Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Greg Schulz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater, Liz McMillan

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.

Latest Stories from Big Data Journal
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With “smart” appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user’s habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed wi...
Goodness there is a lot of talk about cloud computing. This ‘talk and chatter’ is part of the problem, i.e., we look at it, we prod it and we might even test it out – but do we get down to practical implementation, deployment and (if you happen to be a fan of the term) actual cloud ‘rollout’ today? Cloud offers the promise of a new era they say – and a new style of IT at that. But this again is the problem and we know that cloud can only deliver on the promises it makes if it is part of a well...
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, B...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Connected Data, the creator of Transporter, the world’s first peer-to-peer private cloud storage device, will exhibit at 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. Connected Data is the creator of Transporter, the world’s first peer-to-peer private cloud storage device. Connected Data is focused on providing elegantly designed solutions for consumers, professi...
Cisco on Wedesday announced its intent to acquire privately held Metacloud. Based in Pasadena, Calif., Metacloud deploys and operates private clouds for global organizations with a unique OpenStack-as-a-Service model that delivers and remotely operates production-ready private clouds in a customer's data center. Metacloud's OpenStack-based cloud platform will accelerate Cisco's strategy to build the world's largest global Intercloud, a network of clouds, together with key partners to address cu...
I write and study often on the subject of digital transformation - the digital transformation of industries, markets, products, business models, etc. In brief, digital transformation is about the impact that collected and analyzed data can have when used to enhance business processes and workflows. If Amazon knows your preferences for particular books and films based upon captured data, then they can apply analytics to predict related books and films that you may like. This improves sales. T...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the “Internet of Things” (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, will discuss the real...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is n...
When one expects instantaneous response from video generated on the internet, lots of invisible problems have to be overcome. In his session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Tom Paquin, EVP and Chief Technology Officer at OnLive, to discuss how to overcome these problems. A Silicon Valley veteran, Tom Paquin provides vision, expertise and leadership to the technology research and development effort at OnLive as EVP and Chief Technology Officer. With more than 20 years of management experience at lead...