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This directory is a mirror of retired "A Microsoft Premier Field Engineer's blog on Cloud and Security Technologies" TechNet blog and is provided as is. All posting authorship and copyrights belong to respective authors.

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Original URL:
Post name: Getting Started with Windows Azure: Part 3 Creating Your First Windows Azure VM
Original author: chdelay
Posting date: 2013-07-30T18:18:27+00:00

In the previous two blog postings (Getting Started with Windows Azure: Part 1 Introduction and Getting Started with Windows Azure: Part 2, What are Cloud Services?) I discussed how to get a Windows Azure Trial account as well as some background information on cloud computing and Microsoft’s Cloud Services.  In this blog posting I am going to talk about how to get started with Windows Azure IaaS.  I am going to cover some basics and how to create your first Virtual Machine in Windows Azure IaaS.

Once you have your Azure Trial setup you can login to your account here:

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Original URL:
Post name: Getting Started with Windows Azure: Part 2, What are Cloud Services?
Original author: chdelay
Posting date: 2013-07-24T07:34:00+00:00

What is Windows Azure?

“Windows Azure is Microsoft's application platform for the public cloud.” In other words Windows Azure is a platform that allows organizations to have their applications run in the public cloud.

What is a Public Cloud?

Public Cloud is a service that provides a platform for running applications and services. Characteristics of a Public Cloud is that it uses shared resources that can be allocated and de-allocated on demand. From a pricing standpoint customers are usually charged by their usage of those shared resources.

What is a Private Cloud?

The term Private Cloud is used to differentiate it from a Public Cloud. Generally it is the same concept as a Public cloud but usually owned by the same company that is using the resources. However, much like a Public Cloud resources are usually abstracted, and can be allocated and de-allocated on demand.

Why should I use a Public Cloud?

The Public Cloud offers several advantages. One advantage is that a customer does not have to maintain a datacenter and hardware to support their applications as this is handled by Public Cloud Service Provider. Usually, cloud services such as PaaS or Platform as a Service can speed the time that it takes to implement applications. Additionally, Public Clouds can offer a great deal of High Availability and Failover. Also, since resources are only allocated as needed, these services in many cases can be cheaper then if implemented in a Private Datacenter.

What types of Cloud Services does Microsoft provide?

Microsoft has Windows Azure which provides both Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Microsoft also offers products such as Windows Intune and Office 365 which are Software as a Service (SaaS). And of course you can install our platforms on Premises or in a Private Cloud.

The graphic below illustrates the differences between On Premise, PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS.

On Premises / Private Cloud

On Premises and Private Clouds can be run with Microsoft Software and Operating Systems. Specifically you can use Windows Server and System Center to implement your Private Cloud. More information is available here:

Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service essentially allows you to install Virtual Machines in the Public Cloud. You then have control over the OS, Middleware, Runtime, Data, and Application portions of the stack. This makes it easier to move On Premises applications and workloads to the Public Cloud. More about Windows Azure IaaS in my next blog post. Windows Azure IaaS is the technology I will be writing about in this blog series.

Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service delivers the underlying platform on which you install and run your applications. In Windows Azure PaaSmost of the stack is provided, and you provide the Applications and Data. Platform as a Service is generally the preferred method of running applications in the Public Cloud as this type of service offers better performance, availability, and scalability.

Software as a Service

Software as a Service has been around for quite a while now. SaaS is essentially applications hosted by a third party. Examples of Microsoft SaaS are Windows Intune and Office 365. The advantage to SaaS is that your organization just needs the staff to administer the software, but does not need to run all the underlying hardware, networks, OS, and application. In the example of Office 365 this potentially reduces the cost to provide email for the organization.


The purpose of this posting was to give a high level background of Cloud Services and Windows Azure. In my next posting I will begin my focus on Windows Azure IaaS.

Original URL:
Post name: Getting Started with Windows Azure: Part 1 Introduction
Original author: chdelay
Posting date: 2013-07-13T19:23:21+00:00

Regular visitors to my blog know that I am an expert in Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).  That has been my focus for many years now.  I also have a strong background in Active Directory, previously working for the Directory Services support team at Microsoft.  As Microsoft transitions to a Services and Devices company, I must transition my skill sets as well.  I will continue to periodically blog and talk about PKI.  However, a majority of my focus is going to be on cloud technologies such as Azure. 

So, this is Part I in which will hopefully turn out to be a long running series on Azure.  I will be talking about Windows Azure from the perspective of an IT Professional. 

If you are interested in learning about Windows Azure, the first step would be to sign up for a Windows Azure account.  You can sign up for a Free Trial here:

The Trial listed above is currently limited to 1 month.

However, if you have certain MSDN Subscriptions you can currently get an ongoing trial account here:


Original URL:
Post name: PKI Disaster Recovery: Backing Up and Restoring AD Objects
Original author: chdelay
Posting date: 2013-07-08T10:07:08+00:00

In my last blog posting I covered viewing PKI related Active Directory Objects.  In this blog post, I am going to cover the steps necessary to backup and recover AD Objects.  The group responsible for Active Directory in your organization should have the capabilities to both back up and restored Active Directory objects.  However, I wanted to cover the steps involved for those who may not be familiar with the process.  This description of backing up and restoring Active Directory objects covers the steps to perform a backup and restore using the built in back up tools in Windows Server 2012.  If your domain controllers are hosted on an older OS the steps will be slightly different.

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Original URL:
Post name: Upgrading your PKI to Windows Server 2012 (New Video)
Original author: chdelay
Posting date: 2013-07-07T13:05:10+00:00

This video covers the steps necessary to migrate a two tier PKI to Windows Server 2012. This video replaces my previous videos covering these steps. For those that watched Part I, II, and III of my previous upgrade video series and just want to see the content that was supposed to be in Part IV, you can start the video at the 24:20 mark.

Upgrading your PKI to Windows Server 2012