I’ve been working my way through the very excellent Docker Deep Dive book by Nigel Poulton. If you’ve been meaning to get into the whole Docker scene, this is the perfect book to get you started. Nigel doesn’t assume prior container knowledge, and he makes sure that the examples are cross platform and easily executed on your local laptop/desktop/whatever. That is, until you get to the section on Docker Swarm. Now instead of using a single Docker host, a la your local system, you now need six systems – three managers and three worker nodes. It’s entirely possible to spin those up on your local system – provided you have sufficient RAM, but I prefer to use the power of the cloud to get me there. See I might be working through the exercises on my laptop over lunch and then my desktop at night. I’d like to be able to access the cluster from whatever system I am working on, without deploying the cluster two or three times.
With the introduction of Dv3 and Ev3 VMs in Microsoft Azure, it became possible to run nested virtualization on Azure. Since I’ve got Azure Stack on the brain these days, my immediate thought was, “I wonder if I can run Azure Stack on Azure?” (cue Inception music). Not only was the answer yes, but others had already started the process for me. Following in the footsteps of Daniel Neumann and Florent Appointaire, I was able to bet the process running. One of the engineers at Microsoft took some of that work, added their special sauce and rolled out a GitHub repo that helps you through the process. I have forked that repo, and started adding some automation myself.
Sigh. There’s an old adage that I always come back to. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should. In this case I am thinking about the recent announcement by Microsoft that Azure would be supporting bare metal deployments of VMware on Azure hardware. In case you’ve been living under a rock, AWS went GA with a very similar offering back in late August. Of course there are some specifics that differ, but the overall theme is the same. You can run your VMware workloads in their public cloud on bare metal, but still have close proximity to their respective public cloud services. Alas, just because it’s on Azure now, doesn’t make the idea any better, and I stand by my previous post.
Well, it wasn’t even close. As mentioned in my previous post, I am moving to a less hands on role, and I want to keep close to the technology. The concept of running Windows container hosts in a Kubernetes cluster fascinates me and it appears that I wasn’t alone. With 82% of the votes on my Twitter poll, it was the clear winner. Now I guess I actually need to start diving in, and by diving in, I mean reading docs.
In a previous post I covered how to add a Linux image to Azure Stack. In this post I am going to detail a simple (if slow) way of adding a Server 2012 R2 image to Azure Stack as well. With Azure Stack TP3 (original and extra-crispy) there are no default VM Images included in the install. You are prompted to download a Windows Server 2016 ISO as part of the Azure Stack POC download, and there is a script in the AzureStack.ComputeAdmin module called New-Server2016Image that will take that ISO and turn it into a Core or Datacenter image. But what if you wanted that good ole Server 2012 R2 image?