.
The diagram above shows a 2 node cluster with a single shared disk. Just one node will receive write access, the other node will only receive read access. In case Azure Virtual Machine 1 goes down, write access will be transferred to Azure Virtual Machine 2. This scenario can be extended to more than 2 machines, but multiple shared disks can be attached as well, making it ideal for running parallel jobs or other multi machine tasks.
Azure Shared Disks are only available on Premium SSD disks and only greater than P15 (256GiB) Microsoft has announced that Azure Ultra disk support will be released soon. The number of nodes that can be attached to a disk needs to be preset before mounting the disk to any node. Each disk type has its only limitation. The IOPS limit and bandwidth limit are not affected by this number. I would recommend to set this value has high as possible when deploying. In case a shared disk needs resizing to expand the number of nodes, it is required to un-mount the disk from all nodes.
Today I had the honors to do another workshop Ethical hacking together with Erik Loef. It is always good to share your knowledge, and help other people with their work, now and in the future. I hope that these students will embrace what they have learned, and that they will apply this newly obtained knowledge at their (future) employers.
When you want to migrate an older environment to Office 365 and OneDrive, you might miss the OneDrive GPO settings. Unfortunately Microsoft hasn’t release the download of the ADMX files. You will need to grab them manually from a recent Windows 10 machine, and import them in the right location.
Since I like to simplefy things, I thought it might be convenient to create a prepared ADMX ZIP file with all necessary files, ready for extration. So here is a link to download OneDrive ADMX files. Just simply extract the proper folders to the following location:
Local Domain Controller store: C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\
Central Active Directory store: \\<your domain>\sysvol\<your domain>\Policies\PolicyDefinitions\
Today I noticed a new checkbox in the Azure Portal. Microsoft has released IPv6 in the Public preview for Azure VNets. Virtual machines will be equipped with a dual-stack IP connectivity. Meaning both will be available. With the ending of IPv4 addresses it makes IPv6 mandatory for everybody.
From the Azure portal you can now add IPv6 address to the address scope on the VNet level.
The following diagram shows how IPv6 works as a dual-stack next to IPv4
If you have a large on premise environment, you might want to automate the assignment of Office 365 licenses by using (dynamic) security groups in Azure AD. With this simple manual you should be able to setup automatic license assignment based on a security group.
By default everyone may create a new team in Microsoft Teams. As an organisation admin you might want to control this, or release it a some point. With this manual you should be able to lock down team creation to users that are member of a Azure AD Security group.
STEP 1: First we will need to install the Preview version of the Azure Active Directory PowerShell module for Graph. Open a PowerShell window with Adminstrator privileges and run the following 2 commands:
The result of the script should give you the updated settings. On the last line you should see EnableGroupCreation. If you want to reverse this setting. Just simply change the following line to True and run the entire script:
$AllowGroupCreation = “True”
If you want another security group, rerun the script with the new group name.
So you want to clean up unused (shared) mailboxes in your Exchange (Online) environment. How to find out which mailboxes have been inactive for a long time? The answer is yet simple again, with a cool Power Shell script.
Microsoft has announced SSD bursting capabilities. This means that Premium SSD disks can achieve higher peak loads than the maximum IOPS with a new maximum of 3500 IOPS and a bandwidth up to 170 MiB/s. Together with this announcement Microsoft also announced new disk sizes (4, 8 & 16 GiB)
With the new bursting disks you can achieve up to 30 times the provisioned bandwidth, which will give better performance for spiky workloads. Disk bursting is based on a credit system. You will receive bursting credits when traffic is below the provisioned limit. Let me try to explain it using a simple chart.
Next, we just need to change the 2 value’s below, and run it. After running, you don’t get a confirmation. It might take up to 30 minutes before changes are visible in all Office 365 and/or Azure portals.
With the move to the cloud there might be a time where you would like to remove the Active Directory link (AD Connect) and go for a cloud only strategy. With a few simple steps you can disconnect the AD connect sync from Azure AD.
When you look in your Office 365 environment you will notice that the sync status has different symbols. One for cloud only, and one for Active Directory. To disable the link, open a PowerShell window and run the following steps.
STEP 1: First make sure that you disable the AD Connect sync service by disabling the service, or set it to staging mode.
STEP 2: Connect to your Microsoft Office 365 environment using the following command, and login to the desired environment:
STEP 3: Now run the following command to disable the sync, confirm your actions, you cannot undo this change!
You might have noticed that it’s quiet on 2azure.nl. On the 19th of November my wife got very ill, with unknown brain damage she was hospitalized in the Erasmus University Medical Center. But despite all efforts she passed away on the 6th of December 2019 in the age of 29.
She was my soulmate in everything. Caring for me, for our children, and always interested in other people. Such a lovely wife. You are always in my heart.
There are situations where you would like to enforce an update of the Exchange Global Address list (GAL) in Office 365. With a few steps this can easily be done!
STEP 1: First we will need to make sure that our admin account has the correct permissions. Go to the Exchange Online Admin center, and then to permissions – admin roles and click on the + sign to add a new role
We will now create a new role group. Give it the name Address List Management and assign the role Address lists, and make sure to add the administrator account as a member. Click Save when ready.
When you create a new Office 365 tenant, all user mailboxes will have the default timezone and language. In my case, I work in the Netherlands, the preference for most companies is to set the Time zone to Central European Time (GMT +1) and the language of the users default folders to Dutch.
You can either ask the users to logon to webmail using https://outlook.office.com and fill in the first time question to set the time zone and default language. But how cool would it be to do this for all your users using PowerShell?
With the Azure AD Premium P2 license you are entitled for Azure AD Identity Protection. You will get the option in Conditional Access to assign risk level based options to your policies. Azure AD Identity Protection can detect six different types of suspicious sign-in activities with 3 different levels of risks.
With the riks levels combined with conditional access policies we can protect sensitive application and data access. With this article I am going to show you how to create risk-based conditional access policies
So let’s create a Policy and get Conditional Access applied with risk levels
When you’re migrating from one Exchange environment to another, or from on-premise to Exchange online without using the hybrid setup, the most forgotten part is the migration of the users x500 address. The reason why this is so important is because Exchange uses this to deliver local emails instead of the SMTP address that is normally associated with email. (This also goes along for calendar appointments)
So, by not migrating the x500 address it means that communications will fail when changing calendar appointments, or replying on old emails. To prevent this we will need to export the ExchangeLegacyDN from Active Directory, and import it again as a ProxyAddress in Active Directory.
Export the x500 address (ExchangeLegacyDN)
Step 1: From your source Active Directory, look up the distinguishedName, and copy the content of the value.
Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) is an added security feature from Azure which I believe that should be enabled by default for everybody in Office 365 and Azure. There for this manual how to enforce (Azure) MFA for all users using Azure Multi Factor Authentication
MFA can prevent unauthorized access in case of the following events:
Sign-ins from anonymous IP addresses
Impossible travel to atypical locations
Sign-ins from unfamiliar locations
Sign-ins from infected devices
Sign-ins from IP addresses with suspicious activities
Using Conditional access we can ensure that your users and company data is safe. Important to know is that Office 365 MFA is free of charge, and if you have Azure AD applications an Azure AD Premium license is required.
If you want to mark your locations as trusted location, you can do that if you have a static public IP. So the first steps are there to define your office locations.