Add Azure AD and assign a Custom Domain Name

When creating an Azure directory, the default domain ends with the prefix. This is obviously not always the preferred naming convention, it is therefore possible to purchase the required domain and assign it to your Azure AD.

To begin, scroll down the left hand menu and select Active Directory.


Once Active Directory has been selected, the next step is to click on + NEW and select Directory then Custom Create.


Fill in the name of the directory you wish to create and the country or region you wish the directory to be located in, then click the tick to continue.


Once the directory has been created, click on the directory to open up the dashboard panel to configure the next options.


Click on the Domains menu at the top of the dashboard window.


Once on the Domains window, you will see the default domain name which has been created with the extension. To assign a custom domain, click Add a Custom Domain which will open the Add Domain wizard.


In the next window, add the name of the custom domain that has been purchased. If it is required, check the I plan to configure this domain for single sign-on with my local Active Directory and then click add.


Once the domain has ben successfully added, click on the arrow to continue to the next page.


The next windows requires the domain to be verified. This is achieved by adding a TXT record to the DNS of the purchased domain, Azure will verify the domain name against this TXT record.


When successfully verified, click the tick button to close the Add Domain wizard.


Now both domain names can be viewed, the original domain and the custom domain of Select the custom domain name and then click the Change Primary button on the bottom Azure menu.


On the Change primary domain wizard, check the current primary domain and the new primary domain are correctly selected. If the settings are correct, click on the tick button and the primary domain is switched to the custom domain.


Once the changes have been made, it is possible to view in the domains window, that the primary domain has been changed to the custom domain.


It’s as easy as that!


Transform The Datacentre Workshop, Supported by Microsoft


I have recently been invited to present at a number of events. The first event, Transforming the Datacentre Workshop, Supported by Microsoft, covered Microsoft’s Cloud OS approach to deliver a consistent and comprehensive set of capabilities via Windows Server, Hyper-V, System Center and Microsoft Azure, across on premise and cloud based platform.

Included in the event is a discussion around Windows Server 2003 reaching end-of-support on July 14th 2015, what options are available and how best to approach the problem.

It has been great to see the numbers of people turn up and very interesting to hear how they are adopting the Hybrid Cloud and plan to deal with the challenges around Windows Server 2003 reaching end-of-support.

cardiff-1st-october-2014-02If you fancy joining us at one of the multiple locations we are running the event at, you can book in by following the link below.


StorSimple: Enabling Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage for Enterprise Workloads

A great video from TechEd 2014 giving a great overview of the StoreSimple SAN appliance and how it integrates with Windows Azure to offer a complete Hybrid Cloud Storage solution.

StorSimple offers DR, archiving, backup, availability and all the standard SAN technology’s such as compression, deduplication, snapshots, thin provisioning, automated tiering and so forth. StorSimple can enable the use of Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage for enterprise workloads, delivering the benefits of cloud economics, and a simplified storage architecture by automatically tiering large amounts of data to the Azure cloud.



What is this temporary storage attached to my Microsoft Azure VM?

I follow the Microsoft Azure article How to Attach a Data Disk to a Windows Virtual Machine and I am told not to use D:\ as a drive label because it already exists. Why is this?

Virtual machines created in Windows Azure are created with temporary storage assigned automatically.

Depending on the OS this can appear as:

  • Windows Virtual Machine “D:\”
  • Linux Virtual Machine “/dev/sdb1/”


Essentially, the temporary storage is used for the paging file of the running VM. Using local storage on the physical host helps to increase IOPS and lower latency when compared to standard Azure storage.

It is obviously possible to store data on this drive BUT  do not use it to store data that you are not willing to lose! The reason for this is, the temporary storage is created on the physical machine that is hosting your virtual machine. Should your virtual machine move to a different host due to hardware hardware failure or local host updating, the OS disk will be recreated from your storage account. However the temporary storage will be reallocated on the new physical host and any data will not be migrated from the original host. Other causes for the temporary storage to be recreated include when you resize your VM or when your VM is shutdown and restarted.

The size of the temporary storage changes between virtual machines but an up to date size can be found on this Microsoft Azure article Virtual Machine and Cloud Service Sizes for Azure

This image is from the Microsoft Azure Support Team Blog, but shows this process.