Expert Tips on VM Role Deployment with Windows Azure SDK 1.6

All of these tips are applicable to Windows Azure SDK 1.4, 1.5 and newly released 1.6.

After working on VM Role deployment for so many times, I decided to writeup this blog entry as a note before starting VM Role deployment:


1.      Be sure that you have SDK 1.4 in your machine. If you have integration components from SDK 1.3 and Azure application with VM Role from SDK 1.4, you might see some RDP access issue so if you can change full tool set to SDK 1.4.

2.      RDP access will not work if you mix SDK 1.3, SDK 1.4, SDK 1.5 and SDK 1.6 components. Please keep one single SDK Integration components in your VM to avoid problems.

VHD Creation and OS Installation:

1.      Create VM using Hyper-V without recovery partition so you have only one partition in your VM

2.      Install Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 OS or Windows Sever 2008 SP1 in VM

3.      Install IIS, .net3.5 SP1

4.      Verify IIS is working

5.      Please do not install Windows Azure SDK in VM (It is a big NO)

a.      Windows Azure integration components are installed at:

C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Integration Components\v1.4

6.      Install Integration Components in VM using wavmroleic.iso from SDK 1.4

7.      Run SYSPREP, Be sure that VM does suspend by itself, if it not then you might hit some error. Restart from step 1.


Other Components (3rd party softwares) Installation:

1.      Based on my work, I found that it is best to install all other software on VM in a DIFF VHD and deploy after base VM is working fine

2.      This way you will have smaller VM to deploy and you have much finer control on your VM Role Deployment

3.      You have ability to install 3rd party software later using DIFF VHD and change as you wish multiple time. Each time you will have comparatively smaller VHD to deploy.

Don't do it:

1.      Don't change Firewall settings port in VM keep it default

2.      Don't change time zone and be sure to keep it UTC which is default

3.      Don't change Remote Access and Remote Forwarder Services settings as they are already set properly during Integration components installation.

4.      Please don't install Windows Azure SDK in VM.

Before uploading VHD:

-          Be sure that there is no error or issues in any one of the above steps. If there was any error, please look for particular step and collect logs to trouble shoot the problem.

Uploading the VHD

1.      Use CSUPLOAD to upload the VM and best if you don't use -skipverify option with CSUPLOAD


Adding VM Role to Windows Azure Application:

1.      RDP setting in VM Role - Create a user name besides "Administrator" and setup password expiration date for some time in future.

Adding VM Role to Windows Azure Application:

1.     Try RDP from Management Portal and if failed, reboot the VM and try again. Follow this step 2-3 times if RDP is not working.


Helpful references:


Comments (3)

  1. kunal says:

    great tips. thanks avkash. Really appreciate.

  2. Thanks Kunal!! Appreciate your comment. I am glad you liked the post.

  3. amutter says:

    We are (were) planning to bring our dev machines as a VM to the cloud.

    Unfortunately we need the Windows Azure SDK for this which is a Big No.

    Do you have some info why this is a big no?

    We are now encountering SEHExceptions in the RemoteAccesService

    We are using:

    -Windows Azure SDK for .NET – November 2011

    -.NET Framework 3.5.1

    -VST2010 Ultimate

    Thanx Adriaan

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