Deploy an Azure Virtual Machine using C# and a Resource Manager template

This article shows you how to deploy an Azure Resource Manager template using C#. The template that you create deploys a single virtual machine running Windows Server in a new virtual network with a single subnet.

For a detailed description of the virtual machine resource, see Virtual machines in an Azure Resource Manager template. For more information about all the resources in a template, see Azure Resource Manager template walkthrough.

It takes about 10 minutes to do these steps.

Create a Visual Studio project

In this step, you make sure that Visual Studio is installed and you create a console application used to deploy the template.

  1. If you haven't already, install Visual Studio. Select .NET desktop development on the Workloads page, and then click Install. In the summary, you can see that .NET Framework 4 - 4.6 development tools is automatically selected for you. If you have already installed Visual Studio, you can add the .NET workload using the Visual Studio Launcher.
  2. In Visual Studio, click File > New > Project.
  3. In Templates > Visual C#, select Console App (.NET Framework), enter myDotnetProject for the name of the project, select the location of the project, and then click OK.

Install the packages

NuGet packages are the easiest way to install the libraries that you need to finish these steps. To get the libraries that you need in Visual Studio, do these steps:

  1. Click Tools > Nuget Package Manager, and then click Package Manager Console.
  2. Type these commands in the console:

    Install-Package Microsoft.Azure.Management.Fluent
    Install-Package WindowsAzure.Storage

Create the files

In this step, you create a template file that deploys the resources and a parameters file that supplies parameter values to the template. You also create an authorization file that is used to perform Azure Resource Manager operations.

Create the template file

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click myDotnetProject > Add > New Item, and then select Text File in Visual C# Items. Name the file CreateVMTemplate.json, and then click Add.
  2. Add this JSON code to the file that you created:

      "$schema": "",
      "contentVersion": "",
      "parameters": {
        "adminUsername": { "type": "string" },
        "adminPassword": { "type": "securestring" }
      "variables": {
        "vnetID": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks','myVNet')]", 
        "subnetRef": "[concat(variables('vnetID'),'/subnets/mySubnet')]", 
      "resources": [
          "apiVersion": "2016-03-30",
          "type": "Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses",
          "name": "myPublicIPAddress",
          "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
          "properties": {
            "publicIPAllocationMethod": "Dynamic",
            "dnsSettings": {
              "domainNameLabel": "myresourcegroupdns1"
          "apiVersion": "2016-03-30",
          "type": "Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks",
          "name": "myVNet",
          "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
          "properties": {
            "addressSpace": { "addressPrefixes": [ "" ] },
            "subnets": [
                "name": "mySubnet",
                "properties": { "addressPrefix": "" }
          "apiVersion": "2016-03-30",
          "type": "Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces",
          "name": "myNic",
          "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
          "dependsOn": [
            "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses/', 'myPublicIPAddress')]",
            "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks/', 'myVNet')]"
          "properties": {
            "ipConfigurations": [
                "name": "ipconfig1",
                "properties": {
                  "privateIPAllocationMethod": "Dynamic",
                  "publicIPAddress": { "id": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses','myPublicIPAddress')]" },
                  "subnet": { "id": "[variables('subnetRef')]" }
          "apiVersion": "2016-04-30-preview",
          "type": "Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines",
          "name": "myVM",
          "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
          "dependsOn": [
            "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces/', 'myNic')]"
          "properties": {
            "hardwareProfile": { "vmSize": "Standard_DS1" },
            "osProfile": {
              "computerName": "myVM",
              "adminUsername": "[parameters('adminUsername')]",
              "adminPassword": "[parameters('adminPassword')]"
            "storageProfile": {
              "imageReference": {
                "publisher": "MicrosoftWindowsServer",
                "offer": "WindowsServer",
                "sku": "2012-R2-Datacenter",
                "version": "latest"
              "osDisk": {
                "name": "myManagedOSDisk",
                "caching": "ReadWrite",
                "createOption": "FromImage"
            "networkProfile": {
              "networkInterfaces": [
                  "id": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces','myNic')]"
  3. Save the CreateVMTemplate.json file.

Create the parameters file

To specify values for the resource parameters that are defined in the template, you create a parameters file that contains the values.

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click myDotnetProject > Add > New Item, and then select Text File in Visual C# Items. Name the file Parameters.json, and then click Add.
  2. Add this JSON code to the file that you created:

      "$schema": "",
      "contentVersion": "",
      "parameters": {
        "adminUserName": { "value": "azureuser" },
        "adminPassword": { "value": "Azure12345678" }
  3. Save the Parameters.json file.

Create the authorization file

Before you can deploy a template, make sure that you have access to an Active Directory service principal. From the service principal, you acquire a token for authenticating requests to Azure Resource Manager. You should also record the application ID, the authentication key, and the tenant ID that you need in the authorization file.

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click myDotnetProject > Add > New Item, and then select Text File in Visual C# Items. Name the file, and then click Add.
  2. Add these authorization properties:


    Replace <subscription-id> with your subscription identifier, <application-id> with the Active Directory application identifier, <authentication-key> with the application key, and <tenant-id> with the tenant identifier.

  3. Save the file.

  4. Set an environment variable in Windows named AZURE_AUTH_LOCATION with the full path to authorization file that you created, for example the following PowerShell command can be used:

    [Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("AZURE_AUTH_LOCATION", "C:\Visual Studio 2017\Projects\myDotnetProject\myDotnetProject\", "User")

Create the management client

  1. Open the Program.cs file for the project that you created, and then add these using statements to the existing statements at top of the file:

    using Microsoft.Azure.Management.Compute.Fluent;
    using Microsoft.Azure.Management.Compute.Fluent.Models;
    using Microsoft.Azure.Management.Fluent;
    using Microsoft.Azure.Management.ResourceManager.Fluent;
    using Microsoft.Azure.Management.ResourceManager.Fluent.Core;
    using Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Storage;
    using Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Storage.Blob;
  2. To create the management client, add this code to the Main method:

    var credentials = SdkContext.AzureCredentialsFactory
    var azure = Azure

Create a resource group

To specify values for the application, add code to the Main method:

var groupName = "myResourceGroup";
var location = Region.USWest;

var resourceGroup = azure.ResourceGroups.Define(groupName)

Create a storage account

The template and parameters are deployed from a storage account in Azure. In this step, you create the account and upload the files.

To create the account, add this code to the Main method:

string storageAccountName = SdkContext.RandomResourceName("st", 10);

Console.WriteLine("Creating storage account...");
var storage = azure.StorageAccounts.Define(storageAccountName)

var storageKeys = storage.GetKeys();
string storageConnectionString = "DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;"
    + "AccountName=" + storage.Name
    + ";AccountKey=" + storageKeys[0].Value
    + ";";

var account = CloudStorageAccount.Parse(storageConnectionString);
var serviceClient = account.CreateCloudBlobClient();

Console.WriteLine("Creating container...");
var container = serviceClient.GetContainerReference("templates");
var containerPermissions = new BlobContainerPermissions()
    { PublicAccess = BlobContainerPublicAccessType.Container };

Console.WriteLine("Uploading template file...");
var templateblob = container.GetBlockBlobReference("CreateVMTemplate.json");

Console.WriteLine("Uploading parameters file...");
var paramblob = container.GetBlockBlobReference("Parameters.json");

Deploy the template

Deploy the template and parameters from the storage account that was created.

To deploy the template, add this code to the Main method:

var templatePath = "https://" + storageAccountName + "";
var paramPath = "https://" + storageAccountName + "";
var deployment = azure.Deployments.Define("myDeployment")
    .WithTemplateLink(templatePath, "")
    .WithParametersLink(paramPath, "")
Console.WriteLine("Press enter to delete the resource group...");

Delete the resources

Because you are charged for resources used in Azure, it is always good practice to delete resources that are no longer needed. You don’t need to delete each resource separately from a resource group. Delete the resource group and all its resources are automatically deleted.

To delete the resource group, add this code to the Main method:


Run the application

It should take about five minutes for this console application to run completely from start to finish.

  1. To run the console application, click Start.

  2. Before you press Enter to start deleting resources, you could take a few minutes to verify the creation of the resources in the Azure portal. Click the deployment status to see information about the deployment.

Next steps