Scripting Azure Services With Powershell

Part 1: What am I trying to do?

published: 25 August 2015

Microsoft Azure

It’s a series of posts

Standard disclaimer for all azure posts:

Azure changes so fast (the services, the naming, the pricing models, the “perma links” going dead for example) that very soon this article will be out of date. If you notice any out-of-dateness or other issues with this post, then please let me know by commenting below.

The background:

I set up my Azure website on an MSDN subscription paid for by my previous employer which they then cancelled. Azure then immediately shut down all my services (and therefore my website went down) and didn’t even give me access to open up the sites in the portal for me to see how I had set them up in order to recreate them on a new subscription.

So after talking to Azure support it turns out

you cannot migrate your services from a disabled account

No Entry!

So I learnt for this reason and many others: the best way to set up your azure account is from a Powershell script so if there’s ever a problem you can just re-run the script.

A side note - here be dragons

Luckily I didn’t store any data in these Azure services (or rather I only stored temporary data such as Lucene indexes.) If I had stored data in there that I needed to retrieve at some point in the future then when the account was suspended I would have irrevocably lost access to that data. Of course if you are storing important data in Azure you should have off-site backups but just beware of this potential issue!

Okay okay, show me the money

Off I went on a voyage of discovery into the land of automating Azure services. I will try to document what I learnt and my scripts here in the hope some of the pain I went through can help someone else in the future.


The requirement:

My requirement was to have my own website completely set up from scratch with 1 script. Indeed even if the website were partially set up I want the script to succeed in setting up the rest. I guess that is similar to saying I want the script to be idempotent.

Ensure the deployment details are stored in version control and are executable

Details details:


Deployment and staging/ production




Lucene search and Azure storage


The site itself

Set the scene? Done. What next?

In this first post I’ve talked about what I wanted to do and why. The next posts will start talking about my implementation journey!

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