How to add two Ethernet interfaces with Azure VM

Posted in: Cloud, DBA Lounge, Technical Track


Recently, working with my test VM on Azure, I needed a second network interface on my VM, but found no way to add one. I was using a standard A2 size Oracle Linux VM. I tried to search it in GUI interface and settings but could find no obvious way to add it. This surprised me so I continued to search and I found some blog posts on how to do it using Azure PowerShell. I discovered that there is no way to add the interface when the VM was already created and that you have to use Azure PowerShell for that. So, if you are a Mac user, as I am, and have only Azure CLI for Mac then you need to find a Windows box. I hope it will be fixed in future releases and that you will be able to manage networks from GUI or using any command line tool provided for Mac, Linux or any other platform. Thus, I will try to explain how you can create a new VM with 2 or more NIC.

First, we need to get a Windows machine to run Azure PowerShell commands. I created a small Windows box on Azure itself, explicitly to run the PowerShell when I need it. I’ve chosen basic A1 size Widows 2012 and installed the PowerShell there. It worked fine except you need to be careful if you use more than one monitor and rdp client for Mac. By default it was trying to use all monitors and in my case I got 1.5 screens (one was cut by half because it could not fit to my monitor). I removed check “Use all monitors” in my configuration for that connection in the rdp client. So, the first obstacle was resolved and I continued to work with the next steps.

Next, we will need “ImageName” to create a new machine. It can be checked using “Get-AzureVMImage” command. For Oracle linux it looks like:

PS C:\> Get-AzureVMImage | Where-Object { $_.Label -like "*Oracle Linux*" }
VERBOSE: 5:50:58 PM - Begin Operation: Get-AzureVMImage

ImageName : c290a6b031d841e09f2da759bbabe71f__Oracle-Linux-6-12-2014
OS : Linux
MediaLink :

Using the given ImageName we can now proceed. Keep in mind that you cannot create a VM with two or more NICs for an A2 size box. For two NICs you need at least a Large (A3) for 2 interfaces or an ExtraLarge(A4) if you need 4 NICs.
Let’s set up the image name:

PS C:\> $image = Get-AzureVMImage -ImageName "c290a6b031d841e09f2da759bbabe71f__Oracle-Linux-6-12-2014"

You need to setup your subscription ID for the session in PowerShell and a storage account:

PS C:\> Set-AzureSubscription -SubscriptionId "321265e2-ffb5-66f9-9e07-96079bd7e0a6" -CurrentStorageAccount "oradb5"

Create a custom config for our VM :

PS C:\> $vm = New-AzureVMConfig -name "oradb5" -InstanceSize "Large" -Image $image.ImageName
PS C:\> Add-AzureProvisioningConfig -VM $vm -Linux -LinuxUser "otochkin" -Password "welcome1"

I’ve created a virtual network “Multi-VNet” with two subnets for my VM and named the subnets as “Public” and “Private”. The Virtual network and subnets you can create in a GUI portal or using command line. I am going to use those subnets for my NICs.
Adding the first subnet to our VM configuration:

PS C:\> Set-AzureSubnet -SubnetName "Public" -VM $vm

Setting static IP for the network:

PS C:\> Set-AzureStaticVNetIP -IPAddress -VM $vm

Adding the second interface to the configuration.

PS C:\> Add-AzureNetworkInterfaceConfig -name "eth1" -SubnetName "Private" -StaticVNetIPAddress -VM $vm

And we can deploy our custom VM now:

PS C:\> New-AzureVM -ServiceName "test-1" -VNetName "Multi-VNet" -VM $vm
WARNING: No deployment found in service: 'test-1'.
VERBOSE: 6:59:03 PM - Begin Operation: New-AzureVM - Create Deployment with VM oradb5

OperationDescription OperationId OperationStatus
——————– ———– —————
New-AzureVM b7fcb2de-eac7-3684-aa8b-d1e9addc4587 Succeeded
VERBOSE: 7:01:08 PM – Completed Operation: New-AzureVM – Create Deployment with VM oradb5

The VM is created and you can check and connect to it. You don’t need your Windows box anymore and can shut it down to save money:

MacBook:~ otochkin$ azure vm list -v
info: Executing command vm list
verbose: Getting virtual machines
data: Name Status Location DNS Name IP Address
data: -------- ------------------ -------- --------------------- ----------
data: winman1 ReadyRole East US
data: oradb5 ReadyRole East US
info: vm list command OK
MacBook:~ otochkin$

You can connect to your freshly created VM and check the network:

[root@oradb5 ~]# ifconfig -a
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0D:3A:11:A3:71
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::20d:3aff:fe11:a371/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:337 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:353 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:54281 (53.0 KiB) TX bytes:49802 (48.6 KiB)

eth1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0D:3A:11:AC:92
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:0 (0.0 b) TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:0 (0.0 b) TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

[root@oradb5 ~]#

And that’s it. In summary I can say that it is not difficult to create more than one interface on an Azure VM, but I think it can be a good addition to GUI (Azure portal). In my next blog post I will try to check other aspects of using Oracle and Linux on Microsoft Azure. Stay tuned.


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About the Author

Regarded by his peers as an Oracle guru, Gleb is known for being able to resolve any problem related to Oracle. He loves the satisfaction of troubleshooting, and his colleagues even say that seeking Gleb’s advice regarding an issue is more efficient than looking it up. Gleb enjoys the variety of challenges he faces while working at Pythian, rather than working on the same thing every day. His areas of speciality include Oracle RAC, Exadata, RMAN, SQL tuning, high availability, storage, performance tuning, and many more. When he’s not working, running, or cycling, Gleb can be found reading.

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