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Microsoft Azure

This document will provide you with instructions on how to prepare and register your own template image in Azure for use with Frame. Before moving forward with the preparation procedure, please ensure you have read through the general requirements and considerations on the Windows BYO image page. We will outline additional details specific to Azure public cloud below.

Considerations

  • When creating a new template image for Azure, we recommend you start with the Microsoft-provided Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2019 images. Community and third-party Azure Marketplace VMs have not been tested.
  • We recommend using 1909, 20H1, 20H2, or 21H1 editions of Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise. Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session images are not supported.
  • Only Azure Generation 1 VMs are supported.
  • Limit Azure image/snapshot name to 50 characters to avoid deployment issues in Frame.
  • You may bring your own image, but the procedure below assumes you have uploaded the image to Azure and verified that a Windows VM instance built using your image operates correctly.

Image Preparation

  1. First, starting with a Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2019 image, create a VM in the Azure account you are going to use for Frame. When configuring your image, you must use a Windows OS user account with local Windows administrator privileges.

Azure Portal - VM List

Azure Portal - VM List
  1. Access the VM via RDP and download the Windows Frame Guest Agent (FGA) installer from the Nutanix Portal.

Nutanix Portal - Frame Downloads

Nutanix Portal - Frame Downloads
  1. Install the FGA using either the standalone executable or ISO image.
note

For additional FGA installation scenarios (e.g., proxy server configuration, command line arguments, review our Frame Guest Agent Installer documentation.

FGA Installer

Frame Installer
  1. Once the FGA Installer has completed successfully its installation, reboot the VM to complete the installation of the Frame Guest Agent.

FGA Installer - Successful Installation

Frame Installer - Successful Installation
  1. (Optional): If a proxy server is required for all outbound traffic to the Internet from your private network, you will need to configure Frame Guest Agent to use your proxy server. Refer to our Frame Proxy Server Support documentation page for further details.

  2. (Optional): If you plan to use AMD or NVIDIA GPU-based instance types in Azure, make sure you install the appropriate AMD or NVIDIA GPU drivers in your template image VM.

Frame-verified GPU Drivers

The following driver versions have been validated for use with Frame workload VMs. Frame cannot offer support for any other driver version or combinations. For Azure, use:

  • NVIDIA driver version: 512.78
  • AMD driver version: 21Q1-1
  1. (Optional): Install your applications and finish image customization.

  2. Once you have configured the image as desired, launch Powershell as an administrator.

Windows - PowerShell

Windows - PowerShell
  1. Run the following PowerShell command to generalize your image using Microsoft Sysprep:
Start-Process -FilePath "$env:windir\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe" -ArgumentList "/oobe /shutdown /generalize /unattend:$env:programdata\Nutanix\Frame\Sysprep\Unattend.xml" -Wait -NoNewWindow
  1. If the VM does not shutdown, then there was a problem with sysprep. Review the sysprep logs in %WINDIR%\System32\Sysprep\Panther to determine the source of the error.

Windows - Sysprep Log Path

Windows - Sysprep Log Path
  1. When sysprep is successful, the VM will automatically power off. Verify that the VM has stopped in Azure Console.

Azure Portal - VM List

Azure Portal - VM List

Tag Snapshot

To use the template image to create VMs (e.g., Sandbox VM), you need to snapshot the VM disk you prepared and label the snapshot for Frame. Use of a snapshot eliminates the need for Azure to run sysprep again when the new VM is created from the template image.

  1. Navigate to the list of disks for the Azure VM.

Azure Portal - List of Disks

Azure Portal - List of Disks
  1. Take a snapshot of the OS disk.

Azure Portal - Create Snapshot

Azure Portal - Create Snapshot
  1. Make sure you choose "Standard_HDD" for storage type, leave default encryption type, and select "Public endpoint" for connectivity method.

Azure Portal - Create Snapshot, Part 2

Azure Portal - Create Snapshot, Part 2
  1. Once the image is created, navigate to the list of snapshots in the Azure Portal. Click on the snapshot you created in the previous step and assign a tag with the nameFrameRole and the value MasterImage to the snapshot.

  2. Assign a second tag with the name FrameGuestAgentKind and the value fga to the snapshot.

Azure Portal - Add Tags

Azure Portal - Add Tags

Voilà! You have successfully created a template image to be registered in Frame for use to create your Frame workloads. You may prepare additional template images (e.g., different Windows OS versions, template images with different sets of applications) by simply repeating the procedure with a new image.

Registration

Now it's time to register your template image in Frame. See how to do this in our Cloud Accounts > Template Images guide.