In the last two posts of this Azure Stack series, I gave a general overview of Microsoft’s new private cloud solution. In today’s post, I will outline how to install Azure Stack.

Installing Server 2016 Technical Preview ^

Azure Stack will be installed on top of Server 2016 Technical Preview 4. Again, keep in mind that the system requirements are pretty big, but in this case (for the sake of demonstration) I’ll be installing Server 2016 on VirtualBox.

After you download your Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 .iso and start your virtual machine, you may want to take a look at the new Server 2016 Desktop. During the setup, be sure to select the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 (Desktop Experience).

Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 desktop experience

Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 desktop experience

Finish the installation and create your administrator password. You’ll be greeted by a familiar Windows 10 lock screen.

Server 2016 TP4 lock screen

Server 2016 TP4 lock screen

Our Windows Server 2016 Build 10586 desktop looks very familiar as well, including a start menu very similar to Windows 10.

Server 2016 TP4 desktop

Server 2016 TP4 desktop

It’s a good idea to download updates and rename your server. You can easily accomplish this by opening PowerShell, entering the command sconfig, and pressing Enter.

Changing computer name with sconfig

Changing computer name with sconfig

Type the number 2 to change your computer name, and name your server something easy to remember. Then, restart.

Log in again, open PowerShell, and then enter sconfig again. This time, enter number 6 to Download and Install Updates. Another cmd shell will open; here, choose option A so that we download all of the updates available.

Downloading and installing updates

Downloading and installing updates

Confirm that you want all updates by entering A again. The following updates will be installed:

  • KB3132372 - Flash player
  • KB3133431 - Flash player
  • KB890830 - Malicious software tool
  • KB3135173 - Cumulative update
  • KB3135782 - Security update for Adobe Flash
  • KB2267602 - Windows Defender update

After your updates have completed, restart and go back into sconfig. Now we want to configure Remote Desktop by entering 7. Confirm by typing the letter (E)nable, and then type number 2 - Allow clients running any version of Remote Desktop.

Enabling Remote Deskto

Enabling Remote Desktop

Don’t join a domain just yet. You’ll do so when your Azure Stack Technical Preview is available.

Preparing your Azure AD instance for Azure Stack ^

When your free Azure trial subscription is ready, you can now get your AD instance up and running. The Azure AD service administrator account will be used to control resource clouds, user accounts, tenant plans, quotas, and pricing. In the portal, service administrators can create website clouds and virtual machine private clouds, create plans, and manage user subscriptions.

Log in to your Azure subscription. Then, in the portal, click +New, then Security + Identity, then Active Directory.

Creating Azure Active Directory

Creating Azure Active Directory

A new window will launch and you’ll be directed to the new Azure Add Directory wizard. Go ahead and select Create new directory, name your directory (4sysopsStack), provide a unique domain name (4sysopsStack), and select your country.

Adding a directory

Adding a directory

I left B2C unchecked at the moment because I don’t have plans to provide Business To Consumer features. According to Microsoft, this feature is in beta: “Active Directory B2C allows your consumers to sign-up for your applications using their existing social accounts (Facebook, Google, Amazon, LinkedIn) or by creating new credentials.”

Click the Checkmark/ Complete button to finish. We can now take a couple of last steps to configure our AD so that it’s ready for an Azure Stack tenant.

Click the arrow next to our new domain (4sysopsStack).

Configuring AD

Configuring AD

On the next directory page, click Users.

Selecting users

Selecting users

At the bottom of the page, click Add User.

Adding a user

Adding a user

In the Add User wizard, in the Type of User list, choose New user in your organization.

In the User Name box, type a name for the user.

Creating a user name

Creating a user name

In the @ box, choose the appropriate entry.

Click the arrow to go to the next page.

In the User Profile page of the wizard, type a first name, last name, and display name.

In the Role list, choose User.

Azure user profile

Azure user profile

Click the arrow to go to the next page.

On the Get Temporary Password page, click Create.

Copy the new password.

Log in to Microsoft Azure with the new account. Change the password when prompted.

After we have Azure Stack POC installed on the Server 2016 that we previously set up, we’ll log in to our local stack portal (https://portal.azurestack.local) with the new Tenant User account created in Azure AD. In a following article, we will go over the steps required to install Azure Stack POC on our server and connect it to our Azure account. For now, we are ready both locally and on Azure.

 

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