Azure is a cloud computing service that helps developers to build, test, deploy, and manage applications and services through a network of Microsoft-managed data centers. The Azure offers on-demand scalable virtual machines with wide ranges of operating system’s. Here, we discuss how to create a Windows Virtual Machine in Azure Portal.
1. Search for “windows server 2016 vm” in the marketplace and select the VM and click one create. In the newly popped window, It shows four options for different configuration. In the basic configuration settings, enter the username, password, resource group, and location accordingly and click ‘OK’.
2. In the second window, select the VM size from the list. You can see a lot of plans with different prices. Select a plan according to your requirement. You can check the available sizes and options for the Azure Virtual Machine from here.
3. In the next session which is the configuration window, there are a few options to configure.
3.1) High Availability:
It consists of two sub-options, Availability Zone and Availability Set. The Availability Zone is a high-availability feature which ensures data protection from data center failures. It has three zones which are independent of each other and have separate data center infrastructure like cooling, power, networking etc.
The Availability Set is a feature which provides continuity by grouping the Virtual Machines in isolated locations. In reality, we can say the Virtual Machines are placed in different racks. So, grouping a minimum two VMs under an Availability Set ensures at least one of the Virtual Machine is available during any maintenance or hardware failures. Each VM in Azure is assigned to a fault domain and an update domain. A fault domain is a rack of servers, that means VMs in Availability Set is deployed into different racks.
Update domain is a logical grouping within the fault domain. During an application upgrade, only one of the update domain will get stopped, updated and back online, followed by others.
So, here you can decide the values accordingly as per your needs by creating either an Availability Zone or an Availability Set.
There are two type of storage for Virtual Machines in Azure; Managed and Unmanaged disk. For Managed disk, the background operations are managed by Azure itself and we do not need to create a storage account. It is also better to select the Managed Disk for VM’s as we do not need to worry about the performance.
While for Unmanaged disk, you have to create a storage account first and then select the same when you create Disk. If there are many disks under the same storage account, then performance will be decreased, and countermeasures should be implemented.
Here, we are going with a Managed Disk to proceed to the Next step.
3.3) Virtual Network
You can either create a new Virtual Network or select an already created Virtual Network using Virtual Network Resource from the marketplace. To create a new Virtual Network, you need to click on ‘create new’ and start entering the details like Vnet name, Subnet name, address space, subnet range etc, on the window, and click the ‘OK’ button.
3.4) Public IP
To configure the public IP, you can select a dynamic or static IP according to your requirement and its price will be varied accordingly.
Click on the ‘create new’ button and enter the name for IP resource. Then select SKU (Stock-Keeping Unit). There are two SKUs, one is basic and other is standard. In basic SKU, allocation methods are static or dynamic to any resource, IP can be assigned to any Azure resource and are open by default.
In standard SKU, the allocation method is static only, closed to inbound connections by default and you have to whitelist the incoming connection as per your need. It can be assigned to network interfaces or public load balancer.
You can get more info from here. After selecting SKU, select static or dynamic IP and click ‘OK’.
3.5) Network Security Group
Network Security Group (NSG) is a firewall which limits the inbound and outbound connections. It can be assigned to subnet, Network interface or Individual VM. It is recommended to associate it with a subnet so that every VMs in that subnet will be under the NSG.
Click on create button and enter a name and add essential inbound rules. By default, RDP port 3389 will be there in the rules. Then click ‘OK’.
3.6) Extensions, Auto shutdown and Monitoring
Extensions are applications for post-deployment configurations such as antivirus installation, third party software etc. There are different extensions available and each one requires unique configurations.
Auto Shutdown: when enabled, we can schedule a particular time to power off the server to save the billing. This feature is not suitable for a 24/7 productive server.
Monitoring: You have two subfeatures, boot diagnostic and guest OS diagnostic. If enabled, you can monitor the boot process in case of any failure from the Azure VM control panel.
All the above features are optional only, not mandatory.
3.7) Diagnostics storage account.
You have to create a storage account for saving VM diagnostic data such as log files, streaming files etc. For this click on create and enter a name for the account, then select the account type. There are three types of accounts, Blob storage, General-purpose v1 (GPv1) and General-purpose v2 (GPv2).
General-purpose v2 (GPv2) has the latest features so select it. Next option is performance: Standard or Premium. If you want SSD support, then go with the premium. After that, select replication as per your needs. Here we are going with locally redundant storage. If you want to mitigate datacenter disaster risk, go with zone-redundant storage (ZRS) or geo-redundant storage (GRS).
4. Once all the mandatory options are configured, click ‘OK’ button.
5. In the next step, you will be able to see the summary of the configuration. Click on “Create” and then monitor the deployment progress from the notification icon.
6. Once the deployment is completed, The VM will be listed in the Virtual Machine’s section.
Now, you have successfully learned how to create a Virtual Machine in Azure.
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