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TOPIC: How to use Azure with Action Pack

How to use Azure with Action Pack 1 year 10 months ago #2393

  ic2's Avatar Topic Author ic2 Offline Posts: 486
This may be an issue addressed to Nick but probably others can answer this as well. I remember that when I wrote that Microsoft Action Pack has actually little value for me that Nick wrote that Azure alone was worth the subscription. So I set up my Azure account via Action Pack, it says I have 85 euro credit (per month) and I thought, well, let's create a Windows 10 cloud machine with VS and Visual Objects on it and some other tools, for our new employee. This way he can work from home, from the client and also others can simply log in and get the latest state.

It surprised me that the only available W10 machine is W10 Enterprise which I have to combine with a VS account. Ok, I clicked Create and then it told me to create an Azure account. Well, I was in my Azure account. Seems that I can't create a machine like I thought would be useful.

How can you use Azure like I planned? Or how can you use Azure at all?

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How to use Azure with Action Pack 1 year 10 months ago #2395

  NickFriend's Avatar NickFriend Away Posts: 193
Hi Dick,

No idea what the problem is. I have no issues working with Azure, but I've never considered using it for client machines so I don't know what options they have. We use it for application servers with SQL Server databases and it's great.

Be careful with billing as you can easily add options without realising exactly how much they're going to cost. After setting up any kind of new service I'd recommend checking back a couple of hours later to see how much you're being billed and for what... billing is done on an hourly basis, so check exactly what's being billed, and how much per hour, and multiply that by about 720 to see what the monthly cost is really going to be.

Nick

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How to use Azure with Action Pack 1 year 10 months ago #2399

  ic2's Avatar Topic Author ic2 Offline Posts: 486
Hello Nick,

Thanks for your reply. What did you install from the Azure Market Place?

I always understood that it was possible to create an environment installed and maintained by Microsoft but then in the cloud, if required for a limited period. In that case you don't have to buy an expensive Pc, just a PC with internet.

I would like to set up a programming environment on it. I would expect to do so on a Windows 10 Desktop Azure environment which, to my surprise, isn't available. But a server would work to I'd say, install VS on it and maybe even VO and then see how much of the credit is used (Microsoft does not charge without permission the wrote).

Does Windows Server 2016 Datacenter/ Create do that job? Can I then use it as a regular server on which I can install what I want?

Dick

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How to use Azure with Action Pack 1 year 10 months ago #2401

  NickFriend's Avatar NickFriend Away Posts: 193
I imagine that would work fine.

But I repeat, be careful with the billing. I once set up a new server that I thought was correct, then when I got the bill at the end of the month it was something like £200 instead of the £50 I expected. It turned out that by selecting that particular type of server it automatically activated a series of other disk services that racked up a big bill. To be fair I complained about it and they refunded all the money immediately, but I don't have any faith in the pricing calculator that they have.... hence the suggestion to check the billing after a couple of hours to see what's really happening!

Nick

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How to use Azure with Action Pack 1 year 10 months ago #2402

  robert's Avatar robert Offline Posts: 994
Dick,

As part of our Visual Studio Partnership we have an Azure credit of around EUR 130 per month.

We have set up a development machine in the cloud where we have the VS build tools and where we can build our code.

So far this setup (1 VM,Standard D2 v2 (2 cores, 7 GB memory), 128 Gb disk, 99Gb temp storage) has cost around 100 EUR per month and was therefore covered by the VSP.

Setting up was really easy:
- Choose a template with VS
- Choose the machine type (D2v2) and disk space etc
- Enter some names and passwords
- Let Azure do its thing
- Connect through Remote desktop and share local drives
- Copy installation software for other software from local drive and install

The machine is not one of the fastest in the world but is sufficient for what we want to do.

Robert
XSharp Development Team
The Netherlands
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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How to use Azure with Action Pack 1 year 10 months ago #2417

  ic2's Avatar Topic Author ic2 Offline Posts: 486
Thanks Nick and Robert for your explanations. Without these it was not immediately clear for me for example that you access the Azure server with RD. Some other remarks, maybe for future readers:
  • You can only select a couple of pre-defined settings. I would expect you can select required memory, disk etc to be any value you like
  • I was surprised by the low disk spaces. It turns out that the 16 Gb I choose is temporary storage D (still low of course) but there's a 128 Gb C disk
  • I created a RD connection and afterwards I stopped the machine which is supposed to save Azure fees. The RD connection didn't work the next time and I found a different ip address in portal.azure.com. I hope it doesn't change every time I stop the machine (e.g. over the weekend) because then it's pretty unusable. I seem to have spent 2 or 3 euros in the last 2-3 days, partly with a switched off machine.
  • If you connect it warns for Unknown publisher and then that the identity of the Remote Computer could not be verified. Not sure what it takes to expose a known publisher and verifiable identity, but if even Microsoft's own Azure accesses show these warnings, they are of little use I'd say
I can't say much about the speed now, it doesn't seem too slow. It's installing VS 2017 Community now. Hopefully it works better than the VS 2017 I installed a few month ago on my own machines. I had to deinstall those as UWP didn't work and fortunately got VS 2015 working, well,as far as one could call any VS version "working".

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Last edit: by ic2.
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