LiveSide on Azure Part Two: Server setup

When you log on to the Server you just set up (see LiveSide on Azure: Part One), you’re greeted by Server Manager, the front end to managing the roles and features on Windows Server. We had to turn on Windows Time, as the service was stopped, after that, everything was green and we were good to go:

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The first thing to do is to make some changes from the front page of the Local Server manager – click on Local Server in the left hand sidebar: here you can check on Windows Updates and get quick access to some basic settings. We’re going to want to change a couple of things right off the bat. After yesterday’s issues on LiveSide, we’ve learned we need to turn IPv6 off. Click on the Ethernet link, then on the icon for the network adaptor, then Properties, then uncheck IPv6 and OK your way back out. We had to refresh the Local Server Manager page (by going back to the Dashboard and then back to Local Server) to make sure the change was made:

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Next, you can set the time zone to either your local time zone or the time zone where you set up the server, and we’re going to make it a bit easier on ourselves by relaxing the security on Internet Explorer, by clicking on “IE Enhanced Security Configuration”:

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This makes getting to the internet from your server a lot easier, without having to navigate through a bunch of security warnings and settings. You can always reset the security configuration once you’ve set things up, probably not a bad idea.

If you’re unfamiliar with Windows Server, and/or Windows Server 2012, now might be a good time to poke around the Server Manager a bit. You can get access to Events notifications, a performance overview, turn services on and off, etc., all from the Server Manager.

What we’re going to do next is add some roles and features to the server to set it up as a web server. Scroll down to Roles and Features, and click on the Tasks dropdown in the upper right corner, and then Add Roles and Features. This will launch the Add Roles and Features wizard. Click through the wizard until you get to Server Roles, and add the Web Server (IIS) Role:

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Next, you’ll be presented with a Features checkbox screen – we don’t need to worry too much about these as we’ll be using the Web Platform Installer to install PHP, MySQL, and WordPress, and it will take care of installing any features needed. However we are going to install the SMTP Server, to allow you to email password reset instructions from WordPress:

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On the next screen, Role Services, we’re going to add two services: FTP Services, and Dynamic Compression (under Performance)

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And that’s it! You can choose to restart the server automatically if needed, and then click on Install to install the services (by the way, it’s much easier to add all this stuff at once than it was to hunt and peck on how to set up FTP, etc.!).

On the server we’re setting up for this series, actually installing the roles and services took about 3 minutes.

So that’s it, now we’ve got a Web Server, an FTP Server, and an SMTP (mail) Server set up in our new Virtual Machine.

Next up, we’ll install the Web Platform Installer and get to the good stuff, installing WordPress and getting a website running!