Install the Azure Stack HCI, version 23H2 operating system

Applies to: Azure Stack HCI, version 23H2

This article describes the steps needed to install the Azure Stack HCI, version 23H2 operating system locally on each server in your cluster.

Prerequisites

Before you begin, make sure you do the following steps:

  • Satisfy the prerequisites.
  • Prepare your Active Directory environment.
  • Make sure to keep a password handy to use to sign in to the operating system. This password must conform to the length and complexity requirements. Use a password that is at least 12 characters long and contains a lowercase character, an uppercase character, a numeral, and a special character.

Boot and install the operating system

To install the Azure Stack HCI, version 23H2 operating system, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Azure Stack HCI operating system from the Azure portal.

  2. Start the Install Azure Stack HCI wizard on the system drive of the server where you want to install the operating system.

  3. Choose the language to install or accept the default language settings, select Next, and then on next page of the wizard, select Install now.

    Screenshot of the language page of the Install Azure Stack HCI wizard.

  4. On the Applicable notices and license terms page, review the license terms, select the I accept the license terms checkbox, and then select Next.

  5. On the Which type of installation do you want? page, select Custom: Install the newer version of Azure Stack HCI only (advanced).

    Note

    Upgrade installations are not supported in this release of the operating system.

    Screenshot of the language page of the Install Type Azure Stack HCI wizard.

  6. On the Where do you want to install Azure Stack HCI? page, confirm the drive on which the operating system is installed, and then select Next.

    Screenshot of the installation type page of the Install Azure Stack HCI wizard.

    Note

    If the hardware was used before, run diskpart to clean the OS drive. For more information, see how to use diskpart. Also see the instructions in Clean drives.

  7. The Installing Azure Stack HCI page displays to show status on the process.

    Screenshot of the status page of the Install Azure Stack HCI wizard.

    Note

    The installation process restarts the operating system twice to complete the process, and displays notices on starting services before opening an Administrator command prompt.

  8. At the Administrator command prompt, select Ok to change the user's password before signing in to the operating system, then press Enter.

    Screenshot of the change password prompt.

  9. At the Enter new credential for Administrator prompt, enter a new password.

    Important

    Make sure that the local administrator password follows Azure password length and complexity requirements. Use a password that is at least 12 characters long and contains a lowercase character, an uppercase character, a numeral, and a special character.

    Enter the password again to confirm it, then press Enter.

  10. At the Your password has been changed confirmation prompt, press Enter.

    Screenshot of the changed password confirmation prompt.

Now you're ready to use the Server Configuration tool (SConfig) to perform important tasks.

Configure the operating system using SConfig

You can use SConfig to configure Azure Stack HCI version 23H2 after installation.

To use SConfig, sign in to the server running the Azure Stack HCI operating system. This could be locally via a keyboard and monitor, or using a remote management (headless or BMC) controller, or Remote Desktop. The SConfig tool opens automatically when you sign in to the server.

Screenshot of the Server Configuration tool interface.

Important

Do not install Windows Updates using SConfig. Updates are installed during the deployment. Installing updates using SConfig causes a deployment failure.

Follow these steps to configure the operating system using SConfig:

  1. Install the latest drivers and firmware as per the instructions provided by your hardware manufacturer. You can use SConfig to run driver installation apps. After the installation is complete, restart your servers.

  2. Configure networking as per your environment. You can configure the following optional settings:

  3. Use the Network Settings option in SConfig to configure a default valid gateway and a DNS server. Set DNS to the DNS of the domain you're joining.

  4. Configure a valid time server on each server. Validate that your server is not using the local CMOS clock as a time source, using the following command:

    w32tm /query /status
    

    To configure a valid time source, run the following command:

    w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:"ntpserver.contoso.com" /syncfromflags:manual /update
    

    Confirm that the time is successfully synchronizing using the new time server:

    w32tm /query /status
    

    Once the server is domain joined, it synchronizes its time from the PDC emulator.

  5. Rename all the servers using option 2 in SConfig to match what you used when preparing Active Directory, as you won't rename the servers later.

  6. (Optional) At this point, you can enable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and then RDP to each server rather than use the virtual console. This action should simplify performing the remainder of the configuration.

  7. Clean all the non-OS drives for each server that you intend to deploy. Remove any virtual media that have been used when installing the OS. Also validate that no other root drives exist.

  8. Restart the servers.

  9. Set the local administrator credentials to be identical across all servers.

    Note

    • Make sure that the local administrator password follows Azure password length and complexity requirements. Use a password that is at least 12 characters long and contains a lowercase character, an uppercase character, a numeral, and a special character.
    • Do not join the servers with the Azure Stack HCI operating system installed, to the Active Directory domain prior to cloud deployment. Cluster nodes are automatically joined to a domain during the Deployment via Azure portal.

Install required Windows roles

  1. Install the Hyper-V role. Run the following command on each server of the cluster:

    Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V -All
    

    Your servers will restart; this takes a few minutes.

You are now ready to register the Azure Stack HCI server with Azure Arc and assign permissions for deployment.

Next steps