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Deploying SharePoint 2013 on Microsoft Azure Using IASS – Part 1


The objective of this article is to articulate the setup of SharePoint 2013 farm on Microsoft Azure platform using Infrastructure as a Service (IASS). Basically I  pretty much followed the steps mentioned in the MSDN article. I’m using Microsoft Azure trial subscription for the entire setup of SharePoint on Azure.

Configuration of Windows Azure Infrastructure components

The first step in setting up the SP 2013 Farm is to start provisioning the following three basic Network components and a Storage Account in the Azure Instance:

· One Virtual Network

· Four subnets

· Two DNS Servers

· One Windows Azure Storage account

On the lower-left corner, Click New à Virtual Network

Name for Virtual Network

Region: East Asia

Affinity Group: Create a new Affinity Group


On the DNS Servers type, type DNSServer1 and assign IP address as

On the DNS Servers type, type DNSServer2 and assign IP address as


On the Virtual Network Address Spaces, Click CIDR box to add subnet button. Add four subnets for each of the following

· DCSubnet (replaces Subnet-1),

· DataSubnet,

· AppSubnet,

· WebSubnet,


Now the virtual network is created.


Creation of Storage Account

The next step is to create Windows Azure Storage Account

Go to the Azure Management Portal.

New –> Data Services –> Storage and Quick Create


For the url enter name as “sundarsp”

Leave the default location/affinity group, which is selected as SundarAffinity.

Leave the default selection for Replication as ‘Geo-Redundant’ which will ensure the durability of the data.

Standards, Conventions and Limits

There are few conventions, standards and limits that I will be following throughout this article. It’s all again based on the msdn guidance. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn275966.aspx.

When it comes to the allocating empty disk space, a size of 20 GB will be allocated to Primary Domain Controller & Back-Up Domain Controller VM. An empty disk size of 50 GB will be allocated to Database Server and SharePoint Server VMs.

Virtual Machine Type

Empty Disk Size

Primary Domain Controller

20 GB

Backup Domain Controller

20 GB

Database servers

50 GB

SharePoint Servers

50 GB

When it comes to Subnet creation, it is recommended to create four Subnets for different servers.


Subnet Name

Domain Controller

DC Subnet

SharePoint Server


Sql Server

Data Subnet

App Server


Availability Sets in Azure provides the capability to allocate Virtual Machines to different fault domains when a failure occurs. It increases availability and reliability. The recommendation is to create four Availability Sets as per the below conventions

Availability Set



SP2013-DC1 and SP2013-DC2


SP2013-Web1 and SP2013-Web2


SP2012-App1 and SP2013-App2


SP2012-SQL1 and SP2012-SQL2

We’ll be creating an Active Directory Domain by name ‘techguru.com’ (any arbitrary name that you can create for your need. I’ll also be creating the following set of Service Accounts on the techguru.com domain with a password of ‘password-1’ and password set as never expires.

Service Account



Account to manage the SharePoint farm


Account to Manage the SQL Server (with SysAdmin rights )


Account with Domain administration rights for installing Roles and Features on various servers


Account that SQL Server Instances run as.

Creation of Virtual Machines from Gallery

The creation of Virtual Machines typically involves the following five steps:-

1) Provisioning of Virtual Machine Instance

2) Creation and Attachment of empty disks

3) Initializing Empty Disks (The specification for empty disks are mentioned in the previous section 1.b)

4) Creation of Availability Set and its Associations for various VMs (The list of Availability Set are mentioned in the previous Section 1.b)

5) Logging into VM and perform initial setup activities

The Virtual machines need to be created in the following order and with the following specifications.

VM Name


VM Image

VM Type



Primary Domain Controller

Windows Server 2012 Data Center

A2 2 cores

DC Subnet


Back-up Domain Controller

Windows Server 2012 Data Center

A2 2 cores

DC Subnet


Database Server

MS SQL 2012 SP1 Enterprise on Win 2008 R2 SP1

A2 2 cores

Data Subnet


Database Server

MS SQL 2012 SP1 Enterprise on Win 2008 R2 SP1

A2 2 cores

Data Subnet


SharePoint App Server

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Trial

A2 2 cores



SharePoint App Server

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Trial

A2 2 cores



SharePoint WFE

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Trial

A2 2 cores



SharePoint WFE

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Trial

A2 2 cores


Creation of domain controller VM

New –> Compute –>Virtual Machine à from Gallery.

Select Virtual Machine operating system.

First, we’ll create a VM for Domain Controller and we’ll select Windows Server 2012 Data Center for Domain Controllers.


Set the password as ‘Pass@word1’.




Attach an empty disk of 20 GB to the Domain Controller VM and set it as Read/Write


Now we have attached the empty disk of 20 GB to the primary domain controller (sp2013-dc1) VM. The next step is to create Availability Set for the domain controller VM.

Virtual Machines –> Configure –> Availability Set –> Create an Availability Set


Set the name for availability set as ‘DC Avail Set’ and Save. Now let’s try logging in to VM.

In the Remote Desktop Connection Dialog Box click Connect and provide your user account as <<Machinename>>.cloudapp.net\UserName and provide the password. Once we log in to the VM, we need to perform the Task of Initializing the Empty disks (mentioned in previous section)

Creation of Backup Domain Controller VM

Compute –> Virtual Machine –> From Gallery




Attach an empty disk of 20 GB to the back-up Domain Controller VM


Now we have successfully attached the Empty Disk to the backup domain controller VM. The next step is to select the ‘Availability Set’. Select the existing Availability Set of ‘DCAvailSet’ for back-up domain controller and save.


Now we have successfully created Availability Set for Domain Controller VMs (Primary and back-up). Now we need to log in to the SP2013-DC2 VM and perform the Empty Disk Initialization steps mentioned in section 1f.

Empty Disk Initialization

The empty disk initialization task need to be performed for all the types of the VMs that we would be creating as a part of SharePoint 2013 farm set up. Perform the following task on a VM running Windows Server 2012.

Server Manager à Click File and Storage Services à Disks

Select the Disk that is with the capacity of 20 GB and partition set to Unknown.


Create a new Volume, accept defaults and Set the Drive volume as ‘F’



The next step is to configure the Domain Controllers (both Primary and Back-up), it will be covered in detail in the part 2 of this article.

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Published at DZone with permission of Sundararajan Narasiman, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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