Archives For azure

On August 21, 2012, I and several of my RBA colleagues will be presenting at the Denver Azure User Group. We’ll be covering the new features available in Windows Azure. Below is short description of the session:

In June Microsoft changed the game in cloud computing by releasing previews of new Windows Azure services which simplify building applications that span cloud and on-premises servers.

Key highlights include of the release include:

  • New Windows Azure Virtual Machine capabilities, including Windows Server and Linux support.
  • Virtual networking between Windows Azure and your on-premises infrastructure.
  • Windows Azure Web Sites for website and Web application development.
  • Improved developer productivity with added support for Python and a new Eclipse plugin for Java.
  • Improved application services.
  • A new Windows Azure Management Portal for easier application management and monitoring.

In this session we’ll introduce you to these new Windows Azure services and show you how you can use them to bring your applications to the cloud.

You can find it our more details about the event and register here: https://clicktoattend.microsoft.com/en-us/Pages/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=161339

I hope to see you there!

ag

(A bit of slow week this week due to the July 4th holiday in the States)

{Analysis}

Apprenda

Cloud Foundry

Eucalyptus

Google

Microsoft

Rackspace

Amazon

Eucalyptus

Google

Microsoft

Rackspace

If you’re like me you’re always playing with the latest and greatest development tools from Microsoft. So, naturally, when the release candidate of Visual Studio 2012 was released I downloaded and installed it and started kicking the tires to see what had changed and improved since the last version. Of course I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t do any Windows Azure development, but there was enough new stuff to keep me occupied for a while.

Once the June 2012 version of the Windows Azure SDK was released with support for the Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate I quickly downloaded and installed it and started doing some Windows Azure development. However, I ran into a minor road bump that you might hit as well so I just wanted to give you a head’s up.

The first thing I did was to click FILE then New Project. I then expanded the C# templates and selected Cloud when I was greeted with this screen.

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Huh? I just installed the Windows Azure SDK for .NET and Visual Studio 2012 RC, right? Yes, I did. The issue is with the selected version of the .NET Framework. By default .NET Framework 4.5 is selected.

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Windows Azure currently does not support the .NET Framework 4.5. Once I selected the the .NET Framework 4.0 the Windows Azure Cloud Service project template appeared and I was on my way.

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You can get the release candidate (RC) of Visual Studio 2012 here.
You can get the Windows Azure SDK for Visual Studio 2012 RC here.

ag

With prior versions of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET any time you opened a Windows Azure Cloud Service project after upgrading the Windows Azure SDK for .NET on your development machine, Visual Studio would automatically start the Visual Studio Conversion Wizard to upgrade the project. The June 2012 version of the SDK does not perform this automatic conversion for you. If you want to convert your Windows Azure Cloud Service projects from an older version of the SDK to the latest release here’ s what you’ll need to do:

Step 0: Install the latest version of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET. You can get it here.

Step 1: Open the solution that contains your Windows Azure project in Visual Studio.

Step 2: Right click on the Azure project (not the web and/or worker role projects) you want to upgraded and click Properties.

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Step 3: You should see the following screen that lets you know your running an older version of the Windows Azure SDK. In my case I was running the November 2011 release, but your scenario may be different. Click the Upgrade… button.

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Step 4: Your Windows Azure project will be unloaded and the Visual Studio Conversion Wizard will start. Click Next.

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Step 5: Create a backup of the project, if you want to, and click Next.

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Step 6: A summary page will display. Click Finish.

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Step 7: After the conversion is complete click Close.

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Step 8: To verify the conversion, right click on the Windows Azure project and click Properties (like in step 2 above). The Windows Azure Tools version should now read June 2012.

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Hope this helps!

ag

If you follow this blog or Windows Azure news in general you already aware that one of the new features available with the June 2012 release of the Windows Azure Platform is Virtual Machines. Windows Azure Virtual Machines enable you to easily deploy and run Windows Server and Linux virtual machines in minutes. One of the great features available with Windows Azure virtual machines is the ability to custom your VM and then capture the image so that you can create new VM’s based on your own specific needs. In this post I’ll show you how to do just that.

Step 0: Create a Windows Azure Virtual Machine. See this post for instructions how to do so.

Step 1: Log in to the new Windows Azure management portal at http://manage.windowsazure.com.

Step 2: Click VIRTUAL MACHINES.

Step 3: Select the virtual machine you want to creatable a reusable image of.

Step 4: Click CONNECT at the bottom of the page and login to the RDP session with the credentials you specified as part of the virtual machine creation process.

Step 5: Once the RDP session has started we need to SysPrep the machine. Open a command prompt as an administrator and enter the following command cd %windir%\system32\sysprep to change to the sysprep directory.

Step 6: Enter sysprep.exe to launch the SysPrep utility.

Step 7: Select Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) for the System Cleanup Action and ensure the Generalize checkbox is checked. Also select Shutdown for Shutdown Options.

Step 8: Wait until the virtual machine has stopped running.

Step 9: Click the CAPTURE button at the bottom of the page.

Step 10: Enter a name for your image, click the I have sysprepped this virtual machine checkbox and click the checkmark on the bottom right of the page.

Step 11: Once the image is created you can see it by click the IMAGES link at the top of the page.

Step 12: To create a new VM based on your custom image click the NEW button at the bottom of the page.

Step 13: Click VIRTUAL MACHINE.

Step 14: Click FROM GALLERY.

Step 15: Click MY IMAGES and you should see your new image on the page. Select it and continue to configure the virtual machine as you would any other Windows Azure virtual machine.

I also created a screencast that walks you through the steps above. To view it, just click on the image below.

Happy clouding!

ag

One of the new features that comes with Windows Azure Web Sites is the ability to publish your web site using Team Foundation Services. Team Foundation Services is Microsoft’s TFS offering in the cloud. Team Foundation Services allows you to keep your source code and work items in the cloud. With Team Foundation Services your can work with your current tools, and languages, manage source code on- and off- line, and implement builds and continuous unit testging. In short, everything you love about TFS, but now it’s in the cloud.  In this post I’ll show you how to link your new Windows Azure Web Site to a Team Foundation Services account to set up automatic deployments.

The first thing you’ll need to do, if you don’t have one already, is sign up for a Team Foundation Services account at http://tfspreview.com and create a project. Be sure to make note of the URL of your TFS account. It will be something like https://youraccount.tfspreview.com.

Next you’ll need to do, if you haven’t already done so, is to enable the new Windows Azure Web Sites features for you Azure subscription. You can do so by logging into http://account.windowsazure.com.

Once Windows Azure Web Sites are enabled for your subscription, log in to the management portal at http://manage.windowsazure.com

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Click on the +NEW button on the bottom of the page

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Click on WEB SITE

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Click QUICK CREATE

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Enter a URL for your web site, select a REGION (aka data center) where you want the web site to run, and select the SUBSCRIPTION you want to associated with the web site. Then click the CREATE WEB SITE button on the bottom of the page. (Note: during the preview period on the East US region supports Windows Azure web sites.)

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Wait for your web site to have a STATUS of running. It took two minutes for the site I created along with this blog post get up and running, but your mileage may vary.

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Once the site is running click on the NAME of the site. This will bring you to the site’s DASHBOARD. On the right hand side of the dashboard there is a *quick glance* section. Click on the *Set up TFS publishing* link.

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Enter your TFS account name at the Authorize TFS connection prompt and click the Authorize Now link.

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Click the Accept button to link your TFS account to the Windows Azure Web Site.

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Select the TFS project to publish.

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Make note of the TFS URL, and view instructions, if you need them, on how to check in code from Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2010.

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At this point, you’re ready to start developing as you normally would in Visual Studio. I would recommend creating a simple web project (ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC 2/3/4). Make any changes you wish and check into TFS. Once you check in, your Windows Azure Web Site will pick up the change and deploy.

 

Once the deployment is active, go back to the Windows Azure management portal and go to the DASHBOARD for your site by clicking the DASHBOARD link on the top of the page. On the right hand site of the page is the SITE URL for your web site.

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Click on the link and you will be redirected to your site.

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I also created a screencast of this process. Just click on the picture below to start watching.

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ag

{News and Analysis}

Amazon

Apprenda

Eucalyptus

Microsoft

Rackspace

ag

One of the new features that comes with Windows Azure Web Sites is the ability to publish your web site using Git (a distributed version control system). The advantage of using Git to publish your Windows Azure Web Sites is two fold. First you have a distributed version control system, with one of the repository hosted in Azure. Which means that if you lose the code on your machine, you don’t have to worry, a copy is in the cloud! Second, Git was designed to be fast, no, really fast, no, really, really fast, no…ok, you get the idea. Publishing updates to your site can take just a few seconds*.

While Git is a great tool, its command line nature isn’t for everyone. An alternative to using the command line is to use the GitHub for Windows app created by GitHub. While the app is primarily intended to be used with repositories hosted on GitHub, you can use it with repositories hosted elsewhere, including on Windows Azure Web Sites. Here’s what you need to do to get up and running:

The first thing you need to do is install GitHub for Windows. You can download it from http://windows.github.com/.

Next you’ll need to do, if you haven’t already done so, is to enable the new Windows Azure Web Sites features for you Azure subscription. You can do so by logging into http://account.windowsazure.com.

Once Windows Azure Web Sites are enabled for your subscription, log in to the management portal at http://manage.windowsazure.com

azure-github-01

Click on the +NEW button on the bottom of the page

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Click on WEB SITE

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Click QUICK CREATE

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Enter a URL for your web site, select a REGION (aka data center) where you want the web site to run, and select the SUBSCRIPTION you want to associated with the web site. Then click the CREATE WEB SITE button on the bottom of the page. (Note: during the preview period on the East US region supports Windows Azure web sites.)

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Wait for your web site to have a STATUS of running. It took two minutes for the site I created along with this blog post get up and running, but your mileage may vary.

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Once the site is running click on the NAME of the site. This will bring you to the site’s DASHBOARD. On the right hand side of the dashboard there is a *quick glance* section. Click on the *Set up Git publishing link*.

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If this is your first time setting up a Git repository in Azure, you will be prompted for a USER NAME and PASSWORD you can use for publishing. Enter your credentials and click the checkmark button on the bottom righ hand side of the page.

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While your Git repository is being created you will see this message.

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Once your Git repository is ready, copy the GIT URL on the page.

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When you installed GitHub for Windows two shortcuts should have been placed on your desktop. One for GitHub and the other for Git Shell. Double-click the Git Shell short cut.

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This will launch a command line (don’t be afraid). Change to the directory where you want to keep the repository on your local machine.

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Clone the Windows Azure repostiory by issuing the following command in the shell:

git clone [GIT URL COPIED FROM WINDOWS AZURE MANAGEMENT PORTAL]

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(When prompted, enter the password you specified as part of the repository set up in the Windows Azure management portal.)

Close the Git Shell command prompt and double-click the GitHub icon on your desktop to open the GitHub for Windows app. Drag the folder where you cloned the Windows Azure repository onto the GitHub app.

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Add any files your site requires to the directory. For the case of this site I’ll just add a default.htm file. The GitHub app picks up the changes. Commit the changes by entering a message and pressing the COMMIT button.

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All that needs to be done is to push the changes to Windows Azure by clicking the sync button.

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Go back to the Windows Azure management portal and go to the DASHBOARD for your site by clicking the DASHBOARD link on the top of the page.

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On the right hand site of the page is the SITE URL for your web site.

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Click on the link and you will be redirected to your site.

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I also created a screencast of this process. Just click on the picture below to start watching.

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*Publishing times will vary depending on the number/size of files being pushed, network speed, phase of the moon, and the mood of the internet unicorns. Your mileage will vary.

ag

One of the new features that comes with Windows Azure Web Sites is the ability to publish your web site using Git (a distributed version control system). The advantage of using Git to publish your Windows Azure Web Sites is two fold. First you have a distributed version control system, with one of the repository hosted in Azure. Which means that if you lose the code on your machine, you don’t have to worry, a copy is in the cloud! Second, Git was designed to be fast, no, really fast, no, really, really fast, no…ok, you get the idea. Publishing updates to your site can take just a few seconds*.

If you’re interested in kicking the tires with Git on Windows Azure here’s what you need to do.

The first thing you need to do is install Git. You can download Git from http://git-scm.com/downloads.

Next you’ll need to do, if you haven’t already done so, is to enable the new Windows Azure Web Sites features for you Azure subscription. You can do so by logging into http://account.windowsazure.com.

Once Windows Azure Web Sites are enabled for your subscription, log in to the management portal at http://manage.windowsazure.com

azure-git-01

Click on the +NEW button on the bottom of the page

azure-git-02

Click on WEB SITE

azure-git-03

Click QUICK CREATE

azure-git-04

Enter a URL for your web site, select a REGION (aka data center) where you want the web site to run, and select the SUBSCRIPTION you want to associated with the web site. Then click the CREATE WEB SITE button on the bottom of the page. (Note: during the preview period on the East US region supports Windows Azure web sites.)

azure-git-05

Wait for your web site to have a STATUS of running. It took two minutes for the site I created along with this blog post get up and running, but your mileage may vary.

azure-git-06

Once the site is running click on the NAME of the site. This will bring you to the site’s DASHBOARD. On the right hand side of the dashboard there is a *quick glance* section. Click on the *Set up Git publishing link*.

azure-git-07

If this is your first time setting up a Git repository in Azure, you will be prompted for a USER NAME and PASSWORD you can use for publishing. Enter your credentials and click the checkmark button on the bottom right hand side of the page.

azure-git-08

While your Git repository is being created you will see this message.

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Once your Git repository is ready, copy the GIT URL on the page.

azure-git-10

Launch Git bash (aka Git command line) on your machine in the directory where you want to create the web site and initialize a Git repository by issuing the following command in Git bash:

git init

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Add any files your site requires to the directory. For the case of this site I’ll just add a default.htm file.

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Add and commit the file(s) the local repository by issuing the following commands in Git bash:

git add .
git commit -m ‘initial commit’ commands

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Add the remote (Windows Azure) repository by issuing the following command in Git bash:

git remote add azure [URL COPIED FROM THE WINDOWS AZURE GIT CONFIGURATION PAGE]

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Push your changes to the Windows Azure repository by issuing the following command in Git bash:

git push Azure master

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(When prompted, enter the password you specified as part of the repository set up in the Windows Azure management portal.)

Go back to the Windows Azure management portal and go to the DASHBOARD for your site by clicking the DASHBOARD link on the top of the page.

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On the right hand site of the page is the SITE URL for your web site.

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Click on the link and you will be redirected to your site.

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I also created a screencast of this process. Just click on the picture below to start watching.

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*Publishing times will vary depending on the number/size of files being pushed, network speed, phase of the moon, and the mood of the internet unicorns. Your mileage will vary.

ag