Creating a SharePoint Server 2016 Dev/Test Environment in Azure

I recently earned MCSA: Cloud Platform certification. I am now studying for the 70-339: Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 exam. I studied a lot of the Azure training material on https://openedx.microsoft.com/. As part of the preparation, I decided to try installing a SharePoint 2016 server environment in Azure.

I followed the steps as documented in a TechNet article published here
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt723354(v=office.16).aspx.
The version of the article I followed was modified on 2017-04-11. This would give me an Active Directory server, a SQL Server 2014, and a SharePoint Server 2016. All three are placed in one network group. The SQL Server 2014 is placed in an availability set.

I thought the documentation was clear. I did have to make sure I logged in correctly to the SP VM after restarting it. Don’t login with the SP local account that was created.
After the SharePoint virtual machine restarts, reconnect to it using the CORP\<ADMIN_NAME> account name and password. At one point, I had to reset the password and enable the CORP\sp_farm_db account. I think I missed an earlier step. Thus, I had to come back and do it. I think it was my fault since I had a few family distractions.

I completed the whole effort in two to three hours. In the future, I want to set it up as a more production-like environment. That is, with separate servers for Search and Cache. And more Managed and test accounts. I did this for my SharePoint 2013 environment running on my laptop. And it is still running!

Overall, it was much faster and easier to setup the SP 2016 environment in Azure than it was for me to setup SP 2013 on my laptop. And I am not limited by any capacity restraints: memory, disk space, or CPU.