Install and configure SQL AlwaysON AG with Listener on Azure

This is going to be a multi-part post, based on a very recent deployment.

I had to urgently build an AlwaysOn Availability Group and Listener in Azure on SQL Server 2014. The only issue was,  I have limited Azure and SQL knowledge. I can maintain and install, and create a few scripts here and there. But not enough to be called a DBA or Cloud Boff. However, I decided this would be an awesome thing to learn how to do. So, during the course of man flu, about 40 hours of crunch time, I can now install, configure and maintain a SQL AlwaysON AG with Listener on Azure.

So, lets get cracking.

Prerequisites:

  • 1x Domain Controller
  • 1x Service account for the SQL Server Service and for the SQL Server Agent Service
  • 1x Delegated permissions on AD for the cluster to create computer objects.
  • 1x Load balancer (on Azure)
  • 2x Windows Servers installed with a minimum of SQL 2012 installed
  • Shared location on each node (this will be used for adding DBs to the using a “Full” model)

Some of these pre-requisites are listed in this post – so don’t worry if you don’t know how to do certain things.

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Step by Step Moving FSMO roles in Server 2012 R2

I needed to move our FSMO roles to a centralised server today, the main cause for this was firewall ruling (cannot add rules mid-week) and an urgent requirement for Domain controllers in our Azure Production environment.

We were unable to dcpromo our Azure server and after 2 days of troubleshooting, wiresharking and several work-a-rounds – we decided to move the FSMO roles yet again. Now, I know for a fact that continuously moving the FSMO roles is NOT HEALTHY for a domain environment, I was totally against it, but I bit the bullet and did as I was told.

They are now in their new home, On-Premise Site A,  and will not be moved again. However, due to Microsoft best practice, we will split the Schema master and Domain Naming Master off to DC2 once all firewall rules are in place.
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Scripted configurations of SNMP v2

Today I went through the process of scripting the configuration of SNMP configurations for multiple OS/devices. The reason for this is that there has never been a formality or standardisation of this and sometimes we tend to forget this and or that. So, in case you would also like to script it, here is what we use.

The defaults:

sysLocation:
For this, you could either use “3rd floor, of some office” or, if you are a global company, with  monitoring system that makes use of the GoogleMaps API (e.g. Observium) and would like to show various location globally – use a google API name – e.g. London, UK or Cape Town, South Africa etc.

sysContact:
This could be a name or an email address or telephone number

Community:
Something that is configured on your server and on your device/workstation/server that allows communications. There is also a permission set that will get applied to this.

target:
This is the place you are sending information to

port:
This is by default, 161/UDP, unless you change it.

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Creating Superseded Applications in SCCM 2012 R2

[nextpage title=”Intro – Creating Superseded Applications in SCCM 2012 R2″]
Today I was investigating upgrading an application we use for email signature management called Symprex. I want to upgrade it using SCCM and realised that internally we didn’t have any “How-To” documentation on deploying an application from start to finish, so what better way to add a post to my blog and some internal documentation.

sccm-2012-r2-logo

So, what is supersedence exactly?

Microsoft TechNet gives us a pretty good explanation:

“Application management in Microsoft System Centre 2012 Configuration Manager allows you to upgrade or replace existing applications by using a supersedence relationship. When you supersede an application, you can specify a new deployment type to replace the deployment type of the superseded application and also configure whether to upgrade or uninstall the superseded application before the superseding application is installed.
When you supersede an application, this applies to all future deployments and Application Catalog requests. This will not affect the existing installations of the application.”

Taken directly from Technet

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