Deploy Azure Stack HCI on a single server

Applies to: Azure Stack HCI, versions 22H2 and 21H2

This article describes how to use PowerShell to deploy Azure Stack HCI on a single server that contains all NVMe or SSD drives, creating a single-node cluster. It also describes how to add servers to the cluster (scale-out) later.

Note that you can't yet use Windows Admin Center to deploy Azure Stack HCI on a single server. For more info, see Using Azure Stack HCI on a single server.


Deploy on a single server

Here are the steps to install the Azure Stack HCI OS on a single server, create the single-node cluster, register the cluster with Azure, and create volumes.

  1. Install the Azure Stack HCI OS on your server. For more information, see Deploy the Azure Stack HCI OS onto your server.

  2. Configure the server utilizing the Server Configuration Tool (SConfig).

  3. Install the required roles and features using the following command, then reboot before continuing.

    Install-WindowsFeature -Name "BitLocker", "Data-Center-Bridging", "Failover-Clustering", "FS-FileServer", "FS-Data-Deduplication", "Hyper-V", "Hyper-V-PowerShell", "RSAT-AD-Powershell", "RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell", "NetworkATC", "Storage-Replica" -IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools
  4. Use PowerShell to create a cluster, skipping creating a cluster witness.

    Here's an example of creating the cluster and then enabling Storage Spaces Direct while disabling the storage cache:

    New-Cluster -Name <cluster-name> -Node <node-name> -NOSTORAGE
    Enable-ClusterStorageSpacesDirect -CacheState Disabled 


    The New-Cluster command will also require the StaticAddress parameter if the node is not using DHCP for its IP address assignment. This parameter should be supplied with a new, available IP address on the node's subnet.

  5. Use PowerShell or Windows Admin Center to register the cluster.

  6. Create volumes with PowerShell without any storage tiers.

    Here's an example:

    New-Volume -FriendlyName "Volume1" -Size 1TB -ProvisioningType Thin

Updating single-node clusters

To install updates in Windows Admin Center, use Server Manager > Updates, PowerShell, or connect via Remote Desktop and use Server Configuration tool (SConfig). You can't use the Cluster Manager > Updates tool to update single-node clusters for now. For solution updates (such as driver and firmware updates), see your solution vendor.

Change a single-node to a multi-node cluster (optional)

You can add servers to your single-node cluster, also known as scaling out, though there are some manual steps you must take to properly configure Storage Spaces Direct fault domains (FaultDomainAwarenessDefault) in the process. These steps aren't present when adding servers to clusters with two or more servers.

  1. Validate the cluster by specifying the existing server and the new server: Validate an Azure Stack HCI cluster - Azure Stack HCI | Microsoft Docs.
  2. If cluster validation was successful, add the new server to the cluster: Add or remove servers for an Azure Stack HCI cluster - Azure Stack HCI | Microsoft Docs.
  3. Once the server is added, change the cluster's fault domain awareness from PhysicalDisk to ScaleScaleUnit: Inline fault domain changes.
  4. Optionally, if additional resiliency is needed, adjust the volume resiliency type from a 2-way mirror to a Nested 2-way mirror: Single-server to two-node cluster.
  5. Set up a cluster witness.

Next steps