So here I was presenting at Windows Azure Boot Camp. I am an IT Pro Evangelist but sometimes I tend to spend time on Developer Technologies as well. Just like that I have been reading about Windows Azure for quite a long time & also discussed with the audience how can an IT Professional can contribute to Windows Azure. In other words What does Windows Azure mean for IT Professionals? You can find lot of information online at the same time you can attend TechEd Sessions by Joey Snow, Technical Evangelist.

Now, in today’s post I won’t be spending time around Windows Azure Deep Dive but will be focused on VM Role. This is the new offering in Windows Azure and currently it is available as Beta Release for Windows Azure. To begin with first you need to have Windows Azure Account & later you need to activate the VM Role from the Beta Tab.

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Once Approved you will see the role is now available for use.

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Now, for the complete VM Role Deployment Process please visit the Microsoft Documentation with all the step-by-step guidance and here I will provide some of the essential things required to get going on the machine with just Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

To start with Windows Azure VM Role

Visit this link: VM Role Version 1.0 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/gg502178

Here are the other links that I have used to deploy VM Role quickly without spending more time.

In Exercise 1: When attempting to upload the virtual machine into windows azure I got the following error:

Cannot access the certificate specified in the connection string. Verify that the certificate is installed and accessible. The syntax for the connection string 'SubscriptionId=<id>; CertificateThumbprint=<id>' is not valid.

This could be a number of things such as you don't have the certificate on azure. However, the thing that documentation fails is to say that the certificate and the virtual machine must be uploaded from the machine where the certificate was created.

I hope this saves you a couple hours of debugging.

The above extract is taken from this article…http://www.microsumol.com/2011/03/windows-azure-certificate-error/

Now, to create a certificate you can use the following command (You need to have Windows 7 SDK installed in order to use makercert.exe)

makecert -sky exchange -r -n "CN=aviraj" -pe -a sha1 -len 2048 -ss My "aviraj.cer"

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Also, make sure to use Appendix A: Configuring your Windows Azure Management Portal Credentials in Visual Studio. It means that you need to first create a certificate and upload it on the Azure Management Portal in order to authenticate your Windows Azure account so that you can deploy your application from Visual Studio & Visual Studio can use VHD from the Azure.

I hope that will help you deploy VM Role & in case you have any question/queries feel free to write at aviraj@microsoft.com

Happy Virtualization