Windows Azure were more popular in creating VMs (Virtual Machines) in your cloud and login remotely to them and access them as remotely. By the time Microsoft has implemented number of images (OS) to install in to it. Now they are expanding the ability to create images by users or customers. They have introduced the private preview of Azure VM Image Builder, a service which allows users to have an image building pipeline in Azure. To configure the image creation set up with Azure VM Image Builder, you can take an ISO or Azure Marketplace image and start creating your own golden images in a few steps.
How Image Builder works?
To start with Image builder first you need to get in to Linux-based Azure Marketplace VM or Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) ISO and begin to add your own customizations. Your customizations can be added in the form of a shell script, and because the VM Image Builder is built on HashiCorp Packer, you can also import your existing Packer shell provisioner scripts
|Source: Azure Blog|
Migrating an existing image customization pipeline to Azure. If you have you own created pipelines previously you can import your existing shell scripts or Packer shell provisioner scripts.
Migrating your Red Hat subscription to Azure using Red Hat Cloud Access. If you have any unused Red Hat subscriptions, they will be used to Red Hat Enterprise Linux VMs.
Azure Shared image gallery is integrated for image management and distribution
Integration with your existing CI/CD pipeline. An integral part of your application build and release process, simplify image customization
|Source: Azure Blog|
- Supporting Platforms
As for now, private preview will support Azure Marketplace Linux images (specifically Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04). But they have mentioned that Support for windows will be available soon.
- API Integration
VM Image Builder API is ready to use and can call the VM Image Builder API from your existing tooling
- VM Image Builder essentially Packer as a Service
The VM Image Builder API shares similar style to Packer manifests, and is optimized to support building images for Azure, supporting Packer shell provisioner scripts.
- Image lifecycle management
For this release, Microsft supports only for creation of images, but not ongoing updates.The updates for images will be added soon.
For private preview, Azure VM Image Builder is free. In Azure storages there will be a cost for image storing, as standard price. pricing rates.
You can sign up for Private Preview for Azure VM Image Builder from this link.
Full article on the Azure Blog can be found here.