Original Article from blog.biztalk360.com
Why did we do it (Use Case)?
BizTalk360 is a start-up product focused on providing better tooling for managing controlled Microsoft BizTalk server environments like production, UAT etc. Making life easy for BizTalk administration, operation and monitoring people.
The current version of BizTalk360 (v4.0) is supported on 4 major versions of BizTalk Server versions – 2006, 2006 R2, 2009 and 2010. That resulted in so many functional test BizTalk environments with various combinations in our on-premise environment. We invested in few high end Dell servers as host and had numerous Hyper-v virtual machines to cater for these various environments.
As a start-up it’s unnecessary overhead for us to maintain and run these servers. Including simple things like amount of noise these servers creates in our little premise. The latest Windows Azure announcement, with the ability to create a Virtual Network, Active Directory, Virtual machines etc. in the Azure cloud looks like the perfect thing for us to offload everything to the cloud and not worry about it.
Let’s visualize what we are trying to accomplish
As you can see from the above picture, we are going to create a private (virtual) network, similar to the one we had on-premise in Windows azure with its own AD/DNS, bunch of standalone BizTalk servers (where BizTalk/SQL running on same machine) and few multi server (remote SQL) BizTalk environments.
There are some great benefits for us in setting this up.
- We don’t need to worry about the testing infrastructure, this is obvious, and
- We can outsource our testing easily.
The second point is one of the important drivers for us. BizTalk server, especially the multi server environment is not very straightforward to setup for third party testing companies. Setting up VPN and allowing third party companies to securely login to our network is way beyond our limited networking capabilities. Windows Azure gave us the option to resolve the above challenges trivially.
We got the above setup up and running now, we spend reasonable amount of time in the past few days to get there. We wanted to document it and share it so you don’t need to go through the same barriers we faced during our journey. It’s going to be a long article, so we are going to split them into stages, if you are familiar with certain things you can move on.
Here are key stages we are going to accomplish in multiple articles. We are actually going to do step-by-step so if you follow along, you should be able to have a similar environment in less than 5 hours.
- Create Virtual Network with affinity group
- Create few Virtual machines and add it to Virtual Network
- Make sure they can talk to each other
- Create a Domain (Active Directory) and DNS server
- Add all the Virtual machines to the domain
- Install a standalone BizTalk Server Environment
- Create Active Directory groups/users
- Install a multi-server BizTalk Environment with remote SQL server
- How BizTalk360 can help companies having a similar setup in the Cloud
Let’s start with our first stage implementation. BizTalk Testing Infrastructure in the Windows Azure cloud – Stage 1