Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Manuel Weiss, Richard Moulds, Martin Etmajer

Blog Feed Post

31 Days of Servers in the Cloud – Creating Azure Virtual Machines with App Controller (Part 13 of 31)

As you know, if you’ve been following our series, “31 Days of Servers in the Cloud”, Windows Azure can become an extension of your datacenter, and allow you to run your servers in the cloud.

“We get it, Kevin.”

And you’ve seen excellent articles in this series already, describing how to use the Windows Azure portal to create your virtual machines, how to upload your own VM hard disks into the cloud and use them to build machines, and more.  In today’s installment, I’m going to show you how easy it is to connect App Controller (a component of System Center 2012) to your Windows Azure account, and then how to use App Controller to create virtual machines in your Windows Azure cloud.

To do this, we need to have a few preliminaries in place:

  1. You have a Windows Azure subscription, and have requested the ability to preview the use of Windows Azure virtual machines.  (If you don’t have an account, you can start a free 90-day trial HERE.)
  2. You have System Center 2012 App Controller installed.  (Download the System Center 2012 Private Cloud evaluation software HERE.) 
    NOTE: You will need System Center 2012 SP1 App Controller, which at the time of this writing is available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers and volume license customers only; but will very soon be generally available.  I will update this blog post as soon as that happens.

So, with nothing more assumed then just those basics, let’s walk through the following steps:

  1. Connect App Controller to your Windows Azure subscription (READ THIS POST for the instructions on how to do this.)
  2. Create a Storage Account in Windows Azure
  3. Use App Controller to create a new Virtual Machine

Assuming you’ve done part 1, and have your connection to your Windows Azure subscription set up in App Controller, let’s move on.

 

Create a Storage Account in Windows Azure

There are many ways to create a new storage account:

  • I could use the Windows Azure administrative portal
  • I could use PowerShell for Windows Azure and the New-AzureStorageAccount cmdlet
  • Or I could do it using App Controller.

For our purposes, let’s use App Controller.

Open App Controller and login as your administrative account.  On the left, select Library.

image 

Click Create Storage Account.  Give your storage account a name, and choose a region or an affinity group.

image

Click OK.  You should see something that looks like this at the bottom-right of the browser window:

image

After a few minutes, a refresh of the Library page should show you that you now have your new storage account available. 

image

Now we need to create a container to hold our machine disk(s).  With your new storage account selected, Click Create Container.

image

Give your container a name and click OK.

In a very short while, you’ll see your new container. 

image

Now we’re ready to create virtual machines.

 

Use App Controller to create a new Virtual Machine

Open App Controller and login as your administrative account.

On the left, select Virtual Machines.  This is where we can see, manage, and create new virtual machine and service deployments.  (If you’re doing this for the first time, you won’t see items in your list here just yet.)

image

Click Deploy.  The New Deployment window opens up. 

image

Under Cloud, click Configure…, then select your Windows Azure connection as the cloud into which you’re going to deploy your new virtual machine. 
(Note: In my App Controller, I’ve also connected to a local VMM Server, which is why I see this other cloud in my list.)

image

Click OK.

Now you will see this:

image

Click Select an Item… under Deployment Type.  Now you’ll see a screen that looks something like this:

image

This is where you can choose to build a new machine or service based on existing, provided images, or images or disks you’ve uploaded into your own Windows Azure storage.  In this example, I’m going to select Images on the left, and choose to build a new Windows Server 2012 machine using the provided image.

Once I click OK, I now see this:

image

So the next thing I need to do is click Configure… under Cloud Service.  Virtual machines and services all run in the context of cloud services.  For our example, we’re going to assume that you haven’t created any machines or other items that requires a service, so your list is going to be empty.  You’ll use this screen to create and then select your new service.

image

Click Create…  and then fill in cloud service details (Name, Description) and the cloud service location (a unique public URL, plus a geographic region or affinity group).

imageClick OK, and then select your new service and click OK again.

image

Next we need to configure the deployment:

image

Click Configure… under Deployment.  Now you’ll see this:

image

Enter a deployment name, and optionally associate your machine with a virtual network if you have one.  (If you don’t have, or don’t select a network, you will be creating the machine and service to handle networking within the service automatically.)  Click OK.

Now it’s time to configure the virtual machine itself.

image

Click Configure… under Virtual Machine.

Now we set the general properties…

image

Note: an Availability Set is not required, but a new one can be created or an existing one selected from here.

Set the Disks…

image

When I click Browse…, I’m given the ability to choose the location for my disks in Windows Azure storage, as well as to add (or create) additional data disks for this machine.  For our example let’s use the storage account and container we created earlier.  I won’t be adding any data disks.

image

For the Network…

image

…I’ll just leave the default.  I could use this opportunity to define additional endpoints for connections to services on this machine, or I could do it later.

For Administrator password

image

…enter a password for the local administrator account.  (It also looks like you can use this to assign the computer to a domain if you happen to have a domain controller in the same network or service.  I haven’t yet tried, this, so I can’t comment further.)

Click OK. 

image

And now click Deploy.

You’ll see a notification towards the bottom right that should look something like this:

image

And after several minutes, looking in the Virtual Machines area of App Controller, you will see your new machine appear.  Its status will change to “provisioning”, and eventually “running”. 

image

Notice also that if you select your new machine, you also have the option now to connect to it via Remote Desktop!  (Cool!)  Log in as the Administrator with the administrator password you assigned, and you’re in!

image

Naturally, you can very easily use App Controller to delete your machines, disks, storage containers, and storage accounts, too.  (Remember to do that when you’re done.  Even if a machine isn’t running, you’re still being billed for it and for the storage being used!)

---

Useful stuff?  I hope so.  Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or… comments.  Smile 

And if you missed any of the other parts of our series, you can find the entire list HERE.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Remde

Kevin is an engaging and highly sought-after speaker and webcaster who has landed several times on Microsoft's top 10 webcast list, and has delivered many top-scoring TechNet events and webcasts. In his past outside of Microsoft, Kevin has held positions such as software engineer, information systems professional, and information systems manager. He loves sharing helpful new solutions and technologies with his IT professional peers.

A prolific blogger, Kevin shares his thoughts, ideas and tips on his “Full of I.T.” blog (http://aka.ms/FullOfIT). He also contributes to and moderates the TechNet Forum IT Manager discussion (http://aka.ms/ITManager), and presents live TechNet Events throughout the central U.S. (http://www.technetevents.com). When he's not busy learning or blogging about new technologies, Kevin enjoys digital photography and videography, and sings in a band. (Q: Midlife crisis? A: More cowbell!) He continues to challenge his TechNet Event audiences to sing Karaoke with him.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
Cloud Computing is evolving into a Big Three of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Cloud 360: Multi-Cloud Bootcamp, being held Nov 4–5, 2014, in conjunction with 15th Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, CA, delivers a real-world demonstration of how to deploy and configure a scalable and available web application on all three platforms. The Cloud 360 Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, an analyst with Gigaom Research, is the first bootcamp that introduces the core concepts of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) based on the workings of the Big Three platforms – Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine, and Azure VMs. Bootcamp attendees will get to see the big picture and also receive the knowledge needed to make the best cloud decisions for their business applications and entire enterprise IT organization.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is a natural complement to the cloud and related technologies such as Big Data, analytics, and mobility. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Joe Weinman will lay out four generic strategies – digital disciplines – to exploit emerging digital technologies for strategic advantage. Joe Weinman has held executive leadership positions at Bell Labs, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, and Telx, in areas such as corporate strategy, business development, product management, operations, and R&D.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DevOps.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's “DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo,” which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. DevOps.com is where the world meets DevOps. It is the largest collection of original content relating to DevOps on the web today Featuring up-to-the-minute news, feature stories, blogs, bylined articles and more, DevOps.com is where the thought leaders of the DevOps movement make their ideas known.
There are 182 billion emails sent every day, generating a lot of data about how recipients and ISPs respond. Many marketers take a more-is-better approach to stats, preferring to have the ability to slice and dice their email lists based numerous arbitrary stats. However, fundamentally what really matters is whether or not sending an email to a particular recipient will generate value. Data Scientists can design high-level insights such as engagement prediction models and content clusters that allow marketers to cut through the noise and design their campaigns around strong, predictive signals, rather than arbitrary statistics. SendGrid sends up to half a billion emails a day for customers such as Pinterest and GitHub. All this email adds up to more text than produced in the entire twitterverse. We track events like clicks, opens and deliveries to help improve deliverability for our customers – adding up to over 50 billion useful events every month. While SendGrid data covers only abo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the Web Host Industry Review has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 2000, The Web Host Industry Review has made a name for itself as the foremost authority of the Web hosting industry providing reliable, insightful and comprehensive news, reviews and resources to the hosting community. TheWHIR Blogs provides a community of expert industry perspectives. The Web Host Industry Review Magazine also offers a business-minded, issue-driven perspective of interest to executives and decision-makers. WHIR TV offers on demand web hosting video interviews and web hosting video features of the key persons and events of the web hosting industry. WHIR Events brings together like-minded hosting industry professionals and decision-makers in local communities. TheWHIR is an iNET Interactive property.
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic networking and advanced communications platforms, Verizon Enterprise Solutions helps open new opportunities around the world for innovation, investment and business transformation. Visit verizonenterprise.com to learn more.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMCnet has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) is the world's leading business to business and integrated marketing media company, servicing niche markets within the communications and technology industries.
"In my session I spoke about enterprise cloud analytics and how we can leverage analytics as a service," explained Ajay Budhraja, CTO at the Department of Justice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
“We are starting to see people move beyond the commodity cloud and enterprises need to start focusing on additional value added services in order to really drive their adoption," explained Jason Mondanaro, Director of Product Management at MetraTech, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
"We are automated capacity control software, which basically looks at all the supply and demand and running a virtual cloud environment and does a deep analysis of that and says where should things go," explained Andrew Hillier, Co-founder & CTO of CiRBA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at 15th Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, Vice President, Product Strategy of LogMeIn's Xively IoT Platform, will show you how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
All too many discussions about DevOps conclude that the solution is an all-purpose player: developer and operations guru, complete with pager for round-the-clock duty. For most organizations that is not the way forward. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Golden, Vice President of Strategy at ActiveState, will discuss how to achieve the agility and speed of end-to-end automation without requiring an organization stocked with Supermen and Superwomen.