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Windows Azure – SWAP VIP of Azure Application from Staging to Production and ViceVersa

 

Introduction:

In this article we are going to see how to Swap the deployed Azure Application from Staging to Production and Vice Versa using the Windows Azure Management Portal

Overview:

Swapping a service deployed from one environment to other (traditionally from Stage to Production) it’s quite easier with Windows Azure Management Portal with few button clicks. With any application we first deploy it to the stage and have check for the real time scenarios and move a final version to the production. After a regular patch is required to do some enhancements to the application, which requires a downtime for the application to do a manual deployment which requires time based on the application and network connectivity as well.

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Using SWAP VIP in Azure this became quite easier by upgrading the environments without downtime, like swapping the Application from Stage to Production after complete testing of the application in Stage environment. This way the application is available online and not require a downtime during the swap as well which is time saving and easier to manipulate as well.

So what exactly happens when we do a SWAP VIP in Azure, the steps are as follows

  1. Normally Swap VIP is done between Production and Staging environments.
  2. The VIP(Virtual IP Address) will be assigned as Production VIP to Staging VIP and Staging VIP to Production VIP. Inside the VIP swap, we may have the following changes as well possibly based on the application like
  • Changes in VM Size.
  • Changes in Trust Level of the application
  • Changes in the Certificate issued.

Finally VIP will be swapped without any downtime to the application.

Some of the limitations of the VIP SWAP is normally if the number of endpoints for the web role is changed between the environments. Let us see the step by step on how to do a SWAP VIP for application from Staging to Production using the Windows Azure Management Portal.

Steps:

Login to the management portal using the below link

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/

We can see a screen like below. Select the Sign into Management portal at the top right corner

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After selecting that sign in to management portal you will be asked for the Username and Password to authenticate the process as shown in the below screen

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Once we gave the correct credentials and click on submit button will navigate to the main screen of the portal as shown in the below screen

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Now click on the Hosted Services, Storage Account and CDN option in the bottom menu and then select the Hosted Services as shown in the screen below.

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Now select the deployed application (f5Debug, f5DebugTest in respective environments) as shown in the screen below. Here we can see the options like the environment on which its deployed and the DNS name to access the application etc.

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Now to do the SWAP, first we need to select the Staging environment application and we can see a Ribbon Menu Button at the top “Swap VIP” as highlighted in the screen below.

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Clicking on the SWAP VIP button will pop up a window summarizing the environment where the Virtual IP(VIP) are going to be swapped as shown in the screen below. Click on OK button to proceed.

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Clicking on the OK button will start the process of Swapping the VIP’s and we can see the progress as highlighted in the screen below.

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Now we can see the status as Updating which indicates the swapping is in progress as shown in the screen below.

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Once the process gets completed we can see the environments are swapped but still the DNS Name and other things remain the same which indicates on the environment is swapped from stage to production and other components points the same.

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Conclusion:

So in this article we have seen how to do a Swapping of environments with the SWAP VIP option available in Windows Azure Management Portal

About Author: Karthikeyan Anbarasan, Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) in ASP.NET/IIS Architecture. He is the Founder and Chief Editor of the www.f5debug.net website and has authored books on Windows Phone and Business Intelligence(SSIS). He is also a Passionate Speaker and a Blogger on Microsoft Technologies.

You can Join Me On: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn

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This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. For accuracy and official reference refer to MSDN/ TechNet. I have documented my personal experience on this blog.

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