Create storage path for Azure Stack HCI

Applies to: Azure Stack HCI, version 23H2

This article describes how to create storage path for VM images used on your Azure Stack HCI cluster. Storage paths are an Azure resource and are used to provide a path to store VM configuration files, VM image, and VHDs on your cluster. You can create a storage path using the Azure CLI.

About storage path

When the Azure Stack HCI cluster is deployed, storage paths are created as part of the deployment. The default option automatically selects a storage path with high availability. You might however decide to use a specific storage path. In this case, ensure that the specified storage path has sufficient storage space.

The storage paths on your Azure Stack HCI cluster should point to cluster shared volumes that can be accessed by all the servers on your cluster. In order to be highly available, we strongly recommend that you create storage paths under cluster shared volumes.

The available space in the cluster shared volume determines the size of the store available at the storage path. For example, if the storage path is C:\ClusterStorage\UserStorage_1\Volume01 and the Volume01 is 4 TB, then the size of the storage path is the available space (out of the 4 TB) on Volume01.


Before you begin, make sure to complete the following prerequisites:

  1. Make sure that you have access to an Azure Stack HCI cluster that is deployed and registered. During the deployment, an Arc Resource Bridge and a custom location are also created.

    Go to the resource group in Azure. You can see the custom location and Azure Arc Resource Bridge created for the Azure Stack HCI cluster. Make a note of the subscription, resource group, and the custom location as you use these later in this scenario.

  2. Make sure that a cluster shared volume exists on your Azure Stack HCI cluster that is accessible from all the servers in the cluster. The storage path that you intend to provide on a cluster shared volume should have sufficient space for storing VM images. By default, cluster shared volumes are created during the deployment of Azure Stack HCI cluster.

    You can create storage paths only within cluster shared volumes that are available in the cluster. For more information, see Create a cluster shared volume.

Create a storage path on your cluster

You can use the Azure CLI or the Azure portal to create a storage path on your cluster.

You can use the stack-hci-vm storagepath cmdlets to create, show, and list the storage paths on your Azure Stack HCI cluster.

Review parameters used to create a storage path

The following parameters are required when you create a storage path:

Parameter Description
name Name of the storage path that you create for your Azure Stack HCI cluster. Make sure to provide a name that follows the Rules for Azure resources. You can't rename a storage path after it is created.
resource-group Name of the resource group where you create the storage path. For ease of management, we recommend that you use the same resource group as your Azure Stack HCI cluster.
subscription Name or ID of the subscription where your Azure Stack HCI is deployed. This could also be another subscription you use for storage path on your Azure Stack HCI cluster.
custom-location Name or ID of the custom location associated with your Azure Stack HCI cluster where you're creating this storage path.
path Path on a disk to create storage path. The selected path should have sufficient space available for storing your VM image.

You could also use the following optional parameters:

Parameter Description
location Azure regions as specified by az locations.

Create a storage path

Follow these steps on one of the servers of your Azure Stack HCI cluster to create a storage path:

Sign in and set subscription

  1. Connect to a server on your Azure Stack HCI system.

  2. Sign in. Type:

    az login --use-device-code
  3. Set your subscription.

    az account set --subscription <Subscription ID>

Set parameters

  1. Set parameters for your subscription, resource group, location, OS type for the image. Replace the < > with the appropriate values.

    $storagepathname="<Storage path name>"
    $path="<Path on the disk to cluster shared volume>"
    $subscription="<Subscription ID>"
    $resource_group="<Resource group name>"
    $customLocName="<Custom location of your Azure Stack HCI cluster>"
    $customLocationID="/subscriptions/<Subscription ID>/resourceGroups/$reource_group/providers/Microsoft.ExtendedLocation/customLocations/$customLocName"
    $location="<Azure region where the cluster is deployed>"
  2. Create a storage path test-storagepath at the following path: C:\ClusterStorage\test-storagepath. Run the following cmdlet:

    az stack-hci-vm storagepath create --resource-group $resource_group --custom-location $customLocationID --name $storagepathname --path $path

    For more information on this cmdlet, see az stack-hci-vm storagepath create.

    Here's a sample output:

    PS C:\windows\system32> $storagepathname="test-storagepath"
    PS C:\windows\system32> $path="C:\ClusterStorage\UserStorage_1\mypath"
    PS C:\windows\system32> $subscription="<Subscription ID>"
    PS C:\windows\system32> $resource_group="myhci-rg"
    PS C:\windows\system32> $customLocationID="/subscriptions/<Subscription ID>/resourceGroups/myhci-rg/providers/Microsoft.ExtendedLocation/customLocations/myhci-cl"
    PS C:\windows\system32> az stack-hci-vm storagepath create --name $storagepathname --resource-group $resource_group --custom-location $customLocationID --path $path
    Command group 'stack-hci-vm' is experimental and under development. Reference and support levels:
      "extendedLocation": {
        "name": "/subscriptions/<Subscription ID>/resourceGroups/myhci-rg/providers/Microsoft.ExtendedLocation/customLocations/myhci-cl",
        "type": "CustomLocation"
      "id": "/subscriptions/<Subscription ID>/resourceGroups/myhci-rg/providers/Microsoft.AzureStackHCI/storagecontainers/test-storagepath",
      "location": "eastus",
      "name": "test-storagepath",
      "properties": {
        "path": "C:\\ClusterStorage\\UserStorage_1\\mypath",
        "provisioningState": "Succeeded",
        "status": {
          "availableSizeMB": 36761,
          "containerSizeMB": 243097
      "resourceGroup": "myhci-rg",
      "systemData": {
        "createdAt": "2023-10-06T04:45:30.458242+00:00",
        "createdBy": "",
        "createdByType": "User",
        "lastModifiedAt": "2023-10-06T04:45:57.386895+00:00",
        "lastModifiedBy": "319f651f-7ddb-4fc6-9857-7aef9250bd05",
        "lastModifiedByType": "Application"
      "tags": null,
      "type": "microsoft.azurestackhci/storagecontainers"

Once the storage path creation is complete, you're ready to create virtual machine images.

Delete a storage path

If a storage path isn't required, you can delete it. To delete a storage path, first remove the associated workloads and then run the following command to delete the storage path:

az stack-hci-vm storagepath delete --resource-group "<resource group name>" --name "<storagepath name>" --yes

To verify that a storage path is deleted, run the following command:

az stack-hci-vm storagepath show --resource-group "<resource group name>" --name "<storagepath name>" 

You receive a notification that the storage path doesn't exist.

To delete a volume, first remove the associated workloads, then remove the storage paths, and then delete the volume. For more information, see Delete a volume.

If there's insufficient space at the storage path, then the VM provisioning using that storage path would fail. You might need to expand the volume associated with the storage path. For more information, see Expand the volume.

Next steps