Join Bhargav Shukla for an in-depth discussion in this video Azure Stack prerequisites, part of Microsoft Azure Stack First Look.
- [Instructor] Before we download and install Azure Stack, let's discuss the prerequisites. Azure Stack deployment is quite resource intensive. To install Azure Stack, the hardware must meet minimum requirements and it is ideal to deploy recommended hardware resources if not more. At a minimum, the hardware must have a dual socket 12 core CPU. The number of cores are total required and not a per socket requirement. You will also need a minimum of one operating system disk and four data disks.
The OS disk must have a minimum of 200 GB of free space on the system partition. The data disks must have minimum of 140 GB of free space per disk. The system must have a minimum of 96 GB of RAM. The Azure Stack environment consists of multiple pre-deployed VMs that provide the required services including controller interfaces and resource providers. For the Azure deployment to perform optimally, it is advisable to deploy recommended hardware and not just a minimum required hardware.
For this demo, I'm using server hardware that exceeds all the recommended requirements. Beyond hardware, there are other requisites that must also be met. Let's check it out. Azure Stack can use Azure Active Directory or AD FS for authentication of administrators and tenant accounts. It is recommended to use Azure Active Directory for connected environments where Azure Stack deployment can access internet. The AD account must be a directory administrator for the Azure AD tenant.
The account is used to provision and delegate applications and service principles for any Azure Stack services that interact with Azure AD and Graph API. Graph API provides programmatic access to Azure AD so that the services can create and manage directory objects in Azure AD. For Azure Stack environments that doesn't have internet access, AD FS can be used for authentication. Azure Stack includes its own AD FS and AD domain services instances.
No advanced preparation is needed if you deploy Azure Stack using Ad FS option. However, you can't switch from Azure AD to AD FS or AD FS to Azure AD without redeploying Azure Stack. Azure Stack uses storage spaces direct and automatically creates required data storage volumes during installation of Azure Stack. This is why all the data disks must be the same type and the same capacity.
It is important to ensure that all the disk drives are either SAS or SATA drives of the same capacity. Since storage spaces direct creates and manages required volumes automatically, if a RAID HBA is used, it must be configured to use pass-through mode. Also insure that no RAID is configured and the drives are configured to be a single disk configuration. Summary controllers identify it as RAID zero configuration for single disk.
SSD drives can be used alongside SAS or SATA drives. When SAS or SATA drives are available, SSD drives are automatically configured as caching devices. Azure Stack uses virtual networks for all 10 services and VMs. The network traffic tenant VMs uses network components within Azure Stack and never reaches physical network switches. Any traffic between Azure Stack and internet or Azure Stack and network endpoints on physical network will traverse across network by physical network devices.
Azure Stack must be connected to the network using single NIC and doesn't require any special switch configuration. Azure Stack currently supports IPv4 only. IPv6 is not supported. When deploying Azure Stack, Azure Stack host and H router VM, which provides routing and VPN services to Azure Stack tenants, needs an IP address to connect to physical network. It is recommended to use DHCP.
However, if DHCP is not available, a range of IP addresses must be configured during Azure Stack deployment. For connected Azure Stack deployments, only transparent proxies are supported. Azure Stack does not support a web proxy that requires authentication for internet access. Azure Stack connects to login.windows.net and graph.windows.net on ports 80 and 443. Azure Stack also connects to wordtext-win.data.mircrosoft.com on port 443 to support elementary data flow.
More information on prerequisites can be found in Microsoft documentation.
- What is Azure Stack?
- Technical requirements
- Preparing an Azure Stack host
- Deploying Azure Stack
- Registering Azure Stack
- Deploying a virtual machine
- Using Azure Marketplace