Q: I want to run a Minecraft Server in Windows Azure IaaS--are there any special considerations?

A: Actually there really aren't any special requirements to host a Minecraft server in Azure IaaS. I created a video about running Minecraft Server on Azure that walks you through the whole process, from obtaining a Windows Azure subscription through to running the Minecraft server. Below are the key points:

  • A very-small Azure virtual machine (VM) would be fine for less than 10 users; however, consider a small VM for more than that.
  • Use the Windows Server 2012 Datacenter gallery image.
  • Create a separate data disk to store the Minecraft server executable and its data files. You will need to initialize and format this disk using Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc).
  • Install the 64-bit version of Java.
  • Download the Minecraft_Server.exe and save to the Minecraft folder you create on your data drive.
  • Create a firewall exception for TCP port 25565, which is what Minecraft listens on.
  • Create an endpoint for the VM in the Azure portal for public and private port 25565 to enable external communication to the port on the VM. I cover this in detail in FAQ "Q: I've opened a firewall exception in my Azure IaaS virtual machine but I can't connect to it--what else do I need to do?"
  • Add your Minecraft account name to the ops.txt file to make yourself an operator on the server.
  • To run the Minecraft server I use the command below, which gives Minecraft 1GB of memory instead of 100MB. Save this to a start.bat file and use it to initialize.
    "C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin\javaw.exe" -Xms1024m -Xmx1024m -jar "Minecraft_Server.exe"

As you can see, the only Azure-specific action is to create the Azure IaaS endpoint. Everything else is just like installing Minecraft server on a regular Windows box.