Surface 3 – First Impressions…

Hi everyone….to start, I don’t normally write product reviews, but had to share my thoughts and experiences on the new Surface 3 (not the existing Surface Pro 3, which was released last year) as I love it as my new mobile computing device. This surface was released during the week of Microsoft Ignite 2015 (May 4th-8th) of which I received my that week have had 2 months to play with it.
Surface 3

What is the Surface 3?

In short, the Surface 3 is a thinner, lighter, smaller and cheaper version of the Surface Pro 3. It has a 10.8-inch screen and weighs just under 2 pounds with the keyboard attached, It’s a little awkward on your lap and you’d struggle to recommend it to a friend without first pointing out how ‘different’ it is. It’s complicated.

That doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, but the Surface 3 is more than the sum of its parts. Its Intel Atom processor is competent rather than fast and its battery is decent and it’s versatile and – like a good camera – it makes you want to use it.  And, unlike the Surface RT it replaces, it runs on a proper version of Windows, so it’s actually useful.

Microsoft Surface 3 specs

  • Screen size: 10.8 inches
  • Screen type: ClearType Full HD Plus Display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1280
  • Pixel density: 210 ppi
  • SoC: Intel Atom x7-Z8700 – Type Quad-core – Speed 1.6GHz (with Intel Burst up to 2.4GHz)
  • GPU: Intel Gen 8
  • RAM: 2GB / 4GB (depending on model)
  • Storage: 64GB / 128GB (depending on model)
  • Expansion: micro SD
  • Camera: 8MP autofocus
  • Flash: None
  • Front-facer: 3.5MP
  • Battery: 10 hours by Microsoft testing (Personal testing 6-8 hours)
  • OS: Windows 8.1 (with Windows 10 upgrade coming July 29)
  • Bands: LTE version not due until June 2015
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
  • WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor / proximity sensor / accelerometer / gyroscope / magnetometer
  • Build Magnesium alloy with ceramic finish
    Size 267 x 187 x 8.7mm / 622g
  • Price $499/$599

The one I have reviewed in this blog post is the 2GB/64GB Model

Design

In practice the Surface 3 is just under a half pound lighter than the Pro. This means the Surface 3 feels more like a genuine tablet than the Surface 3 Pro, and it’s an important difference. You’ll want to use the Surface 3 more because it’s lighter, easier to carry and less cumbersome when out and about.

It’s also thinner – 8.7mm vs 9.1mm – but the more important point is the Surface 3 is fanless. Intel’s Atom processors aren’t speed demons, but they’re efficient enough that they run happily without additional cooling. It’s another way the Surface 3 is a better tablet, as you’ll never be interrupted by the unwelcoming fan turning on.

The Surface 3’s also a vastly better hybrid than the ill-conceived Surface RT line ever was. That’s mostly down to the fact it runs a full, unlimited version of Windows 8.1 with Windows 10 coming on June 29, 2015 as a free upgrade.

While smaller, the Surface 3 retains the same 3:2 aspect introduced for the Pro 3. It’s a good compromise between the widescreen 16:9 of previous Surface tablets and the 4:3 aspect of an iPad. It works just as well in portrait as in landscape, or in desktop and tablet modes.

Use it on a table, though, and the Surface 3 feels little different from an ordinary laptop. You can magnetically clip the keyboard to the bottom of the screen to create a more comfortable typing angle, but it feels better for typing when left flat on a hard surface – the angle works best on your lap.
Surface 3
The versatility of the design means you can enjoy using the Surface 3 in settings where laptops are awkward, and you can even use the on-screen keyboard effectively with the Surface 3 at its shallowest angle. Surface 3
Connectivity is pretty good, considering its size and power.The Surface 3 has a full-size USB port, a Mini DisplayPort output and Micro USB expansion, which is sufficient when paired with the fast AC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. I have a Dell Mini DisplayPort Adapter that came with my work laptop and it works fine with it.

Everything you really need is here and it even has two cameras. You get an 8-megapixel camera at the rear and 3.5-megapixel on the front. They’re both adequate for what you’ll need from a tablet.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard is a separate purchase….$130 bucks…Ouch…but the keyboard is a decent effort given the constraints of the hybrid design and the smaller screen. In fact, the keys are the same size as those on the Surface Pro 3, so there’s no meaningful compromise there. They’re comfortable to type on and have a not unpleasant sharp, precise action. We’re not talking ThinkPad quality here, but they’ll do.

The touchpad, however, is very small and awkward. It’s hard to be precise on such a small pad, and using gestures to scroll up and down pages is hit and miss – Google Chrome was particularly bad for some reason.
Surface3-keyboard Surface 3But the large, responsive touchscreen makes up for this. It’s often easier to employ it to do some actions, and the nature of the web these days means many websites and web apps are more touch friendly than in the past.

If there’s a serious concern about the keyboard, it’s the durability. The keys and touchpad seem fine, but the soft velour-like material around the palm rests scuffs and wears easily.

It’s a cosmetic rather than a functional issue, but the idea that your expensive keyboard accessory could look tatty and worn after a year or so is kind of annoying.

Surface MouseSurface 3

I purchased this to carry around with my Surface tablet. My reasoning was this: “it’s small, it lays flat for transport, and the Surface edition is Bluetooth, so this will be a great fit.”.  But like anything there are some good and bad:

PROS:

  • Bluetooth – no wires, no dongle – this is only for the more expensive Surface addition.
  • Scroll touch strip – with with optional haptic feedback
  • Stylish look-and-feel
  • Folds flat – it’s essentially full size and full profile mouse but folds flat for travel or storage.
  • Adjustable movement of the scroll – via software, it can be adjusted precise enough for drawing and small on-screen movements.
  • BlueTrack Technology – works on almost any surface
    Easily adjustable to left or right hand.

CONS:

  • Cost – Expensive – $60 bucks on Amazon – but got mine on Ebay for $25 used
  • The middle touch strip (or click/scroll) on this mouse occasionally stops working.
  • No horizontal scrolling on middle touch strip.
  • Some connection issues – it sometimes looses the connection to my Surface 3

Overall, the mouse is very light and I like that it can fold flat when not in use, which is very convenient for travel, but I really don’t like the price – $60 – really? With all that said, however, if you want something that is really light, portable, and sleek looking, this mouse is for you.

Surface Pen
Surface 3

Another expensive option is the Surface Pen…$50 bucks

OneNote is the best applications as I an a avid note taker and it works great. The note taking and the Surface Pen remains excellent. It’s exactly the same as that of the Surface Pro 3. The pressure sensitivity works wonderfully in sketching and painting apps such as Fresh Paint, and functions just as effectively for handwriting and inking applications. It’s comfy to hold, with the matte finish providing the right amount of grip.
While some applications—like OneNote support the digital inking capabilities of Surface Pen, many do not. But you can still use Pen to handwrite. For example, you could handwrite a web address in the IE address bar by selecting it with the Pen tip, activating the Touch Keyboard (using the icon in the taskbar) and then handwriting keyboard layout. Then, just write the address you want.

Office 2016 Preview on Surface 3

Surface 3
Also around Ignite 2015, Microsoft released the Office 2013 consumer preview.  I decided to give it a spin as I am an avid Outlook user. I downloaded a 32-bit version of the Office 2016 though my work Office 365 subscription and replacing the version of Office 2013 installed on my test machine. To install, just head to your Office 365 My Account page, then click Language and install options. From there, click additional install options. In the drop-down menu, select to install either the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Office 2016 Preview.

Once the software’s installed, you’ll need to enter the email address matched to your Office 365 subscription the first time you launch an Office application. This registers and activates Office.

If you’re not an Office 365 subscriber, the process is just as easy . Simply head to the Office 2016 Preview page and download the executable for either the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Office. Once it’s downloaded, click the program icon to begin the installation process.

When you’re prompted to enter the email address associated with your Office subscription, press the small blue “Enter a product key” link underneath the field instead. Then use the following product key:
NKGG6-WBPCC-HXWMY-6DQGJ-CPQVG (from Office 2015 Preview Page)

That’s it! Poke around, try all the new stuff, and be sure to send Microsoft feedback using the smiley-face icon in the upper-right corner. Microsoft wants to hear whenever you stumble across either pain points or frictionless experiences. That’s what previews are for, after all.

Microsoft is using its click-to-run technology (based on App-V) to stream and install Office in the background, downloading preview copies of Access 2016, Excel 2016, OneNote 2016, Outlook 2016, PowerPoint 2016, Publisher 2016, and Word 2016. The preview expires in 180 days. The installation was simple and painless.Remember, this is a preview and it is expected to be a little buggy.

The most visible change is that Office applications each now have their own distinctive colors — blue for Word, green for Excel and red for PowerPoint, with Outlook and Visio lighter shades of blue. The color is most noticeable in the Ribbon across the top of the program windows and in the title bar. You can always go back to the white of the previous version of Office if you want. As for me, there’s little enough color in one’s daily life, so I find the bright new colors a welcome addition

Changes to Outlook (my most used and favorite app)

The noticeable changes in Outlook are a few tweaks IMO. For example, when you’re composing an email and click Insert –>Attach File, you’ll see a list of all the recent files that you’ve used in Office. Given that there’s a reasonable chance that you’ll be inserting a file you’ve been recently working on, I found this a time-saver.
send Surface 3
Outlook will also adjust its interface depending on the size of the window in which you run it. It normally has a three-pane view: folders in the left pane, list of emails in the middle pane and the email text in the right pane. However, when you run Outlook in a small window, it now shrinks to either a two-pane view or a one-pane view, depending on the window size, which works great on the Surface 3 at different viewing angles.
outlook1 Surface 3 outlook2 Surface 3

Office Overall
As is so often the case with Office, the new version appears to be better than the old version, but not so much better that an Office 2013 owner should be compelled to upgrade. It’s possible that will change as we get nearer to the release, but I’ll be surprised if anything truly groundbreaking were added to the already mature and capable suite.

Bottom line….
The Surface 3 is affordable, powerful, versatile, and flexible. It isn’t an engineering or gaming machine, but for work on the go, the Surface 3 seems to offer an ideal combination of features and functionality at the right price. It looks like Microsoft finally got it right with the Surface 3. I will be watching these devices going forward.

Until next time….Rob

Nutanix Next Community podcast – ScienceLogic

Again….at my job at Nutanix…I get to work with great partners and one of the first was ScienceLogic  🙂 .The Solutions team was great to work with and I really got a chance to see deep integration with Nutanix’s REST API and watch the their solution grow.
Below is podcast of an Interview that my awesome buddy TommyG (@NutanixTommy) and I did with Jim Weingarten (@jweingarten) from SL. Jim has a great perspective of the IT landscape and the current shift in Hybrid IT. It was great to work with Jim over the past few months and watch their solution evolve.

A little about ScienceLogic…

ScienceLogic is a software and service vendor. It produces information technology (IT) management and monitoring solutions for IT Operations and Cloud computing.
The company’s product is a monitoring and management system that performs discovery, dependency mapping, monitoring, alerting, ticketing, runbook automation, dashboarding and reporting for networks, compute, storage and applications.
The platform monitors both on-premises and cloud-based IT assets, enabling customers who use public cloud services, such as Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS), to migrate workloads to the cloud.

Enjoy the show…..Rob

Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference 2015…Picture Highlights

Gallery

This gallery contains 48 photos.

Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference 2015 WPC is the largest event for Microsoft partners When it comes to meeting the right people in the right place, bigger is better. The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) brings together over 15,000 attendees … Continue reading

Nutanix SCOM Management Pack – Monitor Your Nutanix Infrastructure

As a Microsoft Evangelist at Nutanix, I am always asked….”How would you monitor your Nutanix Infrastructure and can I use System Center suite. And my answer always is, “YES, with SCOM”….What is SCOM you ask?

SysCnt-OprtnsMgr_h_rgb_2 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack
System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) is designed to be a monitoring tool for the datacenter. Think of a datacenter with multiple vendors representing multiple software and hardware products. Consequently, SCOM was developed to be extensible using the concept of management packs. Vendors typically develop one or more management packs for every product they want plugged into SCOM. To facilitate these management packs, SCOM supports standard discovery and data collection mechanisms like SNMP, but also affords vendors the flexibility of native API driven data collection.
Nutanix provides management packs that support using the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) to monitor a Nutanix cluster.

Nutanix SCOM Management Pack

The management packs collect information about software (cluster) elements through SNMP and hardware elements through ipmiutil (Intelligent Platform Management Interface Utility) and REST API calls and then package that information for SCOM to digest. Note: The Hardware Elements Management Pack leverages the ipmiutil program to gather information from Nutanix block for Fans, Power Supply and Temperature.
SCOM01 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack

Nutanix provides two management packs:

  • Cluster Management Pack – This management pack collects information about software elements of a cluster including Controller VMs, storage pools, and containers.
  • Hardware Management Pack – This management pack collects information about hardware elements of a cluster including fans, power supplies, disks, and nodes.

Installing and configuring the management packs involves the following simple steps:

  1. Install and configure SCOM on the Windows server system (if not installed) (will blog a post soon on this topic)
  2. Uninstall existing Nutanix management packs (if present)
  3. Open the IPMI-related ports (if not open). IPMI access is required for the hardware management pack
  4. Install the Nutanix management packs
  5. Configure the management packs using the SCOM discovery and template wizards

SCOM02 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack SCOM03 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack SCOM04 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack
SCOM16 Nutanix SCOM Management PackSCOM17 Nutanix SCOM Management PackSCOM18 Nutanix SCOM Management PackSCOM19 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack
After the management packs have been installed and configured, you can use SCOM to monitor a variety of Nutanix objects including cluster, alert, and performance views as shown in examples below. Also, I check out this great video produced by pal @mcghem . He shows a great demo of the SCOM management pack…Kudo’s Mike….also, check out his blog.

Views and Objects Snapshots


SCOM05 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack
Cluster Monitoring Snapshots

SCOM06 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack SCOM07 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack

Cluster Performance Monitoring

SCOM08 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack SCOM09 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack SCOM10 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack SCOM11 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack

Hardware Monitoring Snapshots SCOM12 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack SCOM13 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack

In the following diagram views, users can navigate to the components with failure.

SCOM14 Nutanix SCOM Management Pack

Nutanix Objects Available for Monitoring via SCOM

The following provides an high level overview of Nutanix Cluster with Components:

dsf_overview Nutanix SCOM Management Pack

The following sections describe Nutanix Cluster objects being monitored by this version of MPs:

Cluster

Monitored Element

Description

Version

Current cluster version. This is the nutanix-core package version expected on all the Controller VMs.

Status

Current Status of the cluster. This will usually be  one of started or stopped

TotalStorageCapacity

Total storage capacity of the cluster

UsedStorageCapacity

Number of bytes of storage used on the cluster

Iops

For Performance: Cluster wide average IO operations per second

Latency

For Performance: Cluster wide average latency

CVM Resource Monitoring

Monitored Element

Description

ControllerVMId

Nutanix Controller VM Id

Memory

Total memory assigned to CVM

NumCpus

Total number of CPUs allocated to a CVM

Storage

Storage Pool

A storage pool is a group of physical disks from SSD and/or HDD tier.

Monitored Element

Description

PoolId

Storage pool id

PoolName

Name of the storage pool

TotalCapacity

Total capacity of the storage pool

Note: An alert if there is drop in capacity may indicate a bad disk.

UsedCapacity

Number of bytes used in the storage pool

Performance parameters:

Monitored Element

Description

IOPerSecond

Number of IO operations served per second from this storage pool.

AvgLatencyUsecs

Average IO latency for this storage pool in microseconds

Containers

A container is a subset of available storage within a storage pool. Containers hold the virtual disks (vDisks) used by virtual machines. Selecting a storage pool for a new container defines the physical disks where the vDisks will be stored.

Monitored Element

Description

ContainerId

Container id

ContainerName

Name of the container

TotalCapacity

Total capacity of the container

UsedCapacity

Number of bytes used in the container

Performance parameters:

Monitored Element

Description

IOPerSecond

Number of IO operations served per second from this container.

AvgLatencyUsecs

Average IO latency for this container in  microseconds

Hardware Objects

Cluster

Monitored Element

Description

Discovery IP Address

IP address used for discovery of cluster

Cluster Incarnation ID

Unique ID of cluster

CPU Usage

CPU usage for all the nodes of cluster

Memory Usage

Memory usage for all the nodes of cluster

Node IP address

External IP address of Node

System Temperature

System Temperature

Disk

Monitored Element

Description

Disk State/health

Node state as returned by the PRISM [REST /hosts “state” attribute ]

Disk ID

ID assigned to the disk

Disk Name

Name of the disk (Full path where meta data stored)

Disk Serial Number

Serial number of disk

Hypervisor IP

Host OS IP where disk is installed

Tire Name

Disk Tire

CVM IP

Cluster VM IP which controls the disk

Total Capacity

Total Disk capacity

Used Capacity

Total Disk used

Online

If Disk is online or offline

Location

Disk location

Cluster Name

Disk cluster name

Discovery IP address

IP address through which Disk was discovered

Disk Status

Status of the disk

Node

Monitored Element

Description

Node State/health

Node state as returned by the PRISM [REST /hosts “state” attribute ]

Node IP address

External IP address of Node

IPMI Address

IPMI IP address of Node

Block Model

Hardware model of block

Block Serial Number

Serial number of block

CPU Usage %

 CPU usage for Node

Memory Usage  %

Memory usage for node

Fan Count

Total fans

Power Supply Count

Total Power supply

System Temperature

System Temperature

Fan

Monitored Element

Description

Fan number

Fan number

Fan speed

Fan speed in RPM

Power supply

 Element

Description

Power supply number

Power supply number

Power supply status

Power supply status whether present or absent

If you would like to checkout the Nutanix management pack on your SCOM instance, please go to our portal to download the management pack and documentation.
This management pack was development by our awesome engineering team @ Nutanix. Kudos to Yogi and team for a job well done!!! 😉  I hope I gave you a good feel for Nutanix monitoring using SCOM. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave below….

Until next time….Rob

Symon Perriman….his thoughts on Hyper-V, Security and future of Virtualization on the Nutanix .NEXT community podcast

Hey everyone…I wanted to share a very cool update (and maybe a little of hero-worship 😀 ).  Well, anyways, my job at Nutanix had another highlight recently.  As many of your know, I love reading, breathing, consuming Microsoft technology. During my consumption of education, there  number of people I follow, but there are few that stand out…and one that I spent a lot of time listening to via podcasts; Symon Perriman

Symon Perriman

Symon Perriman
He takes complex technology subjects and explains it extremely well on many levels so everyone understands..He believes in the community….all things as technologists, we can all strive to achieve.

I recently had the lucky chance to interview him for the Nutanix .Next Community Podcast.  It was great honor to interview him with my colleague\buddy @NutanixTommy as we both had different points of views.
Symon joined 5nine Software earlier this year as Vice President, Business Development & Marketing and is how I came to meet Simon as part of my job in Technical Alliances at Nutanix.

For those of you who are not familiar with 5nine Software, 5nine has a great alternative management product for Hyper-V with benefits of simplified vCenter type management without the footprint of System Center. They also are the only vendor with agentless security product via the Hyper-V extensible virtual switch. Think vShield for Hyper-V…Very cool…   😎

For those that are not familiar with Symon…a brief history…
With more than 12 years of experience in the high-tech industry, Symon is an internationally recognized expert in virtualization, high-availability, disaster recovery, data center management, and cloud technologies. As Microsoft’s Senior Technical Evangelist and worldwide technical lead covering virtualization, infrastructure, management and cloud. He has trained millions of IT Professionals, hosted the “Edge Show” weekly webcast, holds several patents and dozens of industry certifications, and in 2013 he co-authored “Introduction to System Center 2012 R2 for IT Professionals” (Microsoft Press). He graduated from Duke University with degrees in Computer Science, Economics and Film & Digital Studies.

Enjoy the show……

Until next time, Rob…

Understanding Windows Azure Pack – How to guide with Express Edition on Nutanix – Windows Azure Pack Install – Part 5

To continue Windows Azure Pack series here is my next topic:  Installing and Configuring Windows Azure Pack

If you missed other parts of the series, check links below:
Part 1 – Understanding Windows Azure Pack
Part 2 – Understanding Windows Azure Pack – Deployment Scenarios
Part 3 – Understanding Windows Azure Pack – How to guide with Express Edition on Nutanix – Environment Prep
Part 4 – Deploying Service Provider Framework on Nutanix

Again to reiterate from my previous blog posts and set some context, Windows Azure Pack (WAP) includes the following capabilities:

WAP:

  • Management portal for tenants – a customizable self-service portal for provisioning, monitoring, and managing services such as Web Site Clouds, Virtual Machine Clouds, and Service Bus Clouds.
  • Management portal for administrators – a portal for administrators to configure and manage resource clouds, user accounts, and tenant offers, quotas, and pricing.
  • Authentication sites – these sites provide authentication services for the management portal for administrators and the management portal for tenants.  Windows Authentication + ADFS for Admins Sites and ASP.NET provider for tenants
  • Service management API – a REST API that helps enable a range of integration scenarios including custom portal and billing systems.

IaaS Resources:

  • Web Site Clouds – a service that helps provide a high-density, scalable shared web hosting platform for ASP.NET, PHP, and Node.js web applications. The Web Site Clouds service includes a customizable web application gallery of open source web applications and integration with source control systems for custom-developed web sites and applications.
  • Virtual Machine Clouds – a service that provides infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) capabilities for Windows and Linux virtual machines. The Virtual Machine Clouds service includes a VM template gallery, scaling options, and virtual networking capabilities.
  • Service Bus Clouds – a service that provides reliable messaging services between distributed applications. The Service Bus Clouds service includes queued and topic-based publish/subscribe capabilities.
  • SQL and MySQL – services that provide database instances. These databases can be used in conjunction with the Web Sites service.
  • Automation – the capability to automate and integrate additional custom services into the services framework, including a runbook editor and execution environment.
  • Optional resource = what you are going to connect with WAP (for example, SCVMM cloud, SQL Server, etc).
  • Required components = Windows Azure Pack components which you install on one machine (express) or on multiple machines (distributed)

In other words, WAP is interface between your resources and tenants = clientscustomers. On the following diagram you can see the main components of WAP, cloud components and optional resources. WAP can be deployed in 2 different ways – express and distributed as previously discussed. In the express deployment, like we are deploying in this series, you can install all WAP components on one machine for labdemo purposes. If you want to have WAP in your production environment, you should always use distributed deployment as mentioned in previous posts in this series. In such a deployment, WAP required and optional components are installed on multiple machines.
Below are examples of various distributed deployments
WAP-DIS1 Windows Azure PackWAP-DIS3 Windows Azure PackWAP-DIS2 Windows Azure Pack
In this blog post I will explain how to perform the following procedures;

Prerequisites

  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 (VMM01) is installed and configured:
    • Member of the AD domain
    • One or more SCVMM Clouds created in SCVMM (See video)
    • One or more VM Networks created in SCVMM
  • Service Provider Foundation is installed as shown in my previous blog post
    • SPF IIS Web service running under a domain account
  • SQL Server Instance is installed running SQL 2012 or later for Hosting WAP Client Databases (DB01)
    • Member of the AD domain
    • With SQL Authentication enabled (Using SA)
  • WAP Server (WAP01)
    • Windows 2012 R2 Full Server (not core) with all current updates
    • Member of AD domain

Installing Windows Azure Pack:

  1. On the freshly build WAP Windows Server 2012 R2 server follow the prerequisites steps to install WAP
  2. Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security
    IEsecdisable Windows Azure Pack

    1. Install Microsoft Web Platform Installer (Web PI) 4.6 (it can be downloaded from here if the WAP server has no Internet follow this blog post)
    2. Install the following software through Web Pl, in this order:
      1. Enable Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1 in Server Manager
      2. .NET 4.5 Extended, with ASP.NET for Windows 8.
      3. IIS recommended configuration.
  3. Launch WEB PI (Windows Platform Installer) Installer
  4. Select Products from the top menu
  5. Type: Windows Azure Pack in the search field in the left side
  6. Click Add Windows Azure Pack: Portal and API Express
    WindowsAzur2 Windows Azure PackWAP Express installer in Web PI
  7. Click Install at the bottom of the WEB PI windows
  8. Read the terms of use, Click I Accept
  9. When the Wizard completes the installation, it will present a screen as the one described in the picture below asking to Continue. When clicking the Continue button, an Internet Explorer Window will be launched
    WindowsAzur3 Windows Azure Pack
    WAP Install screen in Web PI

    WindowsAzur4 Windows Azure Pack
    WAP Install screen in Web PI
     
  10. In the recently opened Internet Explorer page, copy the URL, and launch a new browser with administrative privileges. When the new browser is opened, paste the URL you obtained before (https://localhost:30101/)
  11. In the browser, if you are presented with warnings related to the certificate, click continue. and then the Windows Azure Pack Setup will be displayed

    WindowsAzur5 Windows Azure PackWAP Install screen in Web PI

  12. In the Database Server page, provide the following information:
    Server Name: an instance that accepts SQL Authentication (for example db01.contoso.com)
    Authentication type: SQL authentication (Windows Authentication can also be used).
    Database server admin username: sa
    Password: ********
    Passphrase: ********
  13. Click on the arrow for next.WindowsAzur6 Windows Azure PackDatabase Server setup in WAP install
  14. In the Customer Experience Improvement program, select one Yes (MS needs your feedback:) ) and click Next
  15. In the Features Setup page, click on the to finish the wizard.
  16. Once the setup has completed, click in the arrow button
    WindowsAzur8 Windows Azure Pack
  17. Sign out and Sign in from WAP01 (this needs to be done for the user to be registered correctly in WAP)
  18. Open a browser and go to: https://wap01:30091

Validating the WAP installation succeeded:

  1. Log on to the WAP Server as Administrator
  2. Start IIS Management Console
  3. Check that the following IIS WEB Sites are created from pic below:
  4. Log on the SQL Server (SQL01) as SQL Administrator
  5. Open SQL Management Studio on the SQL Server as SA
  6. Check that the following Databases were successfully created from pic below:


Websites created after WAP Install

Configuring SCVMM and SPF

SCVMM Configuration

  1. Log on to SCVMM Server as Administrator
  2. Start the SCVMM Console
  3. In the SCVMM console go to Fabric – Servers – All Hosts and verify your Nutanix Cluster is available and also your shares are available. vmmhosts Windows Azure Packvmmshares Windows Azure Pack
  4. Once hosts have been verified, copy one or more syspreped vhds to the VMM Library (e.g. \NTNXHYPERV-smb.nutanixbd.localNTNXHYPERV-libraryVHDs)
    WindowsAzur12 Windows Azure Pack
  5. Now create one or more clouds in SCVMM (in this case we created two: Contoso and Fabrikam, Microsoft default example companies) and assign one or more logical networks to the cloud. Make sure you leave Capability Profiles unchecked
    WindowsAzur13 Windows Azure Pack
  6. Under VM Networks, create a VM Network, a subnet and an IP Pool. Connect the VM Network to a logical network that was assigned to the cloud created earlier. (e.g. Contoso Tenant)
    WindowsAzur14 Windows Azure Pack
  7. Then create one or more hardware profiles (for example, small, medium and large)
    WindowsAzur15 Windows Azure Pack
  8. Create templates from the syspreped VHDs copied to the library (for example, Windows Server 2012 R2 Core and Windows Server 2012 R2 GUI)
    WindowsAzur16 Windows Azure PackNOTE: – when creating the VM templates, in Hardware Profiles it’s not necessary to select one, for our example we created medium, then click next, and make sure that you select Create a new Windows Operating System Customization Settings, and select the operating system (for example, Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter). If this is not selected, the VM will not show up in the Windows Azure Pack Portal.
  9. Select Settings
  10. Add the user under which the SPF Web Service (Application Pool) account is running to the Administrators group
    Click Security > User Roles
    Click Administrators > Members
    Click Add and select the user that SPF Web Service (Application Pool) is running with. (See my SPF Blog Post)

Service Provider Foundation Configuration

  1. Log on to the SPF Server as Administrator.
  2. Start Computer Management
  3. Select Local User and Groups
  4. Create a user you want to use for SPF by right click Users > new user (e.g. spf)
    Note: This is not the same as the SPF Web Service (Application Pool). This is a local user on the SPF Server.
  5. Click on the user and select the “Member Of” tab.
    Note: Make the user member of all Groups starting with “SPF_”

    WindowsAzur17 Windows Azure Pack

  6. Verify that the SPF Web Service is running under the right user credentials
    Note: The way SPF executes commands against VMM will be in the context of the user under which the web service is running.
    To verify that the SPF Web Service is running under the right service account check the following:

    1. Log on to the SPF server as an administrator
    2. Start IIS Manager
    3. Expand SPF Server > Sites and verify that SPF shows in the list.
    4. Select Applications Pools under connection menu
    5. Verify that both the SCVMM and Provider Application Pools are running under the account (Identity) that is also a member of the VMM Administrators WindowsAzur18 Windows Azure Pack

Configuring the Windows Azure Pack

In this section we will be configuring the following:

  • Configuring VM Clouds Resource Provider in the Windows Azure Pack
  • Configure SQL Servers Resource Provider in the Windows Azure Pack
  • Configuring a plan in Windows Azure Pack
  • Configure a Admin Account and a subscription in Windows Azure Pack
  • Login as a Tenant and provision a VM and SQL Database to a Cloud

Configuring VM Clouds Resource Provider in the Windows Azure Pack

  1. Log on to WAP Admin Portal as an administrator (e.g. https://wap01.contoso.com:30091)
  2. Finish the Intro tour and click Ok
  3. In the main window, Select VM CloudsWindowsAzur19 Windows Azure Pack
  4. In the VM Clouds Window select Register System Center Service Provider Foundation
  5. Type the Service URL, Username and Password
    Note: the User name and password is the user created locally on the SPF server and which was added to the SPF groups earlier in post
    WindowsAzur20 Windows Azure Pack
  6. Verify that the registration goes sucessful
    WindowsAzur21 Windows Azure Pack
  7. Register VMM: Go to VM Clouds – Clouds – Use an existing Virtual Machine Cloud Provider to Provision Virtual Machines, and provide the following info:
    Virtual machine manager server: vmm01
    Port number (optional):
    Remote Desktop Gateway:
    Click on register
    Verify that VMM Server registers correctly by selecting the server under clouds and verify that all clouds shows for the VMM Server
    WindowsAzur22 Windows Azure Pack

Configure SQL Servers Resource Provider in Windows Azure Pack

  1. In the WAP Admin Portal, go to SQL Servers
  2. Click on Add an existing server to the hosting server group
  3. In the wizard provide the following information:
    1. SQL Server Group: Default
    2. SQL Server name: db01
    3. Username: sa
    4. Password: ********
    5. Size of hosting server in GB: 20
      WindowsAzur23 Windows Azure PackNote: The SQL Server used for the SQL server must have SQL Authentication enabled for the Service Provider service to work
  4. Verify that the following message shows in the status area
    WindowsAzur24 Windows Azure Pack
  5. Under Servers there should now be a new SQL Server showing
    WindowsAzur25 Windows Azure Pack

Configuring a Plan in Windows Azure Pack

  1. In the WAP Admin Portal, go to Plans.
  2. Click on + New -> PLAN -> CREATE PLAN
  3. Specify a name for the plan (e.g. Contoso)
  4. Select the service that should be offered via the plan (e.g. Virtual Machine Clouds and SQL Servers) and click next
    WindowsAzur26 Windows Azure Pack
  5. Skip add-ons and click Ok
    Note: In our scenario we created two plans: Contoso and Fabrikam.
  6. Under plan verify that the new Plan(s) shows in the list
    WindowsAzur27 Windows Azure Pack
  7. Click on the first plan created
  8. Under plan service, click on Virtual Machine Clouds
  9. Select the VMM Server (There should only be one in the list).
  10. Under Virtual Machine Cloud, select the Cloud for which you would like to use with the plan (e.g. Contoso)
  11. Under Usage limit, specify the usage limits that the plan should use
    WindowsAzur28 Windows Azure Pack
  12. Under networks, click Add network
  13. Select the VM networks that should be used for the plan and click Ok
    WindowsAzur29 Windows Azure Pack
  14. Click Add hardware profiles
  15. Select the hardware profiles that should be used for the plan and click Ok
    WindowsAzur30 Windows Azure Pack
  16. Click Add Templates and select the templates that should be used for the plan
    WindowsAzur31 Windows Azure Pack
  17. Under Additional settings, select the actions that should be allowed within the plan
  18. Click Save
  19. Verify that the plan service shows as configured and Active for both services
    WindowsAzur32 Windows Azure Pack

Configure a Admin Account and a subscription in Windows Azure Pack

  1. In the WAP Admin main menu click User Accounts
  2. Click + New -> User Account > Quick Create >
  3. Provide the following information:
    1. E-mail: eg. admin@nutanixbd.local
    2. Password: *******
    3. Select a plan (e.g. Contoso)
  4. Click Create
  5. Click on the newly created user and verify that a subscription shows.
    WindowsAzur33 Windows Azure Pack

Login as a Tenant and provision a VM and SQL Database to a Cloud

  1. Open a browser and go to the WAP Tenant Portal (e.g. https://wap01.contoso.com:30081)
  2. Specify the user account created earlier and password (e.g. admins@nutanixbd.local)
  3. Click on Submit
  4. Finish the introduction wizard
  5. Click on Virtual Machines
  6. Click Create a virtual Machine Role
  7. Select Standalone Virtual Machine
  8. Select From Gallery -> Templates
  9. Select a template in the list and click Next
    WindowsAzur34 Windows Azure Pack
  10. Provide the following information of the VM
    1. Name: e.g. Contoso01
    2. Password: ********
    3. Product Key
      Note: Depending on what kind of sysperped image is used, it’s necessary to provide a product key. Only if the image is build using a Volume License image it might not be needed to provide a product key.
  11. Select a network for the Virtual Machine e.g. Contoso Tenant (this is the network that was selected when creating the plan)
    WindowsAzur35 Windows Azure Pack
  12. Click Next
    WindowsAzur36 Windows Azure Pack
  13. Go to System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 Server and start the SCVMM Console
  14. Select Job and Select Running
  15. Verify that one job shows provisioning the virtual machine
    WindowsAzur37 Windows Azure Pack
  16. Go back to the WAP Tenant Portal
  17. Select SQL Server Databases
  18. Click Add a New Database
  19. Specify a Name for the Database (e.g. DB01)
  20. Click Next
  21. Provide a User Name and a Password (e.g. dba01)
    WindowsAzur38 Windows Azure Pack
  22. Click Ok to create the Database
  23. Verify that the job completes with success.
    WindowsAzur39 Windows Azure Pack
  24. Click on All Items
  25. Verify that a VM and a Database shows in the list
    WindowsAzur40 Windows Azure Pack

Thats it…you did it…you build your own IaaS on Nutanix…I hope this blog post will help you with installing and configuring Windows Azure Pack on Nutanix.  If you run into any issues, during the deployment, please feel free to post a comment.
Until next time, enjoy building your Nutanix Windows Azure Pack IasS offering!
Rob

In the next blog post we will look at how you can create certificates and reconfigure portals and ports for Windows Azure Pack