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Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets 2.2 Released

Posted on: January 16, 2012 by Michael Washam

Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets (v2.2)

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We have a brand new release of the Windows Azure PowerShell cmdlets that we hope will open up new opportunities to automate and manage your Windows Azure deployments along with just making your life easier as a PowerShell user. So what is new? Let’s take a look!

Scripting Usability Improvements

If you have used the cmdlets for any amount of time one thing that has likely annoyed you is the requirement to pass -SubscriptionID, -Certificate, -StorageAccountName and -StorageAccountKey around to almost every cmdlet. This design made it almost impossible to use from a command shell and only lended itself to easily being used from a script.

We have introduced three new cmdlets to make your life easier in this respect:

  • Import-Subscription
  • Set-Subscription
  • Select-Subscription

Set-Subscription and Select-Subscription

Set/Select Subscription allows you to specify the SubscriptionID, Certificate, DefaultStorageAccountName and DefaultStorageAccountKey and save them in session state. What this means is once you call these cmdlets you do not need to pass those arguments to every cmdlet any more. They will just use the data from session state and save you a  ton of typing. These cmdlets do support multiple subscriptions. Just call Set-Subscription once for each subscription you need to use and then call Select-Subscription to set the current subscription.

One thing that is important is using Set/Select-Subscription should be used mutually exclusive from passing the same data as parameters. In some cases it may work fine and in others you may get strange errors about -SubscriptionID or -Certificate not being known parameters.


     $cert = Get-Item cert:CurrentUserMy{your cert thumbprint}
    Set-Subscription -SubscriptionName "mysub" -SubscriptionId {your subscription id} `
                     -Certificate $cert `
                     -DefaultStorageAccountName "{your storage account}" `
                     -DefaultStorageAccountKey "{your storage key}"
    Select-Subscription -SubscriptionName "mysub"
    Get-HostedService -ServiceName "myService"


Import-Subscription allows you to import a .publishingsettings file that was previously downloaded from: https://windows.azure.com/download/publishprofile.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0.

This cmdlet adds the embedded management certificate into your local certificate store and saves an xml file that the cmdlets can use to automatically import the subcription information into your PowerShell session.

Used in conjunction with the new Set-Subscription and Select-Subscription cmdlets it makes for an easy way to get setup for the first time without having to deal with manually creating/importing the management certificates.
An example:

     Import-Subscription -PublishSettingsFile "C:WindowsAzureField_ mwasham-1-15-2012-credentials.publishsettings" `
                        -SubscriptionDataFile "c:WindowsAzuremysub.xml"
    Set-Subscription -SubscriptionName "mysub" -SubscriptionDataFile "c:WindowsAzuremysub.xml" `
                     -DefaultStorageAccountName "{your storage account}" `
                     -DefaultStorageAccountKey "{your storage key}"
    Select-Subscription -SubscriptionName "mysub"

Windows Azure Traffic Manager Support

We’ve added the ability to fully manage and customize your deployments that use Windows Azure Traffic Manager.

Windows Azure Traffic Manager Cmdlets

  • New-TrafficManagerProfile
  • Get-TrafficManagerProfile
  • Remove-TrafficManagerProfile
  • Set-TrafficManagerProfile
  • Get-TrafficManagerDefinition
  • New-TrafficManagerDefinition
  • Add-TrafficManagerEndpoint
  • New-TrafficManagerEndpoint
  • Set-TrafficManagerEndpoint
  • Remove-TrafficManagerEndpoint
  • New-TrafficManagerMonitor

Here is an example of how you can use PowerShell to create a new profile and definition:

    # Create new Traffic Manager Profile
    New-TrafficManagerProfile -DomainName "woodgrove.trafficmanager.net" `
                              -ProfileName "ProfileFromPS"
    # Specify the monitor settings
    $monitors = @()
    $monitor = New-TrafficManagerMonitor -RelativePath "/" -Port 80 -Protocol http
    $monitors += $monitor
    # Create an array to hold the Traffic Manager Endpoints
    $endpoints = @()
    # Specify the endpoint for our North Central US application
    $endpoint1 = New-TrafficManagerEndpoint -DomainName "WoodGroveUS.cloudapp.net"
    $endpoints += $endpoint1
    # Specify the endpoint for our North Europe application
    $endpoint2 = New-TrafficManagerEndpoint -DomainName "WoodGroveEU.cloudapp.net"
    $endpoints += $endpoint2
    # Create the definition by passing in the monitor, endpoints and other settings.
    # -Status enabled automatically enables the profile with the new definition as the active one.
    $newDef = New-TrafficManagerDefinition -ProfileName "ProfilefromPS" `
					    -TimeToLiveInSeconds 300 -LoadBalancingMethod Performance `
					    -Monitors $monitors -Endpoints $endpoints -Status Enabled
    # Set the active profile version & enable
    Set-TrafficManagerProfile -ProfileName "ProfilefromPS" -Enable `
   		           -DefinitionVersion $newDef.Version

New-SqlAzureFirewallRule -UseIpAddressDetection

This cmdlet is not new however the -UseIpAddressDetection parameter is. It was actually released in a 2.1 release that wasn’t highly publicized. The -UseIpAddressDetection parameter allows you to add a firewall rule whether you know your external IP address or not. Perfect for getting up and running quickly in a new environment.

Here is an example of using -UseIpAddressDetection:

    New-SqlAzureFirewallRule -ServerName "{server name}" `
			    -UseIpAddressDetection `
			    -RuleName "testautodetect"


This cmdlet is new and allows you to specify the number of instances for a given role. We’ve always had the ability to increment or decrement the number of instances but it wasn’t nearly as easy.

Here is an example that sets the instance count for myWebRole to 4.

    Get-HostedService -ServiceName "WoodGroveUS" | `
				  Get-Deployment -Slot Production | `
				  Set-RoleInstanceCount -Count 4 -RoleName "myWebRole"


This cmdlet is new and just wraps the creation of perfmon counters for setting diagnostics. It makes your life easier when dealing with logging 🙂

Here is an example of adding some perfmon counters:

    function GetDiagRoles {
         Get-HostedService -ServiceName $serviceName | `
                         Get-Deployment -Slot $deploymentslot | `
    $counters = @()
    $counters += New-PerformanceCounter -SampleRateSeconds 10 `
			    -CounterSpecifier "Processor(_Total)% Processor Time"
    $counters += New-PerformanceCounter -SampleRateSeconds 10 `
			    -CounterSpecifier "MemoryAvailable MBytes"
    GetDiagRoles | foreach {
	    $_ | Set-PerformanceCounter -PerformanceCounters $counters -TransferPeriod 15

Get-PerfmonLog <breaking change>

This cmdlet was introduced in the 2.0 release of the cmdlets. Some of our awesome field folks determined that it was not capturing perfmon counters correctly when there were multiple instances of a role being monitored. We have fixed this bug and it now appears to be capturing all of the relevant data. The problem is this is a breaking change. So if you are currently using this cmdlet your script will need to be updated. Thankfully, the script change is a minor one. Instead of taking a file name for -LocalPath it now takes a directory. Each instance being monitored will now get its own .blg or .csv file.

Example that uses a helper function called GetDiagRoles to download the perfmon logs.

    function GetDiagRoles {
         Get-HostedService -ServiceName $serviceName | `
                         Get-Deployment -Slot $deploymentslot | `
    GetDiagRoles | foreach {
	$_ | Get-PerfmonLog -LocalPath &quot;c:DiagData&quot; -Format CSV

In addition to these improvements we have actually made quite a few other more minor improvements. One key request is to make a binary installation so you aren’t required to build the cmdlets before using them. That was a key priority for us and we made this happen in 2.2. Additionally, take a look at the Readme.docx in the new release for further details about other improvements.

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