Get Started with Azure Stack HCI using VMM!

We are excited to announce the support of managing Azure Stack clusters in VMM 2019 UR3. Azure Stack is the newly launched subscription-based fabric OS that's delivered as an Azure service. More details on the announcement here.


Let's look at a scenario on how a SCVMM customer can get started with Azure Stack . Contoso is an enterprise in retail space that uses SCVMM to manage their on-premises datacenter infrastructure. Currently they are managing Windows hosts and a small fraction of VMware ESXi hosts using VMM 2019. The enterprise just started with the project to modernize their datacenter. Contoso decided to leverage the benefits of HCI (Hyper Converged Infrastructure) architecture and simplify their management of compute, storage, and networking in a single system. Contoso opted for Azure Stack HCI because of the rich hybrid capabilities and also Contoso IT admins are well versed with tools, concepts, and skills.

Create and manage Azure Stack HCI cluster using VMM:

The following scenarios are supported in VMM 2019 UR3 to manage Azure Stack HCI, version 20H2.

  • Addition, creation, and management of Azure Stack HCI clusters. See detailed steps to create and manage HCI clusters.
  • Ability to provision & deploy VMs on the Azure Stack HCI clusters and perform VM lifecycle operations. VMs can be provisioned using files, templates or from an existing VM. Learn more.
  • Set up networking (including VLAN-based networks) on Azure Stack HCI clusters.
  • Deployment and management of SDN controller on Azure Stack HCI clusters.
  • Management of storage pool settings, creation of virtual disks, creation of cluster shared volumes (CSVs) and application of QOS settings.
  • The PowerShell cmdlets used to manage Windows Server clusters can be used to manage Azure Stack HCI clusters as well.

Register Azure Stack HCI clusters:

After creating an Azure Stack HCI cluster, it must be registered with Azure within 30 days of installation per Azure Online Service terms. Follow the stated steps to register the Azure Stack HCI cluster with Azure.

View the registration status of Azure Stack HCI clusters:

In VMM console, you can view the registration status & last connected date of Azure Stack HCI clusters. Navigate to fabric tab and right click the Azure Stack HCI cluster and select properties.

View Registration status and last connected date of Azure Stack HCI clusterView Registration status and last connected date of Azure Stack HCI cluster

Migrate workloads to Azure Stack HCI:

Contoso wanted to migrate some of the workloads from their Windows Server 2019 fabric to Azure Stack HCI cluster. Unfortunately, Live migration between Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI is not supported. migration functionality can be used in VMM to migrate workloads from Windows Server 2019 to Azure Stack HCI. migration from Azure Stack HCI to Windows Server is not supported.

  1. Live migration should be temporarily disabled at the destination Azure Stack HCI host.
  2. VMs and Services > All Hosts, select the source Windows Server 2019 host from which you want to migrate.
  3. Select the VM that you want to migrate. The VM should be in turned off state.
  4. Click Migrate Virtual Machine to start the Migrate Virtual Machine Wizard.
  5. In Select Host, review select the destination Azure Stack HCI host.
  6. Click Next to initiate network migration. VMM will perform import and export behind the scenes here.
  7. To verify that the virtual machine was migrated, check the VMs list on the destination host. Turn on the VM and re-enable live migration on the Azure Stack HCI host.

Migrate VMware workloads to Azure Stack HCI:

  1. Click VMs and Services > Home > Create > Create > Convert Virtual Machine.
  2. In Convert Virtual Machine Wizard > Select Source click Browse and Select Virtual Machine Source select the VMware VMs you want to convert.
  3. In Specify Virtual Machine Identity modify the machine name and description as required.
  4. In Virtual Machine Configuration specify the number of processor and memory settings.
  5. In Select Host select the Azure Stack HCI host for placement. In Select Path configure the storage location on the host for the VM files. The default VM paths are listed.
  6. In Select Networks select the logical network, virtual network, and the VLAN as applicable. The list matches whatever is configured on the physical adapters of the host.
  7. In Add Properties configure settings. In Summary review the settings and select Start the virtual machine after deploying it if required. Then click Create to start the conversion. Verify the VM was converted in VMs and Services > Home > Show > VMs.

Additional resources:

Download and install Update Rollup 3 for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2019.

Check out the all-new Azure Stack HCI solutions catalog. Read more about Azure Stack HCI and get started with data center modernization. 



This article was originally published by Microsoft's Secure Blog. You can find the original article here.