In this post I will show you how to create Configuration Manager lab in Azure. Microsoft has simplified the process of creating SCCM Lab on azure using Configuration Manager current branch template.

This is a simple process where you can have your own SCCM lab to explore without having a high end device to purchase. The lab created on cloud will be having 180 days of evaluation period available.

Creation of Configuration Manager lab can be done using readily available Azure template which automates the process of creating Azure resources required for SCCM. There are 2 kinds of Azure templates available:

  • Configuration Manager technical preview Azure template
  • Configuration Manager current branch Azure template

What you get with this Configuration manager Azure Lab

Creation of Configuration Manager lab comes with the benefit that you don’t need high end system to create the lab. Also, you don’t need the knowledge of installation the configuration manager along with the infrastructure required such as domain control and clients (workstations).

This lab will automatically create all the required stuff for you.

You can watch the video where I have demonstrated the process:

Note: You have to pay for the instances running on Azure such as storage, server license costs,

Once the Lab is configured you will have:

  • Domain Controller: With name “DC01” with Active Directory Domain Services and other required role and features related to it.
  • Configuration Manager Server Primary Site Server: SCCM Server (name “PS01”) with 2 processors and 8 GB of RAM allotted.
    • OS: Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition
    • SQL Server
    • Windows 10 ADK with Windows PE
  • Distribution Point / Management Point Server: Server with name DPMP01 will install which will have DP and MP role installed.
  • Clients: This will install Windows 10 workstation with Configuration Manager client installed on it.

Prerequisites to create Configuration Manager lab in Azure

You need to have an active subscription which creates:

  • 2 Standard_B2s virtual machines for Domain Controller, Management Point and distribution point combined together on 1 server.
  • One Standard_B2ms virtual machine for primary site server and SQL Server database server.
  • Optional: For creating hierarchy, one other Standards_b2ms virtual machine for CAS (central administration site).
  • Upto 3 virtual machines for clients.
  • Standard_LRS storage account.

Deploy Configuration Manager template to Azure

Navigate to Install Configuration Manager Current Branch in Azure and click on Deploy on Azure. This template is available on Github as well.

Configuration Manager Lab deploy to Azure

Login with the credentials to launch Azure quickstart template for Install Configuration Manager Current Branch in Azure.

sccm-currentbranch template

Start filling out the Project details by selecting Subscription and Resource group where the objects will be created.

Provide Instance details as:

  • Subscription: Select the subscription you have
  • Resource group:  Better to create new Resource Group
  • Region: Specify region closest to you
  • Prefix: This prefix will be used for machine hostname
  • Clients Count: Specify the clients (workstations) to be created. You can select 1,2 or 3 numbers.
  • Configuration: Select Standalone, you can also select “Hierarchy” if you wanted to have Central Administration Site (CAS) along with Primary Site.
  • Vm Size: Standard_B2s
  • Admin Username: Provide the name which will be created under Active Directory to logon. Domain will always be
  • Admin Password: Provide the password.
  • Location:
  • SQL Vm Size: Standard_B2ms

Click on Review + create.

Azure quickstart template SCCM

This will validate the configuration. I got the error because of 2 configurations:

  1. Invalid Admin Username : Username such as Administrator or Admin is not allowed, or else you will get error message while deploying “The admin Username specified is not allowed
  2. The requested size for resource not allowed: Standards_B2s & Standard_B2ms will be auto populated which is sufficient for creating the lab. There could be a limitation on the type of VM size that can be used with the region and subscription limitation you have.

I sorted out this easily by running following PowerShell command:

Get-AzComputeResourceSku | Where-Object { $_.Locations -contains "centralus" }

If validation fails (optional)

This is an optional section to be looked at only when you see “Validation failed”. You might see the error:


This is happened for me as my current subscription doesn’t allow creating the Virtual machine with specified Standard_B2s configuration. I need some other configuration which is supported. I will be running the command to see what is supported with the help of AzComputeResourceSku which is part of module az.compute.

Note: To run AzComputeResourceSku command, you need to install the module az.compute and connect to azaccount. Hence use following command in sequence:

install-module az.compute
connect-azaccount -TenantId '<TenandID'
Get-AzComputeResourceSku | Where-Object { $_.Locations -contains "centralus" }

You can verify the Virtual Machine size information using Azure VM Comparison page and select based upon what is allowed in the subscription.


Back to Azure quickstart template, this time I used:

Admin Username : Manish

Vm Size: Standard_D2ads_v5

SQL Vm Size: Standard_D2ads_v5

This was requirement for my setup though it is more costlier than B2s. For your test environment, might be standard_B2s & B2ms should be sufficient.

This time Validation Passed, click on Create to deploy the Azure template.

Configmgr lab azure validation Passed

You will see message Deployment is in progress. Allow some time to get the Virtual Machines created.

SCCM Azure lab deployment in progress

Navigate to Virtual Machines node, I can see 4 VM’s created:

  • Mbcl01 – client machine
  • Mbdc01  – Domain controller
  • Mbdpmp01 – DP & MP Server
  • Mbps01  – SCCM Server
Configuration manager vm Azure

Verify Deployment Status

Configuration Manager server will be created with the name MBps01 which will initially be workgroup joined. The script will run on it which will do all the work such as joining to domain, installing SQL Server, ADK, configuration Manager setup and all required components.

Click on MBps01 and select Connect > RDP.

connect SCCM lab

Once you login to the Configuration manager server, navigate to C:\windows\temp\ProvisionScript. You will be able to see all the script which will run one by one to configure the whole setup for you.

Open PS1.json which will show you current status of installation if you would like to see.


We can see the status showing as InstallSCCM, and for other components status is showing as “not started”.

ConfigMgrLab Azure 10

Allow some time to get this completed, this is completely an automated process which might go through multiple reboots and configuration setting changes may happen during the setup.

If it shows all steps as completed, the process is done.

After waiting for a while (approximately 1 hr 30 minutes), I can see the status in PS01.json showing success for all the components such as:

  • InstallMP
  • InstallDP
  • InstallClient
  • UpdateSCCM
  • InstallSCCM
ConfigMgrLab Azure 11

Verify Configuration Manager setup

You need to login to the configuration manager server with domain account. Use\username (in my case it is\manish) which I provided as an input during template configuration.

Once logged in, launch Microsoft Configuration Manager Console. We can see fully manager lab with 180 days of evaluation period.

Navigate to \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Servers and Site System Roles, we can see 2 site system roles created:

  1. – With Primary Site Server and database installed on it.
  2. – With MP & DP role installed on it.
ConfigMgrLab Azure 12

There is ready to use 1 workstation also available with the name mbcl01.

ConfigMgrLab Azure 13


As you have seen the creation of Configuration manager lab has been made so easy by Microsoft with introduction of template. You can use Configuration Manager lab template with the name sccm-currentbranch. This kind of approach of creating SCCM Lab is meant for those who doesn’t have a full fledge powerful system and doesn’t have expertise to install Configuration manager. This approach is a straightforward where you can make your lab spinning within few minutes and ready to explore SCCM and related technology. You can further integrate it with Intune using Co-management and can explore MEM related features such as Update ring, autopilot, autopatch etc.

Important Links

Create a lab in Azure – Configuration Manager | Microsoft Docs

Install Configuration Manager Current Branch in Azure (