Deploying Windows Azure Pack (Part 3)

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

In the first article in this series we examined the capabilities and benefits of deploying Windows Azure Pack in enterprise datacenters by looking first at Windows Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud offering. Both platforms provide a set of cloud services that allow you to build and deploy cloud-based applications using almost any programming language, framework, or tool, and cloud applications running on either platform can easily be integrated with on-premises IT environments that utilize Windows Server to enable you to build hybrid solutions. But while Azure is hosted in globally distributed datacenters managed by Microsoft, Windows Azure Pack is something you can deploy within your own datacenter.

If you want a quick overview of Windows Azure, you can download my free ebook “Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals” (Microsoft Press, 2013) which is available in PDF, MOBI and EPUB format from the links on this post on the Microsoft Press blog at

In the second article we looked at some of the terminology associated with Windows Azure Pack. We also described the required and optional components for deploying Windows Azure Pack, and we summarized two kinds of deployment scenarios: the Express architecture which is recommended for proof of concept testing, and the distributed architecture which is recommended for production environments. But that’s only part of the story as far as Windows Azure Pack deployment is concerned since Windows Azure Pack must be deployed on top of an existing System Center 2012 R2 infrastructure. In particular, you need to have System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) deployed with the fabric configured so you can manage and deploy hosts, create and deploy virtual machines, and create and deploy services to your private cloud.

If you want a quick overview of System Center 2012 R2, you can download my free ebook “Introducing System Center 2012 R2 Technical Overview” (Microsoft Press, 2013) which is available in PDF, MOBI and EPUB format from the links on this post on the Microsoft Press blog at

To provide us with some additional guidance on preparing an environment for deploying Windows Azure Pack, I’ve asked John McCabe to share his thoughts on this matter. John is a Senior Premier Field Engineer (PFE) working with Microsoft Services Support Delivery in Ireland, and his blog Parallel Universe can be found at

Get up and running in 1 hour with Windows Azure Pack

Contributed by John McCabe, Senior PFE with Microsoft Ireland

“Cloud” is buzzing around in all aspects of our computing life today, and more and more companies want to be able to offer the benefits of a “Cloud” computing environment to their on premises users. We all know by now the Public Cloud (i.e. Azure) might not suit everyone and is definitely not suited for all situations…. yet!

It is only a matter of time before hybrid computing becomes a thing of normality and I can definitely say we are well on our way. What is interesting however is the Administration interfaces between on premise and public cloud providers differ. Leading to confusing the administrator’s and forcing them to up skill and maintain another skill set.

This is where Microsoft have made a huge investment. Take a look at the Windows Azure Console (Public Cloud). This web based GUI gives you full access to manage your Public Cloud and it is a pretty nice interface:

Figure 1:
Managing virtual machines running in the Windows Azure public cloud.

Now let us take a look at the Windows Azure Pack Portal for Private Cloud:

Figure 2: Managing virtual machines running in a System Center 2012 R2 private cloud with Windows Azure Pack.

Very similar in its approach, which should lead to easier management and adoption overall.

Let’s focus now on giving you some resources to be able to deploy this portal in 1 hour. I am splitting up the content into the stages you need to complete before you actually get to deploy the Windows Azure Pack as it requires you have some infrastructure in place before proceeding!

In a test lab you can deploy it all on one host, but in a production environment you will need at least 4 machines and some shared storage. The 4 machines would consist of an Active Directory Server, a VMM Server and a 2 Node Cluster. You could virtualize the Active Directory Server and VMM Server if you want as in Windows 2012 R2 we support Virtualized domain controllers.

The following sections will provide you with all the links you need from the best resources available to deploy a private cloud or reconfigure one in order to allow you to deploy Windows Azure Pack and give your environment the private cloud experience.

1. The Virtualization Hosts

The first thing you need to do is deploy Hyper-V preferably 2012 R2. Here are some links to get you started

2. The VMM Server / Fabric

You have the choice to deploy Hyper-V in a bare bones configuration and then use SCVMM to configure the hosts. It all really depends on your environment and preference. I personally like using VMM to configure and control the environment as it gives you the centralized management which is essential when working with cloud environments.

It is important you get your VMM Configuration correct! Use the following guides to help you get there

3. Windows Azure Pack

Finally we can now deploy the WAP (Windows Azure Pack). WAP is dependant on having a fabric in place and configured with a VMM Cloud. This process should take you less than an hour to be up and running and be ready to start hosting a private cloud in your environment.

There are 2 main steps to deploying WAP.

3.1 Deploying the SPF (Service Provider Framework)

3.2 Deploying Windows Azure Pack


Obviously there is a lot of information you can absorb in these resources, and we won’t be able to cover it all in detail in this series. So for the remaining articles we’ll try to keep things as simple as possible in terms of “proof of concept” deployment of Windows Azure Pack. But if you reach the point where you want to start deploying Windows Azure Pack in your production environment, you should make sure you study all of the resources that John has listed for us here.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

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