Archives For Windows

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Unzip a file in PowerShell

Automating configurations on remote machines can sometimes make simple things interesting. In this specific scenario, I needed to use WinRm to Upload a file to a Virtual Machine (VM) on Microsoft Azure. Then I needed to unzip the file and finally go ahead with the configuration of the said software.

Searching the web gave me an appreciable amount of creative ways to go about unzipping files. This was by far the simplest approach I found. Keep in mind that it requires .NET 4.5.

$sourceFile = 'C:\assets\Microsoft.Azure.ServiceFabric.WindowsServer.5.3.204.9494.zip'
$targetFolder = 'C:\Microsoft.Azure.ServiceFabric.WindowsServer'

[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName('System.IO.Compression.FileSystem')
[System.IO.Compression.ZipFile]::ExtractToDirectory($sourceFile, $targetFolder)
bugzapper

My previous post was about using the Azure Resource Manager to provision a Virtual Machine. It demonstrated how to use a custom PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) to stripe, format and assign a drive letter to a storage space that contains thirty-two 1TB VHDs.

Debugging a custom PowerShell Desired State Configuration was a challenge, because I was completely new to PowerShell DSC and to the Azure Virtual Machine DSC Extension. This post is all about how I managed to debug, refine and test using the artifacts created by the Virtual Machine Extension. Continue Reading…

Configuring Internal Endpoints Cloud Services

Opening Ports on Cloud Services

There are scenarios that warrants us to open ports of the Windows Firewall. Imagine an application that coordinates work across many compute nodes. The workload coordinator needs to know and manage each compute node.

The diagram above, depicts a Virtual Machine that has direct access to instances of a Cloud Service without going through a Load Balancer. Both the Virtual Machine and Cloud Service are deployed to a Virtual Network on Microsoft Azure. Using Internal Endpoints in this scenario, would not yield the desired configuration. Endpoints are defined at the Cloud Service boundary and are IP addresses belong to the Data Center’s Network Address Space. Therefore, In order to allow the Virtual Machine to communicate over specific ports to individual Cloud Service instances, we need to use PowerShell and a Startup Task to configure the Windows Firewall. Continue Reading…


computer-diagnostics-icon I used to create my own logging mechanisms for my Windows Azure Cloud Services. For a while this was the perfect solution to my requirements. But It had a down side, it required cleanup routines and a bit of maintenance.

In the recent months I changed my mind about Windows Azure Diagnostics and if you’re not too adventurous and don’t need your logs available every 30 seconds, I strongly recommend using them. They’ve come such a long way since the first versions that I’m now willing to wait the full minute for my application logs to get persisted to table storage.

The issues I had with Windows Azure Diagnostics were because of my ignorance and half because of irritating issues that used to exist.

Continue Reading…


On April 4th 2013 Amazon announced a price reduction of up to 26% on Windows On-Demand instances.
The Register wrote about the price cuts on April 5th 2013 and their article got me thinking.

A few weeks ago, I was asked about how the Windows Azure Virtual Machine pricing stacks up against AWS. Frankly, I wasn’t able to answer the question. Consequently, I decided to find out by comparing the cost of
a Virtual Machine instance for the period of 1 year .

Continue Reading…