Sunday 27 August 2017

Microsoft Azure Stack - Configuring Prerequisites & Preparing ASDK Kit "CloudBuilder.vhdx" - Part 4

Hello Everyone,

In my previous posts, I had explained about Azure Stack & all required prerequisites for it's deployment. In this post, I will explain about ASDK prerequisites configurations & prepare ASDK Kit for deployment.

PART 1: Microsoft Azure Stack - Introduction!

PART 2: Microsoft Azure Stack - Deployment Architecture with VM Roles!

PART 3: Microsoft Azure Stack - ASDK Deployment Prerequisites!

Let's start with configuring prerequisites... 


Below are Some basic configuration which should be completed & checked before You start preparing ASDK Kit "CloudBuilder.vhdx":

Disable Firewall:

Disable UAC:

Open control panel-> User Accounts-> Change User Accounts Settings & Disable:

Set PowerShell execution to RemoteSigned or Unrestricted by running below command:

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted:

Enable Remote Desktop & Disable IE Enhanced Security Configuration:

Open Server Manager-> Local Server:

Network Configuration:

Make sure only 1 NIC should be enabled, all other NIC should be disabled & Internet Access is providing:

NOTE: Port 80, 443 & 123 (TCP/UDP) are required. Refer prerequisites in PART 3!.

Disk Configurations:

Make Sure to have 5 Physical Disks with below configurations:

  • OS Disk: 200 GB
  • Data Disk: 250 GB each minimum.

Make sure that disk should be initialize & online but no volume should be created.

NOTE: Refer prerequisites in PART 3! for more details on support disk configurations.

Driver Update:

Install all required OEM drivers on Server & QLogic Drivers. You can download QLogic drivers from below link:

Other Prerequisites to be checked:

  • RAM should be 96 GB\
  • Processor should be dual-socket with total 12 cores or more.
  • OS should be Windows Server 2012 R2 or higher.


Click on below link to download ASDK Kit:

You need to provide required information to download kit & on next page, it will prompt the download link:

Build Version 20170627.1 is ASDK TP3 Kit.

Click on Browse to provide the local path where You want to store the downloaded file & the click download:

Once download completed, Click on Run to extract the files:

Accept License Agreement & Click Next:

Click Next:

Provide Destination Path where You want to extract required files & click Next:

Click Extract:

Once done, You can see "CloudBuilder.vhdx" file in extracted folder:

Copy & Paste the "CloudBuilder.vhdx" file directly to "c: drive":


Before preparing CloudBuilder.vhd file for deployment, run the Pre-checker script to check if all prerequisites are completed. You can download the Pre-checker script file from below link:

This script should be run 2 times: Before preparing deployment kit & after preparing development kit. When You will run the script, it will ask if running before or after booting the provider VHDX file (CloudBuilder.vhdx).

Open PowerShell ISE Console, open & execute the downloaded script:


Once all tests are passed, You can proceed to prepare Provider VHDX file.

Open the elevated PowerShell prompt & run the below script to get the ASDK Installer file:

"# Variables
$Uri = ''
$LocalPath = 'c:\AzureStack_Installer'
# Create folder
New-Item $LocalPath -Type directory
# Download file
Invoke-WebRequest $uri -OutFile ($LocalPath + '\' + 'asdk-installer.ps1')"

ASDK Installer File will be downloaded in "C:/AzureStack_Installer" folder:

Open the ASDK Installer Path in PowerShell & Run the "asdk-installer.ps1" file:

Microsoft Azure Stack Development Kit console will open. Click on Prepare Environment:

Provide "CloudBuilder.vhdx" path which was directly copied to C Drive, Select Add Drivers box & provide the folder path where You saved all drivers:

Configure required settings:

NOTE: Password should same as of Local Administrator Password, same password will be used for Azure Stack Accounts.

Select the Network Interface which will be used for complete deployment, rest all other interface should be disabled:

Provide Azure Stack Host IP Details & Click Next:


IP Address should be mentioned with x.x.x.x/24 format. example:

DNS Server IP will be same IP as of host because all Roles & Features like DNS, Hyper-V, Failover cluster etc are already installed on Azure Stack Provider VHDX file. DNS IP will be same as 

Click Next once validation is completed:

Once the "CloudBuilder.vhdx" file will be prepared successfully, You have to Reboot the Server. Later, it will boot in Azure Stack VHDX file:

NOTE: Restarting the server will take approx. 30 mins or more. Make Sure You have ILO Access to server or direct access to server if in case the server is not reachable through assigned IP. By default, it should connect via RDP once rebooting gets completed but in some case if server is not reachable via RDP due to any wrong configurations like drivers not updated or any other reason, You have to connect server via ILO access or direct access only.

This is all about how to prepare provider VHDX file for Azure Stack Deployment. In my next post, I will show, post configurations once server is booted-up in Azure Stack VHDX file & ASDK deployment steps.

Share Your feedback or any query!!!

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  1. Azure Stack isn't set and forget. There are monthly updates provided for the software stack from Microsoft and you have to update at least every three months to continue being supported -- again the idea being that apart from bug and security fixes, these updates keep Stack in sync with public Azure. Thank you!

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