Getting Started with Changing a Server Image for a VM Role in Windows Azure

Updated: March 8, 2011

[This topic provides preliminary content for the beta release of the Windows Azure VM role feature. To apply for participation in the beta, log on to the Management Portal, click Home, and then click Beta Programs.]

After a period of time, you may want to make updates to applications or the operating system of your running VM role instances. You do this by creating and uploading a differencing virtual hard disk (VHD), and then changing the service configuration to use the new VHD.


  Step Reference
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Create the differencing VHD. You can use Hyper-V Manager and the base VHD to create the differencing VHD. The differencing VHD should contain any updates to applications and the operating system.

How to Change a Server Image for a VM Role by Using a Differencing VHD

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Install applications and make operating system configuration changes. You can make changes to the operating system and applications as needed.

Windows Server

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Prepare the server image to be uploaded. After you complete the previous steps, you prepare the server image to be uploaded by running sysprep.exe. This preparation generalizes the server image, which strips out information that is specific to the current running instance of the operating system, so that the server image may be deployed to one or more VM role instances in Windows Azure. Consult the documentation for your software application for information about its compatibility with Sysprep.

How to Prepare the Server Image for Uploading to Windows Azure

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Upload the differencing VHD to Windows Azure. You use the CSUpload Command-Line Tool to upload the VHD file to Windows Azure and to assign it as the child of the base VHD that was previously uploaded.

How to Upload a VHD to Windows Azure

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Change the configuration to reference the differencing VHD. For Windows Azure to know about the changes that you made to the server image, you must change the configuration to reference the differencing VHD that you previously uploaded.

How to Change the Configuration of a VM role

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