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)
Your functional SharePoint lab environment is now complete, but if you’re like me, you won’t be using this lab environment 24×7 around-the-clock. As long as the virtual machines are running, they will continue to accumulate compute hours against your Windows Azure subscription.
To preserve your compute hours for productive lab work, be sure to shut down each VM from the Windows Azure Management Portal when not in use. (Virtual Machines – Click on the status of the machine, then click Shut Down). After each VM is successfully shutdown, the status of each VM will be listed in the portal as “Stopped (Deallocated)” and compute charges will not accumulate for VMs in this state. You should shutdown in the following sequence: XXLabApp01, XXXLabDB01, XXXLabAD01. You may get a message: “If you continue, the IP addresses that were assigned to this virtual machine will be released. Are you sure you want to shut down virtual machine that the IP addresses assigned to the machine will be released.” This is fine. A new IP address will be assigned when it is brought back online. You should make sure each machine shuts down completely before you start the shutdown of the next.
When you start the machines up again (Virtual Machines – Click on the status of the machine, then click Start), you will want to start them in reverse order. Start XXXLabAD01, then XXXLabDB01, then finally XXLabApp01. You should make sure that each machine is up and running before you start the next.
NOTE: It is important to shut down the VMs from the Windows Azure Management Portal to properly de-allocate compute resources and prevent compute charges from accumulating. If you shutdown VMs from within the Guest OS, the VMs will be placed in a “Stopped” state where compute resources are not de-allocated and compute charges in this state will still apply.
Next Step: Challenge Exercise: Scripted Provisioning with Windows PowerShell – Coming Soon!