Getting Started Guide for UKCloud for Microsoft Azure
UKCloud for Microsoft Azure provides you with new options to harness Microsoft Azure alongside other cloud platforms, including Oracle, VMware and OpenStack. This gives you the flexibility to accommodate diverse workloads within a low latency, accredited platform with native connectivity to non-cloud workloads in Crown Hosting and the networks that are vital to the public sector: from PSN Protected to HSCN and RLI.
This Getting Started Guide provides you with the information you need to get up and running with UKCloud for Microsoft Azure.
To complete the steps in this guide you must have access to the Azure Stack portal.
Introduction to UKCloud for Microsoft Azure
At UKCloud, we understand that there is no "one cloud fits all" solution. There are usually many factors to consider when looking to move your applications to the cloud, including existing technology investment and skills. Additionally, while some applications can easily move to the public cloud, there are others that for various reasons (latency, connectivity, security, regulation) must run on-premises.
Microsoft Azure Stack is an extension of Azure that provides on-premises Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), enabling you to leverage the benefits of cloud in an on-premises environment. UKCloud for Microsoft Azure brings the advantages of the Microsoft Cloud platform to our assured UK-sovereign platform, helping you realise the benefits that a true hybrid cloud environment has to offer, while balancing the right amount of flexibility and control.
With UKCloud for Microsoft Azure you can:
Leverage existing Azure investment, knowledge and skills
Use Azure Stack alongside other technologies, for example, VMware, OpenStack or Oracle
Connect to government community networks, including PSN, HSCN, Janet and RLI
Meet specific compliance directives, such as data sovereignty or security
The two main delivery models provided by UKCloud for Microsoft Azure are:
A multi-tenant IaaS and PaaS platform available in both UKCloud security domains (Assured OFFICIAL and Elevated OFFICIAL), connected to government community networks with UKCloud's award-winning support
Private cloud deployment of UKCloud for Microsoft Azure dedicated to a single customer
What is Azure Active Directory and why is it required for UKCloud for Microsoft Azure?
Azure Active Directory is Microsoft's cloud-based Directory and Identity Access Management Service. It provides Single Sign-On and core directory services via a high availability service with automated failover. AAD provides the identity store for UKCloud for Microsoft Azure, supporting features such as two-factor authentication and role based access control.
If you do not have an existing Azure Active Directory, provide a preferred domain name and administrator email address, and UKCloud will create an Azure Active Directory Domain (subject to availability), free of charge.
How can I get started with UKCloud for Microsoft Azure?
If you've decided that UKCloud for Microsoft Azure is the right environment for you, contact your CSM with the following information:
Contact email address, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org
Azure Active Directory Domain, for example, onboardingukcloud3csp.onmicrosoft.com
AAD administrator email address, for example, email@example.com
Once you've provided this information, UKCloud will set up your new UKCloud for Microsoft Azure environment.
After submitting your details, you will receive an email asking for permission for UKCloud to be your Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (see example below).
Once you have received this, click the CSP Invitation URL link and click to sign in:
After signing in you will be greeted with the following page. Tick the checkbox and click Authorize CSP, then contact your CSM so UKCloud can complete your onboarding process.
Next, you should receive a welcome email from your CSM containing the details of your new UKCloud for Microsoft Azure environment.
Logging in to the Microsoft Azure Stack portal
To manage UKCloud for Microsoft Azure, you need to log in to the Azure Stack portal. The portal provides access to all your Azure resources.
To log in to the Azure Stack portal:
In your browser, go to the following URL:
In the login dialog box, enter the email address for your account and click Next, or pick your account.
Enter your password and click Sign in.
After you log in, you'll see the main Azure Stack portal home page.
On this page, you'll see:
A. Favourites - quickly access your most used resources (see Customising your favourites)
B. Dashboard - access information about your Azure resources (see Customising and adding dashboards)
C. Settings - change your portal settings, for example, theme and language
D. Notifications - view useful alerts about your Azure environment
E. New - create new resources, such as virtual machines (see How to create a virtual machine from the Azure Marketplace)
Understanding subscriptions, offers and plans
Your UKCloud for Microsoft Azure environment is provisioned with a subscription that determines the services you have access to, and your quotas for those services.
A subscription is a mechanism for signing up to an offer.
An offer is a collection of one or more plans.
A plan is a collection of one or more services, with associated quotas.
Customising your favourites
In the Azure Stack portal, down the left-hand side, you can see a list of your favourite resources. You can customise this list to include the resources that you access most frequently.
In the favourites list, click the More services link.
In the list of resources available to your subscription, resources that are included in your favourites list are indicated by a yellow star icon.
You can use the Filter field to filter the list of resources. You can order the list By category or By name.
Click the grey star icon next to the resource that you want to add to your list of favourites.
To remove a resource from your favourites list, click the yellow star icon next to the service.
When you're done close the list of resources.
You can now see the newly added resource in your favourites list.
You can reorder the resources in your favourites list by dragging and dropping them.
Customising and adding dashboards
An Azure Stack dashboard consists of tiles that provide access to the resources available to your subscription. You can create multiple dashboards to provide different views of your resources.
To customise a dashboard:
In the Azure Stack portal, select the dashboard that you want to customise.
Click the Edit dashboard option.
Drag the tiles you want to add to the dashboard from the Tile Gallery onto the dashboard.
To change the layout of a tile on the dashboard, hover your mouse over the tile, click the Context menu icon and select the new layout.
Drag tiles to rearrange them on the dashboard.
To delete a tile from the dashboard, hover your mouse over the tile and click the Unpin icon.
When you're done, click Done customizing.
To create a new dashboard, click the New dashboard option.
Enter a name for the dashboard.
Add and arrange tiles as described above and when you're done, click Done customizing.
Granting users access to UKCloud for Microsoft Azure
To work with UKCloud for Microsoft Azure, users must have the appropriate Azure Stack permissions. We provide the following three groups to get you started:
AzureStackOperators - Members of this group have Owner permissions and have full access to all resources and can manage access to resources
AzureStackUsers - Members of this group have Contributor permissions and can create and manage all resources but cannot manage access to resources
AzureStackReadOnly - Members of this group have Reader permissions and can view everything but cannot be any changes
To grant a user access to UKCloud for Microsoft Azure:
Log in to the Azure portal as a global administrator:
Navigate to the Azure Active Directory.
You can find the Azure Active Directory by selecting All services and scrolling down to the Security + Identity section.
Select Groups and then All groups.
In the Name field, enter
Select the group to which you want to add the user depending on the level of permissions you want the user to have.
Select Members then click Add members.
Select the user that you want to add to the group and click Select.
Configuring the Azure CLI
Microsoft provide a cross platform Azure command line interface (CLI) tool which runs on macOS, Linux and Windows that you can use to manage your Azure resources. For example, you can use the Azure CLI to create virtual machines and deploy Azure Resource Manager templates.
For more information, including steps for setting up the Azure CLI with UKCloud for Microsoft Azure, see:
Configuring the Azure Stack PowerShell client
You can use PowerShell to manage your Azure resources. For example, you can create virtual machines and deploy Azure Resource Manager templates.
For more information, including steps and scripts for setting up Azure PowerShell with UKCloud for Microsoft Azure, see:
In this Getting Started Guide, you've learned the basics about UKCloud for Microsoft Azure and the Azure Stack portal. For more information about UKCloud for Microsoft Azure, see the following articles in the Knowledge Centre:
This section provides a glossary of terms specific to UKCloud for Microsoft Azure.
Azure Active Directory The service that provides identify management within UKCloud for Microsoft Azure.
Cloud operator An entity that provides services, via subscriptions, on Azure Stack. UKCloud is a cloud operator.
Microsoft Azure Microsoft's public cloud service.
Microsoft Azure Stack An extension of Azure that provides cloud computing to an on-premises environment.
Resource An object within Azure Stack, such as a virtual machine, network or storage.
Resource group A collection of resources, services and applications.
Subscription A mechanism for organising resources and services for tenants to consume.
UKCloud for Microsoft Azure A UKCloud IaaS and PaaS service that works as an extension of Microsoft's own Azure Public Cloud, delivered from our assured sovereign data centres.
Tenant An entity that consumes services from cloud operators in Azure Stack.
If you find an issue with this article, click Improve this Doc to suggest a change. If you have an idea for how we could improve any of our services, visit UKCloud Ideas. Alternatively, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.