Windows Azure Pack Support

Since the announcements and public previews of Microsoft Azure Stack (MAS), everybody including myself  is talking about and testing with MAS. But the reality is that a lot of companies have invested in Windows Azure Pack and were a little surprised that Microsoft announced before this summer that Windows Azure Pack on Windows Server 2012 R2 is supported until July 2017.

azurepacksupport

Several weeks ago Microsoft made another announcement that they are continue to invest and support in Windows Azure Pack (WAP) next to Azure Stack for 11 years! But to use the extended support you need to bring your Azure Pack environment to Windows Server 2016. MAS release is aimed for the summer of 2017 so very likely there will be a gab between end of support of WAP on Server 2012 R2 and any public available MAS appliances from HP, Dell or Lenovo…

From several customers i received questions about the support statement and what needs to be updated. Turns out it’s not that well documented and known. As you can see in the screenshot above, it states Windows Azure Pack (on Windows Server 2012 R2) and Windows Azure Pack (on Windows Server 2016). But as we all know, Windows Azure Pack is a solution based on lots of components from the Windows and the System Center family.

What to upgrade

As i said before Windows Azure Pack leans on a lot of Windows features like a Active Directory domain, IIS and Hyper-V but also on System Center components like VMM and SPF.

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Azure Stack TP2 November refresh

Last week Microsoft published a new release of Microsoft Azure Stack TP2. This release included support for features like SQL RP, MySQL and Azure App Services so a bunch of PaaS services.

First it though yeah.. new features 🙂 !! But then I looked back and though.. o man this is gonna cost me a lot of deployment time again. Considering the previous issue’s I had before which you can read on this blog.

After downloading, extracting, copying and processing (which you can read all about here) i executed my deployment last night (my hosts are in a different time zone, so my last night was not yet server night 🙂 ).

azurestacktp2novemberdeploy

This morning I checked my server to see what the deployment did and I was pleasantly surprised

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Azure Stack TP2 Deployment Issue step 0.20

Last week i finally got my first Azure Stack TP2 deployment completed after weeks of error’s as a blogged before.  After that i needed to redeploy several times and ran into different issue’s every time.

This time it stopped at step 0.20. After retrying the deployment with:


Invoke-EceAction -RolePath Cloud -ActionType Deployment -Start 0.20 -Verbose

It stopped at the same error. See below for te error message.

2016-11-08 20:45:06 Verbose  VMs to create: MAS-BGPNAT01
2016-11-08 20:45:06 Verbose  Updating management nodes for HyperConverged deployment.
2016-11-08 20:45:12 Verbose  Skipping deployment of the VM named 'MAS-BGPNAT01'. It is accessible via remote Powershell.
2016-11-08 20:45:12 Verbose  Waiting for the following VMs to be remotely accessible: MAS-BGPNAT01.
2016-11-08 20:45:13 Verbose  The VM 'MAS-BGPNAT01' has successfully started.
2016-11-08 20:45:15 Error    Task: Invocation of interface 'Deployment' of role 'Cloud\Fabric\VirtualMachines' failed:
Function 'Add-GuestVMs' in module 'Roles\VirtualMachine\VirtualMachine.psd1' raised an exception:
The WS-Management service cannot process the request because the XML is invalid.
at Wait-VMPSConnection, C:\CloudDeployment\Roles\VirtualMachine\VirtualMachine.psm1: line 1683
at Add-GuestVMs, C:\CloudDeployment\Roles\VirtualMachine\VirtualMachine.psm1: line 265
at <ScriptBlock>, <No file>: line 18
2016-11-08 20:45:15 Verbose  Step: Status of step '(NET) Deploy BGP VM' is 'Error'.
2016-11-08 20:45:15 Error    Action: Invocation of step 0.20 failed. Stopping invocation of action plan.
2016-11-08 20:45:15 Verbose  Action: Status of 'Deployment-Phase0-DeployBareMetalAndBGPAndNAT' is 'Error'.

The MAS-BGPNAT01 VM was accessible and i didn’t notice any errors in relation to the error above in the eventlogs. After a reboot of the MAS-BGPNAT01 VM I started the deployment from step 1, without the -start parameter:

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Azure Stack TP2 Deployment Issue with Timezone

Oke, let me first start of a special thanks to my colleague’s Hans Vredevoort, Darryl van der Pijl and Mark Scholman for leading me to the solution!

Since the release of Azure Stack TP2 i did not found the time to start a deployment and play around with Azure Stack TP2. Tp1 was unstable and had a lot of strange issue’s were TP2 was much more stable I was told.. But for the past view weeks I have ben struggling with the deployment!

I’ve deployed it over and over and it keept failing on error in step 60.140.145 were the VM’s were registered at the Compute Controller.

2016-10-24 04:38:18 Error 1> 2> Task: Invocation of interface 'Migrate' of role 'Cloud\Fabric\VirtualMachines' failed: 
Function 'Add-CpiObjects' in module 'Roles\VirtualMachine\VirtualMachine.psd1' raised an exception:
Failed to register virtual machine 'MAS-NC01' with compute controller. Operation failed with: 
Exception calling "GetResult" with "0" argument(s): "MakeReservation VM:36fae812-1703-4198-b0ae-39075e77e2ef Cluster:S-Cluster"
At C:\CloudDeployment\Roles\VirtualMachine\VirtualMachine.psm1:2118.
+ $eceVm.Name
at Trace-Error, C:\CloudDeployment\Common\Tracer.psm1: line 52
at Add-CpiObjects, C:\CloudDeployment\Roles\VirtualMachine\VirtualMachine.psm1: line 2118
at <ScriptBlock>, <No file>: line 18

Since I was on a VLAN tagged network and had no DHCP I was suspecting that one of these parameters –PublicVLan -NatIPv4Subnet -NatIPv4Address -NatIPv4DefaultGateway were giving me a hard time deploying TP2. But after adding a DHCP and change my VLAN to native/untagged so I wouldn’t need the parameters I still ended up at the same error!

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Go Hyper-converged with S2D

Windows Server 2016 is getting to it’s final RTM state within several months now. After that time we can start using Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) for production environments and start using Hyper-converged stacks.

I’m not going to explain how Storage Spaces Direct works, this is just a blog about the setup. If you want some more info about S2D check out this link for an overview and for te more tech guys or girls look here.

I have spend some lab time setting up en using Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) and use Hyper-converged hosts and started this blog to share some info.

Beware that the info below is Lab stuf. I’ve taken some shortcuts to be able to setup S2D on VM’s with Virtual disks. So do not use this commands for you’re own setup, unless you are also running tests in VMs.

General Info

I have 2 VM’s running on a Windows Server 2016 TP5 physical box. The VM’s are enabled for nested virtualization to make sure a can start VM’s on the VM’s. Both VM’s have 10 disks attached to them. So no shared VHD, just 10 .vhdx files to both VM’s which makes a total of 20 .vhdx files. The VM’s are also running Windows Server 2016 TP5.

Create and attach disks

To create and attach the disks I used some powershell commands. I have 2 “Hosts” HV-01 and HV-02.

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Azure Stack TP 1.1 Multi-Compartment Network Proxy Service

Since Azure Stack TP 1.1 i have an issue deploying Azure Stack. After a while it fails with the error below:
MultiCompartmentNetworkProxyServiceError
Service 'Multi-Compartment Network Proxy Service (MultiCompartmentNetworkProxyS
ervice)' cannot be stopped due to the following error: Cannot stop MultiCompart
mentNetworkProxyService service on computer '.'.
    + CategoryInfo          : CloseError: (System.ServiceProcess.ServiceContro 
   ller:ServiceController) [Restart-Service], ServiceCommandException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : CouldNotStopService,Microsoft.PowerShell.Command 
   s.RestartServiceCommand
    + PSComputerName        : xRPVM.AzureStack.local

I want to point out that i am not running all official requirement for the Azure Stack Deployment, since i am not booting from the included .vhdx file because i am a bit short on disk space. So this issue might not occur if you follow all the rules… 🙄

But since this issue took me a while to overcome and it’s the second time this happens I though I write a quick blog about it.

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