While it might appear that the PowerShell module for Azure has only just RTM’d, that’s not actually the case. With that said, version 1.0 does represent a significant landmark in support for Azure’s new resource deployment model.
Azure Resource Manager (ARM), or Azure 2.0 as some industry insiders have dubbed it, differs from the classic deployment model where Azure resources, such as virtual machines and websites, are placed into cloud services. The new model, where resource groups (RGs) are used instead of cloud services, allows all an app’s components to be deployed and managed as a whole, providing a much easier way to get apps up and running in the cloud, and a better model for ongoing management and maintenance.
Microsoft’s Azure blog lists the changes in Azure PowerShell 1.0 as follows:
- Support for Resource Manager in Azure Automation
- Separate Azure Service Management and Resource Manager functionality to provide clarity regarding features of Azure the cmdlets target
- Enforce semantic versioning and ensure cmdlets authored against a given major version of Azure PowerShell will not encounter breaking changes from updates to Azure PowerShell
- Availability of Azure PowerShell through WebPI and PowerShell Gallery to enable quicker delivery of new features and defect resolutions
- Improvements in the Azure PowerShell documentation and continued focus on documentation
- Certificate Authentication Support for Azure Resource Manager
- Virtual Machine disk encryption through Azure Key Vault
- Introduction of Azure Data Lake and Notification Hub cmdlets
- Improvements for Resource Manager, Web Apps and many other Azure services
Installing Azure PowerShell 1.0
Azure PowerShell 1.0 can only be installed on systems with the Windows Management Framework (WMF) 5.0, which is included in Windows 10 by default. To download or get more information on WMF 5.0, see Microsoft’s website.
The steps for installing Azure PowerShell 1.0 using the PowerShell Gallery are the same as for preview versions of the Azure PowerShell module, and you can find instructions on the Petri IT Knowledgebase in my article, Install Azure PowerShell 1.0 Preview. Azure PowerShell 1.0 is also available to install automatically using Microsoft’s Web Platform Installer 5.0 (WebPI), and you can find the download package here. Azure PowerShell 1.0 will receive continuous updates on the PowerShell Gallery, and monthly updates via WebPI.
Resource Manager only supports certificate-based authentication for service principals, so if you’ve used PowerShell to manage Azure in the past and authenticated using a certificate, you’ll now need to log in instead. More details of how to do this can be found on Petri.