Understanding 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 to HSCN and RLI.
This article provides an introduction to UKCloud for Microsoft Azure and helps you get up and running.
UKCloud for Microsoft Azure supports the following Azure Stack Hub IaaS features:
Virtual machines (VMs) provide the basic building block providing compute in Azure Stack Hub. For a list of available VM sizes, see: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/azure/azure-stack/user/azure-stack-vm-sizes.
You can deploy VMs using the UKCloud Azure Stack Hub portal and other tooling. VMs have the following support:
Azure Compute APIs - Provides you with programmatic access to virtual machines and their supporting resources. For further information, see the Azure REST API Reference.
Azure Stack Hub Marketplace - Provides access to pre-created images that help speed up application delivery.
Azure Resource Manager - Enables you to write templates to deploy, update and delete Azure Stack Hub resources in a single co-ordinated operation.
Virtual networks - Azure Stack Hub enables you to configure virtual private clouds, create and manage your private address space within Azure; you can configure this via the UI, API and other tooling.
Load balancers (IPv4 only) — You can deploy basic load balancers.
VPN gateway — You can use the Azure Stack Hub VPN gateway to create site-to-site VPNs to remote infrastructure.
Routing — You can configure basic custom defined routing on virtual networks; Vnet to Vnet peering is not yet supported.
|Type of storage||Description||Notes vs public Azure|
|Azure Blob Storage (block)||Object storage; good for storing documents, videos, images and so on.||Maximum block blob size is 4.75 TB (100 MB x 50,000 blocks) for the 1802 update or newer version. Previous versions are limited to 50,000 x 4 MB (approximately 195 GB). Blob name size differs slightly at 880 characters (1,760 bytes), compared to 1,024 characters (2,048 bytes) for public Azure.|
|Azure Blob Storage (page)||Used to support virtual machine disks; good for randomly accessed large files.||Maximum page blob size differs greatly at 1TB for Azure Stack Hub, compared to 8TB for public Azure.|
|Azure Blob Storage (append)||Used for log files.|
|Azure Queue Storage||Message queue as a service to provide asynchronous scale out micro-services, among other things.|
|Azure Table Storage||NoSQL database service; good for highly scalable, eventually consistent database support.||Maximum table partition key and row key size is 400 characters (800 bytes), compared to 1,024 characters (2,048 bytes) for public Azure.|
- Key Vault — Azure Stack Hub provides cryptographic secret storage for applications and services. These services can be consumed via both portal and API.
When designing your UKCloud for Microsoft Azure applications, consider the following:
Azure Stack Hub supports a subset of Azure VM extensions; UKCloud for Microsoft Azure currently supports the following:
CustomScriptForLinux v1.5.5, v22.214.171.124 & v126.96.36.199
VMAccessForLinux v1.5.2 & v188.8.131.52
OmsAgentForLinux v1.13.27 & v1.8.11
MicrosoftMonitoringAgent v1.0.11081.5 & v1.0.10900.0
CustomScriptExtension v1.9.3 & v1.8
JsonADDomainExtension v1.3.4, v1.3.2 & v1.3
VMAccessAgent v2.4.4 & v2.0
DSC v184.108.40.206 & v220.127.116.11
IaaSAntimalware v18.104.22.168 & v22.214.171.124
IaaSDiagnostics v126.96.36.199 & v188.8.131.52
AmdGpuDriverWindows v184.108.40.206 & v220.127.116.11
For an up-to-date list of the supported extensions, perform the following steps:
First, ensure that you've installed the relevant Azure PowerShell modules from the following link:
Then run the following commands:
Add-AzEnvironment -Name "AzureStackUser" -ArmEndpoint "https://management.frn00006.azure.ukcloud.com" Connect-AzAccount -EnvironmentName "AzureStackUser" Get-AzVMImagePublisher -Location "frn00006" | Get-AzVMExtensionImageType | Get-AzVMExtensionImage | ` Select-Object -Property Type, Version | Format-Table -AutoSize
Use load balancers to make the best use of IP address quota.
Azure Stack Hub API may be a couple of releases behind public Azure API.
Single region and single state set (affects availability).
VM sets don't support auto-scale, so consider how to handle load.
Check Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates to see if they're compatible with Azure Stack Hub.
Azure Stack Hub storage is all served from the same pool of disks and does not provide "limitless" storage, so you should consider the following:
Use blob storage (object storage) to support the application; not for multiple petabytes of data storage.
Put large volume data on UKCloud's Cloud Storage.
Clean up backups to conserve storage.
Consider use of temporary storage.
For some blob types, there is a difference in maximum storage between public Azure and Azure Stack Hub.
No guarantees around IOPS.
Use blob storage for queues to help deliver scalable micro-services.
Accessing UKCloud for Microsoft Azure
You can access UKCloud for Microsoft Azure from the following location:
For more information about Azure Stack Hub, see the following Microsoft resources:
For more information about UKCloud for Microsoft Azure, see:
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