Windows Azure – Setup Network, Storage & Virtual Machine


WindowsAzure_transparent1 I have finally found the time to start writing some posts about Windows Azure and with some of the major components becoming Generally Available over the past few weeks I thought it was about time I got around to it. The reason I have an interest in Windows Azure is mainly from a IaaS point of view. I deploy Active Directory Federation Services & Directory Sync for Office 365 quite often for enterprise companies and I have been waiting for this to go GA so that these companies can now use Windows Azure Infrastructure to handle Active Directory Federation Services & Directory Sync for their Office 365 Deployment. It will also help them make the first big steps to using cloud services going forward.

In this blog post I am going to cover:

  • Windows Azure Account Creation
  • Windows Azure Virtual Network Configuration
  • Windows Azure Storage Configuration
  • Windows Azure Virtual Machine Configuration

So, lets get started:

Windows Azure Account Creation:

  1. Browse to http://www.windowsazure.com to create the account
  2. Sign-up for a Free Trial Initially if you wish to get familiar with Windows Azure
  3. Follow the instructions until your logged into your Management Portal

Windows Azure Virtual Network Configuration:

  • Login to Windows Azure Management Portal
  • Select Networks from the left hand side navigation bar
  • Select ‘Create a Virtual Network’

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  • Type in your Virtual Network Details

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  • Type in your DNS and VPN Connectivity Information. In this particular scenario I am not going to be extending my existing Domain Services On Premise Environment into Windows Azure and I have no reason to connect to On Premise Infrastructure so I won’t be covering this but I will do at a later date. We will configure DNS at a later date.

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  • Virtual Network Address Space. I will configure a standard /24 bit Address Space for the purposes of this blog post and I won’t be creating any subnets but in a production environment this needs to be planned accordingly. For the purpose of this blog post we will use a /24 subnet.

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  • Go ahead and complete the wizard which will then create your Virtual Network.

Windows Azure Storage Configuration

We now need to go ahead and create a Storage Group, To do this you need to Select Storage from the left hand navigation pane and this will launch the wizard.

  • Type in a URL for your Storage Account, This must not contain any Spaces, Hyphens etc. as it needs to resolvable by DNS.
  • Select your Affinity Group, which should be in the list as you previously created this when you setup the Virtual Network.
  • Select Storage Account.

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Windows Azure Virtual Machine Configuration

Now we have a Virtual Network / Storage Account we can go ahead and create a Virtual Machine, To do this you need to complete the following tasks

  •  Select Virtual Machines from the Left hand Navigation Panel
  • Select ‘From Gallery’
  • Type in a Name for your Virtual Machine Instance, The Size of the VM, Username & Password

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  • Click Next, Select Standalone Virtual Machine and type in a DNS Name
  • Select your Storage Account, and your Affinity Group/Virtual Network and the Subnet you created earlier  and then click next.

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  • You now have the option to place this into an Availability Set but for the purpose of this demo we won’t be doing this so you can go ahead and click on the ‘Tick’ Button which will complete the wizard and start the provisioning process.

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Once the machine has been provisioned, you will be able to connect to it instantly with your username and password that you specified in the wizard.

Click on Virtual Machines within the Azure Management Portal, Select the Provisioned Machine which should have a status of ‘Running’ once all tasks have been completed, and then select the ‘Connect’ Button in the bottom navigation pane. This will basically download an RDP file to your computer which you can save if you wish and then you connect to your Virtual Machine.

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Once you have logged into your virtual machine you will notice that it is assigned one of the IP Addresses from your Subnet and your ready to install your server roles.

In the next few articles I will cover how to Create an Active Directory Domain Controller, Federation Services Server & Directory Sync Server and how to connect this to your Office 365 Tenancy.

If you require any further information then you can head over to the Windows Azure Website: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/net/fundamentals/intro-to-windows-azure/

For Reference, You can create your Virtual Machines using a script which is as follows:

Import-Module “C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SDKsWindows AzurePowerShellAzureAzure.psd1” Import-AzurePublishSettingsFile ‘*E:PowerShell MyAccount.publishsettings*’ Set-AzureSubscription -SubscriptionName *subscriptionname* -CurrentStorageAccount *storageaccountname* Select-AzureSubscription -SubscriptionName *subscriptionname*

#Deploy the Domain Controller in a virtual network #

#Specify my DC’s DNS IP (127.0.0.1) $myDNS = New-AzureDNS -Name ‘myDNS’ -IPAddress ‘127.0.0.1’ $vmname = ‘*ContosoDC1*’ # OS Image to Use $image = ‘MSFT__Win2K8R2SP1-Datacenter-201207.01-en.us-30GB.vhd’ $service = ‘*myazuredemodcsvc*’ $AG = ‘*YourAffinityGroup*’ $vnet = ‘*YourVirtualNetwork*’

#VM Configuration $MyDC = New-AzureVMConfig -name $vmname -InstanceSize ‘Small’ -ImageName $image |     Add-AzureProvisioningConfig -Windows -Password ‘My$Password’ |         Set-AzureSubnet -SubnetNames ‘**BackEnd**’

New-AzureVM -ServiceName $service -AffinityGroup $AG -VMs $MyDC -DnsSettings $myDNS -VNetName $vnet

In order for the script to work you will need to ensure that you download the Windows Azure PowerShell Module from Manage > Downloads

Then Open a PowerShell Console and type

 Import-Module ‘C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SDKsWindows AzurePowerShellAzureAzure.psd1’

You will need to download a copy of your Azure Settings which you can do by typing in the following command:

Get-AzurePublishSettingsFile

If you want to use an alternative Image then you can get a list of them by using the following command:

Get-AzureImage

All this information is available on the Windows Azure Website, For more information on how the script works and Windows Azure please visit the followingURL: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/manage/services/networking/active-directory-forest

Thanks,

James.

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