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How to Provision Your First Virtual Machine in Window Azure

Actually creating and provisioning a new virtual machine can be completed in just a few clicks

Windows Azure is currently offering an exclusive promotion. You can get $200 in free credits just for test driving the innovative public cloud service designed by Microsoft. What's the catch? When you sign up, Microsoft asks that you provide your credit card and a phone number so that they can verify your identity. Once verified, you are able to dive into the world of Windows Azure.

How to Create a New VM
Actually creating and provisioning a new virtual machine can be completed in just a few clicks. Once you've signed up for Azure, you'll want to find the tab on the left that says "Virtual Machines." Ensure that you first click the NEW button in the bottom left hand corner to begin the new virtual machine wizard. You will be asked to do a "Quick Create" or a "From Gallery" virtual machine. Let's select "From Gallery" so that you understand what all is available to you.

Choosing an Image
The featured images are all Microsoft operating system images. You can also add Ubuntu, CentOS, SUSE and Oracle. In this demonstration, click the Ubuntu tab on left and select Ubuntu Server 13.10 and next.

VM Configuration
The VM configuration screen helps you give more detailed information about this specific machine. You will want to name the machine, select the size of the server on which you'd like to deploy this image and you will also want to install a new username for the machine. You may want to provide a password for the account you are creating for this VM in order to provide an extra layer of protection.

After you click next, you'll be presented with an option that allows you to add this virtual server into a pool of cloud servers you have already built. If this is your first virtual machine, you will probably not have a cloud service and one will be created after this VM machine is complete. Your regional affinity lets you setup where you'd like your data to be stored. Microsoft has a map that shows what certain ping times should be depending on your regional affinity. For a storage account, you can use an automatically generated storage account. Under availability, the default is none however if you'd like this resource to only be available at certain times, this is the setting in which you would toggle.

The last VM configuration setting involves setting up the ports for your VM. In this case, Azure asks you which port you'd like to host SSH. Port 22 is the default and this setting is suitable for most configurations. Click the checkmark and pat yourself on the back for creating your very first ever virtual machine in Windows Azure.

More Stories By Natalie Lerner

Natalie Lerner is a senior contributor for CloudWedge. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys exploring all things cloud and is a music enthusiast. Follow Natalie’s daily posts on Twitter: @Cloudwedge, or on Facebook.

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