Get started with Microsoft Azure Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator

In an earlier post, I described how to install MAP Toolkit to do inventory of an IT environment and in this post, I will show how to get started to compare the cost for an on-prem environment to Azure.

To get started install MAP Toolkit and do an inventory as described in this earlier post. When this is done use the export function in MAP Toolkit to export the inventory into an Excel sheet.

Go to the page https://www.tco.microsoft.com, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator (Preview at the time of writing), and click Start Now to use the tool.

Open the MAP Toolkit inventory file and do the following modifications to it.

  1. Delete the top 3 rows with plain text.
  2. Remove any non-integer values in cores and RAM (System Memory) column.
  3. Save and close the file.

2 Get started with Microsoft Azure Total Cost of Ownership

Import the file by doing the following in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator.

  1. At the Inputs screen, select the Bulk Input radio button and select the MAP radio button.
  2. Press the Upload File button
  3. Confirm that the filename is shown on screen indicating that it is ready for upload. Enter the remaining Storage and Networking parameters and press Calculate.

1 Get started with Microsoft Azure Total Cost of Ownership

When the calculation has been done, you will have a report that looks something like this.

3 Get started with Microsoft Azure Total Cost of Ownership

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Solution Targeting in Operations Management Suite

Some weeks ago it was announced that OMS now support (in preview at the time of writing) selecting a group of servers/nodes to target a specific solution. In this blog post I will show how to get started with Solution Targeting and in the example I will use the server DPM2016 and let it be the only one that reports to the Solution System Update Assessment.

Before getting started there are some things to notice:

  • Currently Solution Targeting only supports the use of direct installed OMS agents and not SCOM agents.
  • If using OMS licenses, this makes it possible to mix OMS E1/E2 licenses.
  • Want more info? Please see OMS documentation: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/operations-management-suite/operations-management-suite-solution-targeting

In OMS Log Analytics, create and save a Log Search query. In this example, I will add the server DPM2016.corp.contoso.com by using the query “Computer=”DPM2016.corp.contoso.com” | distinct Computer”. I will save the computer group to DPM2016.

This can be done both inside the Azure Portal or in the OMS portal. The screenshot is from the OMS portal.

Solution Targeting in Operations Management Suite 1

Go to the Azure portal and OMS Log Analytics Workspace. Click Scope Configuration and then +Add.

Solution Targeting in Operations Management Suite 2

Give the Scope Configuration a name and add the saved search earlier created. Click Select and then Ok.

Solution Targeting in Operations Management Suite 3

Move to Solutions in the Log Analytics Workspace. Search for the solution that you want to add the Solution Targeting Scope to and click it.

Solution Targeting in Operations Management Suite 4

Click Solution Targeting by clicking Add scope configuration and add the Scope Configuration created earlier.

Solution Targeting in Operations Management Suite 5

Now you are done and this Solution will only target the computers that are in the Computer Group. It can take some time until this kicks in so be patient if you don’t get the result you were hoping for directly.

After some time (as mentioned before, it might take some time before you can see the result) you can run the following queries to see if the Solution Targeting have started to work.

Type=Heartbeat TimeGenerated>NOW-2MINUTES | select Computer, Solutions

Seen in the screenshot the Updates Solution is now only being used on the server in the Computer Group.

Solution Targeting in Operations Management Suite 6

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Log Analytics View for Azure Automation DSC

Feel free to download and use my Log Analytics view for Azure Automation DSC. To get started with DSC please use the right menu on my blog and look through the examples. Also, before using this view the logs from Azure Automation DSC need to exist in Log Analytics. Please see my earlier post to push the logs into Log Analytics Link.

Picture of Log Analytics View

Log Analytics View for Azure Automation DSC

Link for download view: DSC Node Compliance Status (Last Hour)

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Monitor Azure DSC in Azure Automation with Azure Log Analytics

Recently it became possible to monitor Azure DSC in Azure Automation with Log Analytics. Here is how to do this setup in the Azure Portal.

First go to the Log Analytics workspace and click on Azure Resources. Select the Automation Account where DSC exists.

Monitor Azure DSC in Azure Automation with Azure Log Analytics 1

Select DscNodeStatus and click Save. In my example, I also want information about jobs in Azure Automation.

Monitor Azure DSC in Azure Automation with Azure Log Analytics 2

Verify that you have nodes added for Azure DSC and then go to Search in Log Analytics.

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Do a search for Category=DscNodeStatus and you will see information from Azure DSC.

Monitor Azure DSC in Azure Automation with Azure Log Analytics 4

For more information and to do this in PowerShell, see the following documentation page: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/automation/automation-dsc-diagnostics

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Keep service running with DSC on Windows Server

If you are in the need for keeping a service running or if you have a service that doesn’t start when you reboot your server, DSC in Azure Automation could be the thing for you!

In this post I will show how easy it is to create a DSC configuration that you can import, compile and then use on your servers. This off course works well both in on-premises datacenters as well as in Azure or any other public cloud provider.

Edit the following code and change the service you want to have started and save it to a PowerShell ps1-file (Example: MyDSC.ps1).

Create an Azure Automation Account and click on it.

Click DSC Configuration and then Add a configuration up to the left of the portal. Import the file created.

Keep service running with DSC on Windows Server 1

Click on the DSC Configuration in the portal and then Compile. When the compile is Completed you can start to use the configuration.

Keep service running with DSC on Windows Server 3

Click DSC Nodes and add the server you want to use DSC on.

Keep service running with DSC on Windows Server 2

Select if you want to deploy the configuration on an Azure VM och on-prem VM.

Keep service running with DSC on Windows Server 4

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