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Mastering Azure Virtual Machines and Storage Setup

1. Introduction

In the realm of cloud technology, Azure shines as a beacon of innovation, offering a plethora of services that empower businesses to harness the limitless possibilities of the digital age. This guide serves as your compass, navigating through the intricacies of Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) and Storage setup, two pillars that form the foundation of cloud-based solutions.

2. Purpose

The purpose of this guide extends beyond mere instruction; it's about equipping you with the knowledge and skills to wield the power of Azure VMs and Storage. By understanding these core components, you transcend the role of a user and become an architect of efficient, scalable, and responsive cloud solutions. The insights gained here are more than technical know-how; they're the building blocks of innovation in the cloud.

3. What is Azure Storage?

Azure Storage is the bedrock upon which the digital landscape is built. It's a cloud service that provides highly scalable, durable, and available data storage options for a wide range of applications. From structured to unstructured data, Azure Storage accommodates a variety of data types and allows seamless integration with other Azure services.

4. Creating Azure VM and Storage with Azure console

Estimated time
The estimated time for completion is mentioned, with 4-5 hours for someone with DevOps knowledge and 2-3 days for someone without DevOps knowledge, giving readers an idea of the effort required.
Building and configuring Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) and Storage using the Azure Management Console is a pivotal skill for cloud enthusiasts. This comprehensive guide takes you through each step, complete with code snippets and console commands where applicable:
Log into Azure Portal:

  • Navigate to Azure Portal and sign in with your Azure account credentials.


Create Azure Virtual Machine:

  • Click "Create a resource" and search for "Virtual Machine."




  • Choose the VM type (Windows, Linux), and click "Create."

  • Configure VM settings:

    • Define VM name, choose an existing resource group, or create a new one.

    • Select region, image, size, and authentication credentials.

    • Configure networking, such as virtual network and subnet.

    • Review and click "Create."





 
Access Azure VM:

  • Once created, locate your VM in the Azure Portal.

  • In the VM's overview page, find the "Connect" button.

  • Choose an appropriate method (SSH for Linux, RDP for Windows).

  • Use the provided command or downloaded RDP file to access the VM.



 
Create Azure Storage:

  • Click "Create a resource" and search for "Storage account."




  • Choose a unique storage account name and select resource group.

  • Choose region, performance, and replication options.



 

  • Configure advanced settings if needed.

  • Review and click "Create."



 
Access Azure Storage:

  • Once the storage account is created, go to its resource page.

  • Access keys or connection strings under the "Settings" section.

5. Creating Azure VM and Storage with prismscaler

This headline introduces an alternative approach to creating Azure VMs and Storage using "PrismScaler." This method is designed for simplicity and efficiency, with an estimated time of 10-20 minutes for users without DevOps knowledge.
Creating Azure VM and Storage with prismscaler

  • Login to your prismscaler account

  • Choose VM architecture to create



 

  • Input all the necessary info



 

  • Process and wait around 10 mins for the arch to deploy

  • Check azure console to complete the architecture.

6. Storage policy

At its essence, a Blob Storage Policy in Azure orchestrates the lifecycle of data within Blob Storage. This strategic roadmap governs data retention, access patterns, and cost efficiency, tailored to suit your application's specific needs, compliance requirements, and data consumption patterns.
Diving into Blob Storage
Azure Blob Storage, designed to house unstructured data, provides various storage tiers:

  • Hot Storage: Optimized for frequently accessed data with higher costs but low-latency retrieval.

  • Cool Storage: Suited for infrequently accessed data with lower costs and slightly higher retrieval latency.

  • Archive Storage: Ideal for rarely accessed data with the lowest costs and extended retrieval times.


Blob Storage Strategies and Policies


Navigating Blob Storage Policy involves a nuanced understanding of your data and your application's lifecycles:



  • Performance Tiers: Tailor your Blob Storage to align with your application's needs. For instance, real-time analytics applications might opt for Hot Storage, while long-term archival data may find a home in Archive Storage.

  • Data Retention and Deletion: Define retention policies that match compliance needs. For example, retain customer transaction logs for seven years for regulatory reasons, and delete logs that exceed this threshold.

  • Automated Tiering: Set up automated tiering policies that transition data from Hot to Cool, or even to Archive Storage, based on usage patterns. This ensures optimal cost-efficiency.


Best Practices with an Example
Consider an e-commerce platform:

  • Data Classification: Categorize customer transaction logs as critical and product images as non-critical.

  • Data Lifecycle: Apply a policy to retain customer transaction logs in Hot Storage for one year for real-time analytics. Transition logs to Cool Storage after a year to optimize costs. Move product images to Archive Storage after six months of inactivity.

  • Cost Management: Regularly review data access patterns and adjust tiering policies accordingly to optimize costs.


Conclusion


Azure Blob Storage Policy isn't just about managing data; it's about orchestrating how data serves your applications, insights, and strategies. By mastering Blob Storage's tiers, policies, and best practices, you wield the power to harness Azure's data management capabilities to their fullest. Your data evolves from raw bits to a strategic asset, fueling your cloud-based solutions with efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and insights. Your journey to innovation starts with a well-crafted Blob Storage Policy, transforming your data into a driving force that propels your cloud endeavors to new horizons.

7. Reference

As you journey further into the Azure cosmos, the reference section acts as a guiding star. Here, you'll find a compilation of external resources, official documentation, insightful blogs, and references. This treasure trove empowers you to dive deeper into the realms of Azure VMs, Storage, and networking policies, providing the means to expand your expertise and transform your cloud-based endeavors.