Using Azure DNS for Dynamic DNS with PowerShell

I’ve been using DynDNS and other Free DNS Services for  some time, but as they are getting harder and harder to use for free. Like you need to remember to logon and click a button once a month and what not. I figured it was time to migrate to Azure DNS instead. Being able to use PowerShell to handle my DNS together with everything I’ve already automated makes my life so much easier. And as I’ve already got a couple of domains and some Azure subscriptions there was more or less no increased cost for me.  As you can see in the picture, Azure DNS Pricing is really cheap.

I’ve used Task Scheduler to scheduled the script below to run at Computer Startup on one of my Hyper-V Hosts at home, and then every hour. That guarantees that if there is a power failure and I get a new IP from my ISP, when the server boots, the external DNS pointers will be updated at once and just to be sure check every hour.

In short, the script checks your External IP and compares that to the IP of the hostname you want updated. If they are not identical, it will logon to Azure and update the hostname with your current IP.
Simple as that.

In my case, I’ve setup a UserName in AzureDNS who has access to just that DNSZone and are using that UserName in the script.

 

You obviously need to migrate an existing or register a new DNS Zone to Azure and use Microsoft’s NameServers for this to work.

 

Azure Stack packaging and pricing

Microsoft has finally released the pricing for Microsoft Azure Stack.
It’s long been known that MAS (Microsoft Azure Stack) would be prices on a Pay-as-you-go model just like Azure but we’ve not known the exact price so far. HPE revealed the price for the hardware a few weeks ago and it’s been said to be between 300-400.000 USD minus all the normal discounts.

Microsoft Azure Stack pricing

It looks like the price is roughly 30% of running the same Virtual Machine in Azure. Which makes MAS a very very attractive solution for running workloads on-prem.

Details available here: http://buff.ly/2usAdoI
Or download directly from my blog here: Microsoft_Azure_Stack_Packaging_and_Pricing_EN_US-1

 

Use OMS (Log Analytic) to monitor and send alert for BlueScreen of Death

At times there is a driver or two that’s misbehaving and causing bluescreens. As the server automatically reboots after dumping memory to the memory.dmp file you might not get a report from your users that there has been a problem. And depending on your monitoring tool you might not get an alter there either. Operations Manager can easily alert you for things like that, but far from all customers use OpsMgr due to it’s complexity. Luckily, it’s just a 1 minute job to get alert in OMS if you have got a bluescreen! And as OMS can be run in Free mode, you may be able to monitor your servers for free (all depending on the amount of data you collect) and else, it’s really cheap so no big deal if you need to use a standard subscription. Anyway, lets get to the technical stuff!

First of all, enable OMS to collect Eventlog System and all Error messages.

omserrordata

Then create an Alert like this,

oms_bsod

The Alert text to be used is:

That will only alert for Crashes. You can also enable an alert for Event ID 6008 which will alert you for an unexpected shutdown. The difference is that my alert will only send an alert if there was a BSOD while an unexpected alert could also alert if someone pulled the power. Or even combine both into one alert with an OR statement. In my case, I just want to get alerted about the BSOD’s so thats the only thing I look for right now.

Tell how often is should check. There is usually no need to check more than once or twice an hour. And finally define if it should send an email alert or use one of the other alert methods.

Easy as that! Next time you get a bluescreen on a server, you will get an alert by mail so you can debug the dump and find out what’s causing it.

It will look like this,

bsodmail