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The Microsoft Azure integration has been improved in Abiquo 3.4. Full details of the Integration are included here to give an up-to-date overview of the feature.

Changes to the Azure Integration in Abiquo 3.4

  • Abiquo 3.4 dynamically loads Azure hardware profiles using the Azure API
  • In Abiquo 3.4 you can configure Azure virtual machines to:
    • change hardware profiles
    • change private IP addresses
    • add and remove public IP addresses

Description

Abiquo supports Microsoft Azure with a custom Azure plugin that will be grown as Microsoft Azure develops. You can add an Azure region as an Abiquo public cloud region with all the Abiquo functionality of control, limits and availability. Each tenant can add an Azure account to share among the tenant’s users. Cloud administrators can see what Azure accounts are doing in Infrastructure view. In Abiquo, Azure networking includes features to manage private networks, private IP addresses and public IP addresses.

Azure Regions

The following Azure regions are supported in Abiquo 3.4 and 3.4.1:

  • South Central US
  • Central US
  • East US 2
  • East US
  • West US
  • North Europe
  • West Europe
  • East Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Japan West

From Abiquo 3.4.2 (and Abiquo 3.2.6) onwards:

  • Japan East
  • Brazil South
  • Australia East
  • Australia Southeast
Please note that you should check the regions using the API call to Retrieve regions from a public cloud.

Azure Hardware Profiles

Abiquo 3.4 dynamically loads Azure hardware profiles using the Azure API.

You can check current hardware profile information at the following Microsoft web page:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/azure/dn197896.aspx

Virtual datacenters

In Abiquo, a virtual datacenter is created as a cloud service, so you can add up to twenty virtual datacenters per account. You can obtain more cloud services for your account directly from Microsoft.

Networks

Abiquo manages the following Azure network features:

  • cloud service private network with multiple virtual datacenter private networks, which are subnets of the cloud service network
  • private IP addresses 
  • Instance-level public IP addresses

In Abiquo 3.4, the cloud service created by Abiquo and its networks are shown in the following diagram.

Private network

Abiquo creates a cloud service network for each Azure virtual datacenter with a network mask of /16. The default address of the cloud service network is 192.168.0.0. If the user sets an address for the virtual datacenter default private network, Abiquo will use this address to create the cloud service network with a network mask of /16.

Abiquo can create multiple virtual datacenter private networks, which are subnets of the cloud service network. The first subnet is the virtual datacenter default network . The default subnet address is 192.168.0.0 and the default subnet size is /22. The Abiquo user can specify a custom subnet as the default virtual datacenter network. 

  Abiquo will use the address and subnet of the default or custom virtual datacenter private network to set the:

  • cloud service network address
    • the cloud service network size will always be /16
  • subnet address
  • subnet size. 

The Abiquo user can then create further private networks, which must also be subnets of the main cloud service network.

When you delete the virtual datacenter, the cloud service and the network and subnets will be deleted.

Private IP addresses

You must set the internal IP address for a virtual machine, either manually or automatically. When Abiquo assigns a private IP address, Azure creates a static internal IP address, see http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/04/22/static-internal-ip-address-for-virtual-machines/

Azure reserves the network address and the first three IP addresses in a network, so on a default VDC network, the first available address is 192.168.0.4, which is the default gateway. Azure only allows one private IP address to be assigned to each virtual machine.

In Abiquo 3.4, you can reconfigure the virtual machine in Abiquo to change the IP private address.   

IP AddressNotes
192.168.0.1Reserved by Azure
192.168.0.2Reserved by Azure
192.168.0.3Reserved by Azure
192.168.0.4Available, default gateway address

 

Public IPs

Through Abiquo, you can obtain one Azure public IP address for each virtual machine. Azure assigns an instance-level public IP address. See http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/10/22/instance-level-public-ip-address/. Azure does not charge for these public IP addresses.

To use a public IP in Azure, in virtual datacenters view, locate the public network. Purchase a public IP, which will create an "Azure-Public-IP". Add the IP to the VM and deploy it. When the deploy finishes you'll see the actual value of the IP assigned by Azure

You can also remove the public IP address. If you remove a public IP address and then add another one, a new IP value will be assigned by Azure.

Currently Azure public IPs are visible in Abiquo and the new Azure portal preview  https://portal.azure.com/ , but they are NOT shown in the older Azure Portal (https://manage.windowsazure.com ).

Reconfigure virtual machines

In Abiquo 3.4, you can reconfigure your virtual machine to:

  • change the hardware profile
  • change the private IP address
  • add or remove a public IP address.

Remote access to virtual machines

With the Abiquo Azure integration, a virtual datacenter is created as a cloud service. A cloud service has a gateway and a single public IP address. Abiquo users can deploy in the cloud service. Abiquo detects the private IP assigned by Azure and the remote access parameters for connecting to the virtual machine (public IP address and port), and displays them when you click the remote access eye icon if RDP access is not configured.  You can access your virtual machines through NAT with the login and password supplied in the virtual machine template or Abiquo properties.

abiquo.virtualfactory.azure.defaultLoginPassword = abqazure0!
Default password for virtual machines if not found in the template

abiquo.virtualfactory.azure.defaultLoginUser = abiquo
Default login for virtual machines if not found in the template

 

Azure storage accounts

Abiquo will create a new  Storage Account  in each region of your Azure subscription to contain the disks of the virtual machines you deploy. You can set the prefix of the account names to create in the abiquo.properties file.

abiquo.virtualfactory.azure.storageAccountPrefix = abiquostorage
Prefix for name of Azure Storage account (one per region) created for deployments. 

The storage account is created with the prefix plus a unique identifier based on the subscription and the Azure region. Microsoft Azure storage account names identify storage accounts and must be unique throughout the world.

Virtual machine templates

In Azure, you can filter templates by name with pagination. Azure returns templates with name and version/date, for example, which might mean 100 images called Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Therefore filtering by name and pagination is necessary in order to find the required templates and Abiquo has implemented this functionality.

Accounts and Authentication

  

Limitations and Clarifications

No root login

The username 'root' is not a valid login username for Linux VMs in Azure. See http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-machines-linux-introduction/

Known issues

If you undeploy a VM and then deploy it again straight away, the deploy will fail. This is because Azure takes some time to delete the hard disk after the VM is deleted. This means that when you try to deploy again, a VM error will occur because the hard disk already exists. If you have this problem, wait a few minutes before you redeploy and the error will not occur. 

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