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Hello, this is Yang from the Windows Server Essentials team. Today I would like to introduce you to a new way of getting Windows Server Essentials Experience running, and it takes less than 30 minutes. Of course, the magic happens with Windows Azure!
On October 18, 2013, together with the Windows Server 2012 R2 GA announcement, we released a new image to the Windows Azure Virtual Machine platform image gallery.
The image, named Windows Server Essentials Experience, is in essence a server running Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter with several customizations around Windows Server Essentials Experience. With this image, you can create a brand new server in minutes and adjust your usage as your needs change; you only pay for what you use, and there are never any penalties for changing the configurations. Your server is deployed into a multi-zone production environment, and you can seamlessly integrate the server with other cloud-based services!
Among all the customizations we made to the image, the following are the most important:
We tried to make your experience running Windows Server Essentials Experience in the cloud as similar as possible to running on-premises, while still making the customizations mentioned in this blog to accommodate the special environment of the cloud. Can’t wait to get a Windows Azure subscription and give it a try? To do so, we strongly recommend that you read this document, follow the steps to set up a virtual network, create a virtual storage account, provision the VM, pay attention to the limitations, and get a fully functioning Windows Server Essentials Experience on Windows Server 2012 R2 running in the cloud!
We hope you enjoy the cloud as much as we do. Please leave your feedback in the comments or through the forum.
By the way, for our readers in China, we also offer English and Chinese images through Windows Azure in China.
Windows Azure is offered to Virtual Machines that have two or more instances deployed in the same Availability Set in the same cloud service. Click here for more information.
OK - so you create this VM. How do you actually setup and use the essentials experience part? I went through the configuration, joined to a onmicrosoft.com domain... do you still need to purchase and install a trusted certificate to use anywhere access? Shouldn't that be provided by Microsoft?
Thanks for the write up - used this as the starting point for building out an essentials VM to migrate to from SBS 2003, wrote up my experience of the migration here: