Cut cost dramatically by using policies to control the lifetime cycle of your test environments. Accelerate your time to market for test environments drastically. How? Use Azure DevTest Labs.

This is the first article in a series I will dedicate to Azure DevTest Labs.

What is Azure DevTest Labs?

“Azure DevTest Labs is a service that helps developers and testers quickly create environments in Azure while minimizing waste and controlling cost.”

What is a Lab?

“A lab is the infrastructure that encompasses a group of resources, such as Virtual Machines (VMs), that lets you better manage those resources by specifying limits and quotas.”

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/lab-services/devtest-lab-concepts

Above text was quoted from the url I mentioned just earlier. Sounds interesting right?

We now have the opportunity to create test environments, control the shutdown/startup time of the vm’s in these environments, set expiration dates on environments, and many more cool admin stuff. From another perspective, let me ask you this. How long does it take in your company to build a test environment? In my experience, these things can take forever. And then, when you receive the message that the environment is finally ready, you find out it is not what you asked for. Sometimes it has less cores, ram or diskspace than you requested (it’s never more). The wrong OS version, placed in the wrong vlan or whatever can go wrong with these things. This is all in the past, once you get to know the potential and power of Azure DevTest Labs.

Let’s do this now!

Head over to the Azure Portal at https://portal.azure.com and sign in. If you don’t have an account, sign up for a trial and continue.

Click on “Create a resource” which is located at the top left of your portal interface, indicated with a plus (+) sign.

Type “DevTest Labs” in the search box and press enter.

Click on “DevTest Labs” from the presented choices, then click “Create”

Enter a name for your new lab and click “Create”.

Click on “All Services”. Type “DevTest” in the search box. Mark DevTest Labs as a favorite by clicking the star. In this way the shortcut to DevTest Labs will be displayed in the shortcut menu.


Once your lab is created, head on over to the DevTest Lab overview using your freshly created favorite. Click on EinsteinsLab to continue.

Create a Virtual Machine using a base image

Concluding this getting started article, with creating a VM within our newly created DevTest Lab.

Click add.

A window is presented with a massive amount of available images. Let’s create a VM running Windows Server 2019 Datacenter. Select the appropriate image by clicking on it.

You will be presented with a dialog. Fill in the basic information as shown below and click Submit. An important note, the password validation is not working as expected and will accept a password with too little characters. Unfortunately, during creation it will fail on a password that does not comply with the miniumum requirements.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/faq#what-are-the-password-requirements-when-creating-a-vm

The proces will run as an Azure job and present feedback using the Azure Activity log

Once created you can go ahead and click on the VM displayed in the “My Virtual Machines” overview of your DevTest Lab.

Click on connect. Use the credentials you entered when creating the VM.

You have now created your first DevTest Lab and created your first VM in this lab. By default the machine will shut down at 19:00, assuring that you actually pay for what you use.

In the upcoming article i will focus on DevTest Lab Policies.

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