Microsoft has added a BizTalk Server 2013 Beta virtual machine image to the gallery of available images on Windows Azure. In a few clicks you can create a new BizTalk Server that has all of its software pre-installed. The only thing you need to do is the final step of configuring the BizTalk Server using the BizTalk Configuration Utility. Note that the Virtual Machine functionality in Azure is currently in preview mode; you need to request that the Virtual Machine role be added to your Azure subscription before you can create Virtual Machines. If you have an MSDN Premium Subscription you’re entitled to run one (small) Virtual Machine free of charge. See here for details:
1. Logon to the Windows Azure Management Portal: https://manage.windowsazure.com
2. Click on the Virtual Machines tab on the sidebar navigation and click on the + NEW button at the bottom of the screen
3. Chose to create a new Virtual Machine from a Gallery Image:
4. Select the BizTalk virtual machine image from Gallery:
5. On the virtual machine configuration page choose the version of BizTalk (by release date), enter the virtual machine name, administrator password and select the virtual machine size (Medium is recommended):
When multiple versions of the image have been released it is recommended that you select the latest version.
You should consider using a name for the virtual machine that is descriptive enough to tell what it is used for, but short enough to make it easy to use. You have 3 to 15 characters for the virtual machine name.
6. On the virtual machine mode page either create a standalone virtual machine or connect to an existing virtual machine (for load balancing), select the DNS name, the storage account and the virtual machine location:
You can connect virtual machines to balance the load of traffic to your application or you can create a virtual machine that isn’t connected to any others.
The DNS name is the public name you will use to connect to your virtual machine within the CloudApp.net domain. You can use a friendly name or a more specific and longer name such as machinename-domainname e.g. dev-bts2013beta-danielhester. You can only use letters, numbers and hyphens in your DNS name.
Once you have created at least one virtual machine you can assign your new virtual machine to the already created Storage Account; other just select to use an automatically generated storage account.
Choose the region, affinity group, or virtual network in which you want to deploy the virtual machine.
7. On the virtual machine options page select or create an availability set if you want to replicate the Virtual Machine image to other Azure domains or data centers; otherwise just leave the availability set on . Click the check button to continue:
An Availability Set is a group of virtual machines that are deployed across fault domains and update domains. An Availability Set makes sure that your virtual machine is not affected by single points of failure, like the network switch or the power unit of a rack of servers. Microsoft charges a few extra cents per hour on the Virtual Machine when you configure an Availability Set.
8. The provisioning process begins…
9. The virtual machine is provisioned and started – click on the CONNECT button at the bottom of the page:
10. When you click on the CONNECT button at the bottom of the page you are given the option to Open or Save a Remote Desktop Connection file (*.rdp).
11. Personally, I save my remote desktop connections by clicking on the down-down on the Save button, choosing Save As, and saving the RDP file on my local file system:
12. Once I’ve saved the RDP file I can modify it (by right clicking on it and choosing Edit) so that I can save my credentials and connect my local drives to my remote server (click the More…button on the Local Resources tab and select Drives and other supported PnP devices:
Remember to save your changes to the RDP file by clicking back to the General tab and clicking the Save button.
13. Open (or run) the RDP file once you have downloaded it. Check the “Don’t ask me again for connections to this computer” checkbox and click Connect:
14. Enter your credentials (and check the “Remember my credentials” checkbox if you want):
15. Choose to not be bothered again by the Remote Computer’s certificate by checking the “Don’t ask me again for connections to this computer” checkbox and click the Yes button to continue:
16. Wait for the connection to complete:
17. The Server Manager Dashboard shows on your remote virtual machine:
18. Install your favorite utilities i.e. Classic Shell (http://www.classicshell.net) – to restore the classic Windows Start Button and Menu to Windows Server 2012 and begin the configuration of your new BizTalk server.
Note for guidance on configuring BizTalk Server please see the Microsoft Guides on MSDN:
Deleting and then Recreating your Azure Virtual Machine with the Same DNS Name
When you delete an Azure
Virtual Machine a Cloud Service is retained for the Virtual Machine’s DNS
name. If effect, Azure is retaining a
vestige of your Virtual Machine in case you want to recreate it with the same
name. So when you’re ready to recreate
your VM, go to the Cloud Services tab within the Azure Management console,
delete the Cloud Service for your old VM and then recreate your new VM with the
same DNS name.
Download this post as a Word Document
Updates to this Blog Post
Note that Microsoft have (as of August 2013) deployed the RTM image of BizTalk Server 2013 to Azure with three images to choose from: Enterprise, Standard, and Evaluation. To configure BizTalk Server 2013 Standard or Enterprise Edition, an existing SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 virtual machine is needed. Standard and Enterprise Editions cost additional dollars per hour. The Evaluation image deploys the SQL Server on the same Virtual Machine as the BizTalk Server. Please see the following two MSDN articles for reference:
Create a BizTalk Virtual Machine in Windows Azure:
Configuring BizTalk Server 2013 on a Windows Azure VM: