imageAs some of you may know I am extremely excited about Windows Azure IaaS and the virtual machines feature (currently in customer preview).  During my sessions I get a lot of the same questions about how Windows Azure IaaS works.  Well I had a chance to do an ask the experts session a couple of weeks ago and I met Narahari Dogiparthi.  Narahari works in our support organization and he focuses on Windows Azure IaaS and get’s all kinds of great questions as well.  He wrote a great little FAQ around windows Azure, that I recommend you take a look at his post here:  

Windows Azure Virtual Machines – Gotcha’s! 

Here is a list of questions he takes a look at:

  1. Virtual machine disappeared or was deleted (usually trial related)
  2. Underlying VHDs are not deleted by default when you delete virtual machines
  3. Beware of “Temporary Disk” usage (We have seen a few customers that have used the D: drive to store important data, not realizing it is temporary storage.
  4. Uploading existing VHDs (Customers can use various methods to upload VHDs to Windows Azure Storage)
  5. Unable to re-use the previous DNS name of VM even though VM is deleted (Deleting a VM does not remove the associated cloud service automatically and hence you are unable to re-use the same DNS name as previous VM.)
  6. Securing Windows Azure Virtual Machines
  7. Failed to start virtual machine xxxxxx. (known issue)
  8. Failed to create virtual machine linuxvm1.
  9. Capture Versus Snapshot (how to save and work with backups and Azure IaaS)
  10. How to break the lease on VHDs/blobs?
  11. RDP connectivity issues
  12. Platform updates to VM, restarts, shutdowns. (Host updates occur approximately once in every 1-3 months to keep the environment secure for all applications)
  13. VM activations (known issue)
  14. Production workloads and support during Windows Azure Virtual Machines “Preview”. (not recommended)
  15. Status of VMs after Windows Azure Virtual Machines reaches General Availability (GA) status
  16. VM role Vs Virtual Machines  (IaaS vs PaaS)
  17. Disks vs Images vs VHDs
  18. Availability set & affinity groups, Connecting VMs – Three different, distinct purpose
  19. GA date?  Stay tuned to Windows Azure Portal for updated information.

He also wrote a great on security and Windows Azure (a lot of these are traditional best practices, but remember the cloud does not fix stupid!)Security Best Practices for Windows Azure 

Remember get your free trial here: http://aka.ms/GetAzureIaaS