Messing around with AVD and AADJoin

In a previous post: Messing around with WVD, AADDS and FSLogix – Albandrod’s Memory ( I was talking about how AVD breaks some scenarios and how we could fix them.

In this ocassion I will talk about my experience working with the new version of AADJoin for AVD which is finally in public preview. So with this approach we can eliminate the need to have a domain controller or AADDS in place for your AVD deployment to work, but as you can imagine it has some drawbacks.

First important thing that you have to be aware of implementing this type of scenario is that when you’re adding the VMs to the HP, it is necessary to select the following option:

Also is important to check wether is we want to join the VMs to Intune or not, in my case I selected yes, and after a few moments of the VM creation, I was able to see it in the endpoint portal:

After you have created the HP, my recommendation would to configure it, you can use the following advanced RDP properties:

use multimon:i:0 which basically Determines whether the session should use true multiple monitor support when connecting to the remote computer

To access Azure AD-joined VMs using the web, Android, macOS, iOS, and Microsoft Store clients, you must add targetisaadjoined:i:1 to the HP. These connections are restricted to entering user name and password credentials when signing in to the session host.

But, what is more important for me, and it was driving me crazy at first, it was the authantication in AVD AADJoined:

The following configurations are currently supported with Azure AD-joined VMs:

  • Personal desktops with local user profiles.
  • Pooled desktops used as a jump box. In this configuration, users first access the Azure Virtual Desktop VM before connecting to a different PC on the network. Users should not save data on the VM.
  • Pooled desktops or apps where users don’t need to save data on the VM. For example, for applications that save data online or connect to a remote database.

So, don’t break your head trying to authenticate with your current user as in WVD Joined Domain, you will need to use a Local profile for AzureAD Joined VMs, if not you will receive an error like the following which will drive you nuts:

But after using the local user in the VM you will be able to log in the VM.

Once you log in to the VM, you can check the dsregcmd to see the status:

And also how the machine is enrolled in Intune, you can check the information regarding the enterprise registration 🙂

For me AVD AADJoin, it is a pseudo Windows365 but with custom images and without paying the full license to access to the resource itself. The other things about AVD and AADJoin are pretty the same as Domain Joined, so have fun with them

Till next time!


Messing around with WVD, AADDS and FSLogix

In a project where WVD was involved, we needed to implement AADDS and FSlogix to the scenario. If you take a look to that scenario, it is pretty simple, but it hides some stones that we hit during the road, so I want to explain them in this post 😊

First of all, once you have deployed the AADDS, remember to check DNS settings in the VNet, it is necessary to put the DNS from the AADDS, otherwise won’t be possible to join VMs to the AADDS domain:

Once the AADDS instance was deployed it took turn for the golden image, as you probably know there is no problem to install all the programs and updates, but our stone here was once we deployed the language pack and the image was prepared, the sysprep was crashing, so we need to deep dive into the logs to solve the problem…

So the deployment begun to be fun, but after digging, we were able to solve by executing…

Remove-AppxPackage -Package Microsoft.LanguageExperiencePackes-ES_19041.17.51.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe -AllUsers

And then… boom!

Probably you will need to change your package in your case but is important to include the -allusers parameter.

Solved the golden image problem, it take turn to the deploy the host pool which process was straightforward. Our next stone was the storage account… ☹

Deploying the storage account into the AADDS was easy, but the problem was to give NTFS permission to the users, we were used to do that process in ADDS scenarios, so we know what to do, but with AADDS the procedure changes a bit…

So my piece of advice, would be to follow the instructions given in docs: Uso de Azure AD Domain Services para autorizar el acceso a los datos de archivo a través de SMB | Microsoft Docs

We were using the AAD credentials and we were stuck for a while until we read this in the documentation. Lesson learned, read documentation help.

Once you have entered to the storage account with your storage account key, you are able to give NTFS permission to the users (please follow instructions from docs xD)

Once we solved this, we were in position to configure FSLogix for the mobility of the profiles. For those who do not know FSLogix it allows to store both user profiles and applications on a centralized file share. This is extremely useful in virtual desktop environments, as the user’s profile does not have to be copied prior to boot. FSLogix will mount those profiles hosted on a file share and will make them appear local.

But again, once we have configured the entry in the VM registry:

We hit another stone… because we were logging into the WVD remote desktop and it didn’t create any profile on the Storage account, after digging and asking ourselves, we decided to go to FSLOgix logs located here: %ProgramData%\FSLogix\Logs. We checked the profile logs and found the following:

Configuration setting not found: SOFTWARE\FSLogix\Profiles\AttachVHDSDDL. Using default:
[17:33:52.257][tid:00000c4c.00000e74][INFO] Session configuration wrote (REG_SZ): SOFTWARE\FSLogix\Profiles\Sessions\S-1-5-21-1901185187-4119977032-3365905087-1004\AttachVHDSDDL = ‘D:AI(A;;GA;;;SY)(A;;GA;;;BA)(A;;GA;;;BU)(A;;GA;;;WD)(A;;GA;;;RC)(A;;GA;;;AC)S:(ML;;NW;;;LW)’
[17:33:52.273][tid:00000c4c.00000e74][INFO] Status set to 0: Success
[17:33:52.273][tid:00000c4c.00000e74][INFO] Reason set to 3: A local profile for this user exists on this system
[17:33:52.273][tid:00000c4c.00000e74][WARN: 00000003] Local profile already exists. Do nothing. (El sistema no puede encontrar la ruta especificada.)

Probably you will asking yourself what kind of error is that? It is simple, your local profile is messing with the network profile being created, so what we had to do is to remove the local profile. You can do that by going into advanced system settings and deleting the profile

We did that, and we tried again and booooooom! The profile was created in the storage account:

After doing that, we were in position to do all the test in WVD and then di all the steps to create and enterprise environment (optimization, monitoring, a “true” golden image, hide the power button, etc…).

Till nex time!

Swap OS disk to storage account

Quick post to remember what actions have to be made to swap your OS disk to a VHD disk in a storage account (yes swapping from MD to UMD, I know probably I’m crazy, but for golden images it is great).

But imagine that you have a VM running a MD disk and you need to swap that OS Disk with and UMD… how can you that?

# Get the VM 
$vm = Get-AzVM -ResourceGroupName myResourceGroup -Name myVM 

# Make sure the VM is stopped\deallocated
Stop-AzVM -ResourceGroupName myResourceGroup -Name $vm.Name -Force

# Set the VM configuration to point to the new disk
Set-AzVMOSDisk -VM $VirtualMachine -Name "osDisk.vhd" -VhdUri ""

# Update the VM with the new OS disk
Update-AzVM -ResourceGroupName myResourceGroup -VM $vm 

# Start the VM
Start-AzVM -Name $vm.Name -ResourceGroupName myResourceGroup

That’s all! Your VM is running with vhd disk 🙂

Log Analytics Best Practices

Hi! You probably know that I am a fan of Log Analytics, so with this post I want to share with you what are my thoughts about best practices while designing and setup of Log Analytics in several deployments, let’s roll!

  • Use as few workspaces as possible: At the beggining I was using several workspaces (each one for subscription), but in the practice it is more useful to only have one. (The only thing to have separate workspaes would be money and retention). and if you want to control cost, use the table level retention feature!
  • For Long term retention move data to Storage Account 🙂
  • Use one WS for each region: depending in where are you working and laws, would be advisable to have different WS across region (EMEA, APAC, EEUU…)
  • Use Azure Policies to install the Monitoring Agents 🙂 it is very useful
  • Define proper RBAC: depending in which information you are ingesting to Log Analytics, will be important to some people have access to certain data.
  • Setup Alerting for events: Yes you are collecting a huge amount of data, but… are you creating alerts and monitoring rules for those important services?
  • Control the cost: It is easy to set up Log Analytics, but to put verbose data for all those services it is also easy, so your main goal would be to tweak the source of the data and the amount of information that you’re ingesting to log analytics

And finally, the last piece of information… keep an eye to the Log Analytics roadmap, to be updated is my daily nightmare, so… be patient with this

till next time!

Extending your subnet in Azure with VXLan

Continuing with networking in Azure, today I want to talk about how extend the subnets in Azure with VXLAN. To those who do not know VXLAN, it proposes to generate a virtual network to overlap a LAN which will work as base. VXLAN technology uses a layer 3 technology, in order to extend the network, as it shows the following diagram, where the same subnet exists on both sides (Azure and OnPrem):

Ejemplo de extensión de subred

So here the key is that you need a tunel between Azure and OnPrem in order to exchange traffic, but also take into account the following:

  • IP addresses of on-premises hosts are configured as additional IP addresses on the Network Interface Card (NIC) of the Azure VM (using Azure orchestration system);
  • IP addresses of Azure hosts are configured as additional IP addresses of the NIC of on-premises VM.

Whenever an on-premises host tries to reach an Azure VM it sends out an ARP request, and the on-premises Extended Network VM replies to it.

Whenever an Azure VM tries to reach an on-premises host, the Azure Virtual Router sends the traffic to the local IP address which is owned by the Azure VM running Extended Network code.

Take care and happy networking!

Forced Tunneling in Azure

I am not an expert on networking, but sometimes while working in Azure, I have to face some different configurations in order to fulfill customer requirements.

In this case, my customer wanted to redirect all the Internet traffic on the VMs from Azure to OnPrem. Because If you don’t configure forced tunneling, Internet-bound traffic from your VMs in Azure always traverses from the Azure network infrastructure directly out to the Internet, without the option to allow you to inspect or audit the traffic. 

And you know… nowadays, unauthorized Internet access can potentially lead to security breaches…

So, to do that I was thinking in the way I used to do those kind of things, create a table route, redirect the traffic to a NVA and done, but this case was not the same, because i needed to redirect all the traffic.

So in this case what is needed is the Forced Tunneling:

Diagrama que muestra la tunelización forzada.

With that configuration any connectio from midtier and backed it is redirected back to onpremises via VPN S2S, and then the traffic can be inspected or event restricted.

The magic to achieve that scenario is to use PowerShell, there is no option to do that with the UI, you can check the full procedure in the following link: Configure forced tunneling for Site-to-Site connections – Azure VPN Gateway | Microsoft Docs

But make special attention to the following parameter:

$LocalGateway = Get-AzLocalNetworkGateway -Name "DefaultSiteHQ" -ResourceGroupName "ForcedTunneling"
$VirtualGateway = Get-AzVirtualNetworkGateway -Name "Gateway1" -ResourceGroupName "ForcedTunneling"
Set-AzVirtualNetworkGatewayDefaultSite -GatewayDefaultSite $LocalGateway -VirtualNetworkGateway $VirtualGateway

With that you create the magic in networking, the other steps that are done in the article are more or less the same that I usually did in my implementations.

So take into account that and happy routing!

How to “backup” resources in Azure

Have you ever wonder how to backup a resource in Azure in order to rebuild it in case it is accidentally deleted? Or imagine that you want to reconfigure it in other subscription/customer.

With Powershell we can do that, it is pretty straightforward and powerful. In my case, what I want to backup is an Azure Firewall, because for example I have configured the AZFirewall with multiple rules, and I want to reuse them in another subscriptions.

To do that, what we have to is to get the firewall resource ID

$AzFirewallId = (Get-AzFirewall -Name "MyFirewallName" -ResourceGroupName "MyRgName").id

Then configure a file to export the configuration:

$FileName = ".\MyResourceBackup.json"

and finally… export the JSON to the previous file:

Export-AzResourceGroup -ResourceGroupName "MyRgName" -Resource $AzFirewallId -SkipAllParameterization -Path $FileName

Take note that I have used the “SkipAllParameterization” parameter, it allows to recreate exaxtly what we have “backup” in the JSON. In case that we want to change the names to the resources we can avoid that parameter. Also it is important, that the json contains all the configurations that we have done in the service, so, we are not losing anything.

And now… how to restore them in Azure? Pretty simple as well:

New-AzResourceGroupDeployment -name "RestoreJob" -ResourceGroupName "MyRgName" -TemplateFile ".\MyResourceBackup.json"

That’s all for one resource, and what if I whant to “backup” all the resources contained in a Resource Group? You can do it as well! But in this case, you must change some of the parameters to export the file:

Export-AzResourceGroup -ResourceGroupName "MyRgName" -SkipAllParameterization -Path $FileName

You will avoid what is in the resource itself, but you will have a laaaarge JSON, with all the parameters and configurations. Then you can restore the resources with the same method explained earlier.

Also, a good point would be to configure an automation account to export all the configuration files from the portal and store them in a blob in order to have a copy of all the resources in the subscription.

Conditional Access extension for Chrome

If you’re implementing conditional access in your company and you’re struggling with Windows 10 devices and Chrome support, probably you will need to visit that Docs link:

But in this post, I want to talk about something related to it, in one of my projects, I have a CA policy that required one of the following selected controls: Require MFA or Require Hybrid AAD joined device

My device was Hybrid, so I was fullfilling one of the requirements, for example, when I was accessing with IE or Edge, the device info gets passed properly and MFA is bypassed for hybrid AAD machines.

But with Chrome, even having the Windows 10 Account extension pushed via GPO, I was able to see in the azure sign-in logs that device info is blank except for Browser and OS, so the AAD join status is not passed and MFA triggers. So it was very weird and it was causing me some problems…

So finally, after hours of troubleshooting, i finally figured out what was wrong. When you automatically install the extension, it doesn’t clear some cookies which Chrome will then try to use the old way of logging in. So in this case what you will need to do is access to chrome://settings/content/all and delete the cookies for

After doing that, everything was working perfectly, keep aware of that!!

Discover who invited guest users with Log Analytics

Reading my posts, you will probably know that I am a bit fan of Log Analytics, so in this post we are trying to examine the AzureAD logs in order to discover who invited a specific a guest account, because sometimes can be quite a challenging question to find this information…

So first of all, we need to forward the audit logs from AAD to workspace in Log Analytics, once we have done this, we can execute the following query:

| where OperationName == 'Invite external user' and Result == 'success'


As you can see in the image, this query shows some basic information about the users, but if you want to find all accepted invitations, you can execute the following…

| where OperationName == 'Invite external user' and Result == 'success'
| extend InvitationId = tostring(AdditionalDetails[0].value)
| join (
	| where OperationName in('Redeem external user invite')
	| parse kind=regex TargetResources[0].displayName with * "InvitationId: " InvitationId:string ","
on $left.InvitationId == $right.InvitationId

Once we have done that, we can include this information in our Governance Plan or even to create some Log Analytics alerts in order to be sure that everything is doing under our umbrella os security

Nested Virtualization

Do you need to run a VM in Azure which this VM it is not supported or it’s giving problem to be upload to Azure. Use Nest Virtualization instead!
First thins to take into account:
  • You can do this on either Windows Server or Windows 10.
    Only “_V3” Azure VM’s support nested virtualisation.
Deploy a VM,  once you have logged into this VM run the followoing commands in an elevated PowerShell session:
Install the Hyper-V role:
Install-WindowsFeature -Name Hyper-V -IncludeManagementTools -Restart
Create a new network Switch
New-VMSwitch -Name “InternalNAT” -SwitchType Internal
Get the Interface Index number – take a note of this number to use next
Set an IP Address and create the network:
New-NetIPAddress -IPAddress -PrefixLength 24 -InterfaceIndex 13
New-NetNat -Name “InternalNat” -InternalIPInterfaceAddressPrefix
Once this is complete you can then open up Hyper-V manager and create your “nested” VM, and this is where you create your Linux VM (or whatever you want). Just go and download the ISO file from the relevant website and create a new VM as per normal.
Now you only will be charged for the VM in Azure and not for the two virtual machines
That’s all