Wednesday, February 9, 2011

VM role the sequel

After playing some time with the VM Role beta and stumbling upon strange problems, i found out that VM beta was activated on my CTP08 subscription and not on my regular one. In the Windows Azure portal, having the information uncollapsed, it looks like it's active :-)

Anyway, testing with the VM role on a small instance now. Using remote desktop and testing if using VM role as a replacement for my own local VM images running in our own datacenter is appropriate. So far, it's looking good. The only thing is: we are running stateless. This means that information that needs to be stored should be stored in a cloudway and not to disk or other local options. Use Azure Drive, TFS hosted somewhere, skydrive, dropbox or other cloudservices that let you save information in a reliable way. Saving your work, while running a VM role, on the C: drive might cause a serious loss of the role gets recycled or crashes and it brought up somewhere else (with yet another c: drive). Although the VM role was never invented for being pure IaaS, it's still a nice alternative that can be very usefull in some scenarios.

We'll continue and make some nice differencing disks with specific tools for specific users (developers, testers, desktop workers etc.) and see how it will work. Developing using VS2010 on a 8 core cloudy thing with 14 gig of internal memory is a blessing. Having your sources stored on Azure drive or alternatives and directly connect to your TFS environment by using Azure Connect combines the best of all worlds and gives you a flexible, cost effective but most of all quick way of setting up images and also tearing them down fast.....