Sharepoint 2013 development on Azure VM

Running a Sharepoint 2013 development environment will need a decent machine with at least 12GB of RAM (recommended) and multiple cores for faster development experience. If you are considering developing on sharepoint 2013 farm then you should definitely look at using Azure VM.

The advantages:

  • Access from anywhere
  • Reduced cost in the developer machine( RDP on a lesser machine)
  • Developers can become more productive(less time spinning up development VM)

 

Setting Up Your Sharepoint Farm in the cloud

Luckily for Premium MSDN subscribers there is an Azure developer image that comes with SharePoint 2013 and Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate RC pre-installed. The image also contains scripts to provision and configure SharePoint 2013 with or without an Active directory running on a different machine. This post will show you how to create a new virtual machine in Azure using the image.

Step 1: From the Windows Azure Management portal click Virtual Machines > New

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Step 2: Choose From Gallery

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Step 3: Choose Visual Studio Premium 2013 Update 5 (which includes Sharepoint, SQL and configuration scripts)

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Step 4: Choose Basic Tier (suited for dev purposes) and choose A4(Sharepoint requirements)

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Step 5: Choose your DNS name(for RDP)

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Step 6: Confirm

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Step 7: Wait for the provisioning to finish(approximately 10 minutes) then connect

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Step 8: Click on the Configure developer desktop shortcut and install the SQL server from the install folder

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Step 9: Run powershell and the script ‘configuresharepointfarm.ps1‘ . It will ask for SPFarm Account Name and account password. (Approximately another 10minutes)

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Once the script is finished you will see it launching the Sharepoint site collection. You are now ready for Sharepoint development in the cloud.

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With great power comes great responsibility

We all know this famous line from Spiderman and the same is true with azure. Keep in mind that you pay for the VM by the hour from the moment it is running. Always shutdown your VM after using. As of writing time the A4 instance pricing is $0.696/hr or roughly $6 for 8 hours of compute time according to their site.

 

Conclusion

When you have an MSDN subscription, the SP2013 Azure VM is an excellent option to jump start your development quickly and start developing from anywhere. You can save lots of time by using the image that has SQL Server, Sharepoint, configuration scripts and pre-installed with Visual Studio.

What are your thoughts? Do you think it can give you less gray hair setting up and developing? Can it replace your local development?

Resources:

Create SharePoint 2013 development environments quickly on Azure

SharePoint 2013 in Azure: A Dev Environment in 15 Minutes or Less

Azure Virtual Machine Pricing