Making an Azure Function Reddit Bot

Around the time I was celebrating my 100th post, I made a big to-do about opening my own subreddit at /r/FoxDeploy. I had great intentions, I would help people in an easier to read format than here in the comments…but then, I just kind of, you know, forgot to check the sub for four months.

But no longer!  I decided to solve this problem with the only tool I know…code.

Azure Functions

A few months ago, I went to ‘The Red Shirt’ tour with Scott Guthrie in which he talked all about  the new Azure Hotness.  He covered Functions, an awesome headless, serverless Platform as a Service offering which can run a variety of languages including C#, F#, Node.js, Java, and of, course, Best Language, PowerShell.

I was so intrigued by this concept when I first learned of it at an AWS event years ago in Chicago, where they introduced Lambda. Lambda was cool, but it couldn’t run bestgirl language, PowerShell. Continue reading

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A primer on Docker from the Windows Perspective

If you’re keeping up with the Azure talks from TechEd Barcelona this week (and you should be!) you’ve heard a lot of mentions about Docker recently.

Wondering what it is?

Docker is a technology that allows an application developer to install and sequence the execution of their application to ‘containerize’ it in a portable container which can be docked and executed anywhere, seamlessly alongside other applications without application installation dependencies causing interference. The key differentiation point here is that the application and its dependencies are virtualized, rather than the underlying OS, as in traditional virtualization. The big benefit to abstraction of the OS is portability and a significant reduction in overhead.

Instead of developers giving out an install script and binaries, they can provide a fully configured Docker image, which can be run on any system with the Docker engine installed, which includes OS X, Windows and pretty much any version of Linux. Keep in mind while running Docker in Windows that while VirtualBox will be used, Docker does not require hardware virtualization support.

Continue reading

Uploading a custom VHD to Azure with PowerShell and adding it to your VMs

Sure, it’s fun to go into Azure and see all of the cool supported operating system images you can have running in mere minutes.  But it is even cooler to take your own internal server or data image and upload that to Azure to use in your VMs.  It is even cooler to do it all with PowerShell!  If the demo gets a bit technical, be sure to skip to the end for my concluding notes.

If you don’t have your Azure account accessible from the command line, first of all you should install the Windows Azure PowerShell pack available http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/downloads/.  Launch an Azure PowerShell prompt and then run Add-AzureAccount and login

AzureAccount
What a nifty interface, I’d love to steal–er–aggressively borrow this UI element for my own PowerShell tools!

 

The Demonstration

For this example, let’s pretend we have a VHD with important customer data we’ll need to access in our worker VMs from within Azure.  Go to Disk management and get our VHD made.  For the sake of data transit, we’ll make a small VHD and load it up with important customer data! Continue reading

Azure Powershell – Current Storage Account error when making a new VM

I was trying to make a new Linux VM using the Azure PowerShell commandlet New-AzureQuickVM, which basically makes a VM very quickly for you using one of the images available in the catalog.  However, I kept running into this message:

New-AzureQuickVM : CurrentStorageAccountName is not accessible. Ensure the current storage account is accessible and in the same location or affinity group as your cloud service.

Now, when you first create a VM in the Azure Web Console, you’ll be prompted to create a Storage Account if you don’t already have one.  Assuming you’ve done so, the first thing you should check is to see if the Storage Account is defined within your Azure Subscription.  From Powershell, run the

Get-AzureSubscription

Command. Continue reading