Provisioning SharePoint Server 2013 on Windows Azure – Part I

Problem

When you initially attempt to configure SharePoint 2013 on Azure, it will point you to a SharePoint 2013 trial in the template gallery. This is not the correct way to configure an instance of SharePoint on Azure. This template virtual image is not meant for a single standalone SharePoint Server 2013 installation. Microsoft intends for you to use SharePoint Online or Office 365, or if you wan more control you need to crate an on-premise installation.

Solution

You need to “manually” create a SharePoint environment in Azure. As a minimum, there are 4 steps (with multiple sub-steps) that you will need to complete to properly provision a SharePoint  2013 environment on Windows Azure. Your environment is unique to your needs, but this should help you understand the general steps required.

  1. Create and Configure Network components
  2. Install and Configure Domain Controller
  3. Install and Configure SQL Server
  4. Install and Configure SharePoint Server 2013

Let’s go through these steps and see what is required to successfully work our way through this configuration. Several people have written articles on this subject, so I’ll attempt to just summarize here. If you need details, I hope you will seek out the details and read more on this subject.

So the first step is to create and configure network components. At the minimum we will need the following network components:

  • One Virtual Private Network – Click on the Network Services in t
  • he Windows Azure Manage portal and click on “New”. Enter the details such as the Name of the VPN and your selected Region.
  • Three Subnets – Create a minimum of 3 is required for a small farm where Application Subnet and Web Subnet can be joined together. As the name suggests, you will be using these for the Domain Controller, SQL Database, Application Server and Web Server roles.
  • One DNS Server – Choose the static IP given to the DNS Server.
  • One Windows Azure Storage Account – After the network is ready, create a storage account. Give it a name and follow the wizard. Your storage account will be created in just a few seconds.

You can read more on this topic here.

In future articles, we will continue to work our way through the process until we have a working SharePoint instance on Azure.

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