Monday, December 30, 2013

Infrastructure Saturday 2013 - PowerShell for Azure..... a perfect partnership

The last time I presented at Infrastructure Saturday was 2010 and it is certainly great to see how the event has continued and grown. A huge thanks to everyone from contributors, sponsors, speakers and organizers, it was clearly appreciated by everyone.

So this year my original session on Automating SQLwith PowerShell had to be squashed to allow Heidi (WardyIT) to present on SQL. After shedding a tear for only a short moment I regrouped and decided to talk about PowerShell and Windows Azure, another passion of mine. So a massive thanks goes to everyone that chose my PowerShell session over the SQL Session because naturally we had to be scheduled at the same time so that I was then competing against my own primary skill set... nah lets be honest PowerShell is overtaking SQL in that way for me ;)

Ok ok enough banter.

A number of people have expressed interest in the scripts demonstrated during the session so I thought I would provide a walk-through recap of the session. The links to download the "cleansed" versions of the scripts is at the end of this post.

Session Key Takeaways

In my experience, the Azure Portal is a great tool for exploring new features or once off tasks, but due to some annoyances, like the lag for the portal to refresh when back end tasks complete, it can be time consuming when doing very large tasks or more specifically regular repeated tasks.

PowerShell overcomes this :)

Oh and one more takeaway, be careful what is a news headline at the time of your presentation otherwise you may have a docked picture of our PM and another guy kissing show on your Windows 8 Start Screen (it was quite comical though).

Links

http://www.windowsazure.com

SDKs: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/downloads/
Azure PowerShell: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9811175&clcid=0x409
Scott Guthrie (ScottGu) Blog: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu



Session Demos

This is a walk through the PowerShell scripts that were demonstrated during the session.

For the first timers, you need to configure your PowerShell console session to be authorised to access your Azure subscription.

  1. Download and install the Azure PowerShell pack. Reboot your computer to make it easier from here on out to import the module.
  2. Import the Azure module with
    Import-Module Azure;
    
  3. Next call the cmdlet to get the publish settings file. When you call this cmdlet it will launch your browser and ask you to log into your Azure subscription with your Live ID. It will then generate a new subscription management certificate and then prompt you to download the publishsettings file. Take note of the path where this file will be saved
    Get-AzurePublishSettingsFile;

  4. Open the Publish Settings file and check that the Subscription ID matches the details of your management certificate as shown in the portal.
  5. Next import the publishing settings file which will import the required certificate into your users certificate store.
    Import-AzurePublishSettingsFile –PublishSettingsFile "C:\Subscription-credentials.publishsettings"
  6. You can verify that the certificate was imported correctly by traversing the certificate store:
    Get-ChildItem -Path Cert:\CurrentUser\my
    Or by retrieving a list of Azure Services available:
    Get-AzureService | Select ServiceName

Now that the management certificate has been imported you now need to bind to the Azure Subscription so that any subsequent cmdlets can authenticate without having to stipulate which subscription they should be executed against each time. This is very useful when you have more than one subscription within your organization.

  1. Set the values in the variable block as required and then execute the script/command
    <#######################################################
    Variable Block
    #######################################################>
    
    # Subscription Information...
    $subscriptionName = "<<<<< Insert your Subscription Name here >>>>>"
    $subscriptionID = "<<<<< Insert your Subscription ID here >>>>>"
    $thumbPrint = "<<<<< Insert the Certificate Thumb Print here >>>>>"
    
    # Storage Account Information...
    $storageAccountName = "azurestorage" # Must be globally unique and all lowercase...
    $storageAccountLabel = "azurestorage"
    
    <#######################################################
    Select the Subscription
    #######################################################>
    
    #get the certificate definition from the certificate store via the PowerShell drive
    $certificate = Get-Item cert:\currentuser\my\$thumbPrint
    
    #set the context to the required subscription
    Set-AzureSubscription `
        -SubscriptionName $subscriptionName `
        -SubscriptionId $subscriptionID `
        -Certificate $certificate `
        -CurrentStorageAccount $storageAccountName
    
    #next mark the required subscription as active
    Select-AzureSubscription `
        -SubscriptionName $subscriptionName
    

TIP: The above could be configured as part of your PowerShell profile script to ensure this is set each time you start the Console, or added to a script file to easily execute, if working regularly with Azure through PowerShell.

Next we can look at the cmdlets available to us and other useful information available from within Azure:

  1. Get all the cmdlets available from the Azure module
    Get-Command -Module Azure
    
  2. Lets look further into the various commands available with
    #get all the "Get" commands
    Get-Command -Module Azure -Verb Get
    
    #get all the "Set" commands
    Get-Command -Module Azure -Verb Set
    
    #get all the "Restart" commands
    Get-Command -Module Azure -Verb Restart
    
  3. When it comes time to deploy a VM we have the option of using some of the ready-made images, the following is an example of how to get a list of each of these:
    #Get the list of all windows images
    Get-AzureVMImage | where -property "OS" -EQ -Value "Windows" | select label,imagename | Sort -Property "label" | ft -AutoSize
    
    #what about all the images
    Get-AzureVMImage | where -property "OS" -NE -Value "Windows" | select label,imagename | Sort -Property "label" | ft -AutoSize
    


Platform as a Service


The first deployment demo during the session was to deploy a WebSite with a SQL Database. This demo used the Platform as a Service features of Azure. The script used for this deployment came from

  1. Deploy the Web Site and SQL Database with the script by specifying the required parameters:
    #create the web site with a SQL Database (we have to use the location East Asia as Southeast Asia is not valid for web sites)
    .\New-AzureWebsitewithDB.ps1 `
        -WebSiteName "InfraSatWebSite" `
        -Location "East Asia" `
        -StorageAccountName $storageAccountName `
        -ClientIPAddress "***.***.***.***"; #validate this Client IP with WhatIsMyIP.com or the Azure Portal.
    
  2. Once the deployment has completed we can see what was deployed. Firstly the new SQL Azure Server and Database
    #get the database server
    Get-AzureSqlDatabaseServer;
    
    #get the database(s) for the servers
    Get-AzureSqlDatabaseServer `
        | Get-AzureSqlDatabase;
    
    #get the database with extra info
    Get-AzureSqlDatabaseServer `
        | Get-AzureSqlDatabase -DatabaseName infrasatwebsite_db `
        | Select Name,CollationName,Edition,MaxSizeGB,Status,CreationDate `
        | Format-List;
    
  3. We can also retrieve the information about the web sites created
    #get the website
    Get-AzureWebsite 
  4. Thanks to the Azure management pack we can perform all sorts of operations on the services we created.
    #stop the web site
    Stop-AzureWebsite -Name InfraSatWebSite
    
    #start the web site
    Start-AzureWebsite -Name InfraSatWebSite
    
    #Default documents
    Get-AzureWebsite -Name "InfraSatWebSite" | Select DefaultDocuments;
    
    #Update the default document list for what we will publish
    Set-AzureWebsite -Name "InfraSatWebSite" -DefaultDocuments "default.aspx";
    
  5. In my demo the next step here was to show how to deploy the web site code from Visual Studio through to the newly provisioned Web Site.

If you are testing this and wish to do some clean up of your Azure account following a deployment, the following commands are a good starting point.
#Remove the database (WARNING: This removes ALL databases provisioned on your account.... don't say I didn't warn you as there is no UNDO!)
Get-AzureSqlDatabaseServer | Remove-AzureSqlDatabaseServer;

#Remove the database (with a filter to exclude servers with a particular admin account)
Get-AzureSqlDatabaseServer | Where-Object -NE -Property AdministratorLogin -Value <adminaccountofserveryouwishtokeep> | Remove-AzureSqlDatabaseServer;

#remove the web site
Get-AzureWebsite -Name InfraSatWebSite | Remove-AzureWebsite;

#or
Remove-AzureWebsite -Name InfraSatWebSite;

#Check that it was removed
Get-AzureWebsite;

Infrastructure as a Service


During my session I demonstrated the automation of Infrastructure as a Service, unfortunately I cannot release the exact script that was demonstrated at the request of some colleagues until it is out of BETA. However there are plenty of scripts which perform some of the components of our complete solution.

The general concept of IaaS Automation is:
  1. Deploy infrastructure components (e.g. Network, Storage, Virtual Machines, etc)
  2. Simplify configuration and common tasks
  3. Repetitive with minimal differences
  4. Minimal user input (I recommend XML input files to achieve this)
Some existing example scripts that perform "some" of these tasks.

Deploy a Windows Azure Virtual Machine with Two Data Disks
http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Create-a-Windows-Azure-ec901cbe

Deploy Windows Azure VMs to an Availability Set and Load Balanced on an Endpoint
http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Create-Windows-Azure-VMs-244bd3cb

Deploy Multiple Windows Azure VMs in the Same Windows Azure Virtual Network
http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Create-Multiple-Windows-df9e95b7

Deploy a SQL Server VM with Striped Disks in Windows Azure
http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Create-a-SQL-Server-VM-in-0b8c6eed


At a time when the script demonstrated can be released I will update this post with references to that script.



PPT and Scripts Download

Get the PPT and the "cleansed" Scripts used during the Demos here.




Legal Stuff: As always the contents of this blog is provided “as-is”. The information, opinions and views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of any other company with affiliation to the products discussed. This includes any URLs or Tools. The author does not accept any responsibility from the use of the information or tools mentioned within this blog, and recommends adequate evaluation against your own requirements to measure suitability.
 

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