Install the Windows Azure Integration Components
Updated: June 23, 2011
[The VM Role feature of Windows Azure is being retired on May 15th, 2013. After the retirement date, VM role deployments will be deleted. To move forward with your existing applications, you can use Windows Azure Virtual Machines. For more information about using Virtual Machines for your application, see Moving from VM Role to Windows Azure Virtual Machines.
The Windows Azure Integration Components are required in an instance of a VM Role in Windows Azure. The integration components start each time the operating system starts. Before the Windows Azure Integration Components are installed, you must ensure that you have created the base VHD. For more information, see Create the Base VHD for a VM Role in Windows Azure.
The Windows Azure Integration Components must be installed on the server image before the base VHD can be uploaded to Windows Azure. The Windows Azure Integration Components run on each VM Role instance that is created from the server image and handles integration between the VM Role instance and the Windows Azure environment.
The Windows Azure Integration Components perform required tasks to integrate the operating system of the VM Role instance with Windows Azure. The components work with the load balancer to communicate information about the state of the instances. The components also initialize the virtual machine by installing certificates and creating local resource directories based on the settings in the service definition. For more information about the service definition, see Overview of Creating a Hosted Service for Windows Azure.
The following sections describe the features supported by the Windows Azure Integration Components:
When a VM Role instance is first brought online, the generalized image that is used to create the instance must run through a setup specialization phase. This specialization phase is performed by the System Preparation Tool (sysprep), provided by the Windows Azure Integration Components.
In order to automate the specialization phase, the Windows Azure Integration Components install an answer file to the root directory of the VM Role instance. The default name of the answer file is c:\unattend.xml.
The answer file provides a set of default Windows configuration settings during the specialization phase that sets up the operating system. These default settings include:
Setting the system locale to EN-US.
Setting the system time zone to UTC. You must not change this setting value.
Turning off Windows Update.
Setting the administrator password.
The Administrator account is disabled after you upload the server image to Windows Azure. However, if, during the process of preparing the server image, you generalize it, then specialize it again, the administrator password is needed for the specialization pass.
The Windows Azure Integration Components install the service runtime APIs to the image, so that the VM Role instance may gather dynamic information from the Windows Azure environment. The service runtime APIs provide access to service configuration information such as the values of configuration settings, to VM Role instance information such as the instance ID and the upgrade domain that the instance belongs to, and to network address information for all instances in the cloud service deployment.
|The service runtime API is accessible only to code that is running under an Administrator or LocalSystem account in the VM Role instance.|
The Windows Azure Integration Components create any named local storage resources that you define in the service model for the VM Role. You can access local storage resources from within the VM Role instance by using the service runtime API (LocalResource), or by accessing the resources at c:\Resources\<resource-name>.
When the VM Role instance starts, access to the local resource directory is restricted to the Administrator account. Your code should modify the security settings for the directory if a process running in a lower-privilege account must access it.
The components also create the system local storage resources where diagnostic data is written while the VM Role instance is online.
The Windows Azure Integration Components install any certificates that you specify in the service definition to the LocalMachine store location for the VM Role instance. You can specify that a certificate should be installed to a preexisting certificate store name, or you can specify a custom store name. For details on specifying certificate store location and name in your service definition file, see Service Definition Schema.
|All certificates are installed to the LocalMachine store location; it is not possible to install certificates to the CurrentUser store location or any other store location.|
A certificate that is installed on a VM Role instance must first be uploaded to your Windows Azure certificate store for your cloud service. All certificates must be installed from the Windows Azure certificate store. For more information about certificates needed for VM Role instances, see Use Certificates With a VM Role in Windows Azure.
|Installing a certificate on the server image that is uploaded is not recommended. The System Preparation Tool (sysprep), which must be run to generalize your image before it is deployed to Windows Azure, destroys private key information.|
You can use the following procedure to install the Windows Azure Integration Components on the server image that you want to upload to Windows Azure.
In Hyper-V Manager, select the virtual machine, and then click Settings.
In the Hardware pane, under IDE Controller 1, click DVD Drive.
In the Settings page, browse to the %ProgramFiles%\Windows Azure SDK\<VersionNumber>\iso\ folder, select the wavmroleic.iso file, and then click OK.
Where VersionNumber is the current version of the Windows Azure SDK.
In Hyper-V Manager, click Connect.
In the virtual machine window, open Windows Explorer, select the DVD drive, and then double-click WaIntegrationComponents-x64.msi.
Enter the Administrator password that is used when the operating system starts after the image is prepared and deployed to Windows Azure. Finish the installation of the components. You must restart the virtual machine for the components to be completely installed.
Note It is recommended that you create a password reset disk to ensure that you can access the virtual machine if the password is lost or forgotten. For more information, see Create an Administrator Password.
After the Windows Azure Integration Components are installed, you must install applications and make any configuration changes that are necessary for your application. For more information, see Windows Server.