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Monday, November 23, 2015

Restore Data from Azure Backup Services

Hey folk, anyone has perform restoration before after backup using Azure Backup Services?

Restoration is easy when existing server is still intact. How about when source server has corrupted due to avoidance circumstances and beyond from any repair options ?

In this post, we are looking into worse scenario and leverage on using Azure Backup Services to perform recover.

Before we start, you must have perform backup of application data by using Azure Backup Services from on-premise to Azure. Check out our previous post here on how to perform backup.


Let get started on recovery option.


  • 1st make sure you get ready your existing passphrase key (16 char). Without this key, you wont able to recover.


Next, create a new virtual machine on Azure or on-premise either running same OS version or supported OS by Azure Backup Services.


If recover when target server = source server computer name:

  • On Backup vault, click “Allow Re-registration” of your protected server.


  • Install Azure Backup Services agents.
  • Enter same passphrase key


  • On Microsoft Azure Backup, click Recover Data and select This Server (same computer name)



If recover when target server not equal to source server computer name:

  • Install Azure Backup Agents
  • Click on Recover Data
  • Select Another Server and select Vault Credential


  • Select Backup Server (source server)


  • Enter correct passphrase key to decrypt


That’s all for today on different scenario that you can achieve to recover your data from Azure Backup Services.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Solving Black Box When Remote Desktop

We encountered a problem where a lot of black box on the display when using RDP and Remote Desktop Connection Manager when access our virtual machines. This prevent us from seeing clearly and unable to click any icon.

We have tried to removed and update our display driver however the problem is still persist on our source machine. So now we sure it is not the driver issue but operating system issue.

Then we change RDP file to disable bitmap cache. Click on Experience tab and uncheck “Persistent bitmap caching”


Problem solved for RDP but still can see “black box” when using Remote Desktop Connection Manager. Too bad, we cannot find option to disable bitmap cache.

So we use another workaround by delete cache from our source machine. Go to

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Cache

Delete all files inside Cache folder. Make sure no remote desktop connection is active.

Once we empty the cache, our problem solved for remote desktop connection manager.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Update Azure Powershell Version

Hey folk,

Microsoft constantly improve and update Azure Powershell and added new fix and cmdlet. Your version may be older version and getting an error when execute certain cmdlet. You can verify by typing the following command:

(Get-Module -ListAvailable | Where-Object{ $_.Name -eq 'Azure' })

| Select Version, Name, Author, PowerShellVersion  | Format-List;


Browse to to check on latest version.


Our version is

and latest version is 1.0.1.

To update, you can download the latest windows installer.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Webinar :- Live Maps Unity 7.5 by Savision

Recently, Savision launched their newest version of Live Maps Unity, which now comes with new features to their Business Service Management solution. In this last release, they are adding great capabilities on proactively monitoring your business services. Another great feature added to Live Maps Unity is the new Web Portal, to show you how they work, they are hosting two webinars. They will serve to introduce the new features and present a short demo to show you how they work.

Dennis Rietvink, Savision's co-Founder and VP of Product Management will be presenting the webinars.

Register now for the webinars, to learn more about the new features:

- Advanced Service Level Agreement Monitoring

With this new feature, you can have more control over your SLAs as you will receive proactive notifications when they are in danger of being breached.

- Brand New Web Portal

Get end-to-end service visibility and track interconnected infrastructure and applications from any mobile device, anywhere you are since Live Maps Unity’s Web Portal is now completely Silverlight free.

Schedule the webinar which will fit you best:

  • EU Webinar - Wednesday, November 25th, 3:30 pm CET / 9:30 am EST
  • US Webinar - Tuesday, December 1st, 8:00 pm CET / 2:00 pm EST

To register, click here.

p/s:- Savision will raffling a pair of HiFi Philips Headphones among the people that attend the webinars.

Azure Active Directory Connect (AD Connect)with Single Sign On


This round, we are going to look at “Single Sign On” option. To do so, you’re require to prepare virtual machine

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 for federation server
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 for the Web Application Proxy
  • An SSL certificate for the federation service name you intend to use. (for example: fs.ms4u.local)


Just to recap about AAD Connect :

AAD Connect streamlines the experience of extending your local directories into Azure AD so that fewer tools are required to install; it guides you through the entire experience so you are not required to read many pages of documentation; and it reduces the on-premises footprint because you are not required to deploy many servers.

AAD Connect is a single wizard that performs all of the steps you would otherwise have to do manually for connecting your Windows Server Active Directory to Azure Active Directory:

  • It downloads and installs pre-requisites like the .NET Framework, Azure Active Directory PowerShell Module, and Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant
  • It downloads, installs and configures Dirsync (or AAD Sync), and enables it in your Azure AD directory.
  • It configures either the password sync or the single sign-on scenario, depending on which sign-on option you prefer, including any required configuration in Azure.
  • It checks to make sure that your configuration is working!


  • Select Sign On


  • Enter a domain administrator account to connect to local domain


  • Select features :- Exchange hybrid and password write cache


  • Select how user should be identified in your on-premise directories



  • Select to connect to existing ADFS Farm or build a new ADFS farm. Enter your certificate file with private key and password


  • On ADFS and Web Proxy VM , execute winrn quickconfig


  • Enter your ADFS server farm and Web Application proxy. Here you can enter multiple server that you would like AAD Connect to build



  • Enter a domain user account which has local admin right on the federation server


  • Create a group managed service account or use an existing domain user account


  • Select the domain that you would like to be federated


Lastly review the summary and click Install to deploy. AAD Connect will start to deploy

  • DirSync on existing VM that you have installed AAD Connect
  • Install and Configure ADFS
  • Install and Configure Web Application Proxy
  • Start the initial synchronization


That’s complete the entire process.

Error : The input object cannot be bound because it did not contain the information required to bind all mandatory parameters

Encountered below error message when try to create a container in a storage account.

“The input object cannot be bound because it did not contain the information required to bind all mandatory parameters”


Initially though related to management certificate. However I’ve created and uploaded management certificate. Yet still failed. After using google for a while, managed to locate a similar case. Credit to Stephel Owen (Microsoft MVP).

Here is the solution:-

1. Use Get-AzureSubscription cmdlet. Found missing “currentStorageAccountName” and not bind to Azure Subscription


2. Type Get-AzureStorageAccount cmdlet. It listed the result and it is exist.



Set-AzureSubscription -SubscriptionName "Converted Windows Azure  MSDN - Visual Studio Premium" ` -CurrentStorageAccountName (Get-AzureStorageAccount).Label -PassThru


Verify by typing cmdlet- Get-AzureSubscription. Azure Storage Account Name has bind to Azure Subscription and we can proceed to create a container in Azure Storage.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Live Webinar! StarWind HyperConverged Appliance: Going All-Flash without Breaking the Bank



17 November, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Speaker: Max Kolomyeytsev, Product Manager, StarWind Software.

Mixing All-Flash setup with hyperconvergence had always been something only large Enterprises could enjoy, but now StarWind makes ultra-high performance affordable for SMB and ROBO. StarWind HyperConverged Appliance brings in SSD from Intel to provide sky-high IOPS without the usual ridiculously high price of such setups. Thanks to StarWind, Enterprise-class All-Flash hyperconvergence is here in the SMB/ROBO space.

Join our webinar to learn how we managed to keep the price of StarWind HyperConverged Appliance down and why it’s wrong to pay for air.

Register now

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Backup On-Premise Application Workload Using Microsoft Azure Backup


Recently Microsoft has enhanced Microsoft Azure Backup to protect on-premise application workload.

Azure Backup

You can use it to backup

  • SQL Server
  • Hyper-V VM
  • Sharepoint Server
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Windows Client

It can support

  • Disk to Disk (short term)
  • Disk to Disk to Cloud (long term)

[ Installation ]

  • Create Backup Vault
  • Download Installer from Microsoft Azure Management Portal after create backup vault. Installer size around 3.17GB


  • Install on Window Server 2012 R2 Virtual Machine. During installation, we found out the the interface and installation similar like Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager.


The system will ask for vault credential to register Azure Backup Vault during installation. For the remaining installation, do check out this post on the installation screenshot:-


After installation, double click icon on desktop (Microsoft Azure Backup Server)


Gosh! It’s DPM Server but without tape support and integration with other System Center.


[ Configuration ]

Before begin to protect workload,  you’re require to

  • add Disk Pool for D2D Backup


  • Install Azure Backup Agent. You can install an agent if the workload has not install with DPM agent or Azure Backup agent.


  • Create Protection Group to start protect application workload


You can configure D2D or D2D2C. By using Azure Backup Server, you’ll be billing according to the following pricing:-

You will still be billed per protected instance even D2D. Just that no charges on Azure storage as you’re using local disk.

To summarize, you need to pay per protected instance + storage consumed (when configure D2D2C)

For Cloud backup, you can specify maximum of 2 backup time for daily backup.


You can set weekly, month and yearly retention range.


Make sure you have internet connection to Microsoft Azure. After 15 days without Internet connection, backup job will stop working but you can still restore from Azure and from disk.


We found out that it also has an option to recovery from another DPM on backup vault.


Only DPM servers associated with the same registration vault can recover each other’s data.


Add External DPM option is available after install with UR7 (for existing DPM Server) and latest Azure Backup Agent. You can now recover the data you've protected to an Azure Backup vault from any DPM server registered to that vault.


[ Summary ]

Azure Backup Server come handy when customer would like to protect the workload without require to buy System Center license but provide customer ability to backup to Azure. (Cloud).

In term of learning curve, configuration to protect and restore workload is similar like DPM configuration. Therefore, you would not have any difficulty if you have DPM knowledge.