Windows AutoPilot – New Features

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft introduced Windows AutoPilot. Windows AutoPilot is a service which allows users to enroll their device with the Intune/Azure AD tenant of the organization during the Out-of-the-Box (OOBE) experience of Windows 10. By using Windows AutoPilot, organizations can dramatically decrease the time needed to configure a new device. During Microsoft Tech Summit 2018 in Amsterdam, Michael Niehaus announced some exciting new features which I will discuss in this blog post too.

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Azure – Windows Server Licensing Explained

This article describes the licensing options you have when you want to deploy Windows Server Virtual Machines in Azure. It’s getting complicated when you start using the Hybrid Use Benefit solution, so always contact Microsoft or your licensing supplier. Please note that I will not answer any licensing questions.

Built-in Licensing for Windows Server

This type of licensing is by-far the most easy to use but it can be an expensive solution. You deploy an Azure Virtual Machine from the Portal or PowerShell and the licensing costs are automatically included with the Virtual Machine costs. But what if you want to use your existing KMS licenses which you’ve bought with your Enterprise Agreement? Or you want to use Windows Server Standard licenses instead of Datacenter licenses?

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Azure AD Domain Services now available from the Azure Portal!

Today I found out that Azure AD Domain Services is available from the new Azure Portal! The documentation is still based on using the old portal. Now you can finally use Azure Resource Manager for the VNET and deployment. Creating your first Azure AD Domain Services instance will take quite some time but is really easy to configure. Specify the DNS name of the domain, a resource group, a VNET with subnet and a subscription and you’re good to go. Enjoy this feature in the new Portal!

 

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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PowerShell – Using Out-GridView to Select a Parameter

Last week I was asked to build an interactive PowerShell script for creating Virtual Machines in Azure. In this blog post, I want to share an easy way to prompt a user for a selection.

# Select Azure subscription
$AzureSubscription = (Get-AzureRmSubscription | Out-GridView -Title "Choose your Azure subscription and click OK." -PassThru)
Write-Output "Switching to Azure subscription: $($AzureSubscription.Name)"
$AzureSubscriptionInfo = Select-AzureRmSubscription -SubscriptionId $AzureSubscription.Id

This uses Out-GridView to display the contents of the “Get-AzureRmSubscription” Cmdlet and asks the user to make a selection. The user is able to sort and filter the contents within the grid and the user will be informed of the decision by using “Write-Output”.

Out-GridView

Let’s say it’s not the most elegant way to ask a user to select a value because it’s a pop-up and because of the small “OK” and “Cancel” buttons, but this PowerShell script was developed for IT Administrators. The benefit is that it’s easy to use with out-of-the-box code, instead of using custom modules.

That’s it for now, hope you find it useful.

Cheers!

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!