7 Oct.

Windows Server 2016 Essentials TP3 Integration With Azure Virtual Networks Part 2

In the last post I covered what was required (very little, apart from an Azure subscription!) with Windows Server 2016 Essentials Technical Preview 3 to set up an Azure Virtual Network, but and today I’ll switch over to the Azure management portal so that we can see what was created for us. If you don’t have an Azure subscription to test with, just go to www.azure.com and sign up for a 30 day trial.

Selecting Networks on the left hand side, you can see the AzEssTP3 Virtual Network that I created inside of Essentials, along with a couple of others I had created previously.

Digging in to the details of the Virtual Network, you can see that the Quick Start page has a link to additional Azure Networking information for those that need more information.

In the Dashboard, we can see that the connection is active, how much traffic has passed through it, and the gateway IP address.

Under Configure you can see the on-premises DNS server details, and that the connection has been set up as a Site to Site connection rather than as a point to site connection, which would be used more often in a client to virtual network type scenario.

So now that I’ve confirmed that the connection has been created and is active, I should create a virtual machine inside of the virtual network so that I can test connectivity back to my on-premises environment.

If you haven’t seen the Azure Virtual Machine creation process, I’ll walk you through some of the steps here. First of all you can see that there are range of Microsoft, Linux and Oracle offerings that we can leverage, it’s not just Windows!

After that last comment, of course I do choose to create a Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter image, I’m deliberately choosing a lower size VM to keep costs down, and I need to provide a username and password that meets the Azure requirements.

This is where you can see that I have chosen the virtual network AzEssTP3 which I created previously. The VM will automatically be provisioned in Australia East because that’s the location I selected when I created the virtual network.

Just a few more selections to install the VM agent and the Microsoft Antimalware security extension, and then I click the tick and the VM provisioning process begins.

Here you can see the VM is starting. The provisioning and start up process normally takes a few minutes.

Once it has started, you can see that the status has now switched to running.

I can switch to the Dashboard and see the current stats for the VMs resource utilisation, as well as the internal IP address at the bottom.

I can then launch the RDP connection from the Azure management portal, at which point I am taken into the freshly created VM, where Server Manager will auto launch by default.

What I want to do with this VM is join it to the on-premises Active Directory domain environment. Here you can see that there are a couple of changes I will need to make, including moving away from a workgroup, and you will also see the Remote Management is currently disabled, which could be problematic in the future if I want to manage this server through my on-premises Essentials server.

Changing from a workgroup member to a domain member works the way we expect.

I enter the domain details, but I realise I still haven’t actually verified network connectivity.

To test connectivity, I can just ping back to my on-premises server (I allowed this traffic through the firewall for the sake of this test). I can successfully ping my local network resources, so it’s time to complete the domain join process.

I enter my domain credentials at the prompt.

And there we are, we have a domain joined server sitting inside of the Azure Virtual Network we created.

In the next post I’ll revisit some of the things you can do inside of Server Manager once you have the connection established, which isn’t really related to Azure Virtual Networking integration feature, just more of a refresher of what you can do inside of Server Manager.

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