Using MS Open Tech to Quickly Build Your Virtual Machine

Azure Marketplace is a great place to start your search for a Virtual Machine to start building your app or infrastructure on. However, these VM’s are sometimes vanilla and will need to be configured to your liking. Let’s use Rails as an example. In order to get a Rails app on a Virtual Machine there are a bunch of steps you will need to perform. First, create the operating system VM, Linux. Make sure that is up to date (sudo apt-update). Then you need to install Rails, Nginx, Unicorn, some sort of database like Postgres and dont forget permissions and users.

Having a custom install is cool but sometimes the situation does not call for that. There is MS Open Tech for that.

msopen

Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., (MS Open Tech) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation to advance Microsoft’s investment in openness including interoperability, open standards and open source.

At MS Open Tech, we focus on providing our customers with even greater choice and opportunity to bridge Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies together in heterogeneous environments. We believe that openness is good for our customers, good for the community and good for our business.

We’re a diverse team of engineers, standards professionals and technical evangelists who are experienced and passionate in working with an equally diverse set of technologies from Microsoft and others.

Every day, we are powering interoperability and opportunity across developers, partners, customers and competitors.

We build open source code. We create interoperability bridges. We contribute open standards specs. We work with a variety of standards organizations such as: W3CIETFOASISEcmaDMTF, and open source communities including: JQueryMongoDB,Apache CordovaRedisApache, Qpid.NET Foundation, OpenJDKEclipseNode.jsCocos2d,  Web Platform DocsSymfony, DoctrineWebKitGitHubCodePlex and more.

Our team works closely across Microsoft business groups to support our customers’ journey in a mobile first, cloud first world.

As a result, you can do more and achieve more with the openness of the Microsoft platform.

  • You can build with the tool of your choice.
  • You can work across platforms.
  • You can collaborate through code.

There are Projects that MS Open Tech builds, HTML5 Labs that contributes to the Edge platform and VM Depot where a community managed repository of Linux and FreeBSD virtual machine images for easy deployment to Microsoft Azure reside.

You can search for a open source product or platform and most likely there is an image that is ready to go and deploy. Let’s use WordPress as an example.

  1. Search for WordPress and you will see a listing of results.
  2. Choose the result that best fits your need.
    wpubu
  3. Click on Create Virtual Machine (or if you are familiar with PowerShell you can get a deployment script)
  4. Login to the MS Open Tech website using one of the 3 Authentication methods.
  5. You can fill out the minimum to create an account on the MS Open Tech site.
  6. Accept the T&C and Click Save
  7. The next step is to link your Azure account with MS Open Tech to create the deployment. If you have your publication file you can upload it, otherwise you can click the Azure Publish Settings link within the copy and it will download one for you (as long as you are currently logged into the Azure portal).
  8. Once downloaded, you can now upload it to the site.
  9. Once that is connected, you now can configure some of the VM settings. DNS Name, Username/Password as well as region, storage accounts and endpoints.
  10. Once you are happy with your configuration, click I agree and Create VM. It should take a few minutes and your new VM will show up in your Azure portal.
  11. One thing to note. If you choose a VM with configured software you might need to read the README to find out usernames and passwords to certain products.

 

Linux Powered By Azure – 5 Part Series

If you are a modern day developer you do not have the luxury to know just one type of technology or language. Sure, you can have your specialty, but the more knowledge you have the more valuable you can become. When I worked in the digital agency world, we did not have the luxury to use just one type of technology stack. We had to support all types. Java, Struts, LAMP, .NET, ASP and more. Based on our clients needs we had to switch from using C# with .NET to coding with PHP and CodeIgniter. At Microsoft as an evangelist, it works the same way. I do not have the “traditional” clients, but you do. I support you as a developer and you have many clients with different technology stacks.

This series is to explain how to run Linux VM’s out on Azure, configure and edit and debug as well. The other big thing to note, is this can all be done on a non-Microsoft system, ie. Mac.

  1. Getting Started
  2. Turn on the LAMP
  3. WordPress Installation
  4. Remote Editing with NetBeans
  5. Remote Debugging with NetBeans

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Linux Powered By Azure – NetBeans Debugging

Now that we got NetBeans communicating with the remote server, we need to configure the remote server to enable debugging.

Prerequisites

We need to SSH to our remote machine. I am not going to go over that since that was covered in the setting up the Linux VM tutorial.

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Linux Powered By Azure – NetBeans Editing

Intro

When it comes to editors there are a few that stand out. Visual Studio is a first class editor. Packages can be added and it can be customized to fit your needs. C#, VB, C++. You can do Unity Development in it, Xamarin Development, Arduino Development. There are a ton of cool features and uses. However, it does not run on a Mac or Linux. When it comes to those platforms there are also some good options. PhpStorm, Eclipse, Android Studio, xCode and more. The editor I like to use, especially when I am building PHP sites is NetBeans. I have been a fan of NetBeans for some time now. Lightweight. Easy to use. Robust. And more importantly, it has debugging and remote publishing built in.

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Linux Powered By Azure – Turn on the LAMP

Welcome to part 2 of this series entitled, Linux Powered by Azure (#poweredbyazure).  In the previous tutorial we stood up an Ubuntu virtual machine and connect to is securely through SSH by creating a private and public key pair using openssl. The server is up and running but is not really configure to do anything. In this tutorial we will look at filling out the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)

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Linux Powered By Azure Series

I am starting a 4-5 part series on running Linux out on Azure. Starting from standing up a virtual machine to installing WordPress and remote debugging and deploying.

Azure provides three compute models for running applications: Azure Websites, Azure Virtual Machines, and Azure Cloud Services. Azure Websites is a quick and easy way to deploy your website running .NET, PHP, Node.js and Java along with many frameworks and applications that are ready to go. However, there are some instances that you may want bit more control over the configuration of your website. This tutorial will show how to build a Linux based webserver out on Azure just for that reason.

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