Manual build / deployment of on-prem Azure Stack? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello - a client is interested in Azure Stack but does not want to purchase preconfigured servers dedicated to this single function (this requires additional investment and datacenter space). Instead, they want to repurpose existing high-quality compute / storage to run Azure Stack in a multi-machine environment. Thus, Azure Stack DevKit (all-in-one on a single server) is not suitable as a proper testbed.

    Repurposing existing compute is exactly what we do for the client for both their OpenStack and vSphere deployment - configuration is driven from PXE (cobbler), CM (puppet) and shared-nothing storage is provided from the existing storage backbone (ceph). Networking isolation is provided via GRE and dedicated VLANs (in OpenStack via neutron, in vSphere using DVS). The advantage is that existing datacenter compute can be repurposed relatively easily, and new compute resources can be integrated automatically.

    I do not see any option in Azure Stack (AS) to apply the same process. Is this because AS is extremely difficult to configure manually (from scratch via CM tools)? Or is this a deliberate marketing strategy from Microsoft and AS providers to deliver only a blackbox AS solution?

    Any links or information that can explain how AS can be built / deployed / operated manually within the datacenter is greatly appreciated. If this scenario is simply not possible, any links that explain the rationale behind requiring the customer to invest in additional dedicated compute fabric to run an on-prem AS would also be appreciated.


    Friday, January 19, 2018 2:08 PM


  • I'm sorry to say it, but it is impossible to build an Azure Stack from scratch. The only two ways to get it are via the ASDK or pre-built from an OEM. MSFT has built the service to be a sealed appliance, and that includes a tremendous amount of engineering around the hyper-converged solution and all of its elements. They've got everything locked down very tightly. Sorry, but MSFT has given us no other option. 

    This site discusses the options for how to buy Azure Stack:https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/azure-stack/how-to-buy/. The following lists the two deployment options: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-stack/azure-stack-poc. 

    Brian Laws (Sr. Principal Cloud Computing Engineer, SAIC)

    Friday, January 19, 2018 2:22 PM