Hardware Requirement for Building Your Own Microsoft Azure Cloud

Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

Companies are rapidly transiting to the conventional technology – cloud computing due to its significant advantages. However, there are also such companies looking to upgrade their business operations by embracing the modern technology, but disinclined to share their sensitive information on other platform. The launch of Microsoft Azure has enabled businesses to deploy and control their own cloud-based service, which provides a great opportunity for companies to shift from traditional approach of storing data to a better, reliable and secured environment.

Microsoft Azure lets your build your own version of private cloud on your own server that resembles all features of a public Azure cloud. Recently, Microsoft released hardware requirements for developing and deploying private Azure stack cloud. Here is the exact detailed specification demonstrated by Jeffery Snover that you require in your data center to experience Azure cloud.


“Hardware requirements for Azure Stack Technical Preview (POC)

Note that these requirements only apply to the upcoming POC release, they may change for future releases.

Component Minimum Recommended
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


While the above configuration is generic enough that many servers should fit the description, we recommend a couple of SKUs: Dell R630 and the HPE DL 360 Gen 9. Both these SKUs have been in-market for some time.”


Aside from this, Azure cloud service offers stability and high-availability and blends seamlessly with your data center tools and operations. This is in an ideal option for companies to store their data and information on-site on a secured platform and manage it independently. Moreover, it alleviates security concerns, a major obstacle that confines companies to take the plunge. It’s certainly a massive offering from Microsoft in this competitive market.