As I’ve been traveling and speaking to IT Pros about the great scalability, resiliency and offerings in our Microsoft Azure public cloud platform, there’s also been lots of interest around deploying our free Windows Azure Pack (WAP) to bring the power and consistency of the same self-service Azure portal user interface to on-demand Private Clouds provisioned in an on-premises datacenter.
Service Management Portal in Windows Azure Pack
In this article, we’ll step through the process of setting up Windows Azure Pack in a lab environment for provisioning and delegating VM private clouds. Along the way, I’ll call out the specific details that I found helpful to successfully build my own lab environment.
For a technical overview of the Windows Azure Pack, check out this great Microsoft TechEd session:
In addition, Thomas Maurer, MVP for Cloud and Virtualization, has written a great article that describes the overall architecture of Windows Azure Pack:
Windows Azure Pack certainly has the ability to scale to support very large Private Cloud environments consisting of multiple datacenters. However, in this article, we’ll get started by building a basic lab environment that consists of the following four (4) VMs:
To configure all four (4) VMs in your lab environment, you’ll need a virtualization host with at least 16GB RAM and 300GB available disk space.
Before installing Windows Azure Pack, it’s important to confirm that your on-premises virtualization infrastructure is in-place. Windows Azure Pack leverages System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) as a private cloud fabric controller for handling on-demand provisioning and management of virtual machines “behind-the-scenes”, so you’ll want to confirm that VMM is setup in your environment and is connected to one or more supported virtualization host platforms for running virtual machines, such as Hyper-V, VMware or Citrix XenServer.
To setup VMM in your lab environment, be sure to review the following resources:
As part of this base configuration, you’ll also install a Microsoft SQL Server that will be used by all components in this lab environment.
After VMM is setup and connected to your virtualization hosts, there’s a few specific configuration tasks to keep in mind when defining Private Clouds and VM Networks as part of your cloud fabric in VMM. These steps are important if you’ll be using Windows Azure Pack, because WAP won’t recognize your fabric resources as being available for on-demand provisioning via the Service Management Portal unless they are configured properly.
You must have a VM network available to which tenant VMs can be associated. This VM network can be created using the VMM Console if you wish to provide a standard VM network that is shared across tenants.
If you wish tenants to be able to create their own on-demand VM Networks in the WAP Service Management Portal for Tenants, you must configure the Logical Network that is associated with your cloud in the steps above for Hyper-V Network Virtualization (HNV). To do this, be sure to select the One Connected Network option, and then select the Allow VM Networks created on this logical network to use network virtualization checkbox in the VMM console when configuring your Logical Network.
If you plan to leverage Hyper-V Network Virtualization (HNV) for your Logical Network and VM Networks, check out these resources for more details and step-by-step guidance:
When configuring Private Clouds in VMM, be sure to follow these TechNet guidelines:
When creating virtual machine templates in VMM that you will use with WAP, follow this TechNet guidance:
For instructions, see How to Create a Virtual Machine Template.
Windows Azure Pack uses Service Provider Foundation (SPF) to communicate with VMM when provisioning and managing VM Clouds. SPF provides an extensible OData web service that the WAP Service Management Portals communicate with to interact with VMM. SPF is a component that is included with System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator, so you’ll be installing SPF from the Orchestrator media in these steps.
We’re now ready to install the Windows Azure Pack (WAP) components. In this article, we use the Express installation option, where all WAP server components are installed on a single VM that is separate from the SPF server VM. For larger installations involving lots of tenants, there are also options for distributed deployment and high availability.
Now that your lab environment is built, you’re ready to register your SPF server from the Windows Azure Pack admin portal and deploy to VM Clouds!
To continue down this path, be sure to reference these next steps …
So far, we’ve setup the basics of provisioning and managing on-demand Private Clouds using the Windows Azure Pack. In future articles, we’ll work on extending our lab to include the following additional components …
Stay tuned for more in the Clouds!
Be sure to check out these additional resources:
Keith Mayer is a Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Cloud and Enterprise platforms. Keith has over 20 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT Pros worldwide on design of enterprise technology solutions.
Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including Private Cloud, System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from VMware, IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.
You can contact Keith online at http://aka.ms/AskKeith.