I just wanna learn!


Getting started with Microsoft Azure Stack (ASDK) (5)

It’s not like we can deploy only WordPress or Ubuntu on top of our ASDK – we can do so much more! And now I’ll show you how to add Windows 2016 image to your Azure Stack (ASDK) environment.

First, you’ll need to connect to your ASDK environment by using the Login-AzureRmAccount command. Then you’ll need the Windows Server 2016 ISO, and with an easy New-AzsServer2016VMImage command, you’ll import the Windows Server 2016 bits and create Windows Server 2016 image/template for your Azure Stack environment.

There is also a video showing you all the steps and note that you can also add the latest Cumulative Update (CU) to the template with a simple switch called -IncludeLatestCU (how cool is that?!):

After that, you can easily create a new virtual machine based on Windows Server 2016 template you’ve just created, like in the following video:



Getting started with Microsoft Azure Stack (ASDK) (4)

And now, a short and sweet one – once you have downloaded, installed and registered your ASDK, you can finally start using it!

First thing I would do is to grab something from the Azure Marketplace – inside your Admin Portal (https://adminportal.local.azurestack.external/), you can open up the Marketplace management section and then click on Add from Azure button:

This gives you a whole selection of images available on Azure, which can be downloaded and used on you ASDK. Just for fun, in the next video, I’ll download WordPress (on Ubuntu) and a VM extension called Microsoft Antimalware (hmmm… I wonder what it does? Smile):

Once downloaded, you can provision yourself a brand new WordPress instance, running on top of Ubuntu, on top of your own ASDK, as you can see in the following video:

Happy weekend!


Getting started with Microsoft Azure Stack (ASDK) (3)

As a final preparation step (following my previous post) in using the ASDK, we need to first register it. For that, an Azure subscription is required!

So… let’s do it.

First, we need to make sure we have the required Azure Stack PowerShell modules. It’s also convenient to make the PSGallery trusted repository for installation of the modules, if we need to install them. Then we can download all the tools we’ll need, and finally register our (connected) ASDK environment, using the following commands:

You can find the whole procedure explained in more detail inside the official documentation, of course.

And... once registered – we can finally start using our ASDK!

As before – I’ve also prepared a short video about registering the ASDK:

Happy exploring!


Getting started with Microsoft Azure Stack (ASDK) (2)

In my previous post, I’ve discussed how you can get your hands on the Microsoft Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) – now, I’ll show you how to install it.

As I’ve mentioned there already, we will install the ASDK inside of a Hyper-V virtual machine with nested virtualization enabled (a scenario that is not officially supported, but will give you an opportunity to work with ASDK in your lab, if you don’t have all the required hardware).

So… let’s start.

The things you’ll need, as per official article:

  • Hyper-V (2016) host
  • 12-core CPU
  • 96+GB of RAM
  • ~200GB free space for CloudBuilder.vhdx (OS)
  • 4 x 250+ GB free space for data disks
  • Internet/NTP access (time is important!) through a single network adapter (without proxy!)

Once you’ve downloaded and extracted the ASDK bits, you’ll get the CloudBuilder.vhdx file, which we will use for the boot disk of our newly created virtual machine.

But first, we will expand it a bit (I’ve expanded it to 200GB). Don’t forget to expand the partition inside as well!

Then, we can create a new (Generation 2) virtual machine with the following settings, our CloudBuilder.vhdx attached as the first disk and four freshly created data disks:

One other thing we need to ensure is to enable nested virtualization for this virtual machine (allowing us to run Hyper-V inside this virtual machine):

And now we are ready to start our virtual machine, hosting the ASDK.

Once started, virtual machine will finish its configuration (specialization phase of Windows installation), so let it finish and then configure password, computer name and IP address.

After this initial configuration, we configure the NTP settings by using the following:

Now we are ready to use the asdk-prechecker.ps1 script, to check if everything is OK:

And…. we are ready for the installation!

Now we need to run the asdk-installer.ps1 script, which will actually start the wizard which will help with entering the required IP adresses and checking the network connection – as a result, we will get the final commands to kick-off the installation:

One more thing needs to be configured for our virtual ASDK installation to succeed inside in nested enviroment – when the extraction process starts, we need to edit the C:\CloudDeployment\Roles\PhysicalMachines\Tests\BareMetal.Tests.ps1 file by changing the every "-not $IsVirtualizedDeployment" to "$IsVirtualizedDeployment" (that is, remove the "-not"):

Final thing to do is to wait for the whole process to complete (~4,5 hours on my hardware), and the result looks like this:

And there is another (shortened) video of the installation process:

And now we can start playing with our own ASDK!

Stay tuned!


Getting started with Microsoft Azure Stack (ASDK) (1)

So… you’ve heard all about the "hybrid clouds" (all around us), and you’ve finally decided to go with the truly hybrid one – the one from Microsoft, which consists of Microsoft Azure, extended to Microsoft Azure Stack on-premises.

If you are just starting and want to learn about it, you may find it difficult (and rather costly) to obtain the fully integrated OEM solution for your lab. But, there is a solution – Microsoft provides the development kit (ASDK), which can be used for playing around, learning and development (of course).

Where to get started?

First stop should definitely be the official Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) page. There, you can register for the download of ASDK software:

After that, you’ll receive a page with all the info you need – hardware and deployment requirements, download and step-by-step guidance links:

First, I recommend you to read through the requirements, and then you can run the prerequisites check script, just to double-check you have all that is needed. Don’t forget that, with hardware, you’ll also need an Azure subscription!

Script should give you output similar to mine (note that I’m using the virtual machine as my “ASDK host” and will be nesting all of it inside Hyper-V, of course):

If everything is fine, you’re ready to download the ASDK, using the provided downloader:

Download of ~12 GB may take a while, so “Please sit back and relax…” (as during the Windows 98 installation, some time ago).

The last step is to unpack the downloaded ADSK binaries (actually, the CloudBuilder.vhdx, as you’ll see):

There is also a short video to help you with the first steps inside the "brave new ASDK world":

In my next post, I’ll show you how to prepare a Hyper-V virtual machine for hosting the ASDK – not the most performing environment, but it’s 'good enough for a simple lab, if you don’t have the hardware one.

Stay tuned!