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Announcing Azure DevTest Labs support for creating environment with ARM templates

Posted on 28 november, 2016

Sr. Program Manager, Azure DevTest Labs

Today, we are very excited to announce that Azure DevTest Labs now supports the capability to create your environments using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates!

In case you haven’t heard about Azure DevTest Labs, this May, we announced the general availability (GA) of Azure DevTest Labs: your self-service sandbox environment in Azure to quickly create Dev/Test environments while minimizing waste and controlling costs. The goal for this service is to solve the problems that IT and development teams have been facing: delays in getting a working environment, time-consuming environment configuration, production fidelity issues, and high maintenance cost. It has been helping our customers to quickly get “ready to test” with a worry-free self-service environment. The reusable templates in the DevTest Labs can be used everywhere once created. The public APIs, PowerShell cmdlets and VSTS extensions make it super easy to integrate you Dev/Test environments from labs to your release pipeline. In addition to the Dev/Test scenario, Azure DevTest Labs can also be used in other scenarios like training and hackathon. For more information about its value propositions, please check out our GA announcement blog post. If you are interested in how DevTest Labs can help for training, check out this article to use Azure DevTest Labs for training.

 

In the past months, we’ve been talking with a lot of customers and listening to their stories and feedback. It turns out that Azure DevTest Labs has provided a very decent experience for users to create a single VM. When it comes to multi-VM environments (e.g. multi-tier web apps or a SharePoint farm), customers look for more productive way to provision and manage those environments. In addition, Azure offers Azure Resource Manager templates, which has been widely used by customers, for you to define the infrastructure/configuration of your Azure solution and repeatedly deploy in a consistent state. In order to address these needs, we implemented this feature that allows you to create multi-VM environments from your ARM templates. Here are a couple of highlights of the feature:

  • ARM templates are loaded directly from your source control repository (GitHub or VSTS Git).
  • Once set up, DevTest Labs users can create an environment by simply picking an ARM template from the Azure portal as what they can do with other types of bases.
  • Azure PaaS resources can be provisioned in an environment from ARM template in addition to IaasS VMs.
  • Cost of environments can be tracked in the lab in addition to individual VMs created by other types of bases.

Creating an environment using “IIS VMs & SQL Server 2014 VM” ARM template

To learn more how to use ARM templates to provision Azure DevTest Lab environments, please read our main announcement in Azure DevTest Labs blog. You can also see a live demo with more features we’ve shipped recently at our Connect(); 2016 session, What’s New in Azure DevTest Labs.

 

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The release of this feature is just one stop. There are still a lot of things in our roadmap that we can’t wait to build and ship to our customers. Your opinions are valuable for us to deliver the right solutions for your problems. We welcome ideas and suggestions on what DevTest Labs should support, so please do not hesitate to create an idea at the DevTest Labs feedback forum, or vote on others’ ideas.

If you run into any problems when using the DevTest Labs or have any questions, we are ready at the MSDN forum to help you.