Tag: Architecture

Azure Stack Tenant Portal

Considerations for deploying apps and services on Azure Stack

I work with a couple of customers on different Azure Stack projects. One of the main topics that always comes up, is what are the differences between Azure and Azure Stack when deploying applications and services. Obviously there are the high-level differences, which I have written about it here: Microsoft Azure Stack – Azure Extension in your Datacenter. However, there are also small differences in features and services between Azure and Azure Stack. These differences can block customers form deploying and automating workloads. I tried to summarize the most common differences and considerations you should know, in a single blog post.

High-level differences between Azure and Azure Stack

Some of the high-level differences between the two platforms are:

  • An Azure Stack does not have the same SLA and physical security in place since the Azure Stack does not run in a Microsoft operated location.
  • Azure Stack provides only a subset of the Azure services and features.
  • Azure Stack is not operated by Microsoft. Azure Stack backend is operated by the operators in your company or by a service provider.
  • The Azure Stack operator, which can be your company or a service provider, chooses which services, features and marketplace items he wants to make available on Azure Stack.
  • Azure Stack comes with its own portal. It has the same look and feel, but it will be another URL and endpoints for the portal as well as for the APIs.
  • Azure Stack will have different PowerShell and API versions available. If you are building a hybrid cloud app, which should work on Azure and Azure Stack, make sure you are using the versions supported by Azure Stack.

Considerations and differences between Azure and Azure Stack

Obviously, there is much more to this. I put a list of links together, where you can find the differences between Azure and Azure Stack and more considerations you should think of when deploying on Azure Stack.

Setup an Azure Stack operator and developer environment

Install Azure Stack PowerShell

To connect to Azure Stack using PowerShell, Visual Studio, the Azure CLI or another Azure Stack tooling, you have to set up a few things. I recommend that you read my blog post about how to set up an Azure Stack operator and developer environment. This is not only helpful for operators, but also for people who want to deploy and develop solutions on Azure Stack.

Check API versions available

Azure Stack API Verions PowerShell

If you are an Azure Stack tenant and you want to check which API versions are available on your Azure Stack, you can run the following PowerShell command against Azure Stack. This does not need any administrator rights, you will just need a tenant account on Azure Stack to access it. If your Azure Stack is running at a service provider, it is very likely that you won’t have access to the Administrator portal to check the version.

Get-AzureRmResourceProvider | Select ProviderNamespace -Expand ResourceTypes | Select * -Expand ApiVersions | `
Select ProviderNamespace, ResourceTypeName, @{Name="ApiVersion"; Expression={$_}}

Check version release notes

Azure Stack Version Release Notes

Another good thing to check if you are running in any issues deploying applications or services is to check the Azure Stack version release notes. Theses document very well the new features added, fixed as well as known issues with that release.

You can find the links to the latest Azure Stack release notes here. I also recommend that you read my article about Updating Azure Stack.

I hope this gives you a quick overview and help you to successfully deploy applications and services on Azure Stack. You can find most of this information on the documentation site, but I decided to consolidate this information in one post.



Windows Azure Pack IaaS

Windows Azure Pack Architecture

Some days ago I wrote about Windows Azure Pack which basically brings Windows Azure Services to your datacenter on top of Windows Server and System Center. I also showed a little overview how the overall architecture looks like, including the different resource providers such as VM Cloud or SQL Server.

Overall Architecture

Windows Azure Pack Archtiecture Overview

Components

If you a look on the Windows Azure Pack you have 7 different components, which need to be installed.

Service Management APIs

  • Windows Azure Pack Admin API – The Windows Azure Pack Admin API exposes functionality to complete administrative tasks from the management portal for administrators or through the use of Windows PowerShell cmdlets.
  • Windows Azure Pack Tenant API – Windows Azure Pack Tenant API enables users, or tenants, to manage and configure cloud services that are included in the plans that they subscribe to.
  • Windows Azure Pack Tenant Public API – Windows Azure Pack Tenant Public API enables end users to manage and configure cloud services that are included in the plans that they subscribe to. The Tenant Public API is designed to serve all the requirements of end users that subscribe to the various services that a hosting service provider provides.

Authentication sites

  • Admin Authentication Site – This is the authentication site where Administrators authenticate against. By default, Windows Azure Pack uses Windows authentication for the administration portal. You also have the option to use Windows Azure Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) to authenticate users.
  • Tenant Authentication Site – This is the authentication site where Tenants (Customers) authenticate against. Windows Azure Pack uses an ASP.NET Membership provider to provide authentication for the management portal for tenants.

Service Management portals

  • Management portal for administrators – A portal for administrators to configure and manage resource clouds, user accounts, tenant plans, quotas, and pricing. In this portal, administrators create Web Site clouds, virtual machine private clouds, create plans, and manage user subscriptions.
  • Management portal for tenants – A customizable self-service portal to provision, monitor, and manage services. In this portal, users sign up for services and create services, virtual machines, and databases.

Source: TechNet

In addition to the Windows Azure Pack components you also have the Resource providers such as VM Cloud (IaaS), Websites, SQL and more, which integrate in WAP.

Design

You can install all of the Windows Azure Pack components on different servers and also make them highly available and scalable. First you have to understand that there are multiple types of components, you have the Tenant Portal, Tenant authentication site and the tenant public API which are public and should be accessible for the customers, Tenant API, Admin API, Admin Portal, Admin Authentication site as well as the SQL database behind are so called privileged services which should be protected.

Windows Azure Pack ditributed deployment architecture

 

Microsoft describes several different scenarios which you can mix. The minimal installation shows you two “servers” or tiers, one for the public facing services and one for the privileged services. To make them highly available you would have two servers for each tiers behind a load balancer.

Windows Azure Pack minimal deployment architecture

The make the deployment more scalable you can split up the different components on different tiers.

Windows Azure Pack scaled deployment architecture

Well and Microsoft also offers you an express installation which should only be used for lab or proof of concept installations. This installs all the needed components on to a single server.

Windows Azure Pack Express Deployment

At the end you and the customer have to decide how you deploy your environment based on scale, availability and security. You can get more information about the Windows Azure Pack Architecture on TechNet.



Windows Server 2012 R2

Free Microsoft Cloud OS webinar series in March and April

In March and April I will present together with Microsoft and itnetx in webinars about the Microsoft Cloud OS. The webinars will be free and will cover an overview about the Microsoft Cloud OS. The Microsoft Cloud OS is the story behind the latest releases of Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V System Center, Windows Azure Pack and Windows Azure. The webinar series will be split in three different sessions and will cover how you can plan, build and operate a Microsoft Cloud and how you can bring the Private & Public Cloud together to make use of a Hybrid Cloud model.


Webinar 1 - Microsoft Cloud OS: Overview

10:00
Presenter: Markus Erlacher, Marcel Zehner
ANMELDUNG

Webinar 2 - Microsoft Cloud OS: Planning & Architecture

25.März 2014, 09:00-10:00
Presenter: Thomas Maurer
ANMELDUNG

Webinar 1 - Microsoft Cloud OS: Operation

02.April 2014, 09:00-10:00
Presenter: Thomas Maurer, Philipp Witschi
ANMELDUNG

All three webinars will be free and will held in German.



Hyper-V 2012 R2 Poster

Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster and Hyper-V Mini-Posters

Microsoft today released the Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster and Hyper-V Mini-Posters which provide a a visual reference for understanding key Hyper-V technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2 and focuses on Generation 2 virtual machines, Hyper-V with virtual hard disk sharing, online virtual hard disk resizing, storage quality-of-service, enhanced session mode, live migration, Hyper-V failover clustering, and upgrading your private cloud.

Version:
Date Published:
September 201310/14/2013
File name:
File size:
Generation 2 Virtual Machines GA.pdf216 KB
Hyper-V and Failover Clustering GA.pdf219 KB
Hyper-V Storage GA.pdf222 KB
Hyper-V Virtual Hard Disk Sharing GA.pdf206 KB
Live Migration GA.pdf238 KB
Session Modes GA.pdf181 KB
Upgrading Your Private Cloud GA.pdf224 KB
Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture GA.pdf

You can the Microsoft Download Page: Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster and Hyper-V Mini-Posters

And maybe there will be an update for the Microsoft Server Posterpedia Windows 8 App shortly.