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Pay-as-you-go TeamSpeak 3 hosting with Azure Container Instances

TeamSpeak 3 server on Azure Container Instances banner

Introduction

Due to last COVID-19 situation I have started to hang out with my friends online more than ever. As we are mostly used to communicate via TeamSpeak 3 servers to play games we needed to get one just for us. If it comes to renting one, prices are various, but they all have one common thing – monthly payments. Since I’m a cloud guy, I am expecting to have a pay-as-you-go experience, so I didn’t want to commit to a monthly payments, since I am not using TeamSpeak server 24/7.

TeamSpeak 3 server in a container?

I have wondered if there are any docker images with TeamSpeak 3 server available in docker hub and of course… there is one! Having this I could set up a TeamSpeak server in just a couple of minutes anywhere.

Azure Container Instances to the rescue!

Since I didn’t want to host my server locally and to pay for it when I’m not really using it (so VM would not be a good fit in here), plus I wanted to use docker image to setup it fast, I have decided to use Azure Container Instances. It is a serverless approach to conainers in the cloud, so we pay only for the time we are running our service.

But how?

Using ARM Template

If you want to use ARM Template, you probably don’t need much explanation, so here is the button to simply deploy it to your subscription from my repository:

Deploy to Azure

All the parameters are described with metadata, so you should have no problem with using it, even if you are a beginner, as it will be visible in Azure Portal during deployment setup.

Using Azure Portal from scratch

  1. Go to Azure Portal.
  2. Click on create a resource.
  3. Search for container instances and select it.
    Azure Container Instances tile
  4. Hit create button.
  5. Go through resource creation wizard and follow screenshots below:
    Azure Container Instances wizard step 1

Azure Container Instances wizard step 2

Azure Container Instances wizard step 3

  1. Click create button as a last step of the wizard, wait a while to deploy the resource and… vio’la! Your TeamSpeak 3 server should be now up and running.

Server management

If you want to administrate your TeamSpeak 3 server as well, you have to use a token (which is labeled as privilege key in the client) when connecting to it. To obtain the token you have to:
1. Go to Azure Portal and select your resource.
2. Select proper container with your TeamSpeak 3 server running inside.
3. Selet Logs tab.
Azure Container Instances logs tab
4. Find the token in logs. The value of it is the one you have to use as your passphrase to get administrator rights on the server.
TeamSpeak 3 token

Summary

TeamSpeak 3 client window

This way you can set up many different services you are using only once a while and which would require a dedicated VM or some other hosting option. If running all the time, it will be much more expensive than a dedicated hosting. However if our intent is to use it for in example 3 hours per month should be a cost effective solution. If you have some your gaming time planned ahead, you may also think about starting and stopping container automatically with Azure Functions.

To sum it up, Azure Container Instances main benefits are:
– Simplicity (no need to worry about Virtual Machine or some other infra-stuff),
– Speed (just couple of az commands or clicks in the portal),
– Pay-as-you-go approach.

Got an idea on what else could be hosted that way? What are you using Container Instances for? Leave a comment below, maybe it will be useful for others as well.

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