The world of cloud computing has introduced a revolution. Businesses find cloud computing as a reliable alternative for efficient business operations. Therefore, many individuals and companies are moving their workloads to the cloud. And this is where virtual machines come in! One of the notable cloud service providers, Microsoft Azure, has been quite impressive in this sector. Therefore, this discussion would focus on the creation of the Azure virtual machine.
Before we move towards the discussion, a brief insight into azure VM would help in understanding the process.
Also Read: Role-based Microsoft Azure Certifications
Azure Virtual Machine and Its Importance
The Azure VM is a highly scalable computing resource by Azure. It provides better control over the computing environment. The Azure VM helps in flexible virtualization without the need for purchasing and maintenance of hardware. On the other hand, you have to take care of certain factors before you create a VM in Azure. For example, you will have to perform tasks such as configuration, patching, and installation of software for maintaining the VM.
The users of Azure virtual machines also have other reasons to choose them. You can find better ways for development and testing and connect easily to the extended data center of an organization. Most important of all, Azure is an essential tool for scalability of applications on the cloud. It also provides the necessary advantage of cost-effectiveness.
Factors to Consider before Creating a Virtual Machine in Azure
As we found out above, there are certain factors to consider before you create an Azure virtual machine. The design considerations are quite important and help in the effective building of application infrastructure in Azure. The considerations can be outlined as follows.
- Names of the application resources on an Azure virtual machine.
- Location for storage of resources.
- Size of the virtual machine.
- Maximum number of virtual machines that can be created.
- The operating system run by the VM.
- Configuration of the VM after starting.
- Related resources required for the VM.
Steps to Create Azure Virtual Machine
Now, you have a basic impression of the considerations before the creation of VM in Azure. So, let us proceed towards the basic steps for deploying a virtual machine in Azure.
Step 1: Starting the Process of Setting up Azure VM
- The first thing you need to do is log into the Azure management portal through www.portal.azure.com. You should have an active Azure subscription to use the portal. Do not worry if you do not have a subscription! You can sign up for a free trial account.
- After logging in, you have to click on “New” in the “Navigation” section. Then you need to click on “Marketplace” followed by “Compute”.
Step 2: Select the Server Image for VM
Now, you will find the “Virtual Machines Marketplace” tab. This is the place where you find various VM configurations and pre-configured images. The images for the Azure virtual machine in this tab have official images from Microsoft, Microsoft partners, and ISVs. The images are suitable for Windows-based deployments. Also, you can find images from select partners such as Canonical or Red Hat.
- Select one of the images from the various options. Let us assume we create an Azure virtual machine with Windows Server 2016 image. After selecting the image, you can preview the information related to Windows Server 2016 image.
- Now, you have to select the type of deployment model needed for the Windows Server 2016 image. The recommended deployment model is the “Resource Manager.” So, choose the option of “Resource Manager” in the “Select a deployment model” data field.
- Once you have selected the “Resource Manager” option, you can click on “Create.” This would start the process of creating the Azure virtual machine.
Now the basic steps for deploying a virtual machine in Azure have been covered. The next section of steps would deal with the configuration of basic settings for the Azure VM.
Step 3: Create a Virtual Machine
After completing the steps mentioned above, you would land upon the “Create Virtual Machine” tab. Here, you would find four distinct tabs on the left side of the screen. They are “Basics,” “Size,” “Settings,” and “Summary.” Let us proceed with the description of each field and the best practices for their configuration.
The first configuration in the “Create Virtual Machine” tab is “Basics.” You have to provide important details about the azure virtual machine you want to create. The details can be presented as follows:
- The name of the virtual machine.
- The virtual machine disk type.
- User name of the administrator.
- Password for the administrator user.
- The Azure subscription that you want to use.
- Resource group for availing a logical container for Azure resources. You can find two options in this field, such as “Create new” and “Use existing.” This field is essential for effective management of resources on your Azure VM.
- The final entry in the configuration of basic settings is the location of the Azure region. This is where the virtual machine would be placed.
After filling up all the fields mentioned above, you can click on “OK.” This would take you to the next tab in “Create Virtual Machine,” i.e., “Size.”
The “Size” tab would help you configure the Azure virtual machine size. You would find the different VM size options according to your basic configurations. It is important to keep in mind that you cannot find all VM sizes in all Azure regions. When a particular VM size is not available in a region, the size option would be disabled.
In this section, you can find the description of several vCPU for the VM and minimum memory. Most important of all, you can also find the estimated monthly costs for the VM size. Once you have reviewed all the options and selected the right one, click on “Select.”
Once the VM size is selected, you can proceed to the next tab of “Settings.” In this tab, you will get the chance to configure settings for storage, availability, monitoring, and networking. So, let us find out how to configure these individual settings in the Azure management portal.
- Availability Set
The concern of availability is important when you create VM in azure. In the “Settings” tab, you will find an option for choosing “Availability Set.” You can select the availability set on an optional basis. This can help you identify the availability set for placing the VM. However, keep in mind that this configuration cannot be changed after creation of the VM.
The next element in “Settings” for your Azure virtual machine is “Storage.” In this section, you have to choose the storage medium for the OS disk in the new virtual machine. You can find two options here. One is “Managed Disks,” and the other is “Storage Account.” “Managed Disks” feature helps in storage account management that simplified disk management on IaaS virtual machines.
If you do not choose “Managed Disks,” then you have the option for selecting “Storage Account.” With the “Storage Account” option, you can choose the Azure storage account for placing the OS disk. You can choose a new storage account or select an existing one according to your preferences.
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The “Network” settings for azure virtual machine come next. Here you have to choose the “Virtual Network” type, “Subnet,” “Public IP Address,” and “Network Security Group.” In the “Virtual Network” part, you can choose an existing VNET or create a new one. Then, select the subnet in which you want to place the virtual machine. The subnet refers to the range of IP addresses from the VNET.
Now, you have to choose the “Public IP Address.” Here you can create a new public IP address or else choose “None” for obtaining a publicly accessible IP address for the virtual machine. You also have to select the “Networking Security Group” option. In this option, you will configure inbound and outbound firewall rules for controlling traffic. The default Network Security Group for Windows is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and SSH in Linux.
The penultimate step in configuring your azure virtual machine relates to “Monitoring” option in the “Settings” tab. You can find three options in monitoring configurations. They are “Boot Diagnostics,” “Guest OS Diagnostics,” and “Diagnostics Storage Account.” In the “Boot Diagnostics” option, you can view the console output and take screenshots for the Azure VM.
The “Guest OS Diagnostics” option helps in enabling or disabling Guest OS Diagnostic metrics for VM. This feature helps in the creation of alerts and stay updated on the applications. The final aspect of the monitoring tab is “Diagnostics Storage Account.” Here, you can choose an existing Azure storage account or create a new one where the diagnostic metrics will be written.
After you are done with the configuration of “Settings,” you can click “OK” to proceed.
Step 4: Summary and Final Deployment
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On a concluding note, the process for creating an Azure virtual machine is quite easy. The discussion presented above reflected on various details of setting up an Azure VM. The significance of Azure VM and the essential considerations for creating one are major highlights of this discussion. They helped in clarifying the basics surrounding the creation of an Azure VM.
In the article, we covered a step-wise illustration of different phases of establishing a virtual machine on Azure. This topic “Create Azure Virtual Machine” will also help you in your Azure certification preparation. We’ll also recommend you to check our Microsoft Azure certification training courses to prepare for an Azure certification and get ahead to have a successful Azure career.
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