Thursday, April 17, 2014

Using Azure for a FIM Dev Environment

Been using PowerShell and Hyper-V to automate the creation of FIM machines for quite a while but hadn’t paid enough attention to automating the same using Azure instead of Hyper-V.  My assumption was that it would be an easy transition, figuring Azure VMs to be just like Hyper-V.  It is actually way better than I thought, at least in my initial impressions.

Azure VM Images

The key reason why I like Azure VMs is the VM gallery.  Sure it is cool that there are loads of gallery images, even including non-Microsoft images but they are so quick to deploy.  Also, by using those images you outsource the creation of them, allowing you to focus on the thing you’re trying to deploy.  In my case, I make use of two types of images:

1. Windows Server 2012 R2 (I use this for my AD Domain Controller)

2. SQL Server 2014 (I use this for my FIM server)

So with those images deployed to new VMs there is actually less work for me to do to get FIM deployed, a time savings I wasn’t expecting.

If you haven’t been using Azure VMs for FIM development and test environments, then it is certainly time to take a look!

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