|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|
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Sep. 30, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,720
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Sep. 30, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,153
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Sep. 30, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 709
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Sep. 30, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,569
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
Sep. 30, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 576
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Sep. 30, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 5,164
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Sep. 30, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,287
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...
Sep. 30, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 310
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Sep. 30, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,235
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Sep. 30, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 4,492
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Sep. 30, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,703
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Sep. 30, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,262
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Sep. 30, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,271
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
Sep. 30, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 497
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Sep. 30, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,233
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
Sep. 30, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,105
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of (at least) three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the back-end service, and the mobile application for the end user’s controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target –...
Sep. 30, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,576
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Sep. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,010
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Sep. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 526
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Sep. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 572