Tag Archives: Cloud OS

The curious case of Microsoft Azure Stack

Lot of people have been asking me what Microsoft Azure Stack will mean to their cloud journey in 2016. As the product is still invisible to us Microsoft has released some guidance notes about what hardware specifications that will be need to a run a PoC lab for Azure Stack Technical Preview just before Christmas 2015.

In order to run a POC of Azure Stack in a single server following minimum and recommended configuration is suggested by Microsoft.




Compute: CPU Dual-Socket: 12 Physical Cores Dual-Socket: 16 Physical Cores
Compute: Memory 96 GB RAM 128 GB RAM
Compute: BIOS Hyper-V Enabled (with SLAT support) Hyper-V Enabled (with SLAT support)
Network: NIC Windows Server 2012 R2 Certification required for NIC; no specialized features required Windows Server 2012 R2 Certification required for NIC; no specialized features required
Disk drives: Operating System 1 OS disk with minimum of 200 GB available for system partition (SSD or HDD) 1 OS disk with minimum of 200 GB available for system partition (SSD or HDD)
Disk drives: General Azure Stack POC Data 4 disks. Each disk provides a minimum of 140 GB of capacity (SSD or HDD). 4 disks. Each disk provides a minimum of 250 GB of capacity.
HW logo certification Certified for Windows Server 2012 R2

Storage considerations

Data disk drive configuration: All data drives must be of the same type (SAS or SATA) and capacity.  If SAS disk drives are used, the disk drives must be attached via a single path (no MPIO, multi-path support is provided)
HBA configuration options:
     1. (Preferred) Simple HBA
2. RAID HBA – Adapter must be configured in “pass through” mode
3. RAID HBA – Disks should be configured as Single-Disk, RAID-0
Supported bus and media type combinations

  •          SATA HDD
  •          SAS HDD
  •          RAID HDD
  •          RAID SSD (If the media type is unspecified/unknown*)
  •          SATA SSD + SATA HDD**
  •          SAS SSD + SAS HDD**

* RAID controllers without pass-through capability can’t recognize the media type. Such controllers will mark both HDD and SSD as Unspecified. In that case, the SSD will be used as persistent storage instead of caching devices. Therefore, you can deploy the Microsoft Azure Stack POC on those SSDs.

** For tiered storage, you must have at least 3 HDDs.

Example HBAs: LSI 9207-8i, LSI-9300-8i, or LSI-9265-8i in pass-through mode

Furthermore Microsoft suggests that the Dell R630 and the HPE DL 360 Gen 9 servers can be utilized for this effort as both of these models have been in market for some time, but you can always go for another vendor/model that fits the above specification.

From below you can listen to Jeffery Snover himself explaining what is behind the scenes in Azure Stack in development.

Windows 10 is here | Let’s Celebrate

I’ve been playing with computers since first grade. I started with MS-DOS and used all Windows Operating systems to-date and today marks “a day of Celebration” for all those geeks like me around the world. The newest operating system from Microsoft, Windows 10 is now generally available starting from yesterday.

Guess what! If you have a legitimate copy of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 OS (any edition) in any of your devices, you are eligible for a free upgrade to the same edition of Windows 10 till 29th July 2016. Let’s see some deployment options for Windows 10 as more information will arrive as the OS hits retail stores.

Fresh Installation

For those who have access to a MSDN subscription can now download all editions of Windows 10 as an ISO and install from scratch with an activation key. News is the OS will hit the Volume Licensing Portal on 1st of August.

No MSDN? Use the ISO Media Download tool

You can use the all new ISO Media creation tool to download the ISO version and installation bits of Windows 10. This tool lets you to download Windows 10 bits and create a bookable USB or an ISO file to use in another computer.

Win 10 ISO Media Tool 1

Not all editions are eligible for this deployment method. You’ll have to use Volume Licensing Portal or MSDN downloads if you need to get an Enterprise edition ISO.

Win 10 ISO Media Tool 2

Win 10 ISO Media Tool 3

Force Update for users reserved their upgrade

Some of you may have already reserved your upgrade to Windows 10 using the upgrade app released last month. But tired of endless waiting although it says “notify you when ready”. This is because Windows 10 release is planned to roll out via couple of waves starting from July 29th. Don’t worry there is a work around.

Windows 10 Update App 1

  1. Go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download > Select all the files and press SHIFT + DELETE. Now your Windows Update cache is clear.Windows 10 Update App 2
  2. Open command prompt as admin and type wuauclt.exe /updatenow to force Check updates in your system.
  3. Now if you check Windows Updates it should start checking for updates, again type wuauclt.exe /detectnow to get your free upgrade detected.
  4. For users who get’s their updates through WSUS (only if you can check updates from Internet as well) can use wuauclt.exe /resetauthorization /detectnow to expire the WSUS cookie, initiate detection, and have WSUS update computer group membership. This cookie contains information about your WSUS environment which you need to temporary reset.
  5. Sit back and relax until updates are downloaded and your PC is upgraded. Do keep in mind the golden rule of upgrade. BACKUP EVERYTHING YOU WANT FIRST.

I had to activate Windows 10 with an activation key as I’ve upgraded from Windows 8.1 x64 Professional to Windows 10 x64 Enterprise. If you are upgrading to the same edition (i.e 7 Pro> 10 Pro) you don’t have to worry about entering an activation key EVER. YES IT TOTALLY FREE.

Let’s welcome to the OS of the century, Windows 10.

Ninja Cat T-REX