In this easy Ask the Admin, I’ll show you how to get the new technical preview of Windows Server up and running in the cloud.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days, you will have no doubt heard that Microsoft released Windows 10 Technical Preview on Tuesday, and the Windows Server Technical Preview also slipped out the door more or less simultaneously, albeit with much less fanfare. If you’re interested in downloading the bits to install it in your own lab, you can download the bits on TechNet.
If you don’t have the resources or time to install the technical preview, a quick and easy way to experiment with the new product is to fire up an Azure virtual machine and install the server technical preview, which is now available in the image gallery. If you don’t already have a subscription, you can sign up with your Windows Live ID for a free one month trial on the Azure website.
Additionally, if you’d like to get a better taste of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, then you can install the Windows Server Technical Preview on Azure and add the Desktop Experience feature to get the client features, which are supported in Windows Server. For more information on installing the Desktop Experience feature in Windows Server, see “Installing the Desktop Experience on Windows Server 2012” on the Petri IT Knowledgebase.
The rest of this article assumes you have an active Azure subscription or trial.
Start by logging in to Azure and creating a new virtual machine from the image gallery.
It might take a couple of attempts to find a name that’s available. Hint: Don’t include Windows in the cloud service name. A green tick will appear on the right of the box once you’ve typed a name that can be used.
You should now see the new virtual machine status set to Starting (Provisioning) in the list of virtual machines in the main portal window. The provisioning process will take a few minutes.
Now we can make a connection to the virtual machine using Remote Desktop.
Once you’ve finished with the virtual machine, don’t forget to stop it in the Azure management portal. The status should be set to Stopped (De-allocated) to ensure that it’s not using compute resources and incurring a fee on your account.