Microsoft Ignite 2017 Summary and Announcements

Ignite 2017 Key takeaways

This was the first year I have not attended Microsoft Ignite, due to unforeseen circumstances. But this didn’t stop me from covering Ignite 2017. So here we go…

Ignite 2017 this year has about 25k attendees. During the same time as Ignite, they are also running Microsoft Envision. This is more focused to business leaders across industries.  Its main focus is to have Business Leaders understand and manage their organizations in the Digital Age.

Ignite 2017 Attendee Breakout

  • 47 % ITI/IT Pros
  • 34% Developers
  • 19% ITDM.

Top Industries Attended

  • 34% IT and Software (flat YoY)
  • 20% Education
  • 9% Healthcare
  • 9% Manufacturing
  • 9% Professional & Business Services

Ignite Keynotes Summary and Links


Modern Workplace

Key Takeaways – Modern Workplace

Expanding Microsoft 365

  • Microsoft 365 Firstline offering and Microsoft 365 Education
  • New Windows 10 S devices from HP, Lenovo, Acer and Fujitsu starting at $275 USD

Intelligent personalized search power by Microsoft Graph

  • Bing for business
  • LinkedIn data integrated with Office 365 profile card
  • Office 365 search & discovery improvements
  • Windows 10 taskbar search

Intelligent Communications vision

  • Bring voice and video + new cognitive and data services into Micro Teams

Advances in Intelligent Security

  • Integrated Adminced threat Protection using Intelligent Security Graph
  • Better data protection and access control across Microsoft 365
  • New Compliance Manager, a single GDPR dashboard

Modernizing Business Process with Cloud and AI

Key Takeaways – Business Applications

New Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI Solutions

  • First solutions for customer care includes a virtual agent for customers, an intelligent assistant for support staff and conversational AI management tools, power by Microsoft AI
  • HP, Macy’s, and Microsoft already using this technology to improve customer satisfaction and handle more requests, more quickly

Modular apps for Dynamics 365

  • New modular apps are lightweight SaS services designed to transform one business process at a time
  • Work with Dynamics 3 business apps or can be used independently
  • Extend existing systems of record, integrate with Office 365 and augment with LinkedIn insights.
  • First to allow talent leaders and hiring managers to address a company’s most important asset, people
  • Attract: focused on recruiting | Onboard: helps you make new employees successful – Available later this year.

Deeper integration for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow + Office 365 and Dynamics 365

  • Rapidly build apps, automate tasks, simplify workflows and solve unique business problems.
  • Allow any business user familiar with InfoPath forms, Access databases or SharePoint list. This allows customers to build apps that help them achieve more, on a single no-code/low code platform.

Apps and Infra/Data and AI

  • Every customer is an AI customer

The Enterprise Cloud

Key Takeaways – Hybrid

Delivering true hybrid consistency

  • Azure Stack shipping through OEM partners including Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo
  • Database Migration Service (DMS)

Empowering customer to optimize costs

  • Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL server
  • Azure Cost Management by CFloudyn – free to all Azure subscriptions

Key Takeaways – Intelligence

Any data, any place

  • SQL Server on Linux Windows and Docker availability with SQL Server 2017 GA’

One convenient workbench for data scientists and AI developers

  • Azure Machine Learning Updates

Build intelligent apps at global scale

  • Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Functions integration

Performance and Scale for mission-critical analytic apps

  • Azure SQL Data Warehouse preview release of new “optimized for compute” performance tier

Cloud for Good – Key takeaways

To empower nonprofits, Microsoft Philanthropies will:

  • Microsoft has announced they met their 2016 commitment to donate $1 billion in cloud computing resources to nonprofits
  • Continue the cloud donations program, and triple the number of nonprofits Microsoft serves over the next three years
  • Launch a new Tech for Social Impact group, and the first offers, announced this week include:
    • Microsoft 365 for Nonprofits
    • Nonprofit Surface discounts for the first time ever

To get more detailed information about these announcements, please see links below or check out the Ignite2017 Site.

Official Microsoft Blog
Office Blogs
EMS Blog
Dynamics Blog
Azure Blog
Hybrid Cloud Blog
Data Platform Blogs

Until next time, Rob.

Microsoft Azure Cloud Series – What is Cloud? – Part 1

Hi All, its Rob again and I decided to write a series on Azure Cloud.  Since Azure Stack is months away from GA, its good to understand Azure Cloud for a few reasons.  The API is the consistent across Azure Cloud and Azure Stack. And building a hybrid environment is the future for IT to use features like DR, Application Portability and Backup.
So, let’s start from the beginning and go over the fundamental terms.

What is Cloud? Simply put, it’s a large number of devices connected through wide communication network.

What are the benefits of Cloud?

  • Provide Services at much lower cost
  • Flexibility on technology that gives the customer a competitive advantage
  • Helps IT to be more efficient on operations
  • Pays as they go and for what they use
  • Move to OPEX model from CAPEX model
  • Faster deployment

Types of Clouds and Examples


  • A private cloud is dedicated to the customer’s organization.
  • On-premises (their own data center) or in a partner’s hosting facility.
  • More control over the level of security, privacy, customization, and governance of your software and services.
  • More cost-effective data center operations using the customer’s existing investments in people and equipment.
  • Example: Customer needs dedicated resources and wants to restrict access to all content in the cloud


  • The public cloud is where cloud services are provided in a virtualized environment.
  • Resources are available on demand.
  • Centralized operation and resource management are shared.
  • Customers can access the resource they need, and then only pay for what they use.
  • Many services are available that are ready to be accessed from any internet enabled device.
  • Example: Customer can share resources and wants to pay when they use the resource


  • A hybrid cloud is an integrated service utilizing on-premises resources, private clouds and public clouds.
  • Moving non-sensitive functions to the public cloud allows an organization to benefit from public cloud scalability while reducing the demands on a private cloud.
  • The availability of secure resources and scalable cost-effective public resources provides organizations with options.
  • Example: Customer has secure and non-secure data and they have made some investment in their own infrastructure and they want to use them

Industry Tends

Industrytrendsazure Cloud

As we look at the IT industry today, a number of important trends are changing the way software is being purchased, deployed and used in the organization.

Data Explosion

The volume of data in the workplace is exploding. According to IDC, digital data will grow more than 40x over the next decade. As more and more data is created digitally, we expect to see ever greater demands being placed on our data platforms to store, secure, process and manage these large volumes of data.

Consumerization of IT

Today we see an increasing trend toward the “consumerization” of IT—creating the demand for Web 2.0 experiences in the business environment. As consumers, we are accustomed to powerful user-friendly experiences, whether searching the Internet on a mobile device to find information instantly, or quickly accessing our personal financial data. In the workplace, however, we are often unable to answer even the most basic questions about our business. Increasingly, users demand business experiences that more closely mirror the convenience and ease of use in consumer life.

Private and Public Cloud

Cloud computing is changing the way data is accessed and processed, and it is creating whole new models for the way applications are delivered. According to IDC, Cloud services will account for 46% of net-new growth in overall IT spending. With private and public cloud infrastructure, organizations have an opportunity to reduce TCO dramatically as data volume increases. As we see an evolution toward greater use of private and public clouds, we see an increasing need for solutions that support hybrid cloud scenarios.

Azure at a Glance

azure-overview Cloud
So this picture, or at least the big blocks above, are how Microsoft thinks about the main capability buckets of their platform. As we go though this series, we will start to get more specific about these buckets (Compute, data, networks, and app services).
Well, I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction on Azure Cloud.  Stay tuned to the rest of the series. Next up, more fundamentals and use cases and then we dive into some fundamentals, like Azure Resource Manager.

Until next time, Rob

Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview finally sees the light….:)

AzureStackIntro Azure Stack
Change is in the air! I know that phrase is associated with spring, but I love the change of seasons, especially, winter, when days get shorter and I get to spend time in the snow with my kids. Every winter, I think I can rely on the patterns from the seasons before, but I quickly find I have to adapt to a new reality. For example, I live near Boston and just when I thought we would have a mild winter, mother nature strikes. One week its 50’s and the next we are in the middle of a blizzard. Changes and transformations are just another fact of life.

Below is a pic of the latest storm 2/8/16.
storm020716 Azure Stack

IT Disruption

IT is going through a similar transformation. Over the last few years, there has been lots of buzz on the transformation in the industry to Hypverconverged and how that fits with cloud computing. The traditional model of IT is evolving to make way for agile, service delivery. Business units in pursuit of agility are looking for self-service approaches, with the promises of reliability, availability, scale and elasticity. This has been driving flight to the public cloud where developers and business units are going around good IT practices in order to innovate – often introducing risks to their companies that they were never held accountable for in the past and are not equipped to deal with today. In 2015, 40% of IT spending is occurring outside the IT organization, up from 36% in 2014 according to Gartner. There is a large opportunity for Corporate IT to embrace the new patterns as an alternative to “shadow IT.”

Harnessing the Change

Corporate IT is still responsible for the impact applications make on a company’s operations and, often times, apps can’t move to a public cloud. Traditional IT makes large investments in datacenter hardware for scale, reliability and availability. Control of physical access & security, change configuration and bandwidth & latency minimize risk in the infrastructure. Yet these controls are not only expensive, but can also slow down innovation. Corporate IT needs to evolve to create private and hybrid cloud offerings that can support both traditional and cloud-born application models. There is a huge opportunity for IT to embrace and support the business transformation and improve business efficiency.

If you deconstruct Azure, or any public cloud, at the heart is a world-class datacenter with managed servers, storage and networking. Having a datacenter that is build on web scale methodologies is key. Azure Cloud, Amazon, Facebook all understand this. Operations and automation give the private cloud its heartbeat, as clouds require tight integration of servers, networking, storage and the OS. This is similar to the traditional physical datacenter you run today, but with Nutanix it is in a much smaller footprint, more efficient and agile datacenter. And while this infrastructure can reduce hardware costs and provide elasticity, and virtualization can help with mobility, it is the services and new development patterns that make it a hybrid cloud. A hybrid cloud provides self-service capability coupled with elasticity, scalability and automated management. Where traditional datacenters with 3-tier architecture are designed to minimize access and change, the hybrid cloud in general, and Azure in particular, is designed to encourage it between on premise and Azure Cloud.

IT Transformation

This transformation begins with a fundamental change – presenting IT as a service. Traditional IT is based on classic distributed servers with strong regulation of users, limiting choice to manage risk and security. In a web scale infrastructure, most of these traditional business processes have to change to meet the customer’s desire to leverage on-demand services. One of the ways to meet these new customer needs is through next generation application support. This is where web scale infrastructure excel, providing quick application/service deployment, iteration and robust data to show business results. Moving forward, administrators need to not only control their infrastructure, but abstract applications through services providing flexibility to their business users.

Introducing New Azure Stack Technical Preview

I first learned of Azure Stack at a partner meeting just before MS ignite 15 was excited then to dive into a Technical Preview.  Finally, many, many months later, Microsoft released the first technical preview of its new Azure Stack offering on Friday for the world.

Azure Stack promises to broaden organizational access to Microsoft’s cloud services and tooling, and is aimed at organizations and service providers that can establish hybrid networks to tap Microsoft Azure services.
Getting the preview involves three steps, with downloads available at this page. There are hardware requirements to check and is limited to servers that can run Windows 2016 and support Hyper-V Virtualization. Some requirements include:

  • A dual-socket server with a minimum 12 physical cores is needed
  • About 500-750 Gigs of storage
  • A 10GB install file also needs to be downloaded.

Lastly, there are even more downloads required to support the tools and PaaS services used with Azure Stack.

Microsoft claims that with Azure Stack, it’s the only company bringing its “hyper-scale cloud environment” to organizations and service providers. Top Microsoft executives Mark Russinovich and Jeffrey Snover talked more about Azure Stack in a Web presentation on Wednesday, Feb. 3. Check it out.

Consistent Tooling

Azure Stack essentially is Microsoft’s better bridge to using its cloud services, both the Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) kinds. That’s done by bringing down its tooling to organizations. Those organizations likely are engaged with maintaining their own proprietary network infrastructures and maybe aren’t too quick to connect with external cloud infrastructures.

Microsoft’s current solution around on-premsis Azure is Windows Azure Pack, which is the supported approach currently for tapping Azure services in customer datacenters. It depends on using System Center and Windows Server 2012 R2. However, Windows Azure Pack is not as complete as the emerging Azure Stack and was Microsoft’s first attempt around private cloud solutions. Check out my series on Windows Azure Pack!
With Azure Stack, Microsoft is promising to deliver consistent APIs for developers.

That’s possible because its Azure Stack portal, a Web-based solution, uses “the same code as Azure,” according to Microsoft. Microsoft is also promising that scripting tools for management, such as PowerShell and command-line interfaces, will work across Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services as well as local datacenter implementations of Azure Stack.  System Center isn’t required for management. Instead, the Azure Resource Manager solution is used.

Azure Stack is only available testing right now. Rollout is planned for Q4 of this year. However, the complete solution won’t all be there at “general availability” (GA) product launch. A white paper on Azure Stack, accessible via Microsoft’s announcement, showed the parts that won’t be ready at GA launch:

_azurestack_1 Azure Stack
Azure Stack services at general availability, along with services at preview (indicated by asterisks).

Breaking down Azure Stack

As discussed in a previous blog post that was written shortly after MS ignite 15, Azure Stack is a collection of software technologies that Microsoft uses for its Azure cloud computing infrastructure. It consists of “operating systems, frameworks, languages, tools and applications we are building in Azure” that are being extended to individual datacenters, Microsoft explained in the white paper. However, Azure Stack is specifically designed for enterprise and service provider environments.

For instance, Microsoft has to scale its Azure infrastructure as part of operations. That’s done at a minimum by adding 20 racks of servers at a time. Azure Stack, in contrast, uses management technologies “that are purpose-built to supply Azure Service capacity and do it at enterprise scale,” Microsoft’s Azure Stack white paper explained.
Azure Stack has four main layers, starting with a Cloud Infrastructure layer at its base, which represents Microsoft’s physical datacenter capacity (see chart).
azurestack_2 Azure Stack
Next up the stack there’s an Extensible Service Framework layer. It has three sublayers. The Foundational Services sublayer consists of solutions needed to create things like virtual machines, virtual networks and storage disks. The Additional Services sublayer provides APIs for third-party software vendors to add their services. The Core Services sublayer includes services commonly needed to support both PaaS and IaaS services.

The stack also contains a Unified Application Model layer, which Microsoft describes as a fulfillment service for consumers of cloud services. Interactions with this layer are carried out via Azure Resource Manager, which is a creation tool for organizations using cloud resources. Azure Resource Manager also coordinates requests for Azure services.

Lastly, the Developer and IT Pro Experiences layer at the top of the heap provides a consistent user interface via a Web portal. That’s done using a “consistent cloud API.” This layer also supports a common management tools use capability.
Microsoft has said, Azure Stack will “run on the stripped-down Nano Server implementation of Windows Server [2016]” and any patches or updates will happen by doing clean installations of the hypervisor and Nano Server configuration. Microsoft is still working out the update frequency for Azure Stack, and recognizes that hourly or daily updates are too often, but annual updates would be too slow.

That being said, Azure Stack will get lots of updates over the next year or so. Organizations or service providers running it should “expect to implement updates more frequently than with traditional software,” Microsoft’s Azure Stack white paper advises.
Microsoft plans to gradually add all Azure services to Azure Stack. Currently, at this technical preview, Microsoft has made capabilities available that organizations can download and deploy onto the Azure Stack Technical Preview, including an updated Azure SDK, a Web Apps capability in the Azure App Service, SQL and MySQL database resource providers, and Visual Studio support.  Microsoft has said that this first Technical Preview  represents just the first installment of a continuous innovation process planned for Azure Stack, which will eventually lead to enterprise customers being able to fully deliver Azure services from their own datacenters. However, Microsoft said that the three PaaS resource providers it has now delivered, for Web Apps SQL and MySQL, are still only at the early preview stage.

“Each service in Azure is a candidate for being distributed through Azure Stack and we will listen to customer input and consider technical feasibility in determining the roadmap,” Microsoft’s Azure Stack white paper explained.

Azure Stack is obviously going up against the likes of OpenStack, the open source enterprise cloud computing platform that now has the backing of everybody from Rackspace, HP Enterprise and IBM, as well as a thriving startup ecosystem. Microsoft clearly hopes that its hybrid story will allow it to position Azure Stack as a viable alternative against this quickly growing open source competitor.

In many ways, Azure Stack is the logical next step in Microsoft’s overall hybrid cloud strategy. If you’re expecting to regularly move some workloads between your own data center and Azure (or maybe add some capacity in the cloud as needed), having a single platform and only one set of APIs across your own data center and the cloud to work with greatly simplifies the process.

I am still in the process of deploying and reviewing Azure Stack Technical Preview in my lab, but wanted to give everyone an understanding of what Azure Stack is and where it is going.  My review will be coming over the next few weeks…Stay tuned.
IMO… This year will be a significant milestone in helping customers meet their agile development (DevOps) needs while providing the control corporate IT requires by bringing the power of Azure to your on premise environment..

Until next time, Rob.

Understanding Windows Azure Pack – How to guide with Express Edition on Nutanix – Windows Azure Pack Install – Part 5

To continue Windows Azure Pack series here is my next topic:  Installing and Configuring Windows Azure Pack

If you missed other parts of the series, check links below:
Part 1 – Understanding Windows Azure Pack
Part 2 – Understanding Windows Azure Pack – Deployment Scenarios
Part 3 – Understanding Windows Azure Pack – How to guide with Express Edition on Nutanix – Environment Prep
Part 4 – Deploying Service Provider Framework on Nutanix

Again to reiterate from my previous blog posts and set some context, Windows Azure Pack (WAP) includes the following capabilities:


  • Management portal for tenants – a customizable self-service portal for provisioning, monitoring, and managing services such as Web Site Clouds, Virtual Machine Clouds, and Service Bus Clouds.
  • Management portal for administrators – a portal for administrators to configure and manage resource clouds, user accounts, and tenant offers, quotas, and pricing.
  • Authentication sites – these sites provide authentication services for the management portal for administrators and the management portal for tenants.  Windows Authentication + ADFS for Admins Sites and ASP.NET provider for tenants
  • Service management API – a REST API that helps enable a range of integration scenarios including custom portal and billing systems.

IaaS Resources:

  • Web Site Clouds – a service that helps provide a high-density, scalable shared web hosting platform for ASP.NET, PHP, and Node.js web applications. The Web Site Clouds service includes a customizable web application gallery of open source web applications and integration with source control systems for custom-developed web sites and applications.
  • Virtual Machine Clouds – a service that provides infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) capabilities for Windows and Linux virtual machines. The Virtual Machine Clouds service includes a VM template gallery, scaling options, and virtual networking capabilities.
  • Service Bus Clouds – a service that provides reliable messaging services between distributed applications. The Service Bus Clouds service includes queued and topic-based publish/subscribe capabilities.
  • SQL and MySQL – services that provide database instances. These databases can be used in conjunction with the Web Sites service.
  • Automation – the capability to automate and integrate additional custom services into the services framework, including a runbook editor and execution environment.
  • Optional resource = what you are going to connect with WAP (for example, SCVMM cloud, SQL Server, etc).
  • Required components = Windows Azure Pack components which you install on one machine (express) or on multiple machines (distributed)

In other words, WAP is interface between your resources and tenants = clientscustomers. On the following diagram you can see the main components of WAP, cloud components and optional resources. WAP can be deployed in 2 different ways – express and distributed as previously discussed. In the express deployment, like we are deploying in this series, you can install all WAP components on one machine for labdemo purposes. If you want to have WAP in your production environment, you should always use distributed deployment as mentioned in previous posts in this series. In such a deployment, WAP required and optional components are installed on multiple machines.
Below are examples of various distributed deployments
WAP-DIS1 Windows Azure PackWAP-DIS3 Windows Azure PackWAP-DIS2 Windows Azure Pack
In this blog post I will explain how to perform the following procedures;


  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 (VMM01) is installed and configured:
    • Member of the AD domain
    • One or more SCVMM Clouds created in SCVMM (See video)
    • One or more VM Networks created in SCVMM
  • Service Provider Foundation is installed as shown in my previous blog post
    • SPF IIS Web service running under a domain account
  • SQL Server Instance is installed running SQL 2012 or later for Hosting WAP Client Databases (DB01)
    • Member of the AD domain
    • With SQL Authentication enabled (Using SA)
  • WAP Server (WAP01)
    • Windows 2012 R2 Full Server (not core) with all current updates
    • Member of AD domain

Installing Windows Azure Pack:

  1. On the freshly build WAP Windows Server 2012 R2 server follow the prerequisites steps to install WAP
  2. Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security
    IEsecdisable Windows Azure Pack

    1. Install Microsoft Web Platform Installer (Web PI) 4.6 (it can be downloaded from here if the WAP server has no Internet follow this blog post)
    2. Install the following software through Web Pl, in this order:
      1. Enable Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1 in Server Manager
      2. .NET 4.5 Extended, with ASP.NET for Windows 8.
      3. IIS recommended configuration.
  3. Launch WEB PI (Windows Platform Installer) Installer
  4. Select Products from the top menu
  5. Type: Windows Azure Pack in the search field in the left side
  6. Click Add Windows Azure Pack: Portal and API Express
    WindowsAzur2 Windows Azure PackWAP Express installer in Web PI
  7. Click Install at the bottom of the WEB PI windows
  8. Read the terms of use, Click I Accept
  9. When the Wizard completes the installation, it will present a screen as the one described in the picture below asking to Continue. When clicking the Continue button, an Internet Explorer Window will be launched
    WindowsAzur3 Windows Azure Pack
    WAP Install screen in Web PI

    WindowsAzur4 Windows Azure Pack
    WAP Install screen in Web PI
  10. In the recently opened Internet Explorer page, copy the URL, and launch a new browser with administrative privileges. When the new browser is opened, paste the URL you obtained before (https://localhost:30101/)
  11. In the browser, if you are presented with warnings related to the certificate, click continue. and then the Windows Azure Pack Setup will be displayed

    WindowsAzur5 Windows Azure PackWAP Install screen in Web PI

  12. In the Database Server page, provide the following information:
    Server Name: an instance that accepts SQL Authentication (for example
    Authentication type: SQL authentication (Windows Authentication can also be used).
    Database server admin username: sa
    Password: ********
    Passphrase: ********
  13. Click on the arrow for next.WindowsAzur6 Windows Azure PackDatabase Server setup in WAP install
  14. In the Customer Experience Improvement program, select one Yes (MS needs your feedback:) ) and click Next
  15. In the Features Setup page, click on the to finish the wizard.
  16. Once the setup has completed, click in the arrow button
    WindowsAzur8 Windows Azure Pack
  17. Sign out and Sign in from WAP01 (this needs to be done for the user to be registered correctly in WAP)
  18. Open a browser and go to: https://wap01:30091

Validating the WAP installation succeeded:

  1. Log on to the WAP Server as Administrator
  2. Start IIS Management Console
  3. Check that the following IIS WEB Sites are created from pic below:
  4. Log on the SQL Server (SQL01) as SQL Administrator
  5. Open SQL Management Studio on the SQL Server as SA
  6. Check that the following Databases were successfully created from pic below:

Websites created after WAP Install

Configuring SCVMM and SPF

SCVMM Configuration

  1. Log on to SCVMM Server as Administrator
  2. Start the SCVMM Console
  3. In the SCVMM console go to Fabric – Servers – All Hosts and verify your Nutanix Cluster is available and also your shares are available. vmmhosts Windows Azure Packvmmshares Windows Azure Pack
  4. Once hosts have been verified, copy one or more syspreped vhds to the VMM Library (e.g. \NTNXHYPERV-smb.nutanixbd.localNTNXHYPERV-libraryVHDs)
    WindowsAzur12 Windows Azure Pack
  5. Now create one or more clouds in SCVMM (in this case we created two: Contoso and Fabrikam, Microsoft default example companies) and assign one or more logical networks to the cloud. Make sure you leave Capability Profiles unchecked
    WindowsAzur13 Windows Azure Pack
  6. Under VM Networks, create a VM Network, a subnet and an IP Pool. Connect the VM Network to a logical network that was assigned to the cloud created earlier. (e.g. Contoso Tenant)
    WindowsAzur14 Windows Azure Pack
  7. Then create one or more hardware profiles (for example, small, medium and large)
    WindowsAzur15 Windows Azure Pack
  8. Create templates from the syspreped VHDs copied to the library (for example, Windows Server 2012 R2 Core and Windows Server 2012 R2 GUI)
    WindowsAzur16 Windows Azure PackNOTE: – when creating the VM templates, in Hardware Profiles it’s not necessary to select one, for our example we created medium, then click next, and make sure that you select Create a new Windows Operating System Customization Settings, and select the operating system (for example, Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter). If this is not selected, the VM will not show up in the Windows Azure Pack Portal.
  9. Select Settings
  10. Add the user under which the SPF Web Service (Application Pool) account is running to the Administrators group
    Click Security > User Roles
    Click Administrators > Members
    Click Add and select the user that SPF Web Service (Application Pool) is running with. (See my SPF Blog Post)

Service Provider Foundation Configuration

  1. Log on to the SPF Server as Administrator.
  2. Start Computer Management
  3. Select Local User and Groups
  4. Create a user you want to use for SPF by right click Users > new user (e.g. spf)
    Note: This is not the same as the SPF Web Service (Application Pool). This is a local user on the SPF Server.
  5. Click on the user and select the “Member Of” tab.
    Note: Make the user member of all Groups starting with “SPF_”

    WindowsAzur17 Windows Azure Pack

  6. Verify that the SPF Web Service is running under the right user credentials
    Note: The way SPF executes commands against VMM will be in the context of the user under which the web service is running.
    To verify that the SPF Web Service is running under the right service account check the following:

    1. Log on to the SPF server as an administrator
    2. Start IIS Manager
    3. Expand SPF Server > Sites and verify that SPF shows in the list.
    4. Select Applications Pools under connection menu
    5. Verify that both the SCVMM and Provider Application Pools are running under the account (Identity) that is also a member of the VMM Administrators WindowsAzur18 Windows Azure Pack

Configuring the Windows Azure Pack

In this section we will be configuring the following:

  • Configuring VM Clouds Resource Provider in the Windows Azure Pack
  • Configure SQL Servers Resource Provider in the Windows Azure Pack
  • Configuring a plan in Windows Azure Pack
  • Configure a Admin Account and a subscription in Windows Azure Pack
  • Login as a Tenant and provision a VM and SQL Database to a Cloud

Configuring VM Clouds Resource Provider in the Windows Azure Pack

  1. Log on to WAP Admin Portal as an administrator (e.g.
  2. Finish the Intro tour and click Ok
  3. In the main window, Select VM CloudsWindowsAzur19 Windows Azure Pack
  4. In the VM Clouds Window select Register System Center Service Provider Foundation
  5. Type the Service URL, Username and Password
    Note: the User name and password is the user created locally on the SPF server and which was added to the SPF groups earlier in post
    WindowsAzur20 Windows Azure Pack
  6. Verify that the registration goes sucessful
    WindowsAzur21 Windows Azure Pack
  7. Register VMM: Go to VM Clouds – Clouds – Use an existing Virtual Machine Cloud Provider to Provision Virtual Machines, and provide the following info:
    Virtual machine manager server: vmm01
    Port number (optional):
    Remote Desktop Gateway:
    Click on register
    Verify that VMM Server registers correctly by selecting the server under clouds and verify that all clouds shows for the VMM Server
    WindowsAzur22 Windows Azure Pack

Configure SQL Servers Resource Provider in Windows Azure Pack

  1. In the WAP Admin Portal, go to SQL Servers
  2. Click on Add an existing server to the hosting server group
  3. In the wizard provide the following information:
    1. SQL Server Group: Default
    2. SQL Server name: db01
    3. Username: sa
    4. Password: ********
    5. Size of hosting server in GB: 20
      WindowsAzur23 Windows Azure PackNote: The SQL Server used for the SQL server must have SQL Authentication enabled for the Service Provider service to work
  4. Verify that the following message shows in the status area
    WindowsAzur24 Windows Azure Pack
  5. Under Servers there should now be a new SQL Server showing
    WindowsAzur25 Windows Azure Pack

Configuring a Plan in Windows Azure Pack

  1. In the WAP Admin Portal, go to Plans.
  2. Click on + New -> PLAN -> CREATE PLAN
  3. Specify a name for the plan (e.g. Contoso)
  4. Select the service that should be offered via the plan (e.g. Virtual Machine Clouds and SQL Servers) and click next
    WindowsAzur26 Windows Azure Pack
  5. Skip add-ons and click Ok
    Note: In our scenario we created two plans: Contoso and Fabrikam.
  6. Under plan verify that the new Plan(s) shows in the list
    WindowsAzur27 Windows Azure Pack
  7. Click on the first plan created
  8. Under plan service, click on Virtual Machine Clouds
  9. Select the VMM Server (There should only be one in the list).
  10. Under Virtual Machine Cloud, select the Cloud for which you would like to use with the plan (e.g. Contoso)
  11. Under Usage limit, specify the usage limits that the plan should use
    WindowsAzur28 Windows Azure Pack
  12. Under networks, click Add network
  13. Select the VM networks that should be used for the plan and click Ok
    WindowsAzur29 Windows Azure Pack
  14. Click Add hardware profiles
  15. Select the hardware profiles that should be used for the plan and click Ok
    WindowsAzur30 Windows Azure Pack
  16. Click Add Templates and select the templates that should be used for the plan
    WindowsAzur31 Windows Azure Pack
  17. Under Additional settings, select the actions that should be allowed within the plan
  18. Click Save
  19. Verify that the plan service shows as configured and Active for both services
    WindowsAzur32 Windows Azure Pack

Configure a Admin Account and a subscription in Windows Azure Pack

  1. In the WAP Admin main menu click User Accounts
  2. Click + New -> User Account > Quick Create >
  3. Provide the following information:
    1. E-mail: eg. admin@nutanixbd.local
    2. Password: *******
    3. Select a plan (e.g. Contoso)
  4. Click Create
  5. Click on the newly created user and verify that a subscription shows.
    WindowsAzur33 Windows Azure Pack

Login as a Tenant and provision a VM and SQL Database to a Cloud

  1. Open a browser and go to the WAP Tenant Portal (e.g.
  2. Specify the user account created earlier and password (e.g. admins@nutanixbd.local)
  3. Click on Submit
  4. Finish the introduction wizard
  5. Click on Virtual Machines
  6. Click Create a virtual Machine Role
  7. Select Standalone Virtual Machine
  8. Select From Gallery -> Templates
  9. Select a template in the list and click Next
    WindowsAzur34 Windows Azure Pack
  10. Provide the following information of the VM
    1. Name: e.g. Contoso01
    2. Password: ********
    3. Product Key
      Note: Depending on what kind of sysperped image is used, it’s necessary to provide a product key. Only if the image is build using a Volume License image it might not be needed to provide a product key.
  11. Select a network for the Virtual Machine e.g. Contoso Tenant (this is the network that was selected when creating the plan)
    WindowsAzur35 Windows Azure Pack
  12. Click Next
    WindowsAzur36 Windows Azure Pack
  13. Go to System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 Server and start the SCVMM Console
  14. Select Job and Select Running
  15. Verify that one job shows provisioning the virtual machine
    WindowsAzur37 Windows Azure Pack
  16. Go back to the WAP Tenant Portal
  17. Select SQL Server Databases
  18. Click Add a New Database
  19. Specify a Name for the Database (e.g. DB01)
  20. Click Next
  21. Provide a User Name and a Password (e.g. dba01)
    WindowsAzur38 Windows Azure Pack
  22. Click Ok to create the Database
  23. Verify that the job completes with success.
    WindowsAzur39 Windows Azure Pack
  24. Click on All Items
  25. Verify that a VM and a Database shows in the list
    WindowsAzur40 Windows Azure Pack

Thats it…you did it…you build your own IaaS on Nutanix…I hope this blog post will help you with installing and configuring Windows Azure Pack on Nutanix.  If you run into any issues, during the deployment, please feel free to post a comment.
Until next time, enjoy building your Nutanix Windows Azure Pack IasS offering!

In the next blog post we will look at how you can create certificates and reconfigure portals and ports for Windows Azure Pack