Windows Azure PowerShell

For those of you using Windows Azure, we finally have official PowerShell support for managing your Azure subscriptions. With the CTP release of the 1.7 SDK, you can install the Windows Azure PowerShell cmdlets. The download is here.


Keep in mind that this is a CTP, and the first version of the cmdlets released,  so there are a few rough edges and missing functionality still. But they are already very usable and a big improvement if you need to manage more than a single image in Windows Azure. As I get time, I’ll be posting more stuff here, but I also recommend you add Michael Washam’s blog to your favourites.



PowerShell v3 – Using PSDrive to Replace Net Use

I routinely have to map drives across domain boundaries, or to/from non-domain and domain machines. In the old days, I used NET USE commands, which were OK, but there were some issues. Besides, it’s time to move to away from legacy commands such as NET. PowerShell v3 includes an updated set of PSDrive cmdlets (Get, New, Remove) that have added the ability to create persistent mappings to a drive letter. Plus, unlike NET USE commands, I can pass a single credential to connect to multiple machines, and prompt for the password. Ah, HA. Now that’s useful. Here’s my drive mapping script for connecting to three different machines with my domain credentials, even though I’m actually connecting from a non-domain joined machine.

# PowerShell script to map drives using New-PSDrive command. 
# Prompts once for credentials, then uses them. Or so we hope. 
# Initial: 10 June, 2012 

# Start by checking for already mapped drives. We’ll use Get-WMIObject to query Win32_LogicalDisk.
# A drivetype of 4 means that the drive is a network drive.

$NetDrives = Get-WMIObject Win32_LogicalDisk | Where-Object { $_.DriveType -eq 4 }

# Check which servers have drives mapped to them.
$Srv1Mapped = $NetDrives | Where-Object {$_.ProviderName -match "srv1" } 
$wssMapped = $NetDrives | Where-Object { $_.ProviderName -match "wss-100" }

# Prompt for credentials and store in a variable. 
$Contoso = Get-Credential -Cred "CONTOSO\Charlie" 

# Now, map drives based on that credential 
# First, drives on SRV1. These are general Contoso resources 
if ($Srv1Mapped ) { 
   Echo "Skipping core maps on SRV1" 
} else { 
   New-PSDrive -Name I –root \\srv1\install    -scope Global -PSProv FileSystem -Cred $Contoso –Persist 
   New-PSDrive -Name J -root \\srv1\Download   -scope Global -PSProv FileSystem -Cred $Contoso -Persist 

# Now, shared drives for the home resources 
if ($wssMapped ) { 
   Echo "Skipping Home maps on Windows Storage Server WSS-100" 
} else { 
   New-PSDrive -Name M -root \\wss-100\Music    -scope Global -PSProv FileSystem -Cred $Contoso -Persist 
   New-PSDrive -Name P -root \\wss-100\Pictures -scope Global -PSProv FileSystem -Cred $Contoso -Persist 
   New-PSDrive -Name V -root \\wss-100\Videos   -scope Global -PSProv FileSystem -Cred $Contoso -Persist 

# Finally, some specialized resources 
   New-PSDrive -Name W -root \\srv1\Working     -scope Global -PSProv FileSystem -Cred $Contoso -Persist 
   New-PSDrive -Name U -root \\srv1\Charlie     -scope Global -PSProv FileSystem -Cred $Contoso -Persist 
   New-PSDrive -Name Y -root \\hp180-ts-17\RemoteApps -scope Global -PSProv FileSystem -Cred $Contoso -Persist 

There we go, and I can run this from both elevated and standard user PowerShell windows. The best part is, these mapped drives are visible in that PowerShell window, but also in Windows Explorer, and anywhere else I need a mapped drive.


ETA: We’ve come a long way in Windows PowerShell v5, and there’s a better way to do this. See Mapping Drives Revisited.