Windows Azure Pack – Virtual Machine Clouds

In this topic I have deployed Windows Azure Pack without any services for customers (tenants). Today I want to offer Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to my tenants from Windows Azure Pack by configuring Virtual Machine Clouds (VM clouds). That means that tenants will be able to create a VM from Windows Azure Pack regarding their subscriptions.

The VM Clouds service connects to your Hyper-V infrastructure and System Center Virtual Machine Manager across the Service Provider Foundation (SPF) API. SPF is included in Orchestrator 2012 SP1 or 2012 R2 media.

Architecture overview

This schema comes from this TechNet topic.

The VM Clouds service uses Service Provider Foundation to interact with Virtual Machine Manager (VM provisioning, Cloud management etc.). To make monitoring you need Operations Manager. To implement chargeback you need also the Reporting Service that uses Operations Manager Data Warehouse.


The hardware table comes from this TechNet topic.

System Center 2012 R2 servers

Processor (min)

Processor (rec)

RAM (min)

RAM (rec)

Hard drive space (min)

Hard drive space (rec)

Service Provider Foundation

2.1 GHz, dual-core CPU or faster

2.1 GHz, dual-core CPU or faster

1 GB

3 GB

6 GB

16 GB


The Server Manager Features table comes from this TechNet topic.

Server Manager Features

Server Manager Roles

  • Management OData Internet Information Services (IIS) Extension
  • .NET Framework 4.5 features, WCF Services, and HTTP Activation.
  • Web Server (IIS) server. Include the following services:
    • Basic Authentication
    • Windows Authentication
    • Application Deployment ASP.NET 4.5
    • Application Development ISAPI Extensions
    • Application Deployment ISAPI Filters
    • IIS Management Scripts and Tools Role Service

Software requirements:

Service Provider Foundation from System Center 2012 R2 is only supported on Windows Server 2012R2 (cf this TechNet topic).

Currently, the Service Provider Foundation from System Center 2012 R2 supports only SQL Server 2012 SP1 Enterprise or Standard edition (cf this TechNet topic).

Service Provider Foundation installation

One your SPF server, insert System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator media and launch SetupOrchestrator.exe. Click on Service Provider Foundation as below:

Click on Install as below :

Accept the license terms and click on next.

Ok I have forgotten the requirements J. First to install Windows features, run this PowerShell command in an elevated console:

Install-WindowsFeature Web-Server, Web-WebServer, Web-Common-Http, Web-Default-Doc, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Static-Content, Web-Health, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-Performance, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Security, Web-Filtering, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-App-Dev, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Mgmt-Tools, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Scripting-Tools, NET-Framework-45-ASPNET, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45, ManagementOdata, WAS, WAS-Process-Model, WAS-Config-APIs

Next, install these tools:

To finish with requirements, insert System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager media and install VMM console as below.

Note : For my mockup, VMM management server and consoles are updated to Update Rollup 3.

And it is ok, all requirements needed are available on the server. Click on Next.

On Configure the database server screen, specify your SQL Server information. Click on Next.

Then you can specify the installation folder, the Website name and the port number. I choose to not change these options. In Server certificate option, I select a certificate enrolled by my Public Key Infrastructure.

On the next step, you need accounts for the application pools. I have chosen to create one account by application pool:

  • Admin Application Pool: sa-spf-AppPool
  • Provider Application Pool: sa-spf-AppPool02
  • VMM Application Pool: sa-spf-AppPool03
  • Usage Application Pool: sa-spf-AppPool04

I have also created a domain security group called GG-AzureTeam.

Next set the CEIP and Microsoft Update option.

And once you have validated your parameters, click on install.

Because Windows Azure Pack is installed with Update Rollup 3 and Virtual Machine Manager also, I have had to install the Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 Service Provider formation. I had an issue about version mismatching between the Windows Azure Pack and SPF.

Next create a local account. I called him SPFConnect.

Add this account to Below local groups :

  • SPF_Admin
  • SPF_Provider
  • SPF_Usage

Register SPF for Virtual Machine Clouds

To register your SPF from the Windows Azure Pack, connect to your administrator management portal:

  • Click on VM Clouds
  • Click on the link under Register System Center Service Provider Foundation
  • Specify settings as below. Use the local account that you have created previously:

  • You can make the same thing under Register Service Provider Usage (with /usage/ at the end of URL).

Connect to Virtual Machine Manager

Now that System Center Service Provider Foundation Endpoint is registered in the Windows Azure Pack, it only remains to connect to your Virtual Machine Manager. First connect to your Virtual Machine Manager and add the VMM application pool account that you have specified when you have installed SPF to member of administrator group (as below). My account is called sa-spf-AppPool03:

Next connect to your admin management portal, select VM Clouds as below. Next click on Use an existing virtual machine cloud provider to provision virtual machines.

Specify your Virtual Machine Manager FQDN and the port number. The Remote Desktop Gateway enables to connect to a virtual machine from the tenant portal in console mode (in case of network issue for example). Click on register.

Now that the connection is established between your Windows Azure Pack and your VMM you should see your VMM clouds. I have three clouds as you can see below.

Now that The Windows Azure Pack is connected to your Hyper-V infrastructure, it is time to create plans, subscriptions and user accounts to deliver your IaaS offer to your tenants. I will cover that in the next topic.


I have had some issues with the Service Provider Foundation and I have found help in this topic.

About Romain Serre

Romain Serre works in Lyon as a Senior Consultant. He is focused on Microsoft Technology, especially on Hyper-V, System Center, Storage, networking and Cloud OS technology as Microsoft Azure or Azure Stack. He is a MVP and he is certified Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE Server Infrastructure & Private Cloud), on Hyper-V and on Microsoft Azure (Implementing a Microsoft Azure Solution).

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