DNS commands (Command Prompt vs PowerShell)

Recently I discovered Windows PowerShell has the ability to clear the local DNS on a machine, just like the traditional Command Prompt. Below is a table of the most common commands I personally use on a day-to-day basis and its PowerShell equivalent(s). Of course there are more PowerShell cmdlets, see the URL below for the complete list.

Command Prompt PowerShell Description
ipconfig /flushdns Clear-DnsClientCache Clears the contents of the DNS client cache.
ipconfig /registerdns Register-DnsClient Registers all of the IP addresses on the computer onto the configured DNS server.
ipconfig /displaydns Get-DnsClientCache Retrieves the contents of the DNS client cache.
 

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Flush DNS Cache with PowerShell

For years I have always been using Windows’s command prompt to flush the DNS cache on a local machine. As we know, that command is pretty well known, “ipconfig /flushdns“. Turns out there is an equivalent command we can run within the PowerShell console, and that is, “Clear-DnsClientCache“. Clear-DnsClientCache does exactly what it states, it clears the contents of the DNS client cache/local machine. Consider this next time you need to flush the local machine’s DNS cache.

Clear-DnsClientCache

Happy Retirement SCOM GSM (Global Service Monitor)

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that the SCOM’s (Operations Manager) GSM (Global Service Monitor) will officially call it quits and retire the service, effectively, November 7th, 2018. As it is a sad day for us, long-time SCOM administrators, the future remains bright, as Microsoft makes way for Application Insights. Over the last year or so, I have done numerous presentations and conferences on Azure’s Application Insights (App Insights), and demonstrating the natural evolution from SCOM APM to Azure App Insights. However, before we start talking about Azure’s App Insights, we need to start thinking about migrate away from GSM.

If you don’t know, GSM, Global Service Monitor in System Center Operations Manager provides the ability to monitor the availability of external web-based applications from multiple locations throughout the world. Microsoft Azure has this feature already within App Insights, called, “Availability“. Creative, I know.. But it does exactly that, measures the availability of your application.

Fellow MVP, Kevin Greene wrote an amazing, and in-depth article on how to migrate your application and GSM to Azure App Insights, so please have a read here. Over the next few blog posts, I would like to provide some detailed demos on Application Insights and how you can start taking advantage of this service to start monitoring your applications.

Step-by-Step – Deploying Azure Site Recovery (ASR) OVF Template (VMware On-Premises)

In the following tutorial, I will go through a step-by-step walk-through on deploying the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) VMware OVF template. This OVF template is a critical step as it bridges the connection between your On-Premises datacenter and the Azure Site Recovery Vault. Obviously there are a handful of prerequisites, as we need to prepare our VMware environment in addition, prepare our Azure workspace. I have created similar posts for Hyper-V and Azure to Azure (A2A) ASR Migrations, please visit the following link for the detailed setups of the Azure Recovery Services Vault HERE.

Let’s begin…  The first step is to download and install the VMware OVF template. The VMware OVF template can be found at the Microsoft Download Center.

Next, we need to deploy the OVF template within vCenter.

Note, this template will consuming about 1.5TB of space. This is a result of Microsoft consolidating the Configuration server and Process server into one workload.

Once the template is deployed, start the appliance and let’s begin registering our vCenter with ASR vault.

Note, the licence provided with OVF template is an evaluation licence valid for 180 days. You as the customer need to activate the windows with a procured licence.

Now we need to provide the server with some local administrative credentials.

Once you have given it some credentials, the server will auto login. The ASR wizard should launch on its own, if not, you can launch it manually — the icon should be on the desktop.

Once the ASR wizard starts, we will now need to complete the setup for this server following by registering the server with ASR.

Give the server some name, ie. VMwareASR01

Next, we need to validate the server can go over the Internet, ie. Azure and communicate as needed. If you are using a proxy, here is the time to set that up.

One thing to note, having the proxy settings configured within Internet Explorer should be removed.

Once an Internet connection has been established, we can then sign into the Azure Portal.

Now we need to sign into Azure with some credentials, ideally with a privileged/Global Administrator account.

Once you have logged into Azure successfully, you will need to reboot the server.

Once the server is back online, the next steps is to configure the Configuration server. 🙂 This step we will register this server/vCenter appliance with our Recovery Services vault. Let’s begin!

The server will auto-launch the ASR wizard, if not, launch it from the desktop icon.

Now that we have established an internet connection, we can configure our Network Interface Card(s) (NICs). Note, you can add as many as NICs needed, however, this needs to be done at the vSphere level. Once the server has been configured, you cannot add and/or remove those NICs. So, make sure you have it configured exactly as you need it. In my case, we will only need one, so, we will configure the NIC here.

Next, we need to sign into our Azure account, and select the corresponding subscription, resource group and select the appropriate recovery services vault. All of these should be available, and should have been created well before we began configure this server, as per the prerequisites…

Next, our server will download, install and configure MySQL on the server, along with the vSphere PowerCLI tools.

Gotcha, here, the appliance did not provide the vSphere PowerCLI tools, so we had to manually download, and install it.

Once we downloaded VMware’s vSphere PowerCLI toolset, we were able to continue. As mentioned, this was not provided, although it should have been. If we continued forward, the wizard would have thrown an error at the end of validation.

Next, we need to now provide the credentials and information with regards to our vCenter server(s).

Please read the prerequisites with regards to the needed permissions to allow our ASR Configuration server to communicate with the vCenter server(s).

Next we need to provide Windows and Linux based credentials to deploy install the ASR Mobility Service to all machines that will need to be replicated to Azure.

For this exercise, we are not replicating Linux machines to Azure, however if we were, similar to the Windows Mobility Service, we would need to provide some credentials that have elevated access to each of the Linux machines.

Once we have provided all the information above, we should now be able to validate some of the settings we have provided, and register our server with Azure and the Recovery Services vault. Give this a few minutes, as it took about 5 minutes to establish the communication/trust.

Once the registration of the server is complete, and the ASR appliance is officially configured with our Azure Recovery Services vault, we should now be able to see the vCenter/Configuration Server within our Azure Recovery Services vault.

If we click on the server, we can get some additional information, such as the server’s health, configuration, heartbeat, and so on…

We can also now click on the Process Server and get some additional information as well.

Now we are able to select the VMs we want to begin replicating to Azure and start testing failovers, either real, or simulated.

I hope this was helpful! Thanks, and until next time…

System Center 1807!

System Center 1807 release is officially available. This includes a new updated version for both Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and Operations Manager. SCOM 1807 highlights a big update to features such as HTML5 and Widgets.

See the URL for more info, the latest release! https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/windowsserver/2018/07/24/system-center-1807-available-now/

Stay tuned, as I will follow up with a step by step guide for the install, and exploring the new features in the latest release!

Log Analytics (OMS) AD Assessment – “No Data Found”

So, you deployed the OMS/Log Analytics AD (Active Directory) Assessment solution, and let it sit for a few hours, or maybe even a few days now.. Yet, the AD Assessment tile is still shows, “No Data Found“….

Well that is frustrating! Below is the series of steps I took to get this working, and ultimately what the actual solution was to get this OMS/Log Analytics solution pack working.

First things first,  did the basics… Check to ensure the Microsoft Monitoring Agent is deployed, and installed correctly. Also checked to see the service was running.

Confirmed the AD Assessment prerequisites were all satisfied:

  • The Active Directory Health Check solution requires a supported version of .NET Framework 4.5.2 or above installed on each computer that has the Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) installed. The MMA agent is used by System Center 2016 – Operations Manager and Operations Manager 2012 R2, and the Log Analytics service.
  • The solution supports domain controllers running Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016.
  • A Log Analytics workspace to add the Active Directory Health Check solution from the Azure marketplace in the Azure portal. There is no further configuration required.

After all that, I decided to execute the following query within Log Analytics, I got the following results:

Operation | where Solution == "ADAssessment" | sort by OperationStatus asc

Okay, so I ensured .NET 4.0 was installed, fully. For safe measures, I enabled all of the .NET 4.6 sub-features, and for kicks, installed .NET 3.5 as well. Yet.. still nothing!

Next, I decided to take a look at the registry…

If we navigate to the following Registry Key, “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\HealthService\Parameters\Management Groups\<YOUR Management Group Name>\Solutions\ADAssessment

I decided to delete the “LastExecuted” key, and then decided to reboot the server….

After a few minutes, I went back to the OMS/Log Analytics portal, and there it is!!!!

I ran the same query again, and verified the AD Assessment solution was working as expected:

Operation | where Solution == "ADAssessment" | sort by OperationStatus asc

Great! Now, if I click within the tile, I get the following AD Health Checks.

I hope this helped! Cheers! For more information on the OMS Active Directory Assessment Solution, please visit: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/log-analytics/log-analytics-ad-assessment

 

MVPDays – Azure Application Insights

This May, MVPDays will be hosting their May installment of MVPDays Conferences. On May 23rd, I will be speaking on Azure Application Insights.

This event is free, and open for everyone and anyone that has an interest in technology, is eager to learn, and wants to meet other like minded individuals. This conference is not just for Microsoft MVP’s, it is for anyone in the IT Community!

To find out more and to register for MVPDays, please visit, https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/mvpdays-virtual-conference-may-23-2018-tickets-45274909473?aff=es2.