Azure Stack – hardware requirements


Hi everybody!

This May Microsoft made a public announcement of a brand new product called "Azure Stack". This products is an evolution of our hybrid cloud vision – it allows enterprise customers and service providers to bring "Azure into their datacenters".

Last year we've released Windows Azure Pack – complex solution, that allows to deploy Azure-consistent cloud anywhere you want. It was a 1st version of this idea – it is Azure-consistent in terms on user experience, but it was different from inside. Azure Stack is more "Azure-consistent" – it shares with Azure not only user experience, but also internal fabric code. Also I need to mention that Azure Pack UI is based on "classic" Azure model, and Azure Stack uses modern Azure Resource Manager (ARM) model.

After several months of public silence about this hot topic, Microsoft Server & Cloud Platform team revealed hardware requirements for Proof of Concept (PoC) environment of Azure Stack Technical Preview 1, that will be published in the beginning of next year.

Component

Minimum

Recommended

Compute: CPU

Dual-Socket: 12 Physical Cores

Dual-Socket: 16 Physical Cores

Compute: Memory

96 GB RAM

128 GB RAM

Compute: BIOS

Hyper-V Enabled (with SLAT support)

Hyper-V Enabled (with SLAT support)

Network: NIC

Windows Server 2012 R2 Certification required for NIC; no specialized features required

Windows Server 2012 R2 Certification required for NIC; no specialized features required

Disk drives: Operating System

1 OS 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 Azure Stack POC Data

4 disks. Each disk provides a minimum of 140 GB of capacity (SSD or HDD).

4 disks. Each disk provides a minimum of 250 GB of capacity.

HW logo certification

Certified for Windows Server 2012 R2

Storage considerations

Data disk drive configuration: All data drives must be of the same type (SAS or SATA) 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:
     1. (Preferred) Simple HBA
     2. RAID HBA – Adapter must be configured in “pass through” mode
     3. 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 will mark both HDD and SSD as Unspecified. In that case, the SSD will be used as persistent storage instead of caching devices. Therefore, you can deploy the Microsoft Azure Stack POC on those SSDs.

** For tiered storage, you must have at least 3 HDDs.

Example HBAs: LSI 9207-8i, LSI-9300-8i, or LSI-9265-8i in pass-through mode

So, prepare one big host for a lab environment if you want to have full Azure Stack experience in your datacenter. But remember – Azure Stack is a hot topic, but Microsoft Cloud OS Platform is still based on Windows Azure Pack, and it is still very cool. I'll publish a new post about this stack of products soon. Stay tuned!

Comments (3)

  1. Chandan says:

    I have a server which is having only one HDD of 2TB can I partition it virtually in 5 partitions and install the POC deployment or is it mandatory to use physical HDD??? Below is the error:-
    VERBOSE: Check whether this check item has passed before. Only need to do it once.
    VERBOSE:
    FriendlyName SerialNumber CanPool BusType OperationalStatus HealthStatus Usage

    ———— ———— ——- ——- —————– ———— —–

    LSI UCSB-MRAID12G 00bd9d430aef6b841e9005777283728e False RAID OK Healthy
    Auto-S…
    Msft Virtual Disk False File Backed Virtual OK Healthy
    Auto-S…
    Msft Virtual Disk False File Backed Virtual OK Healthy
    Auto-S…

    VERBOSE:
    VERBOSE: Init_PreCheck failed: Check disks failed. At least 3 disks of the same bus type (RAID/SAS/SATA) and with
    CanPool attribute equals true are required..Exception.Message
    VERBOSE: Importing function ‘Format-AdapterInstanceID’.
    VERBOSE: Importing function ‘Format-AdapterName’.
    VERBOSE: Importing function ‘Format-LinkSpeed’.
    VERBOSE: Importing function ‘Format-MacAddress’.
    Check disks failed. At least 3 disks of the same bus type (RAID/SAS/SATA) and with CanPool attribute equals true are
    required.
    At K:AzureStackInstallerPoCDeploymentInvoke-AzureStackDeploymentPrecheck.ps1:68 char:9
    + throw "Check disks failed. At least 3 disks of the same bus t …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : OperationStopped: (Check disks fai…e are required.:String) [], RuntimeException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Check disks failed. At least 3 disks of the same bus type (RAID/SAS/SATA) and with CanPo
    ol attribute equals true are required.

  2. Hi Chandan!
    You should have 4 physical disks, not 4 partitions. Azure Stack installer will create partitions for you and create Storage Spaces pool.
    Disks should be visible as SASSATARAID in the OS. Remote SAN (which is visible as SCSI disk in OS) won’t fly.

    So this error is expected.

  3. chandan says:

    Thanks Kirill Kotlyarenko .

Skip to main content