At Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech), we put a lot of effort into making the experience simpler, so that as far as possible, your technology “just works” a little bit more smoothly.
One area where we’ve put a lot of attention recently is enhancing the deployment of Linux-based virtual machine images on Microsoft Azure, through our rapidly-expanding VM Depot repository.
VM Depot is a community-driven catalog of pre-configured operating systems, applications, and development stacks that can easily be deployed on Microsoft Azure. As VM Depot now has more than 1,000 unique images, we continue to promote tools that will make it possible for developers to find and deploy software, to build a virtual machine image for themselves, to join the community and to share with others.
Here are a few ways that we recommend to get up and running quickly:
From the Command Line
To deploy any image within the VM Depot repository on Azure, you can use the Node.js command line tools. The Microsoft Azure Node.js SDK offers a robust set of tools, which we continue to update so that developers have full access to VM Depot and Azure regardless of which operating system they are working from. Using the command line, developers can script users or build custom user interfaces.
The Microsoft Azure Management Portal
The Azure Management Portal is a web-based tool for managing Azure resources. Using this portal, users can deploy VM Depot images with nothing more than a web browser. It can also be used to monitor and manage deployed virtual machines. This option is recommended if you plan to deploy a small number of machines.
Another option that may be of help is the Bitnami Launchpad. This tool is a great example of the type of community contributions we set out to create when we launched VM Depot, as it provides a way for developers to fire up a trial Linux-based virtual machine with a variety of open source software stacks on Microsoft Azure. Bitnami offers these one-hour trials at no charge, granting access to a majority of the images within the VM Depot repository. If you wish to keep the virtual machine after the one-hour trial period, Bitnami Launchpad can help with that too.
Free Azure Time
For any of these options, you will want to have an Azure subscription. If you are just getting your feet wet, we recommend the $200 Azure trial account to get you started.
We hope you will take advantage of these tools so that you can see for yourself just how easy to run enterprise-grade open source software on Azure.