Thursday, April 7, 2016

Creating a stand alone Azure VM via new portal

One of the first things that many people want to do with Azure is set up a Virtual Machine (VM). Here is the process to follow to do that from the new Azure portal using the new Resource Manager configuration.

Please note that this post is only gong to cover creating a single, stand alone virtual machine (VM). if you want to create a group of virtual machines that are on the same network in Azure look out for future posts on that topic.

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To commence this process login to the Azure management portal via https://manage.windowsazure.com.

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This will log you into the ‘classic portal’ as shown above. Here you can create VMs but they won’t be using the newer Azure Resource Manager (ARM), this can only be done via the new Azure portal. To navigate to the new Azure portal select Check out the new portal at the top of the page as shown.

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You can also get to the new portal by selecting the account name in the top right and then the option Switch to the new Azure Portal from the menu that appears.

Finally, you can also navigate directly to the portal using the address - https://portal.azure.com

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The new Azure portal should look something like the above with a number of menu options on the left.

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From these menu options on the left select New. A ‘blade’ will then appear to the right. From this blade select Virtual Machines. A further blade will appear listing all the VM images you can select from. What appears here will depend on your Azure subscription.

In this case the Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter VM will be selected.

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A further blade will open with the details about the select VM. At the bottom of this you will see an option for the deployment method. Ensure this is set to Resource Manager and then press Create to continue.

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You’ll now be stepped through entering the remaining details for the configuration of this VM.

The first step will require you to enter a machine Name, login User name, user Password, Azure subscription, Resource Group and Location for the VM.

The VM name, user login and password have to conform to certain standards. The Azure subscription doesn’t normally require altering. In this case, enter a name for a new Azure Resource Group (in this case rg1). Finally, the location option is the datacenter where you VM will be homed.

When complete press the OK button to continue.

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You’ll then be taken to Step 2 where you’ll be prompted to select a VM type.

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By default, you’ll only see VMs that Azure recommends. To see all the options available to you, select the View all link in the top right as shown above.

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In this the A1 machine has been selected.

Press the Select button to continue.

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In Step 3 you can view and edit of the other pre-configured options required for the VM. In this case no changes will be made so select the OK button to proceed.

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Don’ forget to scroll down on the right to see all the options available here.

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Step 4 will show you a review of all the options you have selected for this VM.

Select OK o continue.

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You should now see a message, like that shown above, that tells you that the deployment has commenced.

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You can always see you messages by select the Alerts icon along the top of the window as shown.

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Select the blue refresh icon to the left of the text as shown.

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This will give you more information about the deployment progress.

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If you scroll down to the bottom of the list you will see the deployments actions that have been undertaken and their success as shown above.

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If you select the Virtual Machines option from the menu on the left you should see the new VM listed. You should also see that it’s status is Creating.

Select this new VM.

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A new blade should open giving you more information about the VM as shown above. You can select any of Settings here to get more information.

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After a short period of time, you should receive a console message telling you that deployment is complete.

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To connect to this new running VM via RDP simply select the Connect icon at the top of the blade as shown.

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You will then be prompted to download and run an RDP connection stub. When opened you’ll need to enter the user name and password you created earlier for that VM. Once you have done that correctly you should be connected to the VM as shown above.

Now you can interact with the VM as you would any other machine you have remoted to.

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If you return to the Azure portal and select the Resource groups option from the menu on the left, you should see the new Resource Group you created as part of the VM configuration (here rg1).

Select the new Resource Group you created during the VM set up process.

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A blade will open showing all the resources that are of this group. This is the big difference between ‘classic’ VMs and the new Resource Manager VMs. All the items (such as storage, networks, etc) are place in a container called a Resource Group. This makes management much easier.

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If, for example, you select the network from the list of resources, a further blade will open, as shown above, giving your insight into that resource.

Resource Manager is now the preferred method of working with Azure and provides many benefits over the previous ‘classic’ model.

More about Azure Resource Manager (ARM) will be covered in upcoming posts.

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If you look at the option Virtual machines (classic) and

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and Virtual Machines in the ‘classic’ portal you won’t see your new VM. That is because Azure Resource Manager VMs only appear in the new portal and are using a newer deployment method (i.e. not ‘classic’).

Thus, you now need to use the new Azure portal to work with this VM. You can of course also use PowerShell but that will be covered in another post.

The above process has given you a walk through of creating a stand alone Azure VM using the Resource Manager deployment option. Upcoming posts will detail how to create a network and place multiple VMs inside it.