How to quickly deploy a test web server on an Azure VM

September 21, 2021 - 2 minute read

For my Labs, I often need to create and build virtual machines. Many virtual machines :-). One of the most “popular” machine recently is for me the web server. The requirement for my needs is often very simple: create a web server that responds on port 80, that is able to make me understand “what machine I’m interacting with”, so, the ideal response message to the request http://my-machine-ip should be “myMachineName”.

From Azure portal is quick enough to create a virtual machines. In particular I use as the starting image “windows 2019 datacenter gen1”.

Once the machine is created, you can automate the installation and configuration of a web server in this way:

From the Azure Portal:

  1. create an azure storage account, or like me use the azure storage account created by your cloudshell
  2. create a container named “scripts”
  3. create the file named “install-iis.ps1”
  4. put the following in the file just created:
powershell.exe Install-WindowsFeature -name Web-Server -IncludeManagementTools
powershell.exe Remove-Item -Path 'C:\inetpub\wwwroot\iisstart.htm'
powershell.exe Add-Content -Path 'C:\inetpub\wwwroot\iisstart.htm' -Value $($env:computername)

Go to your virtual machine blade, then go to:

  • Extensions
  • +Add
  • CustomScript Extension
  • on “Script file” click browse and select the file created above.

Go to [Review + Create] and then [Create].

After a couple of minutes the script will be executed, and IIS will be provisioned and working.

browser output