These steps to create an Azure VM are sequential and easy to follow; most importantly they provide a considered opinion when deciding what to enter for various VM options presented.

 

  1. Log into your Azure Management portal (Portal.Azure.com) and click on Virtual Machines.
  2. Check you have a valid Subscription e.g. in my case below it is ‘Free Trial’

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  1. Click on New–>Virtual Machines and then a desired template e.g. Windows server 2012 R2 Datacenter

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  1. Pick a deployment model – I recommend pick ‘Resource Manager’ to be able to nicely package an environment for deployment (Gateways, VMs, IP addresses, Virtual networks etc.)

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  1. Click ‘Create’
  1. Enter the Basic VM information; some things are worth pointing out:
    • Name: suggest Name should be something which represents the chosen OS or the environment e.g. Win2012R2DCTest
    • Your Username replaces the built in Administrator
    • Selecting a new Resource Group or use an existing one and click OK

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  1. Choose the size (CPU, RAM, SSD etc.) for your VM. If you selected SSD as your disk type, then some of the VM ‘sizes’ may not be available for selection.

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  1. Enter your VM settings; some of the settings are worth pointing out:
    1. Storage account: Suggest change the default to something you would remember as being logical e.g. Environment_AccountType. This is the account used to access storage disks.Picture6
    2. Virtual network: The Virtual networks are per subscription and then per location e.g. Australia Southeast.
        • Suggest name the network to represent a purpose e.g. environment, DevOps pipeline etc.
        • Leave the ‘Address Space’ and the ‘Subnet Address Range’ as-is; they have been calculated by Azure for you. (The subnet prefix could be changed for e.g. to 26 giving the ‘subnet address range’ a total of 64 addresses out of a total of 256)

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  1. Public IP address: Several choices here:
    • Could select an existing IP but make sure some other resource (VM/Gateway etc.) Is not using it.
    • Create a new one – suggest that it is named appropriately e.g. Environment-OS/VMName-IP
    • Choose to not have a public IP address i.e. only accessible by internal virtual network resources

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  1. Network security group (NSG): This is very well explained by the information tip “A network security group is a set of firewall rules that control traffic to and from your virtual machine”. Essentially, these are a set of inbound and outbound rules – an example is RDP port TCP:3389. You are presented with several possible options:
    • Could select an existing NSG but consider that any changes made to this will affect all VMs bound to that NSG.
    • Create a new one – suggest that it is named appropriately e.g. Environment-OS/VMName-NSG
    • Choose to not have a NSG i.e. very tightly controlled and only accessible in a limited way – perfectly fine to do so!
  1. High availability: Azure recommends having 2 or more VMs in an availability set so that during maintenance activities – the VM is available. Azure does it cleverly by splitting copies of your VM across:
    • Fault domains: VMs in this construct are on the same physical infrastructure – switches/Power etc.
    • Update domains: VMs in this construct are on the same restart cycle i.e. all VMs on an Update domain are restarted at the same time

    Suggest that at least 2 of each domain are configured.

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  1. Click OK and your optional VM settings are now configured and you are taken to a Summary

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  1. Once validation is successful, click on OK to commence creation/deployment of VM.
  1. Congratulations – all artefacts are now ready in your Test Resource group.You can now login into your VM with your username and password and start playing!

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