Microsoft Azure Stack: Hardware requirements

Contributed by Jeffrey Snover, Technical Fellow, Microsoft Corporation

Before we break for the holidays here in Redmond, I wanted to share some information that will help you plan your Azure Stack Technical Preview deployments in the new year.

We’ve been working hard on our Azure in your datacenter vision since this year’s Ignite conference. At this time, we’re ready to share hardware requirements for Azure Stack Technical Preview. For those of you who learn best visually, check out my video below.

Our goal is to enable you to experience the Azure Stack Technical Preview in a single server, instantiated as a Proof-of-Concept (POC) environment. To ensure a good experience, I encourage you to consider the “Recommended” server configuration below.

Hardware requirements for Azure Stack Technical Preview (POC)

Note that these requirements only apply to the upcoming POC release, they may change for future releases.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the above configuration is generic enough that many servers should fit the description, we recommend a couple of SKUs: Dell R630 and the HPE DL 360 Gen 9. Both these SKUs have been in-market for some time.

Hope you all have a great holiday season and look around for those servers, so you have it ready to go when we release the Azure Stack preview. See you in the new year!