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Getting Started with Windows Azure

Getting Started with Windows Azure - Part 5: Creating and Configuring Virtual Machines in Windows Azure

Apr 25 2013 12:00AM by Karthikeyan Anbarasan   

Introduction:

In this article we are going to see how to create a new Virtual Machine and configure it to access it online for deploying our application in Windows Azure environment. In our previous article we have seen how to use the new Windows Azure Website to quickly create and deploy a package that is available as a ready to use website from the Gallery in Windows Azure Environment. Windows Azure Virtual Machines are the new IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service) platform provided by Microsoft to utilize the compute as an Infrastructure and deploy our application like the traditional way we used to do in the On Premises environment instead of the shared hosting environment.

With Windows Azure Virtual Machines, we can create an environment with our own customized options over Windows Server or Linux Servers. We have an option to select the images from the Gallery like we did for Windows Azure websites. With Windows Azure VMs we can customize to have the desired server as we have in our on premises without need to change any code base or anything related to the infrastructure which makes life easier to move the application to the cloud environment.

Steps:

Open Windows Azure Management portal with the user credentials that is registered for Windows Azure to Authenticate and show the home page as shown in the screen below:

home page

Now to start creating our Virtual machine. Click on New at the left bottom of the page and we can see the list of components that are available to create with Windows Azure as shown in the screen below:

list of components

In the list of components we can see an option called Virtual Machines which is in preview and yet to have the final version. Click on Virtual Machines option and we can see two options, which are Quick Create and From Gallery in the list, out of which we will select Gallery option so that we can use an Image, which is available, preconfigured and kept ready to use from the Gallery of Windows Azure Virtual Machines as shown in the screen below:

Gallery of Windows Azure Virtual Machines

Clicking on Windows Azure Virtual Machines Gallery will open an inline popup wizard, which is used to start selecting the type of the Virtual Machine with the configuration inputs that are required to initialize the base Virtual Machine image to start initializing the machine as shown in the screen below:

initializing

Now in the list of available Windows Azure Virtual Machine images select the appropriate image that is necessary to boot in for the requirement. From the list, select the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 platform images as shown in the screen below:

select

Next step is to provide a valid Virtual Machine name and provide a password that will be used to authenticate once the Virtual machine is provisioned and ready to use it. Also select the instance size based on the need from the list of available sizes from the drop down (Size). Make a note of the password and the details that you provide in-order to utilize it whenever it’s required by the Virtual Machine to login as shown in the screen below:

Virtual Machine Configuration

Next step is to select the appropriate DNS and the Storage location to configure the Virtual Machine, basically we can create our own Storage account or create a new Storage account based on the requirement. Here we will use the existing storage account and provide a valid Virtual machine DNS name as shown in the screen below:

Virtual Machine DNS Name

Now if we need to select any Availability set to maintain the Virtual Machine in a particular group then we can customize by selecting or creating an Availability Set else we can leave it empty, which will automatically expose to the base set as shown in the screen below:

Virtual Machine Options

Clicking on the next button will complete the wizard and start provisioning the Windows Server 2008 R2 as a Virtual Machine and we can see the status that will updated to the status bar frequently as shown in the screen below:

status update

Once the provisioning is complete we can see the status as the Virtual Machine is ready and we can access is from our local machine by Remote desktop the server as shown in the screen below:

virtual machine instances

So the Virtual machine is ready to use, to start with let us first connect to the Virtual machine. To connect click on the Virtual machine name and we can see a Connect option at the bottom of the Dashboard. Click on the connect and we can see a rdp file to download or open, download it to the local environment and double click as shown in the screen below:

connection to virtual machine

We can see a Remote desktop will be configured and the Virtual machine will be opened which we can use to deploy our application as shown in the screen below:

Configured Remote Desktop

Conclusion:

Therefore, in this article we have seen the new feature Windows Azure Virtual Machines on provisioning and running the machine to deploy our application in Windows Azure environment.


Karthikeyan Anbarasan
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