Hello folks! Today, Microsoft has officially announced the availability of a new PowerShell module to help manage Windows Azure features! In order to obtain this module, you will need to download the Web Platform Installer 4.0 (x64, x86). Once you’ve installed the Web Platform Installer 4.0, you’ll need to search for “PowerShell” and install the “Windows Azure PowerShell” package from it. Continue reading →
One of the core services provided by the Windows Azure “cloud computing” platform is the ability to create first-in, first-out messaging queues. These queues are considered to be part of the Service Bus feature in Windows Azure. In some cases, it may be desirable to automate the creation of these queues, especially if there are a lot of them to create. By automating this process, rather than performing it manually, you can ensure consistency, repeatability, and speed.
Starting out with Windows Azure automation might lead you to download the official Microsoft Windows Azure cmdlets, or even the third-party Cerebrata Windows Azure module for Windows PowerShell. The latter module appears to have cmdlets that support queue creation, however the former (Microsoft) module does not. If you’d rather not spend the money on the Cerebrata module, can’t get your company to buy it for you, or you’d rather just stick to native Microsoft stuff, you’re still in luck. The Windows Azure .NET SDK 1.6 allows C# developers, and PowerShell script writers, to create queues using the provided .NET types! Continue reading →
If you’re automating Windows Azure using Windows PowerShell, one of the first things you’ll probably notice is that you need a management certificate to connect to the Windows Azure subscription that you’re attempting to view or modify. Management certificates are associated to a Windows Azure subscription inside the Management Portal, under the Hosted Services, Storage Accounts & CDN –> Management Certificates section (see screenshot).
Once you have associated a management certificate with a subscription, it needs to be imported into your local computer’s certificate store so that it can be used from PowerShell to manage the Azure subscription. To do this, follow these directions:
Add the certificates snap-in (for current user or local computer)
Navigate to the Personal –> Certificates “folder”
Right-click the Certificates node and select All Tasks –> Import
Select the file on the filesystem that contains the certificate
Select the Personal certificate store if necessary and finish the import wizard
Next, you’ll need to grab the certificate’s thumbprint, which is basically a unique identifier that differentiates it from other certificates. To grab this, follow these steps:
Double-click the certificate in the Certificates MMC snap-in
Visit the Details tab
Scroll down to the Thumbprint field and copy the value into Metapad or equivalent
Now that you’ve taken down the thumbprint of the certificate, you can use PowerShell to retrieve the certificate from the current user’s certificate store. If the certificate resides in the local computer’s certificate store, you’ll have to replace “CurrentUser” with “LocalMachine.” To get the certificate, check out the code below.