Getting Started with Azure PowerShell (Classic)

Thanks to opsgility (original post).

For the new AzureRM (resource manager model) please check the official: Get started with Azure PowerShell cmdlets.

Download the Azure PowerShell Cmdlets

Windows install that you can also found at Microsoft Azure Downloads

Configure your Azure Subscription with the Azure PowerShell Cmdlets.

The simplest way to access your Azure subscription from PowerShell is to use the Add-AzureAccount cmdlet.


After executing the cmdlet a dialog will appear to prompt you to login with your Microsoft or Organization account. After you login, you will have access for 12 hours before you have to login again.

Enumerating and selecting a subscription

You can use the PowerShell cmdlets to enumerate and view your current subscription settings.
Here are some of the more handy ones to know about:

# Enumerates all configured subscriptions on your local machine.

# Returns details only on the specified subscription
Get-AzureSubscription -SubscriptionName "mysubscription"

# Select the subscription to use
Select-AzureSubscription -SubscriptionName "mysubscription"

# Sets the mysub subscription to be the default if one is not selected.
Set-AzureSubscription -DefaultSubscription "mysub"


When using the WA Cmdlets with Virtual Machines (IaaS) or Cloud Services (PaaS) you will need to specify the CurrentStorageAccount for your subscription. This is basically the storage account that will be used for creating VHDs or uploading .cspkg files. For virtual machines this storage account has to be in the same datacenter that you plan on creating virtual machines in.

Set-AzureSubscription -SubscriptionName "mysub" -CurrentStorageAccount "mystorageaccount"

To discover if you have a storage account or create a new storage account from PowerShell:

# Discover whether you have a storage account already

# Creates a new storage account in the West Europe data center
New-AzureStorageAcount -StorageAccountName "mystorageaccountname" -Location "West Europe"

Which of course begs the question – how do I know which data centers are available?

The following cmdlet will give you that information:


This is everything you need to configure the Azure PowerShell cmdlets for your subscription!

Performance best practices for SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines (link to resources)

Create Local Storage on Cloud Services to store temporary files

On a cloud service, you can create a small local storage where you can save temporary files, yes I said temporary, because a local storage would not be guaranteed to be durable, for durable storage in Azure you should consider Azure SQL Database or Azure Storage (blob and tables). This reserved space could be useful to store custom error log files (nlog, log4net, …), for those files that are dynamically created by the application and you would like to cache it somewhere, and also for structured data files like database(sql ce, sqlite, …), but remember, just for volatile data.

You can create a local storage manually configuring the Service Definition configuration file, or through the visual studio user interface:

Open the Properties of the Web Role under the Cloud Service Project, go to Local Storage section, and click on “Add Local Storage”, name the storage, give a size, and save.

Create Local Storage

For more information about Local Storage Resources visit