My Azure Virtual Machine – disappointing
The 90 day free trial of Azure that I started so that I could describe how to build OpenELEC in the cloud is coming to a close. As I sit here once again waiting for my machine to reboot I don’t think I’ll miss it much when it’s gone.
I’ve already written about my issues with the stingy IO limits when the trial began, and to Microsoft’s credit they fixed that. Hopefully they’ll also be able to fix the other issues that I’ve seen, though I expect I’ll never get to see those changes.
I once had a VPS that I’d bought via LowEndBox that was perhaps less stable than my Azure VM has been, but the service providers for that freely admitted they were running in on hardware that was falling to bits in front of them. Azure is brand new, and shouldn’t be suffering the stability issues I’ve been seeing.
A number of times I’ve signed into my machine to grab the results of some long running task that I’d kicked off only to find that it had restarted, which isn’t great.
Filesystem going read only
Even more frequently than the random restarts I’ve often found that the root filesystem has become read only, preventing me from doing anything useful:
cp: cannot create regular file `/foo/bar': Read-only file system
Long restart times
To add insult to injury it takes way too long (>10 minutes) to restart a VM when I hit the read only filesystem problem (whether I do a simple ‘sudo reboot’ or initiate the restart from the management console).
Poor Ubuntu integration
It’s claimed that MS worked closely with Canonical to get Ubuntu onto Azure, but I’ve seen precious little evidence of this. When I first installed my VM it came up needing a whole raft of updates including many security updates, and more recently I’ve been greeted with:
7 packages can be updated. 7 updates are security updates.
But when I do sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade I get:
The following packages have been kept back: linux-image-extra-virtual linux-image-virtual linux-tools linux-virtual 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 4 not upgraded.
If I was paying for Azure I’d be very angry. It’s been woefully worse than various VPS and IaaS services I use and test, and the sticker price is substantially higher. As things stand I’ve paid a few quid over the free subscription, which I won’t lose any sleep over, but I’m not likely to be back in any hurry.
Filed under: cloud, could_do_better | 8 Comments
Tags: Azure, cloud, iaas, Microsoft, read only, reboot, slow, stability, Ubuntu, unstable, update, upgrade, uptime, VM, VPS