Experimental repository containing an ARM template for deploying MBrace clusters to Azure
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README.md
azuredeploy.json
large-cluster.json
medium-cluster.json
small-cluster.json
tiny-cluster.json

README.md

mbrace-arm

Experimental repository containing an ARM template for deploying MBrace clusters to Azure

Deploy a cluster from your web browser now

Deploy to Azure

To quickly deploy a cluster from your web browser, click the Deploy to Azure button above, which will then guide you through the process of deploying your MBrace cluster.

How to use

  1. Open up a Powershell window.
  2. CD to this directory.
  3. Execute the following commands:
## Logs into Azure using your credentials - no need for pub setting 
Login-AzureRmAccount

## Create a "resource group" for the cluster, called MyCluster
New-AzureRmResourceGroup -Name MyCluster -Location "North Europe"

## Create a 'small' MBrace cluster called MyCluster!
New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -ResourceGroupName MyCluster -TemplateFile .\azuredeploy.json -TemplateParameterFile "small-cluster.json"

You will notice the output of this operation will contain the Service Bus and Storage Account keys - these can be used to connect to the cluster. You can also easily fine tune the process as follows:

## Optional, if you have multiple subscriptions
Set-AzureRmContext -SubscriptionName "My Subscription"

## Resize the cluster to a 'medium' sized cluster (2 nodes)
New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -ResourceGroupName MyCluster -TemplateFile .\azuredeploy.json -TemplateParameterFile "medium-cluster.json"

## Manually configure the cluster size to 8 large nodes (S3 = large)
New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -ResourceGroupName MyCluster -TemplateFile .\azuredeploy.json -clusterSize 8 -nodeSize "S3"

## Destroy the cluster
Remove-AzureRmResourceGroup -Name "MyCluster"

Benefits over Cloud Service deployment

  • Rapid provisioning / deprovisioning
  • Code-free - no requirements for MBrace to use MAML to provision a cluster
  • Simpler model for cluster provisioning with ready-made "small" "medium" and "large" cluster parameter files.
  • Built in Azure diagnostics / charting within the Portal
  • Fully supported by Microsoft going forwards
  • Easier management - a single MBrace Worker executable / package that is accessible over HTTP can function across all node sizes, unlike Cloud Services. Packages are simple zip files - no need to create cspackages.
  • Easier deployment - no need to manually copy / deploy the MBrace application - handled for us by ARM.

Restrictions

  • Requires PowerShell currently. This could be removed using the .NET ARM SDK
  • As this implementation of MBrace runs in a web job in the Azure App Service, it does not have admin privileges. Therefore, it cannot retrieve PerfMon counters for the purposes of metrics e.g. ShowWorkers().
  • Limited cluster and node sizes - maximum of 20 Extra Large nodes.