A couple of years ago, I was present at TechEd Europe 2014 for the launch of Windows Azure Pack. This version was built to give the same experience as the first version of Azure (now known as the classic portal). A big challenge was getting started with the Windows Azure Pack: you had to install the infrastructure layer (like Windows/SQL/SCVMM/SCSMA/SCSPF/WAP) before you could start deploying anything. Not only do you have to deploy these layers, you also need to update and maintain them.
At Ignite 2017, Microsoft released the second version of their cloud platform, Microsoft Azure Stack (MAS). MAS was built on the new Azure – Azure Resource Manager – technology. So Microsoft has made it possible to run your Azure environment onsite, getting “almost” the same services that are in Azure. The services available can be found here.
Azure Stack or Azure Stack Development Kit
There are two different versions of Azure Stack. You can use the official version, which can be bought through one of these partners, or you can download the Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) and try Azure Stack for free before you buy. You can’t run production load on the ASDK, and it needs to be reinstalled to get the latest version of Azure Stack. To get the most out of ASDK, first make sure your system is properly set up to meet the hardware and deployment requirements. The ASDK is a single-node deployment of Azure Stack. All components are installed on virtual machines running on a single host machine.
Installation of the Azure Stack Development Kit
Full installation instructions for the ASDK can be found here. First, you start with a default installation of Windows Server 2016. After downloading the files for the ASDK here, you’ll need to extract them on the installed host. You’ll also need to download the installer: this script will ensure you will reboot from the ASDK VHD (Virtual Hard Disk). After rebooting from within the downloaded image, you’ll need to rerun the same script to start the installation of the ASDK.