The Truth About Windows Azure PowerShell

December 7, 2013 — 2 Comments

20120213-Powershell-Cloud-Automatisierung The truth about Windows Azure PowerShell is that I should have paid more attention to it. As new features make their way to General Availability (GA) on Windows Azure, they are accompanied by cmdlets (pronounced command-lets) that empower Developers and IT Pros to automate repetitive tasks. In turn reducing human error and the amount of time required to accomplish complex multi-step tasks.

What is it?

PowerShell is Microsoft’s task automation and configuration management framework, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language built on .NET Framework. Windows Azure PowerShell is a module that provides cdlets to manage Windows Azure through Windows PowerShell. You can use the cmdlets (pronounced command-lets) to create, test, deploy, and manage solutions and services.

Why Should I Care?

Windows Azure PowerShell is becoming the way to perform a variety of tasks in Windows Azure, either interactively at a command prompt or automatically through scripts. In most cases, you can use the cmdlets to perform the same tasks that you can perform through the Windows Azure Management Portal. On most occasions, they are preferred over all alternatives.

Working with cmdlets also means that you can automate repetitive tasks like deploying a brand new staging environment. Say goodbye to complicated and outdated error prone instructions. Create and deploy environments in a consistent manner.

Getting Started

Assuming that you already have an active Windows Azure account, open Windows Azure PowerShell and type
Add-AzureAccount. This will bring up the login windows that will allow Windows Azure PowerShell to import your subscription information. This procedure is perfect for quick interactive sessions. If you are looking for a more permanent solutions, I recommend looking into certificates.

Once you are logged in, type Get-AzureSubscription to list the subscriptions that were imported.

At this point, if you have multiple subscriptions you might want to change the default subscription. Changing the default subscription can be done by typing Select-AzureSubscription -default [the subscription’s name]

This is when the fun really starts. You can start exploring the following options:

Find Out More

End to End Deployment Scripts

If you are looking for pre-built scripts, I highly recommend looking at the Script Center – It provides you with scripts to automate virtually everything using Windows PowerShell or the cross platform command line tools, which can be used from Windows, Mac, or Linux. (Remember, this is a sample of that has already been scripted and tested. Try not to re-invent the wheel and spend some time on Bing before you start rolling out your own custom scripts)

Third Party Cmdlets

Streamline your Windows Azure workflow with PowerShell Cmdlets from Cerebrata
These PowerShell cmdlets help manage Windows Azure storage, Windows Azure diagnostics and performing service management. They include over 100 cmdlets covering many facets of Windows Azure. Including backing up storage accounts and Windows Azure SQL Databases.

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