|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|
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...
Oct. 9, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 121
Electric power utilities face relentless pressure on their financial performance, and reducing distribution grid losses is one of the last untapped opportunities to meet their business goals. Combining IoT-enabled sensors and cloud-based data analytics, utilities now are able to find, quantify and reduce losses faster – and with a smaller IT footprint. Solutions exist using Internet-enabled sensors deployed temporarily at strategic locations within the distribution grid to measure actual line loads.
Oct. 9, 2015 06:30 PM EDT
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
Oct. 9, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 310
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, will explore the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Oct. 9, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 104
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Oct. 9, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 242
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Oct. 9, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 144
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Oct. 9, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 509
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Oct. 9, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 211
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
Oct. 9, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 191
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll share tips on how to speed up business initiatives, harness Big Data and remain one step ahead by apply...
Oct. 9, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 564
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
Oct. 9, 2015 01:15 PM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Oct. 9, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 801
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
Oct. 9, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 615
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Oct. 9, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 740
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Oct. 9, 2015 11:15 AM EDT
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 backend big-data 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 - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
Oct. 9, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 297
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Oct. 9, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 312
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Oct. 9, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,891
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Oct. 9, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,417
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
Oct. 9, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 506