Lab Services

Azure Lab Services is a service that enables you to easily set up and provide on-demand access to various systems and software for any workload: teaching a class, setting up a development or test environment, or running trials with customers. Manage and scale your group’s resources in lab environments, while minimizing waste and controlling cost. Choose between the two lab types, classroom lab or devtest lab, for an experience that is tailored to your scenario.

Visit the Azure Lab Services page to learn more.

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  1. Deploy a OS template with attached data discs

    Sometimes it is very necessary, when to deploy an os template which already attached data discs. For example: We deploy some SharePoint or SQL server in a testlab and we need some performance.

    60 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thanks again for the feedback! We currently have a feature in the backlog that allows you to create a VM with an attached disk at the same time. We still need to prioritize it, so there is no ETA at this point of time. If you want to see it sooner, please don’t hesitate to vote this idea!

  2. Add default NSG to either Lab subnet or VMs as they are created

    It seems like VMs created in the Lab do not have an NSG defined. I believe this means that there are no blocks to any ports inboud from the Internet to the Lab VMs. I know that I can RDP to my Lab VM although no NSG is allowing it. I think this sets up a sub-optimal security posture. Would it not be better to add a default NSG to the Lab subnet which allows RDP and SSH?

    2 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thanks for submitting the request, Steve. DevTest Labs allow you to add an existing VNET from the subscription to be used in the Labs, which means that you can create your VNET with subnets where NSG is applied in your subscription, and then use that VNET in your labs. Does it work with you?

  3. Allow selection of Public IP Address that you created manually

    I am unable to deploy a Windows 10 image with a public ip address. It continually fails due to the auto assignment of a Public IP/DNS name. Why can we not 1. select a PIP that we have 2. edit the DNS name prior to deployment to prevent failure.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. Make it easy to deploy test agents to Azure VMs in a DevTest Lab

    winRM settings are cumbersome (going through deploying a test agent from TFS online to a Win10 VM in the lab, and it is not pretty).

    3 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. Provide onetime startup instead of regular scheduled auto-start

    Sometimes I need an instance just for Today, and tomorrow. I would like to be able to add 1 or more "one time" auto-start commands that would allow me to auto-start just for those days. eg. It's monday and I know i need an instance on Tue and Wed - so, i'd like to put in a one-time start for Tue AM/Time then another for Wed AM/time. But still have it respect that auto-shutdown policy.

    7 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. Allow naming of network on creation rather than randomly generated

    Where names are to be generated (network names etc) the current DevTest pumps out one based on the DevTest name + a number ideally I'd want the option to select / configure network or at the very least specify the name of the network myself.

    13 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    We’ve got it added into the backlog, and it will be prioritized with other features. So we don’t have an ETA at this point of time. Meanwhile, if you could share with us what kind of naming you would like to use and why the default one doesn’t work, it will certainly help us with the right design. For anyone who wants to see it happens sooner, please don’t hesitate to vote for it.

  7. VM automatic shutdown after some idle time.

    Sometimes VM's are forgotten up and they are running idle. There should be possibility to define in Auto shutdown settings that "if these VM's are idle for x hours then shut down them."

    167 votes
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    planned  ·  15 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. Enable artifacts to provide link to documentation

    There is a need for artifacts to provide links to documentation to simplify artifact use.

    Several artifacts require you to input information that might not be immediately known at first glance, such as what exact string is required for software packages, or the formatting of a certain field.

    If the artifact creator could provide a link to where the user can find additional information on how to use the artifact then it would lower the learning threshold and speed up first time use of DevTest Labs.

    10 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. Ability to move existing VM's to the TestLab

    Have the ability to move an existing VM to the DevTestLab. I have several vm's that my developers use and do not want to have to Re-Create all of these machines.

    156 votes
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    9 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    DevTest Labs now supports integration with Azure Shared Image Gallery (SIG).

    For the scenario you outlined above,
    You can extract the images for the VMs you would like to move to a lab
    Upload these images to the shared image gallery
    Attach the shared image gallery to your lab
    Create lab VMs from these images

    Some docs:
    Upload images to a SIG: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/shared-images-portal
    Attach a SIG to a lab: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/lab-services/configure-shared-image-gallery
    Create a lab VM from a SIG image: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/lab-services/add-vm-use-shared-image

  10. In any windows I should be able to type "What is a XXXXXX" where XXXXXX is the menu item i'm being asked to add in Azure

    Azure asked me to add an Artifact. I have no idea what that means. Tried to find out from within the window and there was no "help" without backing out of the VM build.

    Thanks!

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thanks for your suggestion! We are currently reviewing this idea. Regarding the solution you proposed, instead of you typing to search for help topics, does it work if we add an info icon next to the term “Artifacts” which can show you more explanation in a tooltip when you move your cursor to it?

  11. Allow other artifact repositories (bitbucket.com, gitlab.com, private gitlab)

    We, like many other organizations, use private git repositories. This can have many reasons, such as single sign-on etc. Our repository of choice is a self-hosted gitlab-instance (running in Azure, btw), fully integrated with ADFS for security. Good stuff.

    It would be nice if the Artifact Repository integration was more generic, and not specific to GitHub. This would allow users to chose their hosting provider, it be a public solution (e.g. github.com, gitlab.com, bitbucket.com) or a private solution (e.g gitlab.example.com).

    Most, if not all, git repository managers support the idea of a "deployment key", which is a ssh-key typically used…

    46 votes
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    13 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thanks for your feedback! As more further investigate, the DevTest Labs supports VSTS Git and GitHub today. I’ve added this into the backlog. Given different Git repo offers different client for Labs to use and connect to, it’d be helpful if you could share with us which one you want to support first, so that the Labs can support them one by one. Thanks!

  12. Make some of the settings available for standard resource groups,

    Make some of the settings available for standard resource groups, limiting the type of VMs that can be created, setting a spending limit etc. would be really useful

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  13. Want ability to take and manage snapshots

    often when working in a lab environment / testing software , it saves a lot of time being able to take a snapshot / rollback to a good known point so that you don't have to start from scratch.

    97 votes
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    6 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. Make Azure Backup targets available for dev lab templates

    One of our most popular requirements for lab environments is the cloning of VM's from a production environment into a segregated self service lab environment. Dev Labs seems to be a good contender for this but the admin steps to convert a production Azure VM into a Dev Labs VM is a little awkward currently.

    Each night I backup my production VMs with the Azure Backup service, it would be great if these backed up VM's can be used as template images within dev-labs.

    Currently to achieve this I would have to restore the VM's to a staging VNET/Storage Account,…

    12 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. Provide actionable error info upon VM create failures

    I created a new DevTestLab, but every time I try to add a VM it fails after a few minutes. The error information given is completely useless to me as a user/admin. There is no indication of what I should do differently.
    Here is what I get from the portal:

    Title

    Error while Creating Lab VM Dc02

    Description

    Lab VM Dc02 Created

    Status

    Error

    Timestamp

    Wed Dec 16 2015 11:35:55 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

    Correlation IDs

    clientNotification-4455291d7f464a5cb5b180ce5738c31f0-27

    Extension Name

    MicrosoftAzureCompute

    Asset Type

    VirtualMachine

    8 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. Calendar-based auto-shutdown/start schedule like in autoscaling for webapp.

    We have holidays, weekends, last Friday of the month(release date or something like that) and during this time machines needs to be turn off, but we have nothing like that and all this sort of operations will be executed manually...

    112 votes
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    planned  ·  8 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. Integration with OnPremise TFS

    For customers who did not migrated their projects/build to VSO- we need some integration tool to publish artifacts.

    Right now I see only one workaround- publish artifacts to VSO first and after make a deployment, but it's looks like workaround and not like a normal solution

    22 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thanks for the feedback! Integration with on-prem TFS is in our backlog, although we don’t have an ETA to share yet. Meanwhile, could you please provide more details at which point you want to publish your build artifacts to a Lab VM? There are a couple of solutions based on the scenarios. One scenario is baking the latest build into a VM template in the Lab as part of the CI pipeline. We are currently working on the cmdlets which allows you to use when authoring a post-build task. Another scenario is to access the build from within a running Lab VM. This requires the network configuration to connect the Lab with your on-prem environments. Azure has provided a couple of options including Express Route, site-to-site, and point-to-site, etc. Thanks!

  18. Create a Resource Group and then use the portal to add services to the DevTest Lab

    At present VMs are created within the DevTest lab section of the portal. When a new DevTest Lab is created it could just create a Resource Group. Services could then be added via the rest of the portal, outside of DevTest Labs in the usual way. This avoids reinventing the wheel inside DevTest Labs and also provides a higher level of customisation for features such as Virtual Networks.

    9 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    When a new DevTest Lab is created, it does create a resource group consists of a Lab resource, a storage account and a virtual network. VM creation needs to happen within the Lab though, while it also creates a separate resource group just for the VM. Is it something mentioned here that you want to create VM (as “services”) from the normal VM creation flow in Azure outside of the Lab but the Lab somehow can recognize it, or are you asking for a different thing? If it’s the former, what’s the downside in your opinion that you’d prefer to do that outside of the Lab? I appreciate any clarification. Thanks!

  19. Attach an existing resource group to a DevTest Lab

    We have existing resource groups with test environments. We would like to add them to a DevTest lab so that they are managed by the DevTest policies.

    153 votes
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    8 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Currently, you can configure all lab VMs to be created in an existing resource group instead of the lab creating a new RG per VM.
    For ARM environments, every environment is spun up in its own RG to allow for better cost tracking user and policy management for resources created for that specific environment.

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