After watching Mark Russinovich’s presentation about IaaS on Azure from TechEd NorthAmerica 2013 I figured I’d try it out to see if it really is as easy as he makes it seem.
After about an hour or so I can confidently report that it is very easy; I’ve got an OpenSuse 12.3 linux VM running with 28Gigs of space to play around with! This is a stock image from the gallery. I went with OpenSuse because I used to run that distro several years back. And because there wasn’t a debian image in the gallery :)
Setting up the VM itself is trivially easy in the new azure portal. It’s a wizard with 5 steps. Most of the time setting this up was spent creating an SSH certificate and configuring a client terminal program (PuTTY).
The portal wizard has a link to instructions for creating the cert and importing it though I deviated a bit when setting up PuTTY. Instead of using PuTTYgen to import the cert created via openssl.exe (windows build of openSSL) I just opened up an SSH session to the linux VM and instructed PuTTY to accept the site’s cert.