Provisioning Virtual Machine Clouds with Windows Azure Pack (Part 2)

by [Published on 29 May 2014 / Last Updated on 29 May 2014]

The second article in this series provides a walkthrough of how to configure Windows Azure Pack for provisioning virtual machine clouds.

If you would like to be notified when Mitch Tulloch releases the next part of this article series please sign up to the WindowsNetworking.com Real time article update newsletter.

If you would like to read the first part in this article series please go to Provisioning Virtual Machine Clouds with Windows Azure Pack (Part 1).

Introduction

In the previous article we walked through using the Best Practice Analyzer for Windows Azure Pack to validate our proof of concept express deployment of Windows Azure Pack. This step is necessary to ensure that our further configuration of Windows Azure Pack for provisioning virtual machine clouds will go off without a hitch.

In this present article we will hear again from John McCabe, a Senior Premier Field Engineer (PFE) working with Microsoft Services Support Delivery in Ireland, who will step us through the process of how to configure Windows Azure for provisioning virtual machine clouds. John previously contributed to one of the articles in the earlier series Deploying Windows Azure Pack. John also has a TechNet blog called Parallel Universe you might want to check out.

Preparing your environment

We will now show you the steps on how to provision VM's with Windows Azure Pack. Before we do this however let us understand the following block diagram:

Image
Figure 1: Windows Azure Pack architecture for provisioning VMs.

This diagram depicts the building blocks we need to have in place before connecting Windows Azure Pack to Virtual Machine Manager in order to be able to provision machines. We also need to configure some elements of Virtual Machine Manager and make key decisions around the underlying fabric. As you can see Windows Azure Pack uses Service Provider Foundation (SPF) in order to "talk" to VMM. SPF provides a web based interface (ODATA) for Windows Azure Pack to send commands.

First here is a quick checklist to help you complete each task so we don't miss any steps

Description

Complete

Provision VMM

 

Configure VMM with Hosts

 

Configure VMM Networking

 

Configure VMM Templates

 

Configure VMM Clouds

 

Configure SPF

 

Connect Windows Azure Pack

 

Table 1

This article focuses mainly on connecting Windows Azure Pack but let's refresh the detail of the tasks you must do in each area before we move on to connecting the Windows Azure Pack

1. Provisioning VMM

VMM 2012 R2 must be deployed in order to provision VM's

VMM requirements can be found at this link.

VMM step by step deployment guide can be found here.

2. Configure VMM with Hosts

Configure Host Groups as per your resources and Add Hosts to the appropriate host groups. Information can be found here.

3. Configure VMM Networking

Deploy Logical Networks and IP Pools / Network Sites, Deploy VLANS / NVGRE where appropriate and Deploy Virtual Networks. Information can be found at this link.

4. Configure VMM Templates

Configure Hardware Profiles, Configure Guest OS Profile and Deploy VMM Templates. Information can be found at this link.

Note:
Do NOT configure Cloud Capability profiles

5. Configure SPF

Configure Service Account, Deploy SPF, Ensure SPF Account is a VMM Admin! And is a member off all the appropriate groups. Information can be found at this link.

Connecting Windows Azure Pack to VMM

We are now ready to start discussing how to connect Windows Azure Pack to VMM in order to deploy Virtual Machines. Let us outline the steps we need to take in order.

  1. Register the SPF Provider
  2. Create a Plan and make it public
  3. Signing Up a User

The steps are pretty straightforward and mostly depend on the underlying work you have completed in previous steps. Now let us walk through them.

Register the SPF Provider

From the admin site (<https://adminportalfqdn:30091) the first thing we need to do is register our SPF provider we have previously configured. To do this click on VM Cloud as indicated in the below screenshot:

Image
Figure 2: Step 1 of registering the SPF Provider.

And click on the arrow to use an existing virtual machine cloud.

Next you will have to enter the FQDN of your VMM Server (see screenshot), a port number (default is port 8100 but leave blank if you haven't changed it) and a remote desktop gateway FQDN. The remote desktop gateway FQDN is to allow you to provision a public endpoint which will have connectivity to all VLANS/NVGRE networks so that public end users will be able to RDP to their Virtual Machines.

Image
Figure 3: Step 2 of registering the SPF Provider.

Once it has successfully registered as shown in the following screenshot:

Image
Figure 4: Step 3 of registering the SPF Provider.

You are ready to progress to the next steps.

Create a Plan and Make it Public

As we are in the admin portal, you will see the total resources available from the VM clouds you have configured on your Virtual Machine manager server. This will include any limits you have already set in that environment.

Don't forget you will get a chance to set your own individual limits per Plan so you can scope it and further limit resources within Windows Azure Pack.

Plans (sometimes also called there subscription) defines the resources available to the tenants with inside the Windows Azure Pack. For example you can have one plan to suit multiple users or you can have multiple plans and create a new one for each tenant if they require a "unique" set of resources. This is something you will need to think about before configuring a plan.

To create a plan for Virtual machines is relatively straight forward. Again from the Admin Site, click Plans:

Image
Figure 5: Step 1 of creating a plan and making it public.

And click Create a new hosting plan.

Give a friendly name to this hosting plan:

Image
Figure 6: Step 2 of creating a plan and making it public.

Click the checkbox next to Virtual Machines:

Image
Figure 7: Step 3 of creating a plan and making it public.

And click next to finish as we don't have Add-Ons at this time. Add-Ons are sub plans that we can use to extend our published plans without a user having to migrate to the next plan which might be too big for them.

Image
Figure 8: Step 4 of creating a plan and making it public.

Plans default status is private. There are 2 other possible states: Public and decommissioned. Public means the plan is available for consumption to the wider public and decommissioned means that it is not available for people to sign up to any more but those who are signed up will continue to be able to use the benefits of that plan.

On the following screenshot you will see the plan is created but we need to configure it with some additional information in order to allow users to do something.

Image
Figure 9: Step 5 of creating a plan and making it public.

Under name we need to click the arrow. This will bring us to the screenshot below:

Image
Figure 10: Step 6 of creating a plan and making it public.

As you can see the service is not configured, and in the bottom half of the screen you will see virtual machines clouds under plan services is not activated. We need to configure some more options, like templates, hardware profiles, cloud limits and virtual networks which will be presented to the users.

Click the Arrow beside Virtual Machine Clouds to configure the service:

Image
Figure 11: Step 7 of creating a plan and making it public.

Select from the VMM Management server drop down list the VMM server that manages your infrastructure that you are presenting via this plan.

If you have multiple VMM servers the Virtual Machine clouds will be limited to what the Virtual Machine management server is managing.

Once you select the cloud it will allow you to configure the "limits" for this plan. These limits are separate to the cloud limits but will be enforced by Windows Azure Pack to the users who are subscribed to the plan.

As you scroll down, you will need to select the hyperlinks under each section to configure the options you want for this plan:

Image
Figure 12: Step 8 of creating a plan and making it public.

When you are finished making changes you will need to press the Save button.

Now once you have saved the plan you can select the big arrow pointing to the left and click Change Access and change the plan to Public as shown below:

Image
Figure 13: Step 9 of creating a plan and making it public.

You will be asked to confirm the change and you just have to accept it.

The final step in the process is where we have to create a user and get them to sign up to the plan

Signing Up a User

All the following will be done from the tenant portal (https://servername:30081):

Image
Figure 14: Step 1 of signing up a user.

On the top part of the screen click Sign Up.

Enter your details as required (Email Address / Password) and click Sign Up:

Image
Figure 15: Step 2 of signing up a user.

Click through the Welcome Screen:

Image
Figure 16: Step 3 of signing up a user.

You will need to add a subscription (i.e. a plan) as show below, just click on my account and click on Add subscription:

Image
Figure 17: Step 4 of signing up a user.

Click on the hosting plan you created earlier and click the check mark:

Image
Figure 18: Step 5 of signing up a user.

The plan will now get assigned to the user. In the background Windows Azure pack starts talking to SPF and creating the tenant in VMM in order to allow it access to the necessary resources.

If you click on My Account and then Subscriptions you can verify you are fully signed up:

Image
Figure 19: Step 6 of signing up a user.

You are now ready to deploy virtual machines!

Deploying a virtual machine

Click on virtual machines and select create a virtual machine role:

Image
Figure 20: Step 1 of deploying a virtual machine.

Select StandAlone Virtual Machine and then click Quick Create and enter the details and click Create VM Instance:

Image
Figure 21: Step 2 of deploying a virtual machine.

At this point the VM will get deployed to your subscription as shown below:

Image
Figure 22: Step 3 of deploying a virtual machine.

Your virtual machine has been deployed!

If you would like to be notified when Mitch Tulloch releases the next part of this article series please sign up to the WindowsNetworking.com Real time article update newsletter.

If you would like to read the first part in this article series please go to Provisioning Virtual Machine Clouds with Windows Azure Pack (Part 1).

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