The Case of Guest OS Versioning in Windows Azure 

There's a notion of Windows Guest OS versions in Windows Azure. Guest OS versions can actually be (in Q1 2012) either a stripped down version of Windows Server 2008 or a similiar version of Windows Server 2008 R2.

You can upgrade your guest OS in Windows Azure Management Portal:

Not that it makes much difference, especially while developing .NET solutions, but I like to be on the newest OS version all the time.

The problem is that the defaults are stale. In 1.6 version of the Windows Azure SDK, the default templates all specify the following:

   xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ServiceHosting/2008/10/ServiceConfiguration"
   osFamily="1"
   osVersion="*">
     

The osFamily attribute defines OS version, with 1 being Windows Server 2008 and 2 being Windows Server 2008 R2. If you omit the osFamily attribute, the default is 1 too! Actually this attribute should probably move to the Role element, since it defines the version of the role's guest OS.

   xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ServiceHosting/2008/10/ServiceConfiguration"
  
osFamily="1"
   osVersion="*">
 
   
    

 
 
   
    
 

It doesn't make sense to have it normalized over all roles. Also, this schema makes it impossible to leave it out in VM role instances, where it gets ignored.

The osVersion attribute defines the version which should be deployed for your guest OS. The format is * or WA-GUEST-OS-M.m_YYYYMM-nn. You should never use the latter one. Asterisk, normally, means 'please upgrade all my instances automatically'. Asterisk is your friend.

If you want/need Windows Server 2008 R2, change it in your service configuration XML.

What this means is, that even if you publish and upgrade your guest OS version in the Azure Management Portal, you will get reverted the next time you update your app from within Visual Studio.

Categories:  Windows Azure
Sunday, March 31, 2013 9:40:01 PM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments

 

 The Case of Lightweight Azure MMC Snap-In Not Installing on Azure SDK 1.6 

There are a couple of Windows Azure management tools, scripts and PowerShell commandlets available, but I find Windows Azure Platform Management Tool (MMC snap-in) one of the easiest to install and use for different Windows Azure subscriptions.

The problem is the tool has not been updated for almost a year and is this failing when you try to install it on the latest Windows Azure SDK (currently v1.6).

Here's the solution.

Categories:  Windows Azure
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:36:53 AM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments

 

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