Instant (almost) SharePoint 2013 Farm in Azure!


Microsoft Azure has had a pre-configured SharePoint 2013 image for quite a while, but you still had to create a SQL Server image to make it work and then run the SharePoint wizard to create the farm. Now they have a wizard approach to quickly create a ready to use three server basic farm or a nine server high-availability farm. Just click, click, click, wait a while and start playing with SharePoint! Just the thing for evaluations, demos and development.

The three server farm includes a SQL server, a DC server and a SharePoint server. The high-availability farm includes two DC servers, three SQL server servers, two application servers and two SharePoint web servers. (This one should drain your Azure budget! Remember to turn these off when not in use.)

Details on both configurations can be found here: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-machines-sharepoint-farm-config-azure-preview/

Here's the steps to create your Azure SharePoint 2013 farm: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-machines-sharepoint-farm-azure-preview/


A few observations:

  • SharePoint Version: 15.0.4571.1502  (Service Pack 1 (revised))
  • License: SharePoint Server Trial with Enterprise Client Access License
  • An initial web application and site collection have been created, but you will be asked to pick the template for the top level site on the first visit.
  • None of the services applications have been installed. User Profiles, Search, etc.
  • The VMs are available via Remote Desktop.
  • SharePoint is accessible from the web, so you can test from your local PC.
  • Outgoing and incoming email has not been configured.
  • Does not include Office Web Apps server.


Things you will need to do to have a complete SharePoint:

  • Configure the services
  • Configure email options
  • Add one more server VM for Office Web apps


Now all we need is a volunteer to create the PowerShell scripts to do the final work for us!



Vlad Catrinescu said...

Great Blog Post! Some shameless self promo to complete the blog post:

Here is a step by step guide on how to create it for people that are more visiual: http://absolute-sharepoint.com/2014/10/create-sharepoint-2013-farm-in-azure-step-step.html

And also, here is if you want to know how much it's going to cost you to run the Azure SharePoint farm:

Mike Smith said...


As long as it adds value... self promote all you want!

The second link is the most interesting to me... thank you for sacrificing your Azure credits to do the test!


Amit Lohogaonkar Sharepointer said...

Suppose we build a QA/demo farm on azure VM with SharePoint 2013 and If I hit the QA URL for testing for 3 hours today Microsoft will charge 3 hours of time right? Now how do you calculate demo URL hit(for example at night QA/demo was shut down and now I want to test few things in the morning do I need to explicitly start that azure QA vm? Or if I just hit the QA URL(qa-outdemosharepointsite.com-hosted on azure) then it will restart on itself?

Amit Lohogaonkar Sharepointer said...

We use sharepoint 2013 and sql server 2012 on premises. Can I use SQL server 2012 in azure?

Mike Smith said...


You will need to manually stop and restart the VMs.


Mike Smith said...


>Can I use SQL server 2012 in azure?
You have two options: Add databases to Azure SQL (a special version for the cloud) or build a VM with whatever version you like. So if you want a particular version, build your own VM. Azure has ready to use VMs for SQL 2008, 2012, and 2014.

If you are asking about using Azure SQL with an on premises SharePoint, then no. SharePoint's SQL server must be "near by" on the network.


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