Friday, October 10, 2014

PowerShell + Azure Automation : Unleash the Automation Cmdlets

In my previous post, I blogged about using Azure Automation to deploy a Windows 10  Server Technical Preview VM in my test domain running on Azure.

But if you noticed there were lot of things that we needed to do from the Azure portal. Being an advocate of doing all things from PowerShell I gave it another shot and below is what I found (notice the colors based on what I was able to do with PowerShell)  :

1. Get the Ground work ready (few bits possible)
2. Create the Assets  (not possible at the moment)
3. Create a RunBook to deploy the VM (and add it to the domain) (PowerShell Rocks !)

PowerShell + Get the Ground work ready

As already mentioned at the moment you can't create an Azure Automation account with PowerShell, but what you can do is add a new User to Azure Active directory :)

You will have to review Software Requirements and then install the Azure AD module 

Once the module named "Msonline" is installed you can very well go ahead and create a new user.

First step is connect to the AD by supplying the credentials.

Note that the User credentials you are supplying should be sourced from Azure AD (from what I understood ). So the first user has to be created in the portal manually.

Once that is done we can use the credentials of the User like below to authenticate :
$cred = Get-Credential -UserName "" -Message "The Username is not the real one ;)"
Connect-MsolService -Credential $cred

Sunday, October 05, 2014

PowerShell + Azure Automation : Deploy a Windows 10 VM (Server Tech Preview) & domain join

Recently VM running Server Technical Preview were added Azure Gallery and I thought of deploying a VM running it joined to my test domain (see my post on using PowerShell to deploy a DC on Azure ), But I wanted to do that using Azure Automation.

Azure Automation is a highly scalable workflow engine offering where we can have Runbooks (PowerShell workflows) to automate long running , error prone tasks.

I first saw this in action at one of the sessions by Ravi Sir [PowerShell MVP] at one of the PowerShell Bangalore User Group meet where he used Runbooks to demonstrate really cool stuff.

Note - Azure Automation is still in preview so you might have to sign up for it by navigating to

Divided the post into 3 steps:
1. Get the Ground work ready
2. Create the Assets
3. Create a RunBook to deploy the VM (and add it to the domain)

Get the Ground work ready

First of all create an Azure Automation account from the portal (no PowerShell cmdlet for that at the moment). Once done it should show up in the Azure portal like below :