Deploying A Windows Virtual Machine In The Azure Portal

Azure Virtual Machines (VM) is one of the several types of on-demand, scalable computing resources that Azure offers. Typically, you choose a VM when you need more control over the computing environment than the other choices offer. Let see how to create an Azure VM from the portal.

Log in to the Azure portal which will take you to your customizable dashboard and click on New >> Compute.

Here, it will show some of the most commonly used VM images you can select,  or if you have a particular VM icon your mind, you can directly search that from the marketplace itself

Here in this demo, we will select a plain OS Windows Server 2016 which we can customize later according to our needs.

Starting a VM consists of four steps where we have got to fill out the information as below. (Here I am naming and selecting requirements for demo purposes only, you can do it according to your requirements).

  • I am naming the server DemoVm
  • Next, it asked for the type of disk and I am selecting SSD which has more performance compared to other choices like HDD. (For production use, it is always recommended to use SSD).
  • Now, you have to set up an administrator account for accessing the VM with a username and strong password.
  • Next, you have to select the subscription (if you have multiple) and then, create or select an existing resource group to which the VM should be placed. 
  • Lastly, select the location where you have to deploy your application. You want to place your instances or your resources typically in a location that's close in proximity to you or your end users, but all these different locations are basically different Azure regions of the different data centers all over the world. (In some locations some types of VMs are not available, so you have to select accordingly).

Down at the bottom, there is an option for Hybrid use benefits, especially for those who have a Windows Server license already covered by an active software assurance agreement as it helps you cut your costs up to 40 percent.

Clicking OK on completion will take you to Step 2 where you need to pick the Virtual Machine size according to your requirement. You can choose from the recommended list populated with your disk type selection. You can click on "View all" for listing out all the recommendations with the pricing and different configurations. Select any one and click on "Select" which will take you to the third step.

In this step, we are having a handful of settings which I am not going to modify now, as we are going to go and dive into this stuff in more detail in coming articles.

The first setting they are asking is whether we want to group the VMs (In case of two or more VMs) into some availability set to ensure and meet 99.95% Azure SLA and the next one is storage which is defaulting to yes for the Managed Disk feature. What it simply means on selecting yes is that you need not create and manage your own storage account; it will be taken care of by them.
Everything else is helping us to create all dependencies required for our VM like provisioning a public IP address, network security group, and provision for adding an extension. I am just disabling the Boot Diagnostics from the monitoring section to keep it simple which will remove the attached storage account also.

On clicking OK, it will check for the final validation and be accepting the terms. A click on purchase will kick off the deployment of the virtual machine.

Once the deployment is over, you will get a notification titled "Deployment Succeeded" and you can check the VM status by selecting the resource.

On the top, you have got some most used controls to work with the VM. We can restart, stop, delete, we can capture a custom image if we've modified this computer and now we want to build our own image, and we can move it to a resource group other than the one that we're using now and by clicking the connect button will download a RDP file using which you can RDP to the server. Giving your user credentials will take you into a fresh VM

If you go to This PC, there you can see the C drive, which is a VHD file in the background of 126 GB in size and a temporary storage of 14 GB SSD with a data loss warning not to store any persistent data there as a machine shutdown may delete it.