Step-By-Step: Installing Microsoft Azure Pack for Windows Server

The Microsoft Azure offering has been around for a while and offered features and abilities are continually improved upon. However not everyone is ready to migrate to Cloud. Microsoft’s latest offering, Azure Pack,  provides the Azure portal feel, but for your on-premises datacenter.

Azure Pack for Windows Server is available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost for installation of a collection of Azure technologies into your data center. Azure Pack operates on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 and enables you to offer a rich, self-service, multi-tenant cloud, consistent with the public Azure experience.

Azure Pack includes the following capabilities:

  • Management portal for administrators – provides administrators the ability to configure and manage resource clouds, user accounts, and tenant offers, quotas, and pricing
  • Management portal for tenants – customizable self-service portal for provisioning, monitoring, and managing services (Web Site Clouds, Virtual Machine Clouds, & Service Bus Clouds)
  • Service management API – a REST API that enables a range of integration scenarios including custom portal and billing systems
  • Virtual Machine Clouds – provides infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) capabilities for Windows and Linux virtual machines. Includes a VM template gallery, scaling options, and virtual networking capabilities
  • Service Bus Clouds – provides reliable messaging services between distributed applications which include queued and topic-based publish/subscribe capabilities
  • Web Site Clouds – provides high-density, scalable shared web hosting platform for ASP.NET, PHP, and Node.js web apps. Includes a customizable web application gallery of open source web applications and integration with source control systems for custom-developed web sites and applications
  • SQL and MySQL – provides database instances that can be used in conjunction with the Web Sites service
  • Automation – the ability to automate and integrate additional custom services into the services framework, including a runbook editor and execution environment


There are two options to install Azure Pack:

  • Express deployment - Installed on one machine for proof-of-concept testing.
  • Distributed deployment - Installed on several machines in a distributed deployment for production environments

This scenario will cover the Express deployment. Requirements are as follows:

Hardware Requirements

  • RAM: 8 GB (don’t use dynamic memory)
  • HDD Space: 40 GB

Software Requirements

  • Windows Server® 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Microsoft Web Platform Installer 4.6
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack (SP) 1
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) 8 (built in component of Windows Server® 2012) or IIS 8.5 (built in component of Windows Server 2012 R2
  • .NET Framework 4.5 Extended, with ASP.NET for Windows 8

Step 1: Getting Started

  1. Download and install Windows Server 2012 R2
  2. Launch Server Manager
    Launch Server Manager
  3. In the Server Manager dialog, within the Local Server Properties, click on the IE Enhanced Security Configuration link
    WAP Install - Server Manager Details
  4. In the Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration dialog, change the setting for Administrators from “On (Recommended)” to “Off“, then click OK
    WAP Install - IE ESC

Step 2: Installing Web Server IIS Role

  1. In the Server Manager dialog, click on Manager > Add Roles and Features
    Server Manager - Add Roles And Features
  2. On the Before You Begin screen, click Next
    WAP Install - IIS Role - 01 - Before You Begin
  3. On the Installation Type screen, ensure that the “Role-based or feature-based installation” is selected, then click Next
    WAP Install - IIS Role - 02 - Installation Type
  4. On the Server Selection screen, ensure the correct server is selected (more than likely the localhost), then click Next
    WAP Install - IIS Role - 03 - Server Selection
  5. On the Server Roles screen, select Web Server (IIS)  
  6. Amidst the dialog to add additionally required features, click Add Features on the Add Features That Are Required For Web Server (IIS) dialog, then click Next
    WAP Install - IIS Role - 04 - Server Roles
  7. On the Features screen, ensure that “ .NET Framework 3.5“, and “ASP.NET 4.5” is selected
    WAP Install - IIS Role - 06 - Features
  8. On the Web Server Role (IIS) screen, review the information presented, then click Next
    WAP Install - IIS Role - 07 - Web Server Role (IIS)
  9. On the Role Services screen, ensure the following is selected (in addition to the default selections), then click Next

    Application Development > .NET Extensibility 4.5
         - Application Development > ASP.NET 4.5
         - Application Development > ISAPI Extensions
         - Application Development > ISAPI Filters
    WAP Install - IIS Role - 08 - Role Services
  10. On the Confirmation screen, click Install
    WAP Install - IIS Role - 09 - Confirmation
  11. On the Results screen, click Close
    WAP Install - IIS Role - 10 - Results

Step 3: Installing Microsoft Web Platform Installer

  1. Download the latest version of the Microsoft Web Platform Installer
    NOTE: If your server does not have an Internet connection, you will need to download the installer from here 
  2. Start the installation by launching the WebPlatformInstaller_amd64_en-US.msi file
  3. Read and accept the License Agreement, then click Install
    WAP Install - Web Platform Installer - 01 - License Agreement
  4. Once the installation is complete, click Finish
    WAP Install - Web Platform Installer - 02 - Setup Finished

Step 4: Installing the Portal and API Express option

  1. Start the Web Platform Installer
    WAP Install - 01 - Web Platform Installer
  2. Type Azure Pack in the search box. Click Add next to Azure Pack: Portal and API Express, and then click Install
    WAP Install - 02 - Portal and API Express
  3. Accept the terms and conditions on the Prerequisites page
    WAP Install - 03 - License Terms
  4. The installation begins. Your machine might restart during the installation
    WAP Install - 04 - Installation Progress
  5. When the installation is completed, ensure that all Internet Explorer windows are closed, and then click Continue to start the Service Management Configuration site
    WAP Install - 05 - Configure
  6. The Configuration site https://localhost:30101/ opens in Internet Explorer. If the Internet Explorer security certificate warning page is displayed, click Continue to this website
    NOTE: If you need to restart Internet Explorer, be sure to use the Run as administrator option
    WAP Install - 06 - IE Cert Warning
  7. On the Database Server Setup page, enter the name of the database server or instance of Microsoft SQL Server. For single machine express deployments, this is the same machine you’re currently installing to (WAPPortal, for example)
  8. Select the mode of authentication that you want to use, SQL Server Authentication or Windows Authentication. For guidance on which mode to use, see Choosing an Authentication Mode
    NOTE: If you select SQL Server Authentication, enter the database server administrator user name and password
  9. Enter a passphrase that is to be used to encrypt and to decrypt data in the Configuration Store. Enter the passphrase again to confirm it, and then click the next arrow
    NOTE: Ensure that you write down the passphrase. If you forget or lose this passphrase, there is no way to recover it.
     WAP Install - 07 - Database Server Setup
  10. On the Customer Experience Improvement Program, choose if you wish to participate in the program
    WAP Install - 08 - CEIP
  11. The features that are to be installed are listed on the Features Setup page
    WAP Install - 09 - Features Setup
  12. After the features are successfully configured, click the check mark in the bottom right corner of the Features Setup
    WAP Install - 10 - Features Configured
  13. To go to the management portal for administrators, open an internet browser and go to https://localhost:30091/#Workspaces/WebSystemAdminExtension/quickStart

    NOTE: You might have to log out of your system and log back on before you can access the management portal for administrators. This requirement is due to Windows Authentication and the requirement to add the security group to your security token.If you continue to get an “Access denied” error message, even after you log back on, close all Internet Explorer windows. Run Internet Explorer as an administrator.
    WAP Install - 12 - Service Management Portal
  14. To go to the management portal for tenants, open an internet browser and go to https://localhost:30081/#Workspaces/All/dashboard. The management portal for tenants allows tenants to subscribe to plans and add-ons, upload certificates, manage their accounts, and more
    WAP Install - 13 - Service Management Portal (Tenants)
  15. The first time that you log on to either the management portal for administrators or the management portal for tenants, a tour of the portal is displayed. Click through the pages in the tour for an introduction to the management portal.
    WAP Install - 11 - Management Portal Tour

Once completed the components of the Azure Pack Express deployment are now installed . Next is adding services. There many services that can be deployed and consumed via the Azure Pack, including:

  • Websites
  • Virtual Machines
  • Databases (SQL and MySQL)
  • Service Bus
  • Automation
  • Reporting Services

Further details surrounding service deployment can be found here .