Getting Started with SharePoint 2013 on Azure

Category: Azure, SharePoint

sharepointAzureGuide

So assuming that you have read the previous articles in my SharePoint Azure Guide, we are ready to move on to getting the prerequisites and creating an Azure account. Please, make sure you have read the pricing part of this article series before you proceed unless you are 100% certain how Azure pricing works.

What Do I Need to Use Microsoft Azure?

  • You will need to create an account for Azure based on which category you fall in, see my article on Azure pricing discounts & free trials to know which type of account will be right for you. For example, if you are an MSDN subscriber, go into your MSDN portal and activate your account there. If you are a MS partner, go to your portal there. If you do not have any of the memberships that just go to http://www.windowsazure.com but use the $200 free trial they are currently offering.
  • You will need a credit card (It will NOT be charged unless you remove the spending limit. You should have already read the articles pricing, pricing examples & removing your Azure spending limit)-*UPDATE 10/3/13 MSDN users no longer are required to enter a credit card.
  • You will need a phone to receive a verification call or text from MSFT to verify your new account.
  • You will (most likely) need to Install Azure PowerShell .
  • You will need a modern browser that supports HTML 5 as the portal in Azure is built on this.
  • You will need RDP access (some companies block this for workers if you are inside their network so you may have to try from home).

 

Architectural Planning & Best Practices

Before you actually set up SharePoint on Azure, you might want to take some time to understand the performance issues that virtual cloud infrastructure environments can have vs. other types of installations. If you are looking for a fast, short term quick SharePoint setup, you might be able to skip this step. However, if you are going to use Azure for the longer term, I suggest you take the time to understand and plan your architecture first. Wictor Wilén from Sweden has written a great article on this topic, Azure IaaS & SharePoint 2013 Tips & Tricks.

 

I’m Ready to Setup SharePoint 2013 on Azure

Decide if you are going to perform the steps manually or use PowerShell automated scripts. If you are going to use PowerShell scripts, select one from the link below that fits the needs of your Azure environment and budget, then download the script to your computer:

If you are going to perform this setup manually and not use PowerShell (which in my opinion is good to do at least once so you understand everything that is happening), then we can move on to the next step.

 

Instructions

Now that you have decided which PowerShell SharePoint automation script (or created one of your own) to use or decided to manually create your Azure environment, here are some instructions to guide you along the way:

 

Instructions for Using the PowerShell Scripts to setup SharePoint on Azure

On the page where you downloaded the scripts from (see link above), there should also be an instruction guide from the GitHub file or website you obtained the PowerShell script from to walk you through the process. Remember, different people have created all of these scripts and written their own instructions. You may have to learn as you go depending on which script you choose. I have tried to detail some of the issues I have had with these scripts on my SharePoint & Azure Installation “Gotchas” post to help you (and me – lol).

If you are using the script from Keith Mayer, the instructions are here.

 

Instructions for Setting Up SharePoint Manually on Azure

 

Other Add-ons & Options

With Azure, there are many things you create. Some of you might get tired of using the .publishing settings file for the Azure PowerShell console and might want to try using an X509 certificate. Perhaps you need secure access between your office and your Azure servers, adding a VPN (at additional cost) could benefit you. I have added links to installing additional features to your Azure environment below:

 

Other Resources

Remember I have other articles on troubleshooting Azure SharePoint installations and help resources if you run into issues setting up your environment.

 

Thanks To

  • Keith Mayer – for taking the time to write the article on how to do this as I would probably still be trying to figure it out if you had not.
  • Eric Skaggs – for taking the time to create even more detailed instructions (based on Keith’s) and presenting the demo at SharePoint Saturday in Chicago Suburbs
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