Create and manage claimable VMs in Azure DevTest Labs

You add a claimable VM to a lab in a similar manner to how you add a standard VM – from a base that is either a custom image, formula, or Marketplace image. This tutorial walks you through using the Azure portal to add a claimable VM to a lab in DevTest Labs, and shows the processes a user follows to claim and unclaim the VM.

Steps to add a claimable VM to a lab in Azure DevTest Labs

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Select All Services, and then select DevTest Labs in the DEVOPS section. If you select * (star) next to DevTest Labs in the DEVOPS section. This action adds DevTest Labs to the left navigational menu so that you can access it easily the next time. Then, you can select DevTest Labs on the left navigational menu.

    All services - select DevTest Labs

  3. From the list of labs, select the lab in which you want to create the VM.

  4. On the lab's Overview page, select + Add.

    Add VM button

  5. On the Choose a base page, select a marketplace image for the VM.

  6. On the Basic Settings tab of the Virtual machine page, do the following actions:

    1. Enter a name for the VM in the Virtual machine name text box. The text box is pre-filled for you with a unique auto-generated name. The name corresponds to the user name within your email address followed by a unique 3-digit number. This feature saves you the time to think of a machine name and type it every time you create a machine. You can override this auto-filled field with a name of your choice if you wish to. To override the auto-filled name for the VM, enter a name in the Virtual machine name text box.

    2. Enter a User Name that is granted administrator privileges on the virtual machine. The user name for the machine is pre-filled with a unique auto-generated name. The name corresponds to the user name within your email address. This feature saves you the time to decide on a username every time you create a new machine. Again, you can override this auto-filled field with a username of your choice if you wish to. To override the auto-filled value for user name, enter a value in the User Name text box. This user is granted administrator privileges on the virtual machine.

    3. If you are creating first VM in the lab, enter a password for the user. To save this password as a default password in the Azure key vault associated with the lab, select Save as default password. The default password is saved in the key vault with the name: VmPassword. When you try to create subsequent VMs in the lab, VmPassword is automatically selected for the password. To override the value, clear the Use a saved secret check box, and enter a password.

      You can also save secrets in the key vault first and then use it while creating a VM in the lab. For more information, see Store secrets in a key vault. To use the password stored in the key vault, select Use a saved secret, and specify a key value that corresponds to your secret (password).

    4. In the More options section, select Change size. Select one of the predefined items that specify the processor cores, RAM size, and the hard drive size of the VM to create.

    5. Select Add or Remove Artifacts. Select and configure the artifacts that you want to add to the base image. Note: If you're new to DevTest Labs or configuring artifacts, refer to the Add an existing artifact to a VM section, and then return here when finished.

  7. Switch to the Advanced Settings tab at the top, and do the following actions:

    1. To change the virtual network that the VM is in, select Change VNet.
    2. To change the subnet, select Change subnet.
    3. Specify whether the IP address of the VM is public, private, or shared.
    4. To automatically delete the VM, specify the expiration date and time.
    5. To make the VM claimable by a lab user, select Yes for Make this machine claimable option.
    6. Specify the number of the instances of VM that you want to make it available to your lab users.
  8. Select Create to add the specified VM to the lab.

    The lab page displays the status of the VM's creation - first as Creating, then as Running after the VM has been started.

Note

If you deploy lab VMs through Azure Resource Manager templates, you can create claimable VMs by setting the allowClaim property to true in the properties section.

Using a claimable VM

A user can claim any VM from the list of "Claimable virtual machines" by doing one of these steps:

  • From the list of "Claimable virtual machines" at the bottom of the lab's "Overview" pane, right-click on one of the VMs in the list and choose Claim machine.

    Request a specific claimable VM.

  • At the top of the "Overview" pane, choose Claim any. A random virtual machine is assigned from the list of claimable VMs.

    Request any claimable VM.

After a user claims a VM, it is moved up into their list of "My virtual machines" and is no longer claimable by any other user.

Unclaim a VM

When a user is finished using a claimed VM and wants to make it available to someone else, they can return the claimed VM to the list of claimable virtual machines by doing one of these steps:

  • From the list of "My virtual machines", right-click on one of the VMs in the list – or select its ellipsis (...) – and choose Unclaim.

    Unclaim a VM on the list of VM.

  • In the list of "My virtual machines", select a VM to open its management pane, then select Unclaim from the top menu bar.

    Unclaim a VM on the VM's management pane.

When a user unclaims a VM, they no longer have any permissions for that specific lab VM.

Transferring the data disk

If a claimable VM has a data disk attached to it and a user unclaims it, the data disk stays with the VM. When another user then claims that VM, that new user claims the data disk as well as the VM.

This is known as "transferring the data disk". The data disk then becomes available in the new user's list of My data disks for them to manage.

Unclaim data disks.

Next steps