Azure Lab Services - Auto VM Shutdown

Azure Lab Services - Auto VM Shutdown

Do you use Azure Lab Services for your managed classroom sessions? If yes, you might have faced a very common issue of being charged for the lab instance even when it is not in use.

Well, it seems Azure has listened to the feedback provided by the end users and have come up with the feature for Automatic shutdown of Virtual Machines or Lab Instances. Do not confuse it to be the feature of scheduled automatic shutdown of instances! It’s different here!

Microsoft has brought this unique feature to shutdown the Lab Instances or Virtual Machines if the user disconnects from the instances for more than x minutes. If you want me to define x, yes it’s a numeral value used to represent time in minutes! So, if you disconnect from the Lab Instance without shutting down for more than 15 minutes, Azure will simply shutdown or deallocate the virtual machine. Hence, you saved yourself from the extra cost which would have been imposed till the machine is deallocated or removed.

Another interesting thing to note here is, Azure charges you for the full minutes consumed for the lab instances. Hence, if you used the instance for 7 minutes and 55 seconds, you only pay for the 7 minutes as it did not complete the full minutes. Isn’t it great!

So, wondering how to configure this?

  • Go to the Lab Settings option in the Settings block of your Lab Instance menu.
  • In the General Settings, tick/select the checkbox for the option “Automatically shut down virtual machines when users disconnect”
  • In the “Minutes before Shutdown” text box, enter the number of minutes you want Azure to wait before shutting down the idle lab instances after user disconnects.
  • Click on Save

Important Point to Note:

  • This feature is only available in Azure Lab Services (Classroom Labs). This feature is not available in Azure DevTest Labs!
  • This feature is only available for Windows Labs. It is still in development phase for Linux Labs. It is expected it will be out soon for Linux as well.


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