Quickstart: Create a basic internal load balancer to load balance VMs using the Azure portal

Get started with Azure Load Balancer by using the Azure portal to create an internal load balancer and two virtual machines.

Note

Standard SKU load balancer is recommended for production workloads. For more information about SKUs, see Azure Load Balancer SKUs.

Prerequisites

Sign in to Azure

Sign in to the Azure portal at https://portal.azure.com.

Create the virtual network

When you create an internal load balancer, a virtual network is configured as the network for the load balancer.

A private IP address in the virtual network is configured as the frontend for the load balancer. The frontend IP address can be Static or Dynamic.

An Azure Bastion host is created to securely manage the virtual machines and install IIS.

In this section, you'll create a virtual network, subnet, and Azure Bastion host.

  1. In the search box at the top of the portal, enter Virtual network. Select Virtual Networks in the search results.

  2. In Virtual networks, select + Create.

  3. In Create virtual network, enter or select this information in the Basics tab:

    Setting Value
    Project Details
    Subscription Select your Azure subscription
    Resource Group Select Create new.
    In Name enter CreateIntLBQS-rg.
    Select OK.
    Instance details
    Name Enter myVNet
    Region Select West US 3
  4. Select the IP Addresses tab or select the Next: IP Addresses button at the bottom of the page.

  5. In the IP Addresses tab, enter this information:

    Setting Value
    IPv4 address space Enter 10.1.0.0/16
  6. Under Subnet name, select the word default.

  7. In Edit subnet, enter this information:

    Setting Value
    Subnet name Enter myBackendSubnet
    Subnet address range Enter 10.1.0.0/24
  8. Select Save.

  9. Select the Security tab.

  10. Under BastionHost, select Enable. Enter this information:

    Setting Value
    Bastion name Enter myBastionHost
    AzureBastionSubnet address space Enter 10.1.1.0/27
    Public IP Address Select Create new.
    For Name, enter myBastionIP.
    Select OK.
  11. Select the Review + create tab or select the Review + create button.

  12. Select Create.

    Note

    The virtual network and subnet are created immediately. The Bastion host creation is submitted as a job and will complete within 10 minutes. You can proceed to the next steps while the Bastion host is created.

Create load balancer

In this section, you create a load balancer that load balances virtual machines.

During the creation of the load balancer, you'll configure:

  • Frontend IP address
  • Backend pool
  • Inbound load-balancing rules
  1. In the search box at the top of the portal, enter Load balancer. Select Load balancers in the search results.

  2. In the Load balancer page, select Create.

  3. In the Basics tab of the Create load balancer page, enter, or select the following information:

    Setting Value
    Project details
    Subscription Select your subscription.
    Resource group Select CreateIntLBQS-rg.
    Instance details
    Name Enter myLoadBalancer
    Region Select West US 3.
    SKU Select Basic.
    Type Select Internal.
  4. Select Next: Frontend IP configuration at the bottom of the page.

  5. In Frontend IP configuration, select + Add a frontend IP configuration.

  6. Enter myFrontend in Name.

  7. Select myVNet in Virtual network.

  8. Select myBackendSubnet in Subnet.

  9. Select Dynamic for Assignment.

  10. Select Add.

  11. Select Next: Backend pools at the bottom of the page.

  12. In the Backend pools tab, select + Add a backend pool.

  13. Enter myBackendPool in Name.

  14. Select Virtual machines in Associated to.

  15. Select IPv4 or IPv6 for IP version.

  16. Select Add.

  17. Select the Next: Inbound rules button at the bottom of the page.

  18. In Load balancing rule in the Inbound rules tab, select + Add a load balancing rule.

  19. In Add load balancing rule, enter or select the following information:

    Setting Value
    Name Enter myHTTPRule
    IP Version Select IPv4 or IPv6 depending on your requirements.
    Frontend IP address Select myFrontend.
    Backend pool Select myBackendPool.
    Protocol Select TCP.
    Port Enter 80.
    Backend port Enter 80.
    Health probe Select Create new.
    In Name, enter myHealthProbe.
    Select TCP in Protocol.
    Leave the rest of the defaults, and select OK.
    Session persistence Select None.
    Idle timeout (minutes) Enter or select 15.
    Floating IP Select Disabled.
  20. Select Add.

  21. Select the blue Review + create button at the bottom of the page.

  22. Select Create.

Create virtual machines

In this section, you'll create two VMs (myVM1 and myVM2) in two different zones (Zone 1 and Zone 2).

These VMs are added to the backend pool of the load balancer that was created earlier.

  1. In the search box at the top of the portal, enter Virtual machine. Select Virtual machines in the search results.

  2. In Virtual machines, select + Create > Azure virtual machine.

  3. In Create a virtual machine, enter or select the values in the Basics tab:

    Setting Value
    Project Details
    Subscription Select your Azure subscription
    Resource Group Select CreateIntLBQS-rg
    Instance details
    Virtual machine name Enter myVM1
    Region Select (US) West US 3
    Availability Options Select Availability set
    Availability set Select Create new.
    Enter myAvailabilitySet in Name.
    Select OK
    Security type Select Standard.
    Image Select Windows Server 2019 Datacenter - Gen2
    Azure Spot instance Leave the default of unchecked.
    Size Choose VM size or take default setting
    Administrator account
    Username Enter a username
    Password Enter a password
    Confirm password Reenter password
    Inbound port rules
    Public inbound ports Select None
  4. Select the Networking tab, or select Next: Disks, then Next: Networking.

  5. In the Networking tab, select or enter:

    Setting Value
    Network interface
    Virtual network myVNet
    Subnet myBackendSubnet
    Public IP Select None.
    NIC network security group Select Advanced
    Configure network security group Select Create new.
    In the Create network security group, enter myNSG in Name.
    Under Inbound rules, select +Add an inbound rule.
    In Service, select HTTP.
    Under Priority, enter 100.
    In Name, enter myNSGRule
    Select Add
    Select OK
    Load balancing
    Place this virtual machine behind an existing load-balancing solution? Select the box.
    Load balancing settings
    Load-balancing options Select Azure load balancing
    Select a load balancer Select myLoadBalancer
    Select a backend pool Select myBackendPool
  6. Select Review + create.

  7. Review the settings, and then select Create.

  8. Follow the steps 1 through 7 to create one more VM with the following values and all the other settings the same as myVM1:

    Setting VM 2
    Name myVM2
    Availability set Select the existing myAvailabiltySet
    Network security group Select the existing myNSG

Note

Azure provides a default outbound access IP for VMs that either aren't assigned a public IP address or are in the back-end pool of an internal basic Azure load balancer. The default outbound access IP mechanism provides an outbound IP address that isn't configurable.

The default outbound access IP is disabled when a public IP address is assigned to the VM, the VM is placed in the back-end pool of a standard load balancer, with or without outbound rules, or if an Azure Virtual Network NAT gateway resource is assigned to the subnet of the VM.

VMs that are created by virtual machine scale sets in flexible orchestration mode don't have default outbound access.

For more information about outbound connections in Azure, see Default outbound access in Azure and Use source network address translation (SNAT) for outbound connections.

Create test virtual machine

In this section, you'll create a VM named myTestVM. This VM will be used to test the load balancer configuration.

  1. In the search box at the top of the portal, enter Virtual machine. Select Virtual machines in the search results.

  2. In Virtual machines, select + Create > Azure virtual machine.

  3. In Create a virtual machine, type or select the values in the Basics tab:

    Setting Value
    Project Details
    Subscription Select your Azure subscription
    Resource Group Select CreateIntLBQS-rg
    Instance details
    Virtual machine name Enter myTestVM
    Region Select (US) West US 3
    Availability Options Select No infrastructure redundancy required
    Security type Select Standard.
    Image Select Windows Server 2019 Datacenter - Gen2
    Azure Spot instance Leave the default of unselected.
    Size Choose VM size or take default setting
    Administrator account
    Username Enter a username
    Password Enter a password
    Confirm password Reenter password
    Inbound port rules
    Public inbound ports Select None.
  4. Select the Networking tab, or select Next: Disks, then Next: Networking.

  5. In the Networking tab, select or enter:

    Setting Value
    Network interface
    Virtual network myVNet
    Subnet myBackendSubnet
    Public IP Select None.
    NIC network security group Select Advanced
    Configure network security group Select MyNSG created in the previous step.
  6. Select Review + create.

  7. Review the settings, and then select Create.

Install IIS

  1. In the search box at the top of the portal, enter Virtual machine. Select Virtual machines in the search results.

  2. Select myVM1.

  3. In the Overview page, select Connect, then Bastion.

  4. Enter the username and password entered during VM creation.

  5. Select Connect.

  6. On the server desktop, navigate to Windows Administrative Tools > Windows PowerShell > Windows PowerShell.

  7. In the PowerShell Window, execute the following commands to:

    • Install the IIS server.
    • Remove the default iisstart.htm file.
    • Add a new iisstart.htm file that displays the name of the VM.
    
     # Install IIS server role
     Install-WindowsFeature -name Web-Server -IncludeManagementTools
    
     # Remove default htm file
     Remove-Item  C:\inetpub\wwwroot\iisstart.htm
    
     # Add a new htm file that displays server name
     Add-Content -Path "C:\inetpub\wwwroot\iisstart.htm" -Value $("Hello World from " + $env:computername)
    
  8. Close the Bastion session with myVM1.

  9. Repeat steps 1 through 8 to install IIS and the updated iisstart.htm file on myVM2.

Test the load balancer

In this section, you'll test the load balancer by connecting to the myTestVM and verifying the webpage.

  1. In the search box at the top of the portal, enter Load balancer. Select Load balancers in the search results.

  2. Select myLoadBalancer.

  3. Make note or copy the address next to Private IP address in the Overview of myLoadBalancer. If you can't see the Private IP address field, select See more in the information window.

  4. In the search box at the top of the portal, enter Virtual machine. Select Virtual machines in the search results.

  5. Select myTestVM.

  6. In the Overview page, select Connect, then Bastion.

  7. Enter the username and password entered during VM creation.

  8. Open Internet Explorer on myTestVM.

  9. Enter the IP address from the previous step into the address bar of the browser. The custom page displaying one of the backend server names is displayed on the browser. In this example, it's 10.1.0.4.

To see the load balancer distribute traffic across both VMs, you can force-refresh your web browser from the client machine.

Clean up resources

When no longer needed, delete the resource group, load balancer, and all related resources. To do so, select the resource group CreateIntLBQS-rg that contains the resources and then select Delete.

Next steps

In this quickstart, you:

  • Created an internal Azure Load Balancer

  • Attached 2 VMs to the load balancer

  • Configured the load balancer traffic rule, health probe, and then tested the load balancer

To learn more about Azure Load Balancer, continue to: