Category Archives: Azure

Azure Api App – Continuous deployment to Azure from local git repository

You may or may not have seen this article that talks about continuous deployment to azure for app service. The thing I want to point out is that the article covers within the context of a web app. You can pretty much do the same thing for API apps as well. If you just looked at the properties of the API app it may not be quite clear. UI is not quite intuitive at this point, hopefully by GA all these will be sorted out. This post I will cover how to configure continuous deployment for API apps.

Once you develop the API app in visual studio, you first need to publish it. If you are new to API app, have a look at Brady Gaster’s article on azure.com. After you have published the Api app to azure, select the Api app in azure portal and click on API app host link (see screen shot below). API app host is basically an Azure web app, were we will need to follow the same steps described in the article for continuous deployment that I shared earlier. If you haven’t configured continuous deployment for web apps I suggest you read that article before also there is plenty of walkthrough’s online published by various folks within azure team.

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For the purposes of this article I’ve gone and configured continuous deployment for the api host web app for twitterinsights api app. Currently the API looks like below

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You can also see from the screen shot below that I have connected the api host web app to local git repository and set deployment credentials as well as provided hook for my local git repository (remote git URL for api host web app)

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Next I will go ahead and update the api and commit to my local git repository, this is just to illustrate the continuous deployment is working correctly. For demonstration purposes I updated the route as shown below

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Next we will need to push the changes to remote repository by running command below, again this is clearly described in the continuous deployment article shared earlier.

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You can see from the screenshot below that changes were successfully deployed

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Finally just to prove that there is no smoke and mirrors you can see in the swagger UI below that my changes are indeed pushed to azure.

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Hope that helps, one final word is you can use all the supported source control repositories it doesn’t just have to be local git repository. Hope you are just excited as I am about Azure App Service and the possibilities it brings for developers.

Cheers,

Ram

Setting up docker on Azure and deploying sample ASPNET vNext app

This post is just to document my experience running docker on Azure and deploying ASPNET vNext sample HelloWeb app. I’m super excited about the docker support in Azure and ASPNET vNext and I couldn’t wait any longer to try it out. At a high level, these are the steps I took:

  • Set up Docker Client on Virtual machine running Ubuntu desktop version.
  • Created Docker Host VM on Azure
  • Pull down the ASPNET vNext HelloWeb sample app
  • Created the Dockerfile
  • Build the container
  • Run the container
  • Create an endpoint port mapping for TCP port 80

Setting up Docker Client

While docker client can be set up on Windows and Mac OSX machines I decided to set it up as a virtual machine on my Mac with Ubuntu desktop on it.

Things we need to setup on docker client

  • Install node
  • Install Javascript package manager (npm)
  • Install Azure cross platform CLI tools
  • Connect to Azure subscription
  • Install docker client

Since azure cross platform CLI tools are written using nodejs, first thing we’ll need to do is Login to Ubuntu desktop virtual machine and install nodejs by running the command below

sudo apt-get install nodejs-legacy

Next install javascript package manager, run the command below

sudo apt-get install npm

Install Azure cross platform CLI tools, run command below

sudo npm install azure-cli --global

Connect to Azure Subscription

This process is very similar to azure powershell setup on windows machines. Download the publish settings file by running the command below. Command below will launch a browser session where you will need to login with windows live account after which the publish settings file will be downloaded to your local machine.

azure account download

Import the publish settings file

azure account import <publish settings file>

Finally Install Docker client

sudo apt-get install docker.io

Create docker host virtual machine on azure

We are going to use azure vm docker create command to create the docker host virtual machine on Azure. It uses virtual machine extensions feature in azure to install docker once the virtual machine is provisioned. If you are not familiar with virtual machine extensions I highly recommend reading this article. For a list of virtual machine extensions see. One important thing to remember here is that you should create the docker host vm using this command from your docker client, walkthroughs online did not explicitly mention this. The reason for this is one of the things the command does in addition to creating the virtual machine and installing docker on it is that it creates the certificates needed for docker client to be able to talk to docker host. So if you don’t run this command from your docker client machine you may need to do additional steps so the docker client can properly authenticate with docker host.

If you want to see the azure vm docker create command usage simply add –help or -h switch right after azure vm docker create.Before we can create the host vm for docker we need to identify the Linux image to use, run command below

azure vm image list | grep "20150123"

output from the command above should look something like screenshot shown below, you can see the image circled in red

linuximg

Run the command below to create docker host VM on Azure.

azure vm docker create ram-docker-host "b39f27a8b8c64d52b05eac6a62ebad85__Ubuntu-14_04_1-LTS-amd64-server-20150123-en-us-30GB" rprakashg P@ssw0rd123 -e 22 -l "West US" -u https://rprakashg.blob.core.windows.net -z "Large" -s "a8349281-7715-45c8-ac55-78787752ea7e"

Once the virtual machine is fully provisioned and running you can verify that your docker client can talk to the host by running following command.

docker --tls -H tcp://ram-docker-host.cloudapp.net:4243 info

Now that docker client and host is setup lets look at how we can run sample HelloWeb app published by aspnet team in docker.

Running ASPNET vNext sample app in docker

ASPNET team has published an excellent walkthrough here There is few things I had to do different which I will cover below.

I had some issue cloning the aspnet/home repository per the instructions in the article. I was getting a permission denied error and this had to do with how client machine authenticates with github, so I went down the path of setting up my docker client to talk to github and this really messed things up as docker client could not talk to docker host after I created new ssh key for github. This could be an issue with how I setup, ended up wasting hours :(. Finally I ended up doing an https cloning as shown below. You can find the https clone URL right on the repository page on github.

git clone https://github.com/aspnet/Home.git

Building the container image

On docker client machine running Ubuntu desktop I had to run the build command in elevated privileges using sudo, additionally I had to make sure docker client was talking to host based on a public/default CA pool by adding –tls -H tcp://ram-docker-host.cloudapp.net:4243 (which is my docker host), to pretty much every docker command I was issuing. Not sure why default settings did not work. Definitely need to investigate this further. If you have seen the same issue and have an explanation let me know. Building the container image using the command below took a long time with https v/s default setting which I think is non networked unix socket.

sudo docker --tls -H tcp://ram-docker-host.cloudapp.net:4243  build -t hellowebapp .

If you want to check the status of the above command, simply copy the id string returned by the previous command and run the command below

sudo docker --tls -H tcp://ram-docker-host.cloudapp.net:4243 logs -t <replace with id string>

Running the container

Ran into similar issues here too like build, additionally container just wouldn’t start, encountered “System.FormatException: Value for switch ‘/bin/bash’ is missing” error when I tried to run the container using the command described in article. Worked fine once I started running all docker commands using the –tls –H options.

sudo docker --tls -H tcp://ram-docker-host.cloudapp.net:4243 run -d -t -p 80:5004 hellowebapp

Verify running containers on host

sudo docker --tls -H tcp://ram-docker-host.cloudapp.net:4243 ps -a

Create an endpoint port mapping for TCP port 80

Last step as discussed in the article is to create an endpoint port mapping for TCP port 80 on docker host virtual machine. For name select HTTP from dropdown, protocol should be TCP and enter 80 as value for public port and private port. See screen show below

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Finally have the sample HelloWeb app successfully running inside docker. Check it out here http://ram-docker-host.cloudapp.net/

Next steps I’m hoping to build a much more real world app in ASPNET vNext and test it out. I’ve already got my Mac machine configured for ASPNET vNext development with Sublime Text.

Huge shout out to Linux team at Microsoft and everyone in the open source community who have contributed writing various tools etc. You can see Microsoft stack is truly becoming more and more open.

Useful links

Docker On Azure

Docker support in ASPNET vNext

Docker

Cheers,

</Ram>

Setting up Azure CLI on a Mac machine and creating Linux virtual machines from terminal

This post is more for me as a reference to steps I took to configure a Mac machine to connect to Azure and be able to create Linux virtual machines. If it helps others then great.

Azure command line tools for Mac and Linux allows us to create/manage virtual machines, web sites and azure mobile services from Mac and Linux desktops. Download and install azure SDK install for Mac here

Connecting to azure subscription

Before you can run operations on your Azure subscription you need to import your subscription, steps to do this are pretty similar to how you setup Azure PowerShell on windows machines

Fire up a new instance of terminal and run following command

azure account download

The above command will launch a browser session and take you to https://windows.azure.com/download/publishprofile.aspx

Save your azure publish settings file locally.

Next execute command below to import your publish settings file

azure account import <file>

If everything went ok you should be good to go run operations on your Azure Subscription. Next we will create the Linux virtual machines, but before we can create the virtual machine we need to create a ssh certificate.

Creating “ssh” certificate

A compatible ssh key must be specified for authentication at the time of creating the Linux virtual machine in Azure. Supported formats for ssh certificates are .cer or .pem. Virtual machine creation will fail If you use any other format.  Run command below in a terminal window to generate a compatible ssh key for authentication.

openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout rprakashg.key -out rprakashg.pem

Creating Linux Virtual Machines

We are going to use azure vm create command from a terminal window to create virtual machines. If you want to get help on command usage add –h or –help in the end

The parameters we are going to need to create Linux virtual machine are listed below

-n <virtual machine name>

-u <blob uri>

-z <virtual machine size>

-t <cert> Specify ssh certificate here for authentication.

-l <location> specifies location

s <subscription id>

-p <password>

-u <username>

Identifying the Ubuntu image to use

azure vm image list | grep "20150123"

20150123 is the date the image is created. See the output from the above command below, you can see the full image name for the ubuntu server you can use when creating the virtual machine.

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Sample command to create a Linux virtual machine using the ssh certificate we created above

azure vm create "ubuntu-server1" "b39f27a8b8c64d52b05eac6a62ebad85__Ubuntu-14_04_1-LTS-amd64-server-20150123-en-us-30GB" -l "West US" -u "https://rprakashg.blob.core.windows.net" -z "Medium" -s "a8349281-7715-45c8-ac55-78787752ea7e" -t rprakashg.pem -e 22 -p <password> -u "rprakashg"