In today’s Ask the Admin, I’ll show you how to deploy a new Azure VM running Windows Server 2012 R2 using Resource Manager in the preview portal.
If you have any experience deploying VMs in Microsoft Azure, you’ll probably have come across the concept of cloud services and resource groups (RGs). Azure Service Manager uses cloud services as hosting containers, but Azure Resource Manager (ARM) uses RGs instead, which can span multiple Azure regions and contain related VMs, websites, IP addresses, databases, virtual network interfaces (NICs) etc.
The key advantage of ARM over the classic Azure Service Manager model is that with a little help from JSON-based templates, see What is JSON and How Is It Used? on the Petri IT Knowledgebase for more information on JSON, applications can be deployed in the cloud in a single click across multiple regions.
As you’ll see in this demonstration, unlike the Azure Service Manager, in one operation ARM allows you to deploy a working cloud app along with all the necessary components, such as virtual networks, VMs, and public IP addresses. While the deployment in this article is relatively simple and doesn’t require you to download or create an ARM template, we’ll be looking at working with templates in more detail on Petri in the future, and the possibilities for automating the deployment of complex applications in the cloud are quite exciting.
Before you get started, you’ll need an Azure subscription, and if you don’t have one already, sign up here for a free trial. Once you’ve got an account set up, follow the instructions below:
Now we need to either select an existing resource group in which to place the new VM, or create a new RG. For the purposes of the demo, let’s create a new RG.
The portal will automatically move to the next section, which is Size, and present you with some recommended configuration options for Windows Server 2012 R2. In this demo, I’m going to ignore the recommendations to keep costs down and select a smaller VM size.
Azure’s Basic series of VM sizes are intended for development and testing purposes, and don’t offer the same performance and features as the Standard series.
A tile will be added to the preview portal dashboard showing the status of the new deployment. All we need to do now is sit back and wait while our new resources are deployed. Once the VM is ready, two new panes will open automatically showing technical details of the new VM, such as the public IP address and computer name, and another that allows you to access the VM’s settings.
To connect to the VM using Remote Desktop, all you need to do is click Connect on the virtual machine panel and an RDP file will be downloaded. If you want to deploy a second server to the same RG, Azure will use the existing virtual network and storage account, but you can always choose to create additional virtual networks and storage accounts if required.
To remove the VM and all the associated resources from Azure, the quickest way is to delete the RG.
Deleting all the resources can take some time, but if you want to see the progress of the operation, click the notification (bell) icon in the top right of the preview portal, and the operation will appear in the dropdown menu. You can click on the delete operation to get more detailed information, or wait until a small green checkmark appears to the left of the operation, indicating that it’s completed.