Did you know that Windows Azure now offers a preview Infrastructure as as Service (IaaS) Virtual Machine hosting role? And that combined with Virtual Networking, you can merge the Azure VM portion of your network seamlessly with your corporate network?

One part of that: PFE Ahmed Farag has put together a comprehensive set of tips on preparing to upload a virtual machine template into Windows Azure, which you can then use as the basis for future VMs in your cloud:

As soon as you sign up for the preview the virtual machine option will show up in your management page which will allow you to create new virtual machines:

VM Role in Windows Azure

This new feature will allow you to create new VMs from a gallery of pre-defined templates for both windows and Linux. You also get to create your own template, have it upload it and then use it moving forward. In this article I will explain in details the process of creating a VM and then having it uploaded to your Azure subscription to be used as a template.

Ahmed then covers various non-obvious gotchas, limitations and processes, and walks through the process of uploading a VM template to Azure.

You can find the original post here.

Posted by Tristan Kington, MSPFE Editor, Radiohead concert veteran