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Article ID: 2721672 - Last Review: May 14, 2015 - Revision: 37.0

Summary

This article discusses the support policy for running Microsoft server software in the Microsoft Azure virtual machine environment (infrastructure-as-a-service).

Microsoft supports server software that runs in the Microsoft Azure virtual machine environments, as described in the "More Information" section. This support is subject to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy. For more information, go to the following Microsoft website:

Microsoft Support Lifecycle (http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle)
All Microsoft, software that's installed in the Azure virtual machine environment must be licensed correctly. By default, Azure virtual machines include a license for using Windows Server in the Microsoft Azure environment. Certain Azure virtual machine offerings may also include additional Microsoft software on a per-hour or evaluation basis. Licenses for other software must be obtained separately. For information about the Microsoft License Mobility program see Volume licensing (http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/software-assurance/license-mobility.aspx) .

In some cases, specific versions of Microsoft server software are required for support. These versions are noted in this article, and the supported versions may be updated as required.

Microsoft does not support an upgrade of the operating system of a Microsoft Azure virtual machine. Instead, you should create a new Azure virtual machine that is running the supported version of the operating system that is required, and then migrate the workload. Instructions for how to migrate Windows Server roles and features are available in the following TechNet topic:

Install, use, and remove Windows Server migration tools (http://technet.microsoft.com/library/jj134202)

More information

Microsoft supports the following Microsoft server software that's running in the Azure virtual machine environment.
  • Microsoft BizTalk Server
    Microsoft BizTalk Server 2013 and later versions are supported.

    SQL Server Azure virtual machines do not support Failover Cluster Instances (FCI). If your solution requires high availability using SQL Server FCI, the BizTalk Server Azure virtual machines should not be used. If your solution does not require high availability by using SQL Server FCI, the BizTalk Server Azure virtual machines may satisfy your solution needs.

    For more information, see BizTalk offerings: Server, IaaS, and PaaS feature list (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/19743.biztalk-offerings-server-iaas-and-paas-feature-list.aspx) .
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX
    Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 and later updates are supported. For more information, see the following TechNet topic:

    Deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 on Azure (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn741581.aspx)
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
    Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and later versions are supported.
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV
    Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 and later versions are supported.

  • Microsoft Exchange

    Exchange Server 2013 and later versions are supported. For more information, see the "Requirements for hardware virtualization" section of the following TechNet topic:

    Exchange 2013 virtualization (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj619301%28v=exchg.150%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396#BKMK_Prereq)
  • Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager
    Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 SP1 and later versions are supported.
  • Microsoft HPC Pack
    Microsoft HPC Pack 2012 and later versions are supported. For more information, see the "Microsoft Azure integration" section of the following TechNet topic:

    What's new in Microsoft HPC Pack 2012 (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj899598.aspx#BKMK_Windows_Azure)
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps Server
    Running Office Web Apps Server on Azure is supported, and editing features will work with cobalt-enabled WOPI hosts such as SharePoint 2013. (No license check is performed when editing is enabled in Office Web Apps.)
     
  • Microsoft Project Server
    Project Server 2013 and later versions are supported.
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server
    SharePoint Server 2010 and later versions are supported on Azure virtual machines. For more information, see the following SharePoint website:

    Support and licensing for Microsoft Azure in SharePoint 2013 (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj154957)
  • Microsoft SQL Server
    64-bit versions of SQL Server 2008 and later versions are supported. For more information, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

    956893  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956893/ ) Support policy for Microsoft SQL Server products that are running in a hardware virtualization environment
  • Microsoft System Center
    System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and later versions are supported for the following applications:
    • App Controller
    • Configuration Manager
    • Data Protection Manager
    • Endpoint Protection
    • Operations Manager
    • Orchestrator
    • Server Application Virtualization
    • Service Manager
       
    For more information about Configuration Manager and Endpoint Protection support, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

    2889321  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2889321/ ) System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection support for Microsoft Azure virtual machines
  • Microsoft Team Foundation Server
    Team Foundation Server 2012 and later versions are supported.

Windows Server roles

Windows Server 2008 R2 and later versions are supported for the following roles unless explicitly noted otherwise. The following list will be updated as new roles are confirmed:
  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Active Directory Federation Services
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services
  • Application Server
  • DNS Server
  • Failover Clustering*
  • File Services
  • Network Policy and Access Services
  • Print and Document Services
  • Remote Access (Web Application Proxy)
  • Remote Desktop Services**
  • Web Server (IIS)
  • Windows Server Update Service

    *Requirements for Windows Server Failover Cluster:
    • Must be running Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Must use a single-cluster IP address resource
    • Must use Azure hosted storage using one of the following options:
      • Application-level replication for non-shared storage
      • Volume-level replication for non-shared storage
      • ExpressRoute for remote iSCSI Target shared block storage
      • Azure Files for shared file storage


      Note For example: SQL Server AlwaysOn availability groups. For more information, see the following MSDN article:

      High availability and disaster recovery for SQL Server in Azure virtual machines (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj870962.aspx)
    • Can be a third-party clustered role

      Note Third-party clustered roles are supported by the vendor
    **For more information about licensing restrictions that are related to Remote Desktop Services in Microsoft Azure, see Virtual machines Licensing FAQ (http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/licensing-faq/#header-3) . For technical information about how to configure Remote Desktop Services in Microsoft Azure for session hosting by using Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2, see Azure Desktop Hosting - Reference Architecture and Deployment Guides (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/dn451351.aspx) .
The following roles are not supported in Microsoft Azure virtual machines:
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Server
  • Hyper-V
  • Remote Access (Direct Access, Routing)
  • Rights Management Services
  • Windows Deployment Services

Windows Server features

The following significant features are not supported:
  • BitLocker Drive Encryption (on the operating system hard disk; may be used on data disks)
  • Internet Storage Name Server
  • Multipath I/O
  • Network Load Balancing
  • Peer Name Resolution Protocol
  • SNMP Services
  • Storage Manager for SANs
  • Windows Internet Name Service
  • Wireless LAN Service

Additional resources

  • Download the Azure Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=335841) . This assessment will help you with your move to Azure virtual machines. It will automatically inspect your on-premises environment, whether that environment is physical or already virtualized. If you are running Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), SharePoint Server, or SQL Server, this tool will make it easy for you to get started.
  • The optimization assessment (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=403193) provides prioritized recommendations across six focus areas to optimize your experience while running in Azure. After a short questionnaire, automated data collection and analysis, a custom report is generated. The report includes an executive summary, key and detail recommendations which provide a high level view across the focus areas to help you manage, prioritize, and implement the recommendations.
  • In Virtual Machines Image Gallery, you can find prebuilt Linux images that are provided by commercial distributors. For a complete list, go to the following Microsoft website:

    Linux on Microsoft Azure-endorsed distributions (http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/manage/linux/other-resources/endorsed-distributions/)
  • Our partners offer tools and finished services that you can integrate with your applications that run on Azure virtual machines. For a complete list of add-ons for Microsoft Azure Store, go to Azure Marketplace (http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/marketplace/) .
  • VM Depot is a community-driven catalog of preconfigured operating systems, applications, and development stacks that can be deployed on Microsoft Azure. These images are provided and licensed to you by community members. Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. does not screen these images for security, compatibility, or performance, and does not provide any license rights or support for them. By using unsupported images, you might forfeit Microsoft Azure availability SLA. For more information, see Using and contributing to VM Depot (http://vmdepot.msopentech.com/Help/Help.html) .
  • Supplemental guidance is available to help you use the following technologies on Azure virtual machines:
  • For information about Office activation on Azure virtual machines, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

    2998147  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956893/ ) Microsoft Office prompts for activation in Azure

Applies to
  • Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine
  • Microsoft Azure cloud services
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