Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Azure VM Role and Application Setup

I have never considered myself an unattended setup type of person.  Mainly because for most applications the process has always been too painful or the potential for danger is too high.

Needless to say, I have been spending a great deal of time with Windows Azure and the VM Role and a few applications.

What have I learned from this?

  • Not all command line utilities can be invoked properly using ‘&’ or ‘cmd /c’ from PowerShell.
    • I have a couple applications that just don’t execute into a command windows from powershell.  I have worked around this by determining my variables and then writing a .CMD file using Out-File.
    • I can then use ‘&’ to run the .CMD file and it works perfect.
  • Not all unattended installers work as documented.
    • ‘nuf said
  • FirstLogonCommands in the unattend.xml file is highly useful.
    • You can execute PowerShell, you can execute individual commands, you can install server roles and features, lots of stuff.
  • Software in Azure doesn’t always debug the same as on Hyper-V
    • At the very least network communication is different.
    • The Azure VM runtime container is different and is managed differently, to say the least.

I will be posting some PowerShell snippets that I have found useful and we will undo an Unattend.xml file as well.

All in due time.

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