Microsoft’s FSLogix Acquisition Embeds Windows and Office Deeper into the Cloud

Microsoft’s idea of a modern desktop experience is the ability to deploy and run Windows and Office from Azure. Today’s acquisition announcement of FSLogix takes that capability to the next level and will make it more difficult for Windows and Office customers to avoid cloud participation – and ultimately, Azure licensing schemes.

To help extend our virtualization capabilities and provide an even richer experience for Microsoft 365 customers, we are excited to announce the acquisition of FSLogix.

With this acquisition, customers will benefit in a number of ways. Through customer engagement, we know that Microsoft Office applications are some of the most highly used and most commonly virtualized applications in any business. Office 365 ProPlus is currently the best Office experience, and, with FSLogix enabling faster load times for user profiles in Outlook and OneDrive, Office 365 ProPlus will become even more performant in multi-user virtual environments (including Windows Virtual Desktop).

Full Announcement: Microsoft acquires FSLogix to enhance the Office 365 virtualization experience


 

Microsoft Skips RTM for Windows Server 2019, Unleashes it Publicly Anyway

With the growing number of reports of Windows 10 1809 problems, maybe this isn’t the greatest idea.

Microsoft has now announced that Windows Server 2019 is generally available.

If you are a Windows Server customer with valid Software Assurance, you can download Windows Server 2019 on the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). You can also download the evaluation version of Windows Server 2019 at the Evaluation Center.

For customers running Windows Server on Azure, Windows Server 2019 is also available in the Azure Marketplace. Later in October, we’ll be adding Windows Server 2019 to Visual Studio Subscription (former MSDN) and other portals, such as the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).

In a separate post, Cosmos Darwin, a senior program manager on Microsoft’s Core OS team, talks about the company skipping a step for this release:

Windows Server 2019 is the first version to skip the classic Release To Manufacturing (RTM) milestone and go directly to General Availability (GA). This change is motivated by the increasing popularity of virtual machines, containers, and deploying in the cloud. But it also means the hardware ecosystem hasn’t had the chance to validate and certify systems or components before the release; instead, they start doing so today.

As before, to ensure our customers are successful and have the smoothest experience, Microsoft recommends deploying Storage Spaces Direct on hardware validated by the Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) program. The first wave of WSSD offers for Windows Server 2019 will launch in mid-January 2019, in about three months. We’ll share more details about the WSSD launch event soon.

Until the first wave of hardware is available, attempting to use features like Storage Spaces Direct or Software-Defined Networking (SDN) displays an advisory message and requires an extra step to configure. This is normal and expected – see KB4464776. Microsoft will remove the message for everyone immediately after the WSSD launch event in January, via Windows Update.


Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections

Microsoft’s Rick Claus on IT/Dev Connections and Why the Azure Team is Increasing Involvement with the Conference

For those that are just catching up, many of you know Rick Claus from the wildly popular Patch and Switch podcast with Joey Snow, his work with Channel 9 at Microsoft conferences and possibly even his work with IT/Dev Connections over the past few years. Rick is now leading an Azure team at Microsoft and we’re happy to announce today that Rick will be serving as our keynote speaker this year! Rick’s keynote is still coming together, but what he’s shared with me so far shows it will be visionary, timely, and recommended for those that want to extend their career as an IT Pro, a Developer and in the DevOps world. Fantastic!

After a BIG week at the 25,000-plus attendee Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, Florida last week, we caught up with Rick to get this take on his (and his team’s) involvement with IT/Dev Connections 2018 and beyond…

ITDC: Give us a brief introduction to you.
Rick: I’m Rick Claus, just a guy who jiggled a cable to get a printer to work over 25 years ago. Now after many roles ranging from LAN admin to consultant to enterprise architect – I work at Microsoft HQ, leading a team of Cloud Advocates.  Like most IT Pros / Ops folks – I love tinkering and problem solving using various technical solutions. Non-Work pastimes include tinkering with my Jeep and spending way too much money and time in my home brewery.
 
ITDC: Describe the sessions you are presenting, why you feel the topics are important and describe what attendees can expect to be able to take and use right away.
Rick: IT Pro / Ops folks have been left to their own devices to develop their skills and career. In a constantly changing industry, it’s a love/hate relationship. We love working with new technologies but hate the change it creates because it ultimately is something else to learn and take time to implement. My session will hopefully bring some perspective to all this and show you the power of a pivot.
 
ITDC: What is your primary reason to be excited about speaking at IT/Dev Connections?
Rick: IT Dev Connections has a faithful audience of IT Pros / Ops folks who have made their careers on a diverse set of technologies. It appears as if resources from Microsoft have been less “in person” and more online only or targeting different personas of people. I lead a team of folks whose job it is to re-establish a personal connection to the IT Pro / Ops audience. What better way to start this re-connection then to come out to a conference like IT Dev Connections?
 
ITDC: What is the one key technology you believe is changing the technology industry right now?
Rick: Modernization is the name of the game. Maybe it’s upgrading and migrating to Windows Server 2019 or preparing for 2008 R2 end of life. Setting up a disaster recovery plan using someone else’s data center. It’s about leveraging Hybrid technologies combining your on-premises resources with trusted cloud partners.
 
ITDC: Knowing what you know now about this industry and/or your profession, what big suggestion would you give to a younger you?
Rick: Automate, automate, Automate. The less stuff you do manually – the more time you will have and the easier it will be to pivot to a more productive you. Oh – and start saving for your retirement earlier rather than later – compound interest rules!

 

IT/Dev Connections is just around the corner, but there’s still time to register to get the opportunity to connect directly with Rick and his team. Imagine trying to connect with Rick at a conference full of 25,000 people. Sure, its possible, but…

IT/Dev Connections is a right-sized, community-driven technical education conference. This is where you take those product announcements from Microsoft Ignite and then figure out how to actually make them work in the real world.

IT/Dev Connections runs October 15-18 in Dallas, Texas. Register today: http://itdevconnections.com 


Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections

Tip: Ensuring Computers Can Register to Azure AD

For customers using Azure Active Directory in a hybrid scenario, the following URLs need to be accessible by each computer you are trying to join. Keep these URLs handy in the event you also need to troubleshoot connectivity later on.

 


Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections

Learning from Its Latest Massive Outage Microsoft Enables Alerting for Azure Service Health

Microsoft has now enabled a new ability in Azure Service Health for customers to configure health alerts that monitor resources and then notify when they become unavailable, are in recovery, or go through health transitions.

We’re announcing a new feature in Azure Service Health that will help you stay informed about Azure service issues and maintenance. You can now configure alerts to notify you of any changes in the health status of individual resources. Through the Azure portal, you will be able to access resource health information through the Azure Activity Log to understand the impact of issues, prepare for planned maintenance, and learn about other changes which could affect the availability of your resources. This new feature will keep you informed minute-by-minute of the status of your Azure environment and will let you know if the issue is with you or with Azure.

 


Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections

Migrate Your SCOM GSM Tests to Azure Application Insights Before GSM is Shut Down

As recently reported, Microsoft plans to shutdown Global Service Monitor (GSM) on November 7th of this year. As the company continues moving its customers to the cloud, features like GSM will begin to be left by the wayside and replaced with something more cloudy. In this instance, GSM is being replaced by Azure Application Insights.

Microsoft has now released a tool (PowerShell script) to help customers migrate their GSM-created tests from System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) to Azure Application Insights.

Download the tool: MigrateGSMToAI

Microsoft recommends that customers run this tool prior to the shutdown of GSM.

As of November 07, 2018, we will retire the Global Service Monitor and recommend our customers to migrate GSM tests to Azure Application Insights well before that date. The migration script will provision your tests with the same configuration in Application Insights as you have in GSM. The migration script will also provision alert rules based on what you are currently using in SCOM. This tool will create new Ping tests and Web tests in Application Insights. This tool will not impact customer’s SCOM GSM environment and GSM tests in SCOM will continue to work till November 7th 2018. Post November 7th 2018, we recommend deleting GSM MP from the SCOM server. If customers want to bring the Alerts data back in SCOM, they can use Azure MP.


Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections

Introduction to Azure DevOps

In a single statement, Azure DevOps is everything you need to build your software product from beginning to end. Learn how Azure DevOps helps you plan your project with Agile tools, manages your code using Git, and deploys your code through the best CI/CD system on the planet. Get full traceability and visibility across all your development activities. In this video we will show you how to get started with Azure DevOps up and running with your project in under 6 minutes.

 


Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections

Microsoft Gets Caught by its Own Bad Patches During Recent Azure Outage

As reported, on Tuesday Microsoft’s South Central Azure datacenter overheated due to lightning strikes. As of today, the Storage component of the datacenter is still degraded, but finally on Thursday morning Microsoft had turned the tide. The South Central region outage ended up causing global problems due to Active Directory and other services also being down as part of the catastrophic event.

But, to make matters worse, Microsoft attempted to also deploy server updates during the outage. The updates caused customer reports of connection problems for Outlook and Skype that resulted in error messages stating that connections were being throttled.

Microsoft responded…

We’ve determined that this update has resulted in users receiving a message indicating they are being throttled when attempting to access Outlook and Skype. We’re reverting the update to remediate the problem.

 


Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections

Azure South Central Heads into Day 2 of Outages

UPDATE: As of 10:30am on Wednesday September 5, 2018 – Engineers have restored storage availability for the majority of impacted services, and customers should be continuing to see improvements to service availability.

We reported yesterday about a major outage for Microsoft’s Azure South Central region datacenter that was caused by severe weather and lightning strikes. The outage is heading into Day 2. But, while the Tuesday outage also caused several other services to affect global operations such as Active Directory (login services for most), today at least the outage is only for Azure South Central customers.

Microsoft has given the following update as to what to expect…

Engineers have restored storage availability for the majority of impacted services, and most customers should now be seeing signs of recovery.

Engineers have restored access to storage resources for the majority of services, and customers should be seeing signs of recovery.  Engineers are continuing to work on any residual storage impact to fully mitigate this issue. The current mitigation workflow is outlined below:
 
1) Restore power to the South Central US datacenter (COMPLETED)
2) Recover software load balancers for Azure Storage scale units in South Central US (COMPLETED)
3) Recover impacted Azure Storage scale units in South Central US. (Mostly complete)
4) Recover the remaining Storage-dependent services in South Central US (Mostly complete)

 


Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections

Outage: Azure Resource Manager, Active Directory and Others in South Central is Down Due to Overheating from Lightning Strikes

UPDATE: At around 3:00pm EST, the Azure team updated the cause for the overheating.  A severe weather event, including lightning strikes, occurred near one of the South Central US datacenters. This resulted in a power voltage increase that impacted cooling systems. Automated datacenter procedures to ensure data and hardware integrity went into effect and critical hardware entered a structured power down process.

UPDATE:  As of 10:15am EST, the Azure Active Directory and the Azure Bot Service are also now down globally. Additionally…for those trying to check the Azure Status page – good luck. Even the Azure Status page is having problems displaying. Most likely its due to too many requests.

According to the Azure Status page, those in the South Central Azure region, along with Azure Resource Manager (which affects customers globally)…

Engineers have isolated an issue with cooling in one part of the data center, which caused a localized spike in temperature, as the preliminary root-cause. Automated data center procedures to ensure data and hardware integrity went into effect when temperatures hit a specified threshold and critical hardware entered a structured power down process.

Microsoft engineers are working on the problem, but customers assigned to the region are already reporting issues and business operations have halted.


Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections

Free eBook: DevOps with ASP.NET Core and Azure

This guide is focused on an end-to-end continuous deployment experience for .NET developers. It’s not an exhaustive guide to all things Azure, and it doesn’t focus extensively on .NET APIs for Azure services. The emphasis is all around continuous integration, deployment, monitoring, and debugging. Near the end of the guide, recommendations for next steps are offered. Included in the suggestions are Azure platform services that are useful to ASP.NET Core developers.

Download (PDF): https://aka.ms/devopsbook

 


Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

IT/Dev Connections