Getting started with Microsoft Azure Cloud

I have been using Amazon web services for over a year now. Mostly I use EC2 to run my apps on a cloud server so that I can share my application URL with my friends. AWS is great, undoubtedly, but I couldn’t help advertising Windows Azure.

The Virtual Machines services provided by Azure makes the creation and use of virtual cloud servers a piece of cake. Without further ado, lets see how quickly we can spin up a VM.

1. Go to manage.windowsazure.com and login.

Click on Virtual Machines tab and then click on “CREATE A VIRTUAL MACHINE”.

VM1

2. Write down the name of the server in “DNS NAME”. In the IMAGE section select the type of operating system you would like to use. Keep the SIZE low as you will be charged accordingly. Set the username and password. This will be used to log in to the machine through terminal. Set the region according to your geographical location to avoid latency. Usually there isn’t any major lag and you can choose any region, but I would suggest you to keep the VM in the nearby region.

VM2

3. Give it a few minutes and the VM status will become running. Click on the VM and you will see its details as shown in the picture. Note the PUBLIC VIRTUAL IP ADDRESS.

VM4

4. Accessing the VM:

If you are using MAC OS or any Linux distro, you can login to the Azure VM with this command:

ssh azureuser@104.209.33.218

OR

ssh azureuser@sagar12345.cloudapp.net

It will prompt you for a password. Provide the one which you used while creating the VM.

If you are using Windows, you can download Windows Powershell from here.

For first time powershell users, you will have to add your azure account details into powershell using this command:

Add-AzureAccount

Next step is to connect to your VM. Use the above commands mentioned for MAC OS and Linux to securely login to the machine.

VM3

That’s it. Simple enough. I hope you have fun and launch a couple of applications on the Azure VM.

Note that there are ton of commands provided by the Azure Powershell to make the cloud infrastructure management easier. You can get the details of those commands from here.

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