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Hands-on Lab: Build a SharePoint Dev-Test Farm in the Cloud (Part 6 – Configure SharePoint Server 2013 in a Windows Azure VM)

Windows Azure Infrastructure Services provides cloud-based storage, virtual networks and virtual machines that can be provisioned on-demand to support lab, pilot or production application workloads. In this multi-part Step-By-Step hands on lab format we will walk you through the entire process.  The introduction and index post can be found at: Hands-on Lab: Build a SharePoint Dev-Test Farm in the Cloud using Windows Azure Infrastructure Services (Part 0 – Introduction and Series Index) 

Prior Step: Configure SQL Server 2012 in a Windows Azure VM

Exercise 6: Configure SharePoint Server 2013 in a Windows Azure VM

Provision a new Windows Azure VM to run SharePoint Server 2013 by performing the following steps:

1)      Sign in at the Windows Azure Management Portal with the logon credentials used when you signed up for your Free Windows Azure Trial.

2)      Select Virtual Machines located on the side navigation panel on the Windows Azure Management Portal page.

3)      Click the +NEW button located on the bottom navigation bar and select
Compute | Virtual Machines | From Gallery.

4)      In the Virtual Machine Operating System Selection list, select SharePoint Server 2013 Trial and click the button.

5)      On the Virtual Machine Configuration page, complete the fields as follows:
Virtual Machine Name: XXXlabapp01
Size: Extra Large (8 cores, 14GB Memory)

New User Name: Choose a secure local Administrator user account to provision.

New Password and Confirm Password fields: Choose and confirm a new local Administrator password.
Click the
 button to continue.

6)      On the Virtual Machine Configuration page, complete the fields as follows:
Cloud Service: (Select the existing Cloud Service provisioned in Exercise 5)
Region/Affinity Group/Virtual Network: Select XXXlabnet01 – the Virtual Network defined in Exercise 3 above.
Virtual Network Subnets: Select Subnet-1 (
Storage Account: Select the Storage Account defined in Exercise 1 above.
Availability Set: Create an availability set
Availability Set Name: XXXlabapp
Click the
 button to continue.

7)      On the Virtual Machine Configuration – Endpoints page, add an additional firewall endpoint for web (HTTP) network traffic by completing the following fields:
Name: WebHTTP
Protocol: TCP
Public Port: 80
Private Port: 80
Click the
 button to begin provisioning the new virtual machine.
As the new virtual machine is being provisioned, you will see the Status column on the Virtual Machines page of the Windows Azure Management Portal cycle through several values including Stopped, Stopped (Provisioning), and Running (Provisioning).  When provisioning for this new Virtual Machine is completed, the Status column will display a value of Running and you may continue with the next step in this guide.

8)      After the new virtual machine has finished provisioning, click on the name (XXXlabapp01) of the new Virtual Machine displayed on the Virtual Machines page of the Windows Azure Management Portal.

9)      On the virtual machine Dashboard page for XXXlabapp01, make note of the Internal IP Address displayed on this page.  This IP address should be listed as
If a different internal IP address is displayed, the virtual network and/or virtual machine configuration was not completed correctly.  In this case, click the DELETE button located on the bottom toolbar of the virtual machine details page for XXXlabapp01, and go back to Exercise 2 and Exercise 3 to confirm that all steps were completed correctly.

10)   On the virtual machine Dashboard page for XXXlabapp01, click the Connect button located on the bottom navigation toolbar and click the Open button to launch a Remote Desktop Connection to the console of this virtual machine.  Logon at the console of your virtual machine with the local Administrator credentials defined in Step 5 above.

11)   In the Server Manager tool, click on Local Server in the left navigation pane and click on the Workgroup option.  Join this server to the domain and restart the server to complete the domain join operation. Step-By-Step: Server Manager | Local Server | WORKGROUP | Change… | Domain | | OK. Enter your domain credentials (CONTOSO\YourUserName) click OK then on Welcome to click OK; on restart popup click OK; Click Close on System Properties then click Restart Now on the popup.

12)   After the server restarts, re-establish a Remote Desktop connection to the server and logon with the CONTOSO\YourUserName domain user credentials defined earlier in Exercise 4.

13)   In the Server Manager tool, click on Local Server in the left navigation pane and select IE Enhanced Security Configuration.  Turn off enhanced security for Administrators and click the OK button.
Note: Modifying Internet Explorer Enhanced Security configurations is not good practice for production environments and is only for the purpose of this particular hands-on lab guide.

14)   On the Desktop, double-click on the SharePoint 2013 Products Configuration Wizard shortcut to launch the configuration wizard.  Click the Next button to continue. If prompted to start or reset services, click the Yes button.

15)   In the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard, when prompted on the Connect to server farm dialog, select the option to Create a new server farm.

16)   On the Specify Configuration Database Settings, specify the following values for each field:
Database Server: XXXlabdb01

Username: CONTOSO\sp_farm

Password: Type the password specified when the sp_farm domain user account was created earlier in Exercise 4.

17)   Click the Next > button. On the Specify Farm Security Settings screen enter a passphrase and then enter it again to confirm.  You can use whatever you like but please remember what you used.  Click Next. Accept all other default values in the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard. After some time, you should get a Configuration Successful Screen. Click the Finish button to complete the wizard.  Note that SharePoint may require many minutes to complete the initial provisioning process. 

18)   The SharePoint 2013 Central Administration web page should launch automatically.  You can skip the IE configuration for now. You do not need to enroll in customer experience. When prompted, click the Start the Wizard button to begin the Initial Farm Configuration Wizard.

19)   When prompted for Service Account, type the CONTOSO\sp_serviceapps domain username and password specified when this account was created earlier in Exercise 4.

20)   Accept all other default values, scroll down and click the Next > button to continue.

21)   On the Create a Site Collection page, create a new top-level Intranet site collection using the following field values:
Title and Description: Enter your preferred Title and Description for the new site collection

URL: Select the root URL path – http://XXXlabapp01/ (from the dropdown list)

Select experience version: 2013

Select a template: Publishing | Publishing Portal
Click the OK button to provision a new top-level Intranet site collection. 
After the new top-level Intranet site collection is provisioned, test navigating to the URL for this site collection from within the Remote Desktop session to the server.  You can do this by simply right-clicking on the Site URL: link on the final page of the Farm Configuration Wizard and select Open in new Window.  Click Finish on the Farm Configuration Wizard.

22)   On the SharePoint 2013 Central Administration site, configure a Public URL alternate access mapping for accessing the new top-level Intranet site collection from the Internet.

a)      On the Central Administration site home page, click the Configure alternate access mappings link.

b)      On the Alternate Access Mappings page, click the Edit Public URLs link.

c)      On the Edit Public Zone URLs page, select and specify the following values:
Alternate Access Mapping Collection: SharePoint – 80 (click No Selection to change)

Click the Save button to complete the Alternate Access Mapping configuration.

23)   Close the Remote Desktop session to the server.

24)   Test browsing to the following public URL to confirm that you are able to access the Intranet site collection that is configured on SharePoint:

Credentials:  Contoso\YourUserName (defined in Exercise 4)

If you are unable to successfully browse to this SharePoint site collection, carefully review Step 6, Step 7 and Step 22 to ensure that you have completed the steps correctly.

The configuration for this virtual machine is now complete, and you may continue with the next exercise in this hands-on lab guide.

Next Step: Wrap up and SAVE SOME TIME & MONEY!!!

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About Dan Stolts ITProGuru

Dan Stolts (The "ITProGuru") is a technology expert who is a master of systems management and security. He is proficient in many Microsoft products especially in the server area (Windows Server, System Center, Exchange, SharePoint, Virtualization, Etc) and holds many certifications including MCT, MCITP, MCSE, TS, etc. Dan is currently specializing in System Management and Security and is also very passionate about virtualization technologies. Dan is and has been a very active member of the community. He is president of Boston User Groups, Founder of Virtualization Group Boston, Founder of North East Leaders and serves on many IT Community group boards. He is in the process of writing his first book on building technology communities. He is a believer in social networking and can be reached on twitter @ITProGuru. He has participated in many non-technology community groups such as: Rotary Club, Lions Club, local Chambers of Commerce and is a mentor for the local high schools. Dan is an enthusiastic advocate of technology and is passionate about helping others. Dan's lifelong passion has been and continues to be to help and teach others!

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