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Operations Management Suite / Log Analytics: What is it?

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This blog post will start off a series of blog posts about Operations Management Suite (OMS or Log Analytics) which is as the latter name suggests is a log analytics engine that ingests events from data sources that you provide and provides a very nice searchable interface where you can do auditing on your infrastructure where ever it is.
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Integrating your Active Directory domain with Azure Active Directory

With the plethora of service that Microsoft offers via its Office365 service, it’s hard to ignore the fact that having multiple identities across your organization can be quite problematic. With every Azure or Office 365 subscription you get provisioned an Azure Active Directory account in order for you to be able to login to consume the services you just paid for. Using one account you can get access to Exchange, SharePoint, Office 201(x) on demand, Dynamics CRM, Skype For Business and other neat tools like Planner, Sway. With Enterprise Mobility Suite you get access to Azure Rights Management, Intune, Information Security, Azure Active Directory Premium which include a lot of features like service wide MFA, Azure Active Directory Join (Windows 10 is best for this job).

What I’m trying to say here that using one account you get access to a multitude of services that improve your workflow and organization. The only problem with this is that most organizations have on-premise servers and a central directory management system (Active Directory, OpenLDAP/Samba, 389 Server etc.) and having multiple accounts (and passwords) proves to be quite a challenge for the IT staff to enforce security whilst providing the best experience for their users. We all know that password security is a big problem (look at all the breaches that happened in the last 2 years) and enabling the best security under one roof is one of the ways to go.

In this article I will talk about how you can integrate your on-premise Active Directory domain with Azure Active Directory in order to provide your users the best experience while accessing their resources without compromising your organizations security.
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Backing up your Azure Resource Manager VMs

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Azure Backups has been GA for a long time now but not long ago, the folks at Azure just removed the preview tag from the service that handles backing up Resource Manager VMs. I’ve been testing Azure Backup on RM deployments since it was announced in preview and I can say that almost all my tests showed promising results. I’ve encountered a couple of quirk during tests but those were ironed out fast and now that the service is out of preview I can say that Resource Manager VM deployments are the way to go.

In this blog post I will show you how to configure the Azure Recovery Services to back up your Azure VMs and recover them when required.
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Migrating OpenLDAP to Active Directory

I’ve been working on a project that required a migration from an OpenLDAP Directory Server to Active Directory which was a very big challenge because there was no Samba server in order to do any work with ADMT or any other procedure. The options were to find a way to synchronize OpenLDAP with Active Directory and cut it off once everything was in order or to export the entire directory in a CSV file and then prepare it to be consumed by Active Directory.
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Tokenizing your configuration files

I’ve been constantly working on a project where had to deploy a full blown application in Azure for Dev/Test using VSTS, PowerShell, DSC, ARM templates and the kitchen sink. The main idea was to deploy the application on the Azure VMs and treat them as cattle (as Jeffrey Snover would put it).

The whole point of this was to create a release workflow that would not require any human intervention to make the application work after it was deployed.
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Using PowerShell DSC in Azure

Most of my DSC blog posts target on-premise or remotely accessed VMs which most of the times are in Azure. While everything is fine and dandy when you’re running PowerShell / PowerShell DSC on your local infrastructure, but when it comes to Azure, you might need to rethink your strategy a bit.
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ARM Templates for creating custom image VMs in Azure

If you worked with Azure for a long time, you know that when you wanted to upload your own custom VM image to Azure, it was an easy thing. You prepared the VM, you sent it to Azure using PowerShell and after that you tagged it as an OS disk and that was it. Well that was the old way using the Azure Service Manager which I must say it was quite an easy procedure. With Azure Resource Manager, things changed quite a bit. You still have the possibility of uploading the VHDs to Azure but the deployment requires a little more work. You have to write code for that deployment to happen, be it in PowerShell or JSON. In this blog post I’m going to give you two ARM templates which you can use to deploy your freshly uploaded VHDs.
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PowerShell DSC – Writing Configurations

In my previous articles (DSC on Linux & Building a DSC Pull Server), I discussed about installing and configuring DSC on Linux machines, and after that I talked about creating your very first DSC Pull Server, which grants you the capability of serving configuration documents and resources to both Windows and Linux machines. In this blog post I will be talking about writing configuration files and about the methods that you could leverage the code you wrote in order to write once and use it on multiple machines.
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PowerShell DSC – Building a Pull Server on WMF 5

I wanted to write this post back in December when WMF 5.0 got released but I decided to put it off because a week after release, Microsoft removed the packages from the Download Center because of a nasty bug that reset the PSModulePath settings to default (blog post). So after a two months wait, Microsoft re-released the WMF 5 packages that contain the PSModulePath fix which you can get from here. If you installed WMF 5 before it got pulled, you will have to uninstall KB3094174, KB3094175, and KB3094176 and then install the new ones that just got published.
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