A few weeks ago, just for fun, I set up Moodle on an Amazon EC2 micro Windows instance I had created. I used the Windows Platform Installer to install the software and all required components. The process was quick and painless and within a very short time my test site was up, online and available for use.
The first step is to download the zip file appropriate for your VM size. I want a small instance so I chose that file. The zip file contains an Azure service package and a configuration file.
Figure 1 Contents of downloaded zip file
The next step was to edit the configuration file. I needed to put in parameters for my particular deployment. My changes are highlighted below.
Figure 2 ServiceConfiguration.cscfg
The Azure Companion runs in a single Worker Role on Windows Azure. I have also provided credentials to an Azure storage account and information about the administrator of this instance.
I then simply deployed the package and configuration to a hosted Azure service that I had previously set up.
This screencast walks through the process of deploying the package then installing and configuring WordPress.
All in all it was a pretty good experience. It did seem to me to be a little more time-consuming and cumbersome than using the Windows Platform Installer on an EC2 instance but, hey, now I am hosted on the Azure platform! That means I get some of the features of PaaS vs. IaaS.
One final comment; in this example I used SQL Azure as the backend database. It may have been more cost effective to use MySQL. Next week I will explore installing MySQL on Azure and try using that instead in my WordPress configuration.