After seven posts on how to get started with Microsoft Azure Stack/Azure Stack Development Kit, I think it’s finally time to share some additional resources that can help you on this amazing journey!
First (and the most important one… and the one that I already mentioned a few times) is the official documentation – hosted at docs.microsoft.com, regularly updated… with everything you need… just at the tip of your fingers! Amazing!
One other important topic of running your Microsoft Azure Stack/ASDK environment is updating. You’ll need to update your deployment regularly to stay supported.
So… how do we do it?
First, you’ll download updates by using the provided Azure Stack Updates Downloader utility.
If you remember the following video, starting at 1:04, you could see the Downloader in action:
Next, you’ll unpack and upload the updates to your Stack deployment (to the updateadminaccount storage account, to be exact):
As the last step, Azure Stack will pick the info about uploaded updates and let you press the (magic) Update now button.
Then… we wait and our updates will be (magically) installed. And that’s it! Cool!
I’ve recorded a short video about this one as well:
Note, though, that updating of the nested Azure Stack/ASDK (i.e. installed inside of a virtual machine, either on Hyper-V, Azure or somewhere else) will probably not work… and this is perfectly fine (and expected)!
P.S. The whole YouTube playlist is available here.
Once you’re all set with preparing your Azure Stack/ASDK infrastructure, it’s time to let other users actually use it by forming tenants.
For this, you’ll first create a Plan which contains all the services a tenant is allowed to use with setting the appropriate Quotas on these services. Next, you’ll create an Offer consisting of the plan you just created (and any other you may have created earlier). With that, you can create a Subscription which will, finally, allow your user to consume Azure Stack/ASDK services (i.e. provision virtual machines and any other service you may have put in your plan).
I’ve made a short video about provisioning the above mentioned for my newly created [email protected] user:
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.
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? ):
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:
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:
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).
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:
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).
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.