Avanade announces new Microsoft Azure Stack solution

Last Tuesday Avanade announced the new Avanade Azure Stack Solution. Avanade delivers this solution from client site, at remote locations or hosted in Avanade’s own datacenters. Azure Stack is an extension of Azure to on-premises locations. People tend to forget that Azure Stack is not just a replacement of your physical servers running a hypervisor like Hyper-V. It’s a true hybrid cloud solution. You get features like Disaster Recovery with instant fail-over, Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities, Load Balancing, the new Portal experience and so on. I’m really excited to tell you more about this great solution.

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Azure – A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name

Some error outputs are not always useful. Especially when they make no sense for the issue you have.

Error message:

New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment : A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name ‘YOURPARAMETER’

Solution:

This error occurs because of at least the 2 following issues:

  • You didn’t specify a parameter for ‘YOURPARAMETER’ in your JSON template. That’s what the error says. If you forget to specify a parameter with the New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment cmdlet, you’ll see a prompt to insert a value for that parameter. But if you add a paremeter like -Name “VM01” to the command while it’s not specified in the JSON template, you’ll see this error.
  • The JSON code you provided isn’t valid. Always validate your JSON code. You can use http://www.jsoneditoronline.org/, paste your code and look for the red “X” buttons after a line number.

Did you find another issue where this error occurs? Please let me know in the comments section.

Cheers!

Configure Azure VPN with PfSense and a Dynamic Routing/Route-based Gateway

In this step-by-step, I’ll show you how to configure PfSense with an Azure Site-to-Site VPN by using a Dynamic Routing Gateway/Route-based Gateway. This even works with a VPN behind a NAT setup. I was looking for a stable solution that could handle the new Route-based (IKE v2) Gateways. This tutorial is based on the new Azure Portal.

Prerequisites

  • A Hyper-V Host (Windows 10 is fine as well)
  • 2 Hyper-V Virtual Networks. One called “External Virtual Network” and one called “Internal Virtual Network”.
  • A Hyper-V VM with PfSense installed with NAT configured between the internal and external virtual network. Just download the ISO from the PfSense website and create a Generation 1 VM with it. Give it 512 or 1024 MB RAM and 1 vCPU and follow online installation instructions.

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Azure 70-534 Exam Tips – April 2016

Recently I passed the 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam. I was thinking about stopping with the Azure exams but I couldn’t resist it to pass this exam as well. Today I passed the 70-534 – Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam with 857 points. I think that the 70-534 exam is a lot easier than the 70-533 exam. Most of the questions where questions where you had to select the Azure features that you could use in a specific situation. This blogpost is written with the knowledge needed for the 70-533 exam in mind.

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How do you spend your monthly Azure MSDN credit?

If you have an MSDN or Visual Studio subscription, you’ll automatically get Azure credits. Because I need to test System Center – Configuration Manager/Virtual Machine Manager/Operations Manager for my work, I have an Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN subscription. That gives me $150 credit on Azure automatically and makes it very easy to create a (big) home lab for dev/test or study purposes. You can do a lot with 150 euro in Azure, if you turn your virtual machines off when you don’t use them. I have a PowerShell script that runs at the end of the day to shutdown all my running virtual machines. That saves me a lot of Azure credits.

My lab contains the following virtual machines:

  • Windows 10 Test Machine – for testing new Windows 10 Builds
  • Windows Server Containers – for testing the new Windows Server Container features
  • Domain Controller – with Server 2012 R2
  • Data Protection Manager – to demo the functionalities of DPM
  • DSC Machines – for testing PowerShell DSC
  • RDS – to show how easy it is to deploy an RDS farm
  • Root CA – always turned off and is used when my Root CA has expired
  • SCCM Server – to test the new SCCM Builds
  • SCOM Server – to test SCOM management packs
  • SQL Server – to host the System Center databases. (You can’t host the SCCM or SCOM database on an Azure SQL database at the moment.)

Do you have an MSDN subscription? You can start testing, developing and training in Azure right now. Let me know how you spend your Azure credits in the comment section!