Microsoft Surface Go: I like it so far

I’ve been looking for a device that would fill the gap between a full-sized powerful notebook and my old iPad 2.

I looked at the Microsoft Surface before, but I thought they were trying too hard to be desktop replacements. Plus, I like the notebook form factor better than a tablet for regular daily work. I really didn’t want something as powerful and expensive as a Surface Pro.

Microsoft really hit it on target this time with exactly what I was looking for in a tablet with the Surface Go. I got the 8GB Ram/128GB HD version and the 10 inch screen is sharp and easy to read. The build quality seems good – it has the quality feel of my IPad 2. The Pentium CPU is slower than the Pro version and it comes in a smaller form factor. But it feels quick though and since I primarily work with Office 365 apps, it’s a good fit for me. At $549, it’s a good balance of performance and features for the money.

It comes with Windows 10 S. I think it’s interesting what Microsoft is doing by only allowing Microsoft Store applications in Windows 10 S. You can easily disable Windows 10 S and start using applications that are not in the Microsoft Store (like Chrome), but I think Microsoft is trying to provide similar stability and testing  that Apple does with their products and their Application store. I’ve been using Edge for quite a while along with Chrome, so just using Edge is ok with me too.

Is it a desktop replacement? No. It’s not meant to be that. Is it an iPad replacement. Absolutely. I will say my iPads have been really great, trouble free tablets, but they’re not the ideal machine for travel and working in Microsoft apps for me.  I love having native Windows 10 applications like RDP to manage the labs we have.

Time will tell, but I like the Surface Go so far. Yes, I wrote this post on the Surface Go. 🙂

 

Using Azure Quickstart to Deploy the Zerto Cloud Appliance with VPN

Overview

While deploying the Zerto Cloud Appliance (ZCA) in Azure is straightforward, it does require that a Resource Group, networking, VPN and network security groups (NSGs) exist in Azure already.

In another blog post, I show you how to deploy the Zerto Cloud Appliance from the Azure Marketplace using an Azure Quickstart template. For you to be able to connect to the on-premises Zerto site, you will need a VPN in place.

In order to eliminate the separate VPN pre-requisite build step, we’ve now added a new Azure Quickstart template. This Quickstart template deploys the Resource Group, Network, NSGs, plus the VPN and the ZCA. How cool is that?

Deployment Prerequisites

    1. An Azure Subscription.
    2. An account in Azure that has owner permissions to the subscription and the ability to add web apps in Azure.
    3. An operational IPSec VPN endpoint on-premises
    4. The pre-shared key for the VPN
    5. The IP Address of the Local VPN Gateway
    6. The IP subnet of the Local VPN in CIDR format
    7. The IP Addressing for the private Azure network where the failed over VMs will run. A default of 10.3.0.0/16 is available, but this can be changed to your specific network scheme.

     

  1. For complete prerequisite requirements, see the Zerto Virtual Replication for Azure Guidelines.

Installation Steps

  1. Go to: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/templates/?term=zerto

2. Click on the “Zerto Cloud Appliance with Site-to-Site VPN Connection” template in the gallery, and it takes you to the details page of the Quickstart template.

3. Click “Deploy to Azure” 

4. This page provides a complete list of parameter definitions for the deployment in Azure.

5. Fill in Custom Deployment parameters page. Each setting has an information bubble that has a detailed explanation of what to enter in the field Many of the settings have default parameters filled in already.

6. Agree to the terms and conditions and click purchase.

7. The installation process takes about 30 minutes to deploy.

8. The deployment process is shown in the Azure portal.

 

  1. Once the deployment completes, the message “Deployment succeeded” has a link to the resource group.
  2. In the resource group, review all the Azure resources automatically created by the Quickstart template. If the VPN is online at the on-premises location, you should now have site-to-site connectivity. Try pinging from ZCA to ZVM, make sure your Windows firewall are properly configured for ICMP.

  1. The next step is to RDP to the Zerto Cloud Appliance by clicking on the Virtual Machine object in the Resource Group and complete the ZCA installation. For detailed steps on how to configure the ZCA, see this blog post with video steps: http://virtualizationinformation.com/zerto-quick-tip-installing-zerto-virtual-replication-appliance-5-5-update-1-in-azure/

Links

 

 

 

 

Using Azure Quickstart to Deploy the Zerto Cloud Appliance

Overview

While deploying the Zerto Cloud Appliance (ZCA) in Azure is straightforward, it does require that a Resource Group, networking, and network security groups (NSGs) exist in Azure already.

We wanted to eliminate the separate pre-requisite build steps and have the Resource Group, Network, NSGs, and storage all deploy along with the ZCA. Fortunately, Microsoft made that possible with Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates. ARM templates house all the settings necessary to fully deploy a simple or complex solution in Azure.

Deployment

Prerequisites

  1. An Azure Subscription.
  2. An account in Azure that has owner permissions to the subscription and the ability to add web apps in Azure.
  3. An operational site-to-site connection between on-premises and Azure. For proofs of concept and testing, a software VPN like SoftEther can be used. For production deployments you can use a hardware VPN or ExpressRoute.
  4. For complete prerequisite requirements, see the Zerto Virtual Replication Azure Guidelines https://zerto.io/2BMLkPY

Installation Steps

  1. Go to https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/templates/?term=zerto
  2. Select the “Create a Zerto Cloud Appliance”.

3. Click on the Deploy to Azure button. It will launch the Azure portal and begin the installation. This page provides the link and a complete list of parameter definitions for the deployment in Azure.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/templates/201-zerto-zca/

  1. The Zerto Cloud Appliance Marketplace VM, along with the networking and NSG’s, will begin to deploy. It takes about 15 minutes to complete the ZCA deployment.
  2. The deployment process is shown in the Azure portal.

  1. The next step is to RDP to the Zerto Cloud Appliance by clicking on the Virtual Machine object in the Resource Group and complete the ZCA installation. For detailed steps on how to configure the ZCA, see this blog post with video steps: http://virtualizationinformation.com/zerto-quick-tip-installing-zerto-virtual-replication-appliance-5-5-update-1-in-azure/

Links