Enable Azure VM Scale Sets for High Availability and Scalability

IT Pro Challenge’s virtual lab, Enable Azure VM Scale Sets for High Availability and Scalability, instructs participants to make and release an Azure VM Scale Sets for web and application servers. System and Network administrators, among other IT roles, gain critical understanding about deploying multiple identical VMs within a range of instances.

45 minutes
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This beginner’s hands-on virtual lab provides learners experience creating a Virtual Machine (VM) Scale Set for a web server environment and another VM Scale Set for an App Server context. The entire lab takes 45 minutes to do at once; as lab participants cannot return, pause, or save in the middle of the sessions. Users log onto an Azure server that has a resource group but no specific resources. Hints and screenshots act as guides at the end of each exercise; so that learners can check their work and receive other guidance for troubleshooting.

VM Scale Sets demonstrate the power of cloud computing. A scale set describes an array of identical machines all running the same web server tools or a specific application. With a scale set, an administrator can deploy just the required number of virtual machines.

For example, if the Internet network traffic significantly increases because everyone works from home due to a quarantine, then the VM Scale Set can increase the number of web servers to deal with all those website requests. When people return to work on-site and internet traffic dies down, then the number of web server machines can be scaled back.

Using VM Scale Sets means fewer business costs. Only the required physical machines become available with few sitting idle because of less demand. Similar cost savings can be attributed to flexibly instantiating and removing VM application servers through a VM Scale Set.

Those who wish to advance their careers as a system administrator understand from this lab, the availability, flexibility, and scalability a VM Scale Set offers.

Create an Azure Virtual Machine Scale Set for a Web Server Tier:

This section teaches how to create a VM Scale Set for a web server tier, including the OS, storage, and user profile specification for each machine. In creating the Scale Set, learners set the maximum and the minimum number instances that Azure allocates as a web server. Users also define a load balancer, where Azure distributes compute and storage resources according to the amount of network traffic and its activities. As a result, each VM, as grouped by Azure, performs optimally, low lag time, and quick responsiveness on the web.

Create an Azure Virtual Machine Scale Set for an App Server Tier:

Learners use an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template, available through GitHub, to set-up a VM Scale Set containing identical app servers. Throughout this exercise, learners configure the Scale Set to autoscale, allowing an admin to schedule deploying or taking down VMs according to what times experience heavy or light usage. Autoscale has administrators set a default level of VM instances and create rules around scaling out or in the number of machines, based on usage metrics reported by the clients. Screenshots provide learners a means to check their configurations.


Completing this virtual lab gives learners familiarity with creating and configuring Azure VM Scale Sets. Whether an administrator needs to manage the number of web server or application instances, he or she has gained the skills to do so from the two exercises comprising this lab.

    • Created a virtual machine scale set for a web server tier using the Azure portal
    • Created a virtual machine scale set for an app server tier using an ARM template

Those who wish to expand their experience with Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates should look into other IT Pro Challenges.

  • GUIDED CHALLENGE: Deploy Resources Using ARM Templates
  • ADVANCED CHALLENGE: Can You Deploy Scalable Azure Solutions Using ARM Templates?