SharePoint

SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview Image in Windows Azure Platform Gallery

SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview is now available in the Windows Azure Platform Gallery.  The image is based on the current Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter release and includes a complete installation of SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview.

Getting Started

To get started with SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview on Windows Azure navigate to the Windows Azure Portal (https://manage.windowsazure.com/) and sign-in with your credentials.

Select + New.

Select Compute, click Virtual Machine and then click From Gallery

On the Create Virtual Machine Dialog click Platform Images and then click SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview.

MSAzure

Click -> Next.

Complete the remaining details to provision your virtual machine.

NOTE

Extra Large, A6, or A7 are the recommended virtual machine sizes recommended for use with SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview.

The virtual machine contains a complete installation of SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview and expires on February 23, 2016.  SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview and prerequisites are preinstalled with links to SharePoint 2016 Central Administration, the SharePoint 2016 Management Shell, and SharePoint Products Configuration on the Start screen. SQL Server 2014 with Service Pack 1 or SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.2 is required to complete the configuration.

This image can be configured using the available roles in the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard.

Resources

SharePoint Deployment on Windows Azure Virtual Machines
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34598

SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure Infrastructure
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn275958.aspx

Installing SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn275959.aspx

Automate Windows Azure SharePoint Deployments
https://github.com/WindowsAzure/azure-sdk-tools-samples/wiki/Automated-Deployment-of-SharePoint-2013-with-Windows-Azure-PowerShell

SharePoint and Windows Azure Development Kit
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24398

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Administration, SharePoint

Implementing Azure Blob Storage (ABS) with SQL Server 2014 and SharePoint 2013 [Updated]

Overview

NOTE (8/26/2014)

With any solution that externalizes the unstructured content with SharePoint you need to understand the limitations and optimal use of those solutions as documented at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff628583(v=office.15).aspx to include related latency and performance requirements.

With any application organizations face consistent key challenges such as high efficiency and business value, complex configuration, and low total cost of ownership.  Extending applications to the cloud in hybrid scenarios addresses many of these challenges, whether distributing SharePoint content across on-premises and Office 365 while leveraging search as a service (hybrid search) or externalizing data, extending it to the cloud with Remote Blob Storage or related technologies.

SQL Server 2014 and Windows Azure Blob Storage provide a unique solution that balances the needs of IT with those of the business – SQL Server Data Files in Windows Azure which allows you to create a database in SQL Server running in on-premises or in a virtual machine in Windows Azure with a dedicated storage location for your data in Windows Azure Blob Storage.

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This enhancement especially simplifies to move databases between machines by using detach and attach operations. In addition, it provides an alternative storage location for your database backup files by allowing you to restore from or to Windows Azure Storage. Therefore, it enables several hybrid solutions by providing several benefits for data virtualization, data movement, security and availability, and any easy low costs and maintenance for high-availability and elastic scaling.

Prerequisites

SQL Server 2014 on-premises or as a Windows Azure Virtual Machine

Storage Account and Container in Windows Azure

When using SQL Server Data Files in Windows Azure feature, you need to create a storage account and a container in Windows Azure, create a SQL Server credential, which includes information on the policy of the container as well as a Shared Access Signature that is necessary to access the container.

Getting Started

Create a Storage Account

To store files and data in the Blob, Table, Queue, and File services in Azure, you must create a storage account in the geographic region where you want to store the data.

For step by step instructions on how to create a Storage Account using the Windows Azure Management Portal see http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/storage-create-storage-account/.

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Create a Container

All storage blobs reside in a container.   To create a container:

Sign in to the Management Portal.

Click Storage from the list of available options and select the Storage Account created in the previous steps.

Click CONTAINERS from the list of available options.

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On the CONTAINERS dialog click + Add and specify the name for the new container.

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NOTE

Keep the default access level ‘Private’.

By default, the container is private and can be accessed only by the account owner. To allow public read access to the blobs in the container, but not the container properties and metadata, use the "Public Blob" option. To allow full public read access for the container and blobs, use the "Public Container" option.

The following steps assume that a Windows Azure Storage container has been created, and a policy has been created with read, write, list, rights. Creating a policy on a container generates a SAS key which is safe to keep unencrypted in memory and needed by SQL Server to access the blob files in the container.

Create a Credential

Creating a credential creates a record that contains the authentication information that is required to connect to a resource outside SQL Server. (such as Azure Blob Store).  To create a credential for Azure Blob Store requires a Windows Azure Store Container and a policy to allow read, write, and list rights.  Creating a policy generates a SAS key which SQL Server uses to access the blobs in the container.

Syntax

CREATE CRENDENTIAL [Container Url] — Specifies the name of the credential being created, I.e. the Windows Azure Storage Container

WITH IDENTITY = ‘SHARED ACCESS SIGNATURE’ — Specifies the name of the account to be used when connecting outside the server, I.e. when used with a Windows Azure Storage Container this value is always ‘SHARED ACCESS SIGNATURE’.  A Shared Access Signature is a URI that grants restricted access rights to containers, blobs, queues, and tables for a specific time interval (see example below).

For information on creating and using Shared Access Signatures see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/jj721951.aspx.

SECRET = ‘Secret’ — Specifies the secret required for outgoing authentication.   In this scenario the SECRET represents the Shared Access Signature associated with the policy created on the container (see example below).

Example

USE master
CREATE CREDENTIAL [https://sqlcloud.blob.core.windows.net/data%5D
WITH IDENTITY = 'SHARED ACCESS SIGNATURE',
SECRET = 'sr=c&se=2014-08-25T18%3B34%3B29Z&sp=rwl&sig=wJripFB9nq%2FrwlARE11TYS1OccKpFrpn6y3QuRS%2Fv4o%3D'

To view the credential created in the steps above use:

SELECT * FROM sys.credentials

The sys.credentials Security Catalog View returns one row for each stored credential which includes:

name = Name of the credential. Is unique in the server.

credential_identity = Name of the identity to use.

create_date = Time at which the credential was created.

modify_date = Time at which the credential was last modified.

target_type = Type of credential. Returns NULL for traditional credentials such as SHARED ACCESS SIGNATURE.

target_id = ID of the object that the credential is mapped to. Returns 0 for traditional credentials.

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Create a Database

Creating a database does not differ significantly from creating a database in a traditional on-premises SQL Server storage scenario using the CREATE DATABASE statement.

Syntax

CREATE DATABASE [Name] — Is the name of the new database.

ON ( NAME = [Database Name], FILENAME = [Data File Path and File Name] ) — Specifies that the disk files used to store the data sections of the database, data files, are explicitly defined.

LOG ON ( Name = [Log Name], FILENAME = [Log File Path and File Name] ) Specifies that the disk files used to store the database log, log files, are explicitly defined.

Example

CREATE DATABASE WSS_Content
ON ( NAME = WSS_Content, FILENAME = 'https://sqlcloud.blob.core.windows.net/data/WSS_Content.mdf' )
LOG ON ( NAME = WSS_Content_Log, FILENAME = 'https://sqlcloud.blob.core.windows.net/data/WSS_Content.ldf' )

Validate Database Creation

To validate the database and related files were created successfully in the container select Connect in SQL Server Management Studio and choose Windows Azure from the list of available options.  Specify the name of the storage account associated with the container and provide the related access key to access the container.

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Add Database(s) to SharePoint

To add the database use the Mount-SPContentDatabase cmdlet which attaches an existing content database to the farm.

Syntax

Mount-SPContentDatabase

-Name Specifies the existing content database to attach to the farm.

-DatabaseServer Specifies the name of the host server for the content database specified in the Name parameter.

-WebApplication Attaches the content database to the specified SharePoint web application.

Example

Mount-SPContentDatabase “WSS_Content” –DatabaseServer CP-SQ-01 –WebApplication http://sharepoint.wbaer.com.co

Summary

SQL Server Data Files in Windows Azure simplifies migration processes by moving one database at a time between machines on-premises as well as between on-premises and cloud environments without any application changes and provides near limitless storage without the overhead of managing storage.

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Administration, SharePoint

SharePoint Server 2013 Trial Image in Windows Azure China Platform Gallery

The SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image is now available in the Windows Azure China Platform Gallery.  The image is based on the current Windows Server 2012 Datacenter release and includes a complete installation of SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise Trial patched with the March Public Update.

NOTE

Additional configuration is required to use the SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image include 1) a database server running SQL Server 2008 R2 or SQL Server 2012 2) a server running AD DS.

The current SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image will expire on September 22, 2014 unless activated using the appropriate product key.  See also http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263204(v=office.14).aspx.

Resources

SharePoint Deployment on Windows Azure Virtual Machines
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34598

SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure Infrastructure
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn275958.aspx

Installing SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn275959.aspx

Automate Windows Azure SharePoint Deployments
https://github.com/WindowsAzure/azure-sdk-tools-samples/wiki/Automated-Deployment-of-SharePoint-2013-with-Windows-Azure-PowerShell

SharePoint and Windows Azure Development Kit
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24398

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SharePoint

SharePoint Server 2013 Trial in Windows Azure [Updated]

An updated SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image is available in the Windows Azure Platform Gallery.  The image is based on the current Windows Server 2012 Datacenter release and includes a complete installation of SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise Trial patched with the March Public and December Cumulative Updates.

NOTE

Additional configuration is required to use the SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image include 1) a database server running SQL Server 2008 R2 or SQL Server 2012 2) a server running AD DS.

The current SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image will expire on July 6, 2014 unless activated using the appropriate product key.  See also http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263204(v=office.14).aspx.

Resources

SharePoint Deployment on Windows Azure Virtual Machines
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34598

SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure Infrastructure
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn275958.aspx

Installing SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn275959.aspx

Automate Windows Azure SharePoint Deployments
https://github.com/WindowsAzure/azure-sdk-tools-samples/wiki/Automated-Deployment-of-SharePoint-2013-with-Windows-Azure-PowerShell

SharePoint and Windows Azure Development Kit
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24398

Standard
SharePoint

SharePoint Server 2013 Trial in Windows Azure [Updated]

An updated SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image is available in the Windows Azure Platform Gallery.  The image is based on the current Windows Server 2012 Datacenter release and includes a complete installation of SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise Trial patched with the March Public and August Cumulative Updates.

NOTE

Additional configuration is required to use the SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image include 1) a database server running SQL Server 2008 R2 or SQL Server 2012 2) a server running AD DS.

The current SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image will expire on March 17, 2014 unless activated using the appropriate product key.  See also http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263204(v=office.14).aspx.

Resources

SharePoint Deployment on Windows Azure Virtual Machines
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34598

SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure Infrastructure
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn275958.aspx

Installing SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn275959.aspx

Automate Windows Azure SharePoint Deployments
https://github.com/WindowsAzure/azure-sdk-tools-samples/wiki/Automated-Deployment-of-SharePoint-2013-with-Windows-Azure-PowerShell

SharePoint and Windows Azure Development Kit
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24398

 

 

Standard
SharePoint

SharePoint Server 2013 Trial in Windows Azure

An updated SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image is available in the Windows Azure Platform Gallery.  The image is based on the current Windows Server 2012 Datacenter release and includes a complete installation of SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise Trial patched with the March Public and April Cumulative Updates.

NOTE

Additional configuration is required to use the SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image include 1) a database server running SQL Server 2008 R2 or SQL Server 2012 2) a server running AD DS.

The current SharePoint Server 2013 Trial image will expire on December 16, 2013 unless activated using the appropriate product key.  See also http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263204(v=office.14).aspx.

Standard
Administration, SharePoint

Get Started with SharePoint Server 2013 Quickly on Windows Azure

In order to remain competitive in today’s business climate you need to be able to respond to change and challenges quickly.  Sometimes that means adjusting your SharePoint infrastructure on a moment’s notice to maintain a competitive advantage.

Infrastructure as a Service solves these challenges through a ready-to-use, pay as you go solution which means you can deploy in hours as opposed to days, whether you’re looking to deploy a simple SharePoint-based Internet site or to quickly provision a development environment.

SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure Virtual Machines enables you to rapidly deploy and host your business websites on a secure, scalable cloud infrastructure.

What are Windows Azure Virtual Machines?

Windows Azure Virtual Machines enable organizations to deploy custom Windows Server images to Windows Azure. Virtual Machines provide developers complete control of the application environment and allow easy migration of existing applications to the cloud. To learn more about Windows Azure Virtual Machines see also http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/scenarios/virtual-machines/.

How can I benefit from Azure IaaS?

Business Mobility

Windows Azure Virtual Machines allow you to easily move your applications and infrastructure back and forth from on-premises to the cloud without requiring any changes to the existing code – if you’ve virtualized SharePoint 2013 in on-premises you can quickly and easily move your virtual hard drives between your datacenter and the cloud.

License Mobility

With License Mobility through Software Assurance, you can deploy certain server application licenses purchased under your Volume Licensing agreement in an Authorized Mobility Partner’s datacenter. To learn more about License Mobility see also http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/software-assurance/license-mobility.aspx . With License Mobility through Software Assurance, you can deploy certain server application licenses purchased under your Volume Licensing agreement in an Authorized Mobility Partner’s datacenter.

Hybrid Connectivity

Windows Azure IaaS enables IT to establish a VPN connection to on-premises infrastructure which means you don’t need to move your Active Directory infrastructure to the cloud, simply deploy SharePoint 2013 in Windows Azure IaaS and have users authenticate behind the firewall.  Hybrid connectivity also means you can connect to your line of business applications behind the firewall with your Azure IaaS deployment.

Getting Started

To get started with SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure navigate to the Windows Azure Portal (https://manage.windowsazure.com/) and sign-in with your credentials.

Select + New.

Select Compute click Virtual Machine and click From Gallery

On the Create Virtual Machine Dialog click Platform Images and then click SharePoint Server 2013 Trial.

image

Click -> Next.

Complete the remaining details to provision your virtual machine.

NOTE

Extra Large, A6, or A7 are the recommended virtual machine sizes recommended for use with SharePoint Server 2013.

The virtual machine contains a complete installation of SharePoint Server 2013 and expires on October 16, 2013. To continue using the virtual machine after October 16, 2013 you will need to convert the installation to use a Retail or Volume License key. SharePoint Server 2013 and prerequisites are preinstalled with links to SharePoint 2013 Central Administrations, the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell, and SharePoint Products Configuration on the desktop. SQL Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 or SQL Server 2012 is required to complete the configuration.

Conclusion

Azure enables IT to reduce overhead and operation burden allowing more time and resources to focus on innovation.  Through a flexible IaaS architecture you can scale on demand adding compute capacity as it becomes necessary, quickly, without having to install additional hardware in your data centers, reducing your compute footprint – you’ll spend less time supporting hardware and more time innovating.

Resources

Learn more about Windows Azure

SharePoint on Windows Azure Video

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