Azure Stack deployment planning considerations
Before you deploy the Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK), make sure your development kit host computer meets the requirements described in this article.
|Disk drives: Operating System||1 operating system disk with minimum of 200 GB available for system partition (SSD or HDD)||1 OS disk with minimum of 200 GB available for system partition (SSD or HDD)|
|Disk drives: General development kit data*||4 disks. Each disk provides a minimum of 240 GB of capacity (SSD or HDD). All available disks are used.||4 disks. Each disk provides a minimum of 400 GB of capacity (SSD or HDD). All available disks are used.|
|Compute: CPU||Dual-Socket: 16 Physical Cores (total)||Dual-Socket: 20 Physical Cores (total)|
|Compute: Memory||192-GB RAM||256-GB RAM|
|Compute: BIOS||Hyper-V Enabled (with SLAT support)||Hyper-V Enabled (with SLAT support)|
|Network: NIC||Windows Server 2012 R2 Certification. No specialized features required||Windows Server 2012 R2 Certification. No specialized features required|
|HW logo certification||Certified for Windows Server 2012 R2||Certified for Windows Server 2016|
* You need more than this recommended capacity if you plan on adding many of the marketplace items from Azure.
Data disk drive configuration: All data drives must be of the same type (all SAS, all SATA, or all NVMe) and capacity. If SAS disk drives are used, the disk drives must be attached via a single path (no MPIO, multi-path support is provided).
HBA configuration options
- (Preferred) Simple HBA
- RAID HBA - Adapter must be configured in "pass through" mode
- RAID HBA - Disks should be configured as Single-Disk, RAID-0
Supported bus and media type combinations
- SATA HDD
- SAS HDD
- RAID HDD
- RAID SSD (If the media type is unspecified/unknown*)
- SATA SSD + SATA HDD
- SAS SSD + SAS HDD
* RAID controllers without pass-through capability can't recognize the media type. Such controllers mark both HDD and SSD as Unspecified. In that case, the SSD is used as persistent storage instead of caching devices. Therefore, you can deploy the development kit on those SSDs.
Example HBAs: LSI 9207-8i, LSI-9300-8i, or LSI-9265-8i in pass-through mode
Sample OEM configurations are available.
Storage resiliency for the ASDK
As a single node system, the ASDK isn't designed for validating production redundancy of an Azure Stack integrated system. However, you can increase the level of the underlying storage redundancy of the ASDK through the optimal mix of HDD and SSD drives. You can deploy a two-way mirror configuration, similar to a RAID1, rather than a simple resiliency configuration, which is similar to a RAID0. Use enough capacity, type, and number of drives for the underlying Storage Spaces Direct configuration.
To use a two-way mirror configuration for storage resiliency:
- HDD capacity in the system of greater than two terabytes.
- If you don't have SSDs in your ASDK, you will need at least eight HDDs for a two-way mirror configuration.
- If you have SSDs in your ASDK, along with HDDs, you'll need at least five HDDs. However, six HHDs are recommended. For six HDDs, it would also be recommended to have at least corresponding three SSDs in the system so that you have one cache disk (SSD) serve two capacity drives (HDD).
Example two-way mirror configuration:
- Eight HDDs
- Three SSD / six HDD
- Four SSD / eight HDD
|OS Version||Windows Server 2016 or later. The operating system version isn't critical before the deployment starts, as you'll boot the host computer into the VHD that's included in the Azure Stack installation. The operating system and all required patches are already integrated into the image. Don't use any keys to activate any Windows Server instances used in the development kit.|
After installing the operating system, you can use the Deployment Checker for Azure Stack to confirm that your hardware meets all the requirements.
Typically, you deploy the development kit with internet connectivity, where you can connect to Microsoft Azure. In this case, you must configure an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) account to deploy the development kit.
If your environment is not connected to the internet, or you don't want to use Azure AD, you can deploy Azure Stack by using Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS). The development kit includes its own AD FS and Active Directory Domain Services instances. If you deploy by using this option, you don't have to set up accounts ahead of time.
If you deploy by using the AD FS option, you must redeploy Azure Stack to switch to Azure AD.
Azure Active Directory accounts
To deploy Azure Stack by using an Azure AD account, you must prepare an Azure AD account before you run the deployment PowerShell script. This account becomes the Global Admin for the Azure AD tenant. It's used to provision and delegate applications and service principals for all Azure Stack services that interact with Azure Active Directory and Graph API. It's also used as the owner of the default provider subscription (which you can later change). You can sign in to your Azure Stack system's administrator portal by using this account.
Create an Azure AD account that is the directory administrator for at least one Azure AD. If you already have one, you can use that. Otherwise, you can create one for free at https://azure.microsoft.com/free/ (in China, visit https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=717821 instead). If you plan to later register Azure Stack with Azure, you must also have a subscription in this newly created account.
Save these credentials for use as the service administrator. This account can configure and manage resource clouds, user accounts, tenant plans, quotas, and pricing. In the portal, they can create website clouds, virtual machine private clouds, create plans, and manage user subscriptions.
Create at least one test user account in your Azure AD so that you can sign in to the development kit as a tenant.
Azure Active Directory account Supported? Work or school account with valid global Azure Subscription Yes Microsoft Account with valid global Azure Subscription Yes Work or school account with valid China Azure Subscription Yes Work or school account with valid US Government Azure Subscription Yes
After deployment, Azure Active Directory global administrator permission is not required. However, some operations may require the global administrator credential. For example, a resource provider installer script or a new feature requiring a permission to be granted. You can either temporarily reinstate the account's global administrator permissions or use a separate global administrator account that is an owner of the default provider subscription.
One available port on a switch for the development kit machine.
The development kit machine supports connecting to a switch access port or trunk port. No specialized features are required on the switch. If you are using a trunk port or if you need to configure a VLAN ID, you have to provide the VLAN ID as a deployment parameter.
Do not connect the development kit machine to the following subnets:
These subnets are reserved for the internal networks within the development kit environment.
Only IPv4 is supported. You cannot create IPv6 networks.
Make sure there is a DHCP server available on the network that the NIC connects to. If DHCP is not available, you must prepare an additional static IPv4 network besides the one used by host. You must provide that IP address and gateway as a deployment parameter.
Azure Stack requires access to the Internet, either directly or through a transparent proxy. Azure Stack does not support the configuration of a web proxy to enable Internet access. Both the host IP and the new IP assigned to the AzS-BGPNAT01 (by DHCP or static IP) must be able to access Internet. Ports 80 and 443 are used under the graph.windows.net and login.microsoftonline.com domains.