Monday, October 17, 2011

Running your build server on Azure

With the first preview of TFS Services(read: Team Foundation Server on Azure), you’re ALM environment in the cloud get’s a lot closer.

But what about my build server? Do I still need to host some servers myself or is their an alternative available?

Although not an official solution (yet), one of the options you have is using an Azure VM Role with a build service, and configure it against your TFS Services instance.

What’s needed to get this working?

First of all you need a Windows Azure account of course. Login to the Windows Azure portal(http://windows.azure.com) and sign up for the VM role beta program(yes it’s still in beta). It can take some time before your subscription is approved so be patient(it took a few weeks before our subscription was activated).

While you are waiting for your subscription approval you can already create the VHD required for your VM role. Follow the steps as described in the following post: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/wazplatformtrainingcourse_vmrolelab_topic2. Replace task 2 with the installation of TFS build Service 11 (Look here for the steps), but only do the installation and skip the configuration part. Replace Task3 and only change the port number in bullet 9 to 9191(This is the default one for the TFS Build Service).

After your subscription is activated you can upload the VHD to Windows Azure(on my slow ADSL connection it took me a few hours). As a final step use the Remote Desktop functionality to connect to the VM Role instance(More info here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/wazplatformtrainingcourse_vmrolelab_topic3) and configure the build service according to the steps described by Brian Harry.

That’s it!

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