Create a standalone cluster running on Windows Server

You can use Azure Service Fabric to create Service Fabric clusters on any virtual machines or computers running Windows Server. This means you can deploy and run Service Fabric applications in any environment that contains a set of interconnected Windows Server computers, be it on premises or with any cloud provider. Service Fabric provides a setup package to create Service Fabric clusters called the standalone Windows Server package.

This article walks you through the steps for creating a Service Fabric standalone cluster.


This standalone Windows Server package is commercially available and may be used for production deployments. This package may contain new Service Fabric features that are in "Preview". Scroll down to "Preview features included in this package." section for the list of the preview features. You can download a copy of the EULA now.

Get support for the Service Fabric for Windows Server package

Download the Service Fabric for Windows Server package

To create the cluster, use the Service Fabric for Windows Server package (Windows Server 2012 R2 and newer) found here:
Download Link - Service Fabric Standalone Package - Windows Server

Find details on contents of the package here.

The Service Fabric runtime package is automatically downloaded at time of cluster creation. If deploying from a machine not connected to the internet, please download the runtime package out of band from here:
Download Link - Service Fabric Runtime - Windows Server

Find Standalone Cluster Configuration samples at:
Standalone Cluster Configuration Samples

Create the cluster

Service Fabric can be deployed to a one-machine development cluster by using the ClusterConfig.Unsecure.DevCluster.json file included in Samples.

Unpack the standalone package to your machine, copy the sample config file to the local machine, then run the CreateServiceFabricCluster.ps1 script through an administrator PowerShell session, from the standalone package folder:

Step 1A: Create an unsecured local development cluster

.\CreateServiceFabricCluster.ps1 -ClusterConfigFilePath .\ClusterConfig.Unsecure.DevCluster.json -AcceptEULA

See the Environment Setup section at Plan and prepare your cluster deployment for troubleshooting details.

If you're finished running development scenarios, you can remove the Service Fabric cluster from the machine by referring to steps in section "Remove a cluster".

Step 1B: Create a multi-machine cluster

After you have gone through the planning and preparation steps detailed at the below link, you are ready to create your production cluster using your cluster configuration file.
Plan and prepare your cluster deployment

  1. Validate the configuration file you have written by running the TestConfiguration.ps1 script from the standalone package folder:

    .\TestConfiguration.ps1 -ClusterConfigFilePath .\ClusterConfig.json

    You should see output like below. If the bottom field "Passed" is returned as "True", sanity checks have passed and the cluster looks to be deployable based on the input configuration.

    Trace folder already exists. Traces will be written to existing trace folder: C:\temp\Microsoft.Azure.ServiceFabric.WindowsServer\DeploymentTraces
    Running Best Practices Analyzer...
    Best Practices Analyzer completed successfully.
    LocalAdminPrivilege        : True
    IsJsonValid                : True
    IsCabValid                 : True
    RequiredPortsOpen          : True
    RemoteRegistryAvailable    : True
    FirewallAvailable          : True
    RpcCheckPassed             : True
    NoConflictingInstallations : True
    FabricInstallable          : True
    Passed                     : True
  2. Create the cluster: Run the CreateServiceFabricCluster.ps1 script to deploy the Service Fabric cluster across each machine in the configuration.

    .\CreateServiceFabricCluster.ps1 -ClusterConfigFilePath .\ClusterConfig.json -AcceptEULA

Deployment traces are written to the VM/machine on which you ran the CreateServiceFabricCluster.ps1 PowerShell script. These can be found in the subfolder DeploymentTraces, based in the directory from which the script was run. To see if Service Fabric was deployed correctly to a machine, find the installed files in the FabricDataRoot directory, as detailed in the cluster configuration file FabricSettings section (by default c:\ProgramData\SF). As well, FabricHost.exe and Fabric.exe processes can be seen running in Task Manager.

Step 1C: Create an offline (internet-disconnected) cluster

The Service Fabric runtime package is automatically downloaded at cluster creation. When deploying a cluster to machines not connected to the internet, you will need to download the Service Fabric runtime package separately, and provide the path to it at cluster creation. The runtime package can be downloaded separately, from another machine connected to the internet, at Download Link - Service Fabric Runtime - Windows Server. Copy the runtime package to where you are deploying the offline cluster from, and create the cluster by running CreateServiceFabricCluster.ps1 with the -FabricRuntimePackagePath parameter included, as shown below:

CreateServiceFabricCluster.ps1 -ClusterConfigurationFilePath <path to ClusterConfig.json> -FabricRuntimePackagePath <path to>

where <path to ClusterConfig.json> and <path to> are the paths to the cluster configuration and the runtime .cab file respectively.

Step 2: Connect to the cluster

To connect to a secure cluster, see Service fabric connect to secure cluster.

To connect to an unsecure cluster, run the following PowerShell command:

Connect-ServiceFabricCluster -ConnectionEndpoint <*IPAddressofaMachine*>:<Client connection end point port>

Connect-ServiceFabricCluster -ConnectionEndpoint

Step 3: Bring up Service Fabric Explorer

Now you can connect to the cluster with Service Fabric Explorer either directly from one of the machines with http://localhost:19080/Explorer/index.html or remotely with http://<IPAddressofaMachine>:19080/Explorer/index.html.

Add and remove nodes

You can add or remove nodes to your standalone Service Fabric cluster as your business needs change. See Add or Remove nodes to a Service Fabric standalone cluster for detailed steps.

Remove a cluster

To remove a cluster, run the RemoveServiceFabricCluster.ps1 PowerShell script from the package folder and pass in the path to the JSON configuration file. You can optionally specify a location for the log of the deletion.

This script can be run on any machine that has administrator access to all the machines that are listed as nodes in the cluster configuration file. The machine that this script is run on does not have to be part of the cluster.

# Removes Service Fabric from each machine in the configuration
.\RemoveServiceFabricCluster.ps1 -ClusterConfigFilePath .\ClusterConfig.json -Force
# Removes Service Fabric from the current machine

Telemetry data collected and how to opt out of it

As a default, the product collects telemetry on the Service Fabric usage to improve the product. The Best Practice Analyzer that runs as a part of the setup checks for connectivity to If it is not reachable, the setup fails unless you opt out of telemetry.

  1. The telemetry pipeline tries to upload the following data to once every day. It is a best-effort upload and has no impact on the cluster functionality. The telemetry is only sent from the node that runs the failover manager primary. No other nodes send out telemetry.
  2. The telemetry consists of the following:
  • Number of services
  • Number of ServiceTypes
  • Number of Applications
  • Number of ApplicationUpgrades
  • Number of FailoverUnits
  • Number of InBuildFailoverUnits
  • Number of UnhealthyFailoverUnits
  • Number of Replicas
  • Number of InBuildReplicas
  • Number of StandByReplicas
  • Number of OfflineReplicas
  • CommonQueueLength
  • QueryQueueLength
  • FailoverUnitQueueLength
  • CommitQueueLength
  • Number of Nodes
  • IsContextComplete: True/False
  • ClusterId: This is a GUID randomly generated for each cluster
  • ServiceFabricVersion
  • IP address of the virtual machine or machine from which the telemetry is uploaded

To disable telemetry, add the following to properties in your cluster config: enableTelemetry: false.

Preview features included in this package



Starting with the new GA version of the standalone cluster for Windows Server (version 5.3.204.x), you can upgrade your cluster to future releases, manually or automatically. Refer to Upgrade a standalone Service Fabric cluster version document for details.

Next steps