Azure Server Management Tools

Even though they’ve been out in preview for almost a year, I only recently found out about Azure Server Management Tools! In essence, it’s a light version of Microsoft’s ‘Server Manager’ ported to the Azure web management GUI.

If you have a hybrid cloud deployment to Azure, or are looking for ways to manage on-premise Windows VM’s (including Nano), this tool could be for you.

In this quick guide, I’m going to show you how to setup a monitoring in Azure, installing the gateway agent, and some use scenarios.

Installing Hyper-V Nano server to SD Card

2018 Update: Microsoft have unfortunately dropped support for Hyper-V on Server Nano. Windows Server Core should now be used instead.

Hyper-V Nano server is Microsoft’s true answer to VMware’s ESXi hypervisor. It weighs in at a tiny 500MB (approx) disk footprint and completely cuts out any sort of GUI, instead solely relying on remote management.

This really is the future of the Windows Server ecosystem: significantly reduced attack surface (92% fewer ‘critical’ vulnerabilities), scriptable PowerShell remote management, and a tiny disk footprint.

In this post I’m going to detail the steps I followed to setup a Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Nano server image, and install it to the internal SD card of my home lab server, a HP ProLiant DL360 Gen8.

Fixing my Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite

For the price-to-performance ratio, you can’t really beat Ubiquiti. Over the past couple of years they’ve been releasing some fantastic products which are clearly aiming to disrupt the ‘enterprise’ market.

One downfall, however, can be their quality. Prior to purchasing the EdgeRouter, I had a UAP-LR, which unfortunately started exhibiting strange performance issues after about 6 months. Luckily, Ubiquiti support were very helpful and organised for me to return the defective unit and then upgrade to a UAP-AC-PRO (which is fantastic might I add).

Just recently, my EdgeRouter Lite locked up and completely stopped responding. Up until this point the device had been rock-solid, with no reboots for well over 6 months. Having Googled the problem, I certainly wasn’t alone with my issue, and without a warranty I decided to take matters into my own hands.