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Phase 1: Configure Azure

Updated: April 2, 2014

[This topic is pre-release documentation and is subject to change in future releases. Blank topics are included as placeholders.]

This is the first phase of deploying SharePoint with SLQ Server AlwaysOn in Azure, which includes configuring the Azure networking infrastructure. You must complete this phase before moving on to Phase 2.

For the next phase, see Phase 2: Configure Domain Controllers.

For all of the phases of this deployment, see Deploying SharePoint with SQL Server AlwaysOn in Azure.

This deployment of SharePoint with SQL Server AlwaysOn is designed to accompany the SharePoint with SQL Server AlwaysOn Infographic and incorporate the latest recommendations.

Overview

To host this configuration, Azure must be provisioned with these basic network components:

  • A cross-premises virtual network with one subnet and two DNS servers (the domain controllers)

  • Three Azure cloud services

  • One Azure storage account to store VHD disk images and extra data disks

All of the virtual machines are on one subnet. The following figure shows the configuration.

SharePoint 2013 in Windows Azure

All SharePoint farm servers are members of an on-premises Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain. To provide local authentication for access to and administration of the SharePoint farm, the virtual network contains two domain controllers, which are also intranet DNS servers.

Before you begin

Before you begin configuring Azure components, fill in the following tables. To assist you in the procedures for configuring Azure, print this section and write down the needed information or copy this section to a document and fill it in.

For the names of your new virtual machines, fill in Table 1.

 

Item Description Value

M1

A name to assign to the first domain controller (example DC1)

M2

A name to assign to the second (backup) domain controller (example DC2)

M3

A name to assign to the first SQL Server virtual machine (example SQL1)

M4

A name to assign to the second SQL Server virtual machine (example SQL2)

M5

A name to assign to the first SharePoint application server virtual machine (example APP1)

M6

A name to assign to the second SharePoint application server virtual machine (example APP2)

M7

A name to assign to the first SharePoint web server virtual machine (example WEB1)

M8

A name to assign to the second SharePoint web server virtual machine (example WEB2)

Table 1: Virtual machine names

For the names of Azure components, fill in Table 2.

 

Item Description Value

N1

A name to assign to the Azure Virtual Network (example SPFarmNet)

N2

A name to assign to your organization network (example OrgNet)

N3

The name of a previously configured or new Azure affinity group (example ECoastUSA)

Affinity groups are a way to physically group Azure services together at the same Azure datacenter to increase performance. A virtual network can only be assigned to a single affinity group.

N4

A name to assign to the subnet in the virtual network (example SPFarmNet)

N5

A proposed name to assign to the cloud service for the domain controllers

N6

A proposed name to assign to the cloud service for the SharePoint servers

N7

A proposed name to assign to the cloud service for the SQL servers

N8

A proposed name to assign to a storage account (example SPFarm)

Table 2: Names of Azure components

For the IP addresses and address spaces of the virtual network, fill in Table 3.

 

Item Description Value

A1

The public IPv4 address of your VPN device's interface on the Internet

A2

The private and public IP address space(s) assigned to your organization network in terms of an address prefix for each space

Note that this address space must include all reachable destinations on your organization network and must not include the address space that you have assigned to the virtual network.

A3

The address space (defined in a single private address prefix) for the virtual network

A4

The address space of the subnet, based on the overall address space for the virtual network

A5

The fourth and fifth possible IP addresses for the address space in Item A4 (these addresses for the two domain controllers will be configured as DNS servers for the subnet)

Table 3: Addresses and address spaces

Note that when creating the Azure virtual network, the Azure Management Portal will determine the following:

  • The public IPv4 address of the Azure VPN gateway for your virtual network

  • The Internet Protocol security (IPsec) pre-shared key for the site-to-site connection

To see these in the Azure Management Portal after you create the virtual network, click Networks, click the name of the virtual network, and then click the Dashboard menu option.

Configure the Azure Virtual Network

To configure an Azure environment to host the SharePoint 2013 intranet farm, you need the following:

  • A new Azure cross-premises virtual network.

  • A new affinity group (if needed).

  • Three new Azure cloud services for the groups of virtual machines.

  • A new storage account to host the virtual machines and added disks.

Create a new Azure Virtual Network

  1. Sign in to the Azure Management Portal.

  2. From the task bar, click New > Network Services> Virtual Network > Custom Create.

  3. On the Virtual Network Details screen:

    • In Name, type the name from Item N1 in Table 2.

    • In Affinity Group, select the name of a previously-created affinity group to which you want this new virtual network to belong. Alternately, select Create a new affinity group.

      • In Region, select the desired region. Your virtual network will be created in the Azure datacenter located in the specified region.

      • In Affinity Group Name, type the name from Item N3 in Table 2.

  4. Click the next arrow to continue.

  5. On the DNS Servers and VPN Connectivity page:

    • In DNS Servers, configure the following:

       

      DNS Server Name IP Address

      SPFARMDNS1

      The first IP address from Item A5 in Table 3.

      SPFARMDNS2

      The second IP address from Item A5 in Table 3.

    • In Site-to-Site Connectivity, select Configure a site-to-site VPN.

  6. Click the next arrow to continue.

  7. On the Site-to-Site Connectivity page:

    • In Name, type the name from Item N2 in Table 2.

    • In VPN device IP address, type the address from Item A1 in Table 3.

    • In Address Space, enter the IP address spaces of your organization network from Item A2 in Table 3, in terms of the prefix (in Starting IP) and the prefix length (in CIDR (Address Count)). For example, for the address prefix 10.0.0.0/8, "10.0.0.0" is the prefix and "8" is the prefix length.

  8. Click the next arrow to continue.

  9. On the Virtual Network Address Spaces page:

    • In Address Space, enter the private IP address space of the virtual network from Item A3 in Table 3, in terms of the prefix (in Starting IP) and the prefix length (in CIDR (Address Count)).

    • In Subnets:

      • Enter the private IP address space of the subnet from Item A4 in Table 3, in terms of the prefix (in Starting IP) and the prefix length (in CIDR (Address Count)).

      • Enter the name of the subnet from Item N4 in Table 2.

    • Click Add Gateway Subnet.

  10. Click the check mark to complete.

For more information, see About Configuring a Virtual Network in the Management Portal.

Create three new Azure Cloud Services

  1. In the task bar of the Azure Management Portal, click New > Compute > Cloud Service > Quick Create.

  2. In URL, enter the name from Item N5 in Table 2 for the cloud service for the domain controllers. This must be a unique name to Azure, so you might have to change it. When you have a unique name, update Item N5 in your Table 2 page with the actual name.

  3. In Region or Affinity Group, select the affinity group created for the virtual network (Item N3).

  4. Click the checkbox next to Create Cloud Service to create the cloud service.

  5. Click New > Compute > Cloud Service > Quick Create.

  6. In URL, enter the name from Item N6 in Table 2 for the cloud service for the SharePoint servers. This must be a unique name to Azure, so you might have to change it. When you have a unique name, update Item N6 in your Table 2 with the actual name.

  7. In Region or Affinity Group, select the affinity group created for the virtual network (Item N3 in Table 2).

  8. Click the checkbox next to Create Cloud Service to create the cloud service.

  9. Click New > Compute > Cloud Service > Quick Create.

  10. In URL, enter the name from Item N7 in Table 2 for the cloud service for the SQL servers. This must be a unique name to Azure, so you might have to change it. When you have a unique name, update Item N7 in your Table 2 with the actual name.

  11. In Region or Affinity Group, select the affinity group created for the virtual network (Item N3 in Table 2).

  12. Click the checkbox next to Create Cloud Service to create the cloud service.

Create a new Azure Storage Account

  1. In the task bar of the Azure Management Portal, click New > Data Services > Storage > Quick Create.

  2. In URL, enter the name from Item N8 in Table 2. This must be a unique name to use for the storage account URL, so you might have to change it. When you have a unique name, update Item N8 in your Table 2 with the actual name.

  3. In Location/Affinity Group, select the affinity group created for the virtual network (Item N3 in Table 2).

  4. In Replication, select Geo-Redundant.

  5. Click the check box to create the storage account.

For more information, see Create a Storage account on Azure.

You need to create the virtual machines listed in Table 4.

 

Virtual machine Cloud service name Gallery image Size

1. First domain controller, name from Item M1 in Table 1 (example DC1)

Item N5 in Table 2

Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

Medium

2. Second domain controller, name from Item M2 in Table 1 (example DC2)

Item N5 in Table 2

Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

Medium

3. First SQL Server computer, name from Item M3 in Table 1 (example SQL1)

Item N7 in Table 2

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1 Enterprise on Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

A7 or larger

4. Second SQL Server computer, name from Item M4 in Table 1 (example SQL2)

Item N7 in Table 2

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1 Enterprise on Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

A7 or larger

5. First SharePoint application server, name from Item M5 in Table 1 (example APP1)

Item N6 in Table 2

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Trial

Extra Large

6. Second SharePoint application server, name from Item M6 in Table 1 (example APP2)

Item N6 in Table 2

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Trial

Extra Large

7. First SharePoint web server, name from Item M7 in Table 1 (example WEB1)

Item N6 in Table 2

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Trial

Extra Large

8. Second SharePoint web server, name from Item M8 in Table 1 (example WEB2)

Item N6 in Table 2

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Trial

Extra Large

Table 4 – Virtual machines for SharePoint 2013 intranet farm in Azure

ImportantImportant
Create the virtual machines in the order shown in Table 4, starting with the two domain controllers. To verify the assignments, after creating the VM, select each in the Azure Management Portal and click Dashboard. The first domain controller should have the fourth possible IP address from the address space assigned to the subnet and the second domain controller should have the fifth possible IP address.

The process of configuring the creation of a virtual machine can be done quickly. However, the actual provisioning of each machine can take several minutes. To save time, configure the creation of several virtual machines concurrently after the two domain controllers have been provisioned.

Create the virtual machines using the following procedure.

Creating a VM from the gallery

  1. In the task bar of the Azure Management Portal, click New > Compute > Virtual Machine > From Gallery.

  2. On the Choose an image page, select the appropriate image for the virtual machine. Appropriate choices include:

    • Domain controllers (virtual machines 1 and 2 from Table 4): Windows Server R2 2012 Datacenter

    • SQL Server computers (virtual machines 3 and 4 from Table 4): SQL Server 2012 SP1 Enterprise on Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

    • SharePoint web and application servers (virtual machines 5 through 8 from Table 4): Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Trial

  3. Click the next arrow icon to continue.

  4. On the Virtual machine configuration page:

    • In Virtual Machine Name, type the name of this computer from the appropriate row in Table 1. This name will be displayed in the Azure Management Portal.

    • In Size, select the size for the virtual machine based on the appropriate row in Table 4. Virtual machines can be reconfigured after creation. In the Azure Management Portal, click Virtual Machines, click the name of the virtual machine, and then click the Configure menu option.

    • In New User Name, type a user name for a local administrator account. You will use this name to log on to the machine when initially accessing it through a Remote Desktop connection.

    • In New Password, enter a strong password for the local administrator account.

    • In Confirm Password, re-enter the strong password.

      Record the local administrator account name and password in a spreadsheet or document for future reference.

  5. Click the next arrow to continue.

  6. On the Virtual machine configuration page:

    • In Cloud Service, select the name of the cloud service for the virtual machine based on the appropriate row in Table 4.

    • In Region/Affinity Group/Virtual Network, select your newly-created virtual network (Item N1 in Table 2).

    • In Virtual Network Subnets, select the name of your subnet (Item N4 in Table 2).

    • In Storage Account, select the storage account that you just created (Item N8 in Table 2).

    • In Availability Set, for the first machine in a pair of servers with the same role, click Create availability set and type a name for the set (such as SPFarmDCs, SPFarmSLQs, SPFarmAPPs, and SPFarmWEBs). For the second machine in a pair of servers with the same role, click the name of the availability set created for the previous server in the pair. This will create four different availability sets for the four different roles, with each set containing both servers for that role.

  7. Click the next arrow to continue.

  8. On the Virtual machine configuration page, in Endpoints, click the PowerShell row and delete 5986 from the Public Port column.

    This will tell Azure to generate a random public port for remote Windows PowerShell sessions for this virtual machine. To see this port number in the Azure Management Portal, click Virtual Machines, click the name of the virtual machine, and then click the Dashboard menu option.

  9. Click the check mark to create the machine. Virtual machine creation can take several minutes.

Creating and attaching empty disks to a virtual machine

Domain controllers and SQL Server machines require an extra disk. Table 5 lists the disk size for each virtual machine role.

 

Virtual Machine Role Disk Size in GB

Domain controllers (virtual machines 1 and 2 from Table 4)

20

Database servers (virtual machines 3 and 4 from Table 4)

500

Table 5 – Extra empty data disks

Use the following procedure to attach an empty data disk to the Azure VMs in Table 5.

Attaching an empty disk to a Azure VM

  1. In the Azure Management Portal, click Virtual Machines, and then select the virtual machine to which you want to attach the data disk. You must wait until the VM is provisioned and its status is Running before attaching the empty disk.

  2. On the command bar, click Attach, and then click Attach Empty Disk. The Attach Empty Disk dialog box appears. By default, the storage created earlier is entered into the Storage Location. The File Name box contains an automatically generated name that does not need to be altered.

  3. In Size, type the size from the appropriate row in Table 5.

  4. Leave the Host Cache Preference set to the default value None.

  5. Click the check mark to attach the empty data disk. Wait until the status is Running before continuing (a few minutes).

For additional guidance on creating data disks, see Disks.

noteNote
This procedure attaches an empty 500 GB disk to the SQL Server VMs. The disk is intended to contain all new databases. However, the system databases (created by default with each SQL Server instance) remain on the system disk. A better practice is to move all databases to the attached disk, including those created before attaching the empty disk.

Initializing an empty disk

A data disk must be initialized before it can be used. Do the following procedure on the VMs in Table 5.

To initialize an empty disk

  1. Log onto the virtual machine with a remote desktop connection using the local administrator account you specified when it was created. For instructions, see Logging on.

  2. In Server Manager, in the left pane, click File and Storage Services.

  3. In the left pane, click Disks. In the list of disks, select the empty disk, which is identifiable by its capacity and its Partition set to Unknown.

  4. In the Volumes panel, click To create a volume, start the Volume Wizard. Follow the steps in the wizard to initialize the disk. Accept all defaults to create a GUID Partition Table (GPT) disk assigned to the drive letter "F". Give the volume a friendly name to distinguish it from other disks.

Logging on

Logging on to a machine with a remote desktop connection depends on whether or not it is joined to a domain. The first time you log onto a virtual machine, you must log on as the local administrator account created with the machine. After you join the VM to a domain, you can log on with domain accounts. For example, you need one user account that has domain privileges in order to configure machines. Similarly, you must have one user account that is used to manage SQL Server hosts.

Connecting to a VM after its creation

The first time you log on to a VM after its creation, use the local administrator account user name and password that you specified when you created the VM.

  1. In the Azure Management Portal, in the left panel click Virtual Machines.

  2. To connect to a VM, click Running in the Status column next to its name.

  3. In the task bar on the bottom of the page, click Connect.

  4. The Management Portal informs you the .rdp file is being retrieved. Click OK.

  5. The browser dialog appears asking, "Do you want to open or save ComputerName.rdp from manage.windowsazure.com." Click Open.

  6. In the Remote Desktop Connection dialog, click Connect.

  7. In the Windows Security dialog, click Use another account.

  8. In User name, type the name of the VM and user name of the local administrator account created with the VM (a local machine account). Use the following format:

    ComputerName\LocalAdministratorAccountName

  9. In Password, type the password for the local administrator account.

  10. Click OK.

  11. In the Remote Desktop Connection dialog, click Yes. The desktop of the new machine appears in a Remote Desktop session window.

Connecting to a VM that is joined to a domain

To connect to a VM after it has joined an AD DS domain, follow the preceding steps. However, the credentials (the name and password) are for a domain account, rather than the local administrator account. The name is in the format DomainName\DomainUserAccountName. For example, contoso\sp_install.

Next Steps

For the next phase of the deployment, see Phase 2: Configure Domain Controllers.

For all of the phases of this deployment, see Deploying SharePoint with SQL Server AlwaysOn in Azure.

See Also

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