|By Keith Mayer||
|January 12, 2013 05:00 PM EST||
The Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering supports running Windows virtual machines and Linux virtual machines in the Cloud. In this article, I provide step-by-step guidance for running a new Linux virtual machine in the cloud using our Windows Azure platform.
That’s right, Linux!
Windows Azure runs Linux VMs as a first-class citizen on our cloud platform, with support in the Preview offering for four common Linux distributions:
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP2
- OpenSUSE 12.1
- CentOS 6.3
- Ubuntu 12..04.1 and 12.10
The best news is … you can try this out for FREE by signing up for a FREE Windows Azure 90-day Trial of our Virtual Machine Preview.
- Do It: Sign up for your FREE Windows Azure 90-Day Trial Account so that you can follow along with the steps in this article.
NOTE: When activating your FREE Trial for Windows Azure, you will be prompted for credit card information. This information is used only to validate your identity and your credit card will not be charged, unless you explicitly convert your FREE Trial account to a paid subscription at a later point in time.
What about custom Linux images?
If the standard Linux platform images don’t meet your exact needs, there’s several options for leveraging or customizing other images for Windows Azure VMs …
- We’ve recently announced our own Open Source VM Depot for Linux images for Windows Azure VMs.
- SUSE Studio provides integrated Windows Azure support for deploying customized SLES and OpenSUSE images directly to Windows Azure. You’ll need to enable support for Windows Azure deployment under your SUSE Studio Account Settings by activating “Experimental Features” after registering on the SUSE Studio site.
- We also provide step-by-step guidance for preparing your own Linux images for use with Windows Azure if you need further customization flexibility.
Step-by-Step: Build a Linux Apache Web Server VM in the Windows Azure Cloud
In this scenario, we’ll work through the process of provisioning a new Linux Apache web server running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 in a virtual machine on the Windows Azure cloud platform.
- To prepare your Windows Azure environment, make sure you’ve first completed all steps in our Getting Started article.
- After you’ve provisioned a new Linux virtual machine, we’ll be configuring it via a remote Secure Shell (SSH) console session. If you don’t already have an SSH client installed on your PC, I highly recommend PuTTY. Download PuTTY and install it before proceeding.
Open Internet Explorer and browse to https://manage.windowsazure.com/ to enter the Windows Azure portal. Then, log in with your credentials.
In the menu located at the bottom, select New | Compute | Virtual Machine | From Gallery to start creating a new virtual machine.
On the Virtual Machine Configuration page, specify a unique Virtual Machine Name and Administrative Password to be provisioned for the new VM.
Virtual Machine Configuration
Note: It is suggested to use secure passwords for administrative users and service accounts, as Windows Azure virtual machines could be accessible from the Internet knowing just their public DNS host names. You can also read this document on the Microsoft Security website that will help you select a secure password: http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/passwords-create.aspx.
Record the username and password information that you’ve entered above for use when remotely connecting to this new virtual machine later in this step-by-step guide.
Click the button to continue.
On the Virtual Machine Mode page, specify a unique public DNS host name that you’ll use to initially access this new VM remotely. For the Storage Account and Region/Affinity Group/Virtual Network fields, select the storage account and affinity group that you previously created in the Getting Started article.
Click the button to continue.
Virtual Machine Mode
Record the public DNS hostname for testing this new virtual machine after the configuration steps are complete.
You will be returned to the Virtual Machines page and your new virtual machine will be listed with a status of Starting (Provisioning) while it is being initially provisioned on the Windows Azure cloud platform.
Provisioning a New Virtual Machine
As the new virtual machine is being provisioned, you will see the Status column on the Virtual Machines page of the Windows Azure Management Portal cycle through several values including Stopped, Stopped (Provisioning), and Running (Provisioning). When provisioning for this new Virtual Machine is completed, the Status column will display a value of Running and you may continue with the next step in this guide.
After the new virtual machine has finished provisioning, click on the Name of the new Virtual Machine displayed on the Virtual Machines page of the Windows Azure Management Portal. This will navigate to a Dashboard page for this new virtual machine.
Virtual Machine Dashboard
On the Virtual Machine Dashboard page, make note of the SSH Details. You’ll use this information to connect to the new virtual machine remotely via an SSH client to configure the Apache web server daemon.
On the Virtual Machine Dashboard page, click on the Endpoints link located in the top navigation area of this page. This will navigate to the Endpoints page for this virtual machine, listing all firewall endpoint traffic that is currently permitted inbound to this virtual machine.
Virtual Machine Endpoints
Note that SSH traffic has automatically been permitted inbound to this new Linux virtual machine, but no other network traffic is permitted by default. In the next two steps, we’ll add a new endpoint to permit inbound web http traffic to our virtual machine.
On the Virtual Machine Endpoints page, click the +Add Endpoint button located on the bottom toolbar of this page. This will launch the Add Endpoint wizard.
Add Endpoint Wizard
Click the button to continue.
On the Specify the details of the endpoint wizard page, enter a name ( web-http ), a public port ( 80 ) and a private port ( 80 ) in the respective fields.
Specify the Details of the Endpoint
Click the button to provision the new endpoint.
On your PC, launch an SSH client, such as PuTTY, and establish a new remote SSH session to your virtual machine using the SSH details recorded in Step 9 above in the Host Name and Port fields of the SSH connection properties.
Establish a new Remote SSH Session with PuTTY
Click the Open button to establish a remote SSH session to your virtual machine.
Because this is the first time connecting to this virtual machine, you may be presented with a Security Alert dialog box prompting you to accept the host key for securing this SSH session.
PuTTY Security Alert during First-Time SSH Connection
Click the Yes button to accept this host key into your SSH client cache and continue with establishing the connection.
In the SSH session window, enter the following command to elevate your session for performing root-level administrative commands:
sudo su -
When prompted, confirm your identity by re-entering the same Password used to authenticate in Step 17 above.
In the SSH session window, install the packages needed for running the YaST2 setup and configuration tool by entering each of the following commands, pressing ENTER after each line:
zypper install yast2
zypper install yast2-ncurses
zypper install yast2-ncurses-pkg
zypper install yast2-qt
zypper install yast2-packager
zypper install yast2-runlevel
zypper install yast2-network
zypper install yast2-http-server
In the SSH session window, launch the YaST2 setup and configuration tool by entering the following command:
This will launch the YaST2 Control Center menu-based setup and configuration tool.
YaST2 Control Center
In the YaST2 Control Center, press ENTER on the Software menu choice and then select Software Management by pressing ENTER again. This will launch the YaST2 Software Management tool shown below.
YaST2 Software Management
In the YaST2 Software Management tool, press TAB to switch your cursor focus to the Patterns List and scroll down using your arrow keys until Web and LAMP Server is highlighted.
Selecting the Web and Lamp Server Pattern Filter
In the YaST2 Software Management tool, press ALT+T to open the Actions menu, then press ALT+A to select All Listed Packages, then press ALT+I to select the option to Install All. After this is completed, a + ( plus sign ) should appear next to each of the 9 selected packages.
Selecting to Install All Packages in the Web and Lamp Server Pattern Filter
In the YaST2 Software Management tool, press ALT+A to start the installation. Press ENTER when prompted for confirmation.
Performing the Web and Lamp Server Package Installation
Once the installation is complete, the YaST2 Control Center main menu will appear again.
In the YaST2 Control Center main menu, use arrow keys to select Network Services –> HTTP Server to configure the newly installed Web server.
Selecting the HTTP Server Wizard Configuration Tool
Press ENTER on the HTTP Server menu selection.
In the HTTP Server Wizard, press F10 on each screen of the wizard to accept default configuration values and finish the wizard.
HTTP Server Configuration Wizard
Once the configuration process is complete, the YaST2 Control Center main menu will appear again.
In the YaST2 Control Center main menu, use arrow keys to select System –> System Services (Runlevel) to start the Web server.
Selecting System Services (Runlevel) to Start Web Server
Press ENTER on the System Services (Runlevel) menu selection.
In the YaST2 System Services (Runlevel) tool, after the Apache Web Daemon is started, press ENTER and then ALT+O to accept the new Runlevel changes.
Accepting the Runlevel Changes
Press ENTER to confirm that changes will be saved.
We’re done! Let’s test it!
After the above steps are completed, the Apache Web Daemon will be running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 in a virtual machine on the Windows Azure cloud platform.
- Test the new virtual machine by opening a new browser window and navigating to:
Use the public DNS hostname value recorded in Step 7 above.
Testing the Linux HTTP Web Server VM
What’s Next? Keep Building!
Learn more about Windows Azure Virtual Machines with this FREE online training:
In addition to running Linux virtual machines on the Windows Azure cloud platform, did you know that Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 products support running Linux virtual machines in your on-premise data center?
- Do It: Learn more about these products at:
Which Linux workloads are you planning to virtualize?
Feel free to leave your comments below with your thoughts, questions and ideas for virtualizing Linux workloads on the Windows Azure cloud platform, Windows Server 2012 and our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012.
|Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012|
|Don’t Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Machines|
|Want to Get Certified? Join our Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Study Group|
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
Nov. 28, 2015 11:15 AM EST Reads: 405
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 497
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 28, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 305
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Nov. 28, 2015 10:15 AM EST Reads: 228
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 181
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Nov. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 388
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
Nov. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 171
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Nov. 28, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 431
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Nov. 28, 2015 07:45 AM EST Reads: 206
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Nov. 28, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 240
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 28, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 358
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Nov. 28, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 536
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
Nov. 28, 2015 03:30 AM EST Reads: 472
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Nov. 28, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 447
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Nov. 28, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 488
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Nov. 28, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 579
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Nov. 28, 2015 01:45 AM EST Reads: 412
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
Nov. 28, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 427
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 28, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 425
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Nov. 27, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 417