Join Bhargav Shukla for an in-depth discussion in this video Prepare an Azure Stack host, part of Microsoft Azure Stack First Look.
- [Narrator] To download and install Azure Stack, the hardware must meet specified minimum requirements. I'm using the hardware that exceed the recommended requirements for Azure Stack. To deploy Azure Stack, you also need to have Windows Server 2012 R2 or later. Install on the server. No specific configuration is required besides base install of the operating system. If running Windows Server 2012 R2, .NET Framework 4.6 must also be installed.
Since I have installed Windows Server 2016, I don't need to install any additional components. Before I start the installation of Azure Stack, let's download all the required packages and scripts. First step is to download Azure Stack deployment package. To download, I will navigate to the Azure Stack trial download page. I will provide the required information and submit the form to proceed with the download.
Next, I will click the Download link to start the download. I will save the file to a folder on C drive named the Azure Stack sources. The tool we are downloading is Azure Stack downloader. This is a small download which is used to start the download of Azure Stack installer files. Azure Stack installer files are significant in size. I will save the Azure Stack downloader tool and run it. After launch, I'm presented with a couple of options.
In development builds are available to early adopters for evaluation. Since I am not an early adopter, my only choice is to accept current selection of release build of Azure Stack. I also have an option to download evaluation version of Windows Server 2016. This ISO can be used to create an image in Azure Stack that can be used by tenants to deploy Windows Server 2016 VMs. I will skip that option.
Next, I will select the folder where Azure Stack installer will be stored and commands the download. The download process can take some time as it downloads a (mumbles) of 15 gigabytes of Azure Stack installer files. While the download is in progress, I will also download a script provided by Microsoft that checks deployment prerequisites.
The file is a PowerShell script, but has a text extension. I will remove the text extensions, so that the script can be run. The smart screen filter also protects the system from malicious programs by blocking the files downloaded from Internet. I will remove the block as the file is a trusted script. I will now run the script from PowerShell. The script can be used to check the hardware prerequisites before booting into Azure Stack deployment VHD that I am still downloading or after I have booted into the deployment VHD.
I will select the first option to run the script on the host and continue. The script will now check for all the hardware and prerequisites and return its findings. Note that all the prerequisites checks passed successfully. However, it only lists one disk. This is because storage spaces direct takes ownership of the disks when Azure Stack is installed. Since I had installed the Azure Stack on this hardware before, the disks are not visible.
However, when I run Azure Stack deployment scripts, it will correctly detect available disks and (mumbles) ownership to create required storage volumes. The Azure Stack installer files are downloaded successfully. I now have an option to run the self-extractor, which I will choose. I will now accept the end user license agreement and proceed to the extraction. I will accept the defaults and start the extraction process.
This step now extracts the CloudBuilder.vhdx file that will be used to deploy Azure Stack. The extraction of the CloudBuilder.vhdx file complete. I'll close the installer dialog and the downloader. Windows Server is capable of booting from pre-built VHD and VHDX files on supporting hardware. The CloudBuilder.vhdx file is a fully-functional Windows Server with required files and scripts that will be used to deploy Azure Stack environment.
After the Azure Stack deployment is successful, it will continue to boot from this VHD file. Before we can boot from this extracted CloudBuilder.vhdx file, we need to prepare the host for VHD boot. I need scripts that Microsoft provides to prepare the host. I have already downloaded the scripts from Microsoft. The script downloads required files and places them in AzureStack_SupportFiles in C drive. I'll now run that script and download the required files.
One last step before I prepare the host is to copy the extracted CloudBuilder.vhdx file to root of C drive; I'll copy the file now. Copying the CloudBuilder file to root of C drive allows us to keep a copy that we can use if we need to rebuild Azure Stack environment at any point in time. Now I can prepare the host.
From PowerShell, I will change to the folder where we downloaded support files. Now, I will run the prepared boot from VHD file and provided the parameters which specifies where the CloudBuilder.vhd file is and if I need to use Unattend file. Since I did not provide the password, the script prompts for the local administrator password.
This password will be used for the local administrator account of the Azure Stack host. The VHD boot entry will be created and set to default and since I am also using apply Unattend parameter, it will also inject Unattend file into the CloudBuilder.vhdx; when the virtual hard drive is prepared and boot entry created, the script will prompt for reboot.
I will confirm and the script will reboot the server. The server will now boot into Azure Stack VHD and prepare the operating system. We have to wait for the OS preparation to complete. Once ready, we can log on and start the Azure Stack deployment process.
- What is Azure Stack?
- Technical requirements
- Preparing an Azure Stack host
- Deploying Azure Stack
- Registering Azure Stack
- Deploying a virtual machine
- Using Azure Marketplace