Showing posts with label cloud5mins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cloud5mins. Show all posts

Reading Notes #342

Connector

Cloud


Programming

  • Writing a Blazor App (David Pine) - This tutorial shows how to build a simple blazor app...and it's NOT the hello-word or todo.

Miscellaneous



How to be efficient with our Azure Devtest Lab deployments

(Ce billet est en aussi disponible en fran├žais.)

The Devtest labs is a fantastic tool to quickly build environments for development & test purposes and for a classroom. It offers great tools to restrict the users without removing all their freedom. It will speed up the boarding, with its claimable VMs that are already created and are waiting for the user. Formulas will help ensure you that you always get the latest version of your artifact installed on those VMs. And finally, the auto-shutdown will keep your money where it should stay...in your pocket.


In this post, I will show you how to deploy an Azure Devtest Lab with an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template, and create the claimable VMs based on your formulas in one shot.

Step 1 - The ARM template


First, we need an ARM template. You can start from scratch of course, but it may be a lot of work if you are just getting started. You can also pick one from GiHub and customize it.

What I recommended, is to create a simple Azure Devtest Lab directly from the Azure portal. Once your lab is created, go in the Automation script option of the resourcegroup and copy/paste the ARM template in your favorite text editor.
armTemplate
Now you must clean it. If you don't already know it, use the 5 Simple Steps to Get a Clean ARM Template method, it an excellent way to get started.
Once the template is clean we need to add a few things that didn't follow during the export. Usually, in an ARM template, you get one list named resources. However, a Devtest Lab also contains a list named resources but it's probably missing.
{
    "parameters": {},
    "variables": {},
    "resources": [],
}
See In the following example, I added the labs resources list just after the lab's location. This list must contain a virtualnetworks. It's also a good idea to add a schedules and a notificationChannels. Those two will be used to shut down automatically all the VMs and to send a notification to the user just before.

{
    "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2015-01-01/deploymentTemplate.json#",
    "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
    "parameters": {
        ...
    },
    "variables": {
        ...
    },
    "resources": [
        {
            "type": "Microsoft.DevTestLab/labs",
            "name": "[variables('LabName')]",
            "apiVersion": "2016-05-15",
            "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
            "resources": [
                {
                    "apiVersion": "2017-04-26-preview",
                    "name": "[variables('virtualNetworksName')]",
                    "type": "virtualnetworks",
                    "dependsOn": [
                        "[resourceId('microsoft.devtestlab/labs', variables('LabName'))]"
                    ]
                },
                {
                    "apiVersion": "2017-04-26-preview",
                    "name": "LabVmsShutdown",
                    "type": "schedules",
                    "dependsOn": [
                        "[resourceId('Microsoft.DevTestLab/labs', variables('LabName'))]"
                    ],
                    "properties": {
                        "status": "Enabled",
                        "timeZoneId": "Eastern Standard Time",
                        "dailyRecurrence": {
                            "time": "[variables('ShutdowTime')]"
                        },
                        "taskType": "LabVmsShutdownTask",
                        "notificationSettings": {
                            "status": "Enabled",
                            "timeInMinutes": 30
                        }
                    }
                },
                {
                    "apiVersion": "2017-04-26-preview",
                    "name": "AutoShutdown",
                    "type": "notificationChannels",
                    "properties": {
                        "description": "This option will send notifications to the specified webhook URL before auto-shutdown of virtual machines occurs.",
                        "events": [
                            {
                                "eventName": "Autoshutdown"
                            }
                        ],
                        "emailRecipient": "[variables('emailRecipient')]"
                    },
                    "dependsOn": [
                        "[resourceId('Microsoft.DevTestLab/labs', variables('LabName'))]"
                    ]
                }
            ],
            "dependsOn": []
        }
        ...

Step 2 - The Formulas


Now that the Devtest lab is well defined, it's time to add our formulas. If you had created some already from the portal, don't look for them in the template. At the moment, export won't script the formulas.

A quick way to get the JSON of your formulas is to create them from the portal and then use Azure Resources Explorer to get the code.
resourceExplorer
In a web browser, navigate to https://resources.azure.com, to open your Resource Explorer. Select the subscription, resource group, and lab that you are working on. In the node Formulas (4) you should see your formulas, click one and let's bring that JSON into our ARM template. Copy-paste it at the Resource level (the prime one, not the one inside the Lab).

Step 2.5 - The Azure KeyVault


You shouldn't put any password inside your ARM template, however, having them pre-define inside the formulas is pretty convenient. One solution is to use an Azure KeyVault.

Let's assume the KeyVault already exists, I will explain how to create it later. In your parameter file, add a parameter named adminPassword and let's reference the KeyVault. We also need to specify the secret we want to use. In this case, we will put the password in a secret named vmPassword.
    "adminPassword": {
        "reference": {
            "keyVault": {
                "id": "/subscriptions/{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}/resourceGroups/cloud5mins/providers/Microsoft.KeyVault/vaults/Cloud5minsVault"
            },
            "secretName": "vmPassword"
        }
    }
Now to get the password in the ARM template just use a regular parameter, and voila!

Step 3 - The ARM Claimable VMs


Now we have a Lab and the formulas, the only thing missing is the claimable VM based on the formulas. It's impossible to create in one ARM template both formulas and VMs. The alternative is to use a script that will create our VMs just after the deployment.
az group deployment create --name test-1 --resource-group cloud5mins --template-file DevTest.json --parameters DevTest.parameters.json --verbose

az lab vm create --lab-name C5M-DevTestLab -g  cloud5mins --name FrankDevBox --formula SimpleDevBox  
As you can see in the second Azure CLI command, we are creating a virtual machine named FrankDevBox based on the formula SimpleDevBox. Note that we don't need to specify any credential because everything was pre-defined in the formula. Pretty neat!

Here a part of a script that will create if it doesn't exist a KeyVault and populate it. Then it will deploy our ARM template and finally, create our claimable VM. You can find all the code on my GitHub project: Azure-Devtest-Lab-efficient-deployment-sample.

[...]

# Checking for a KeyVault
searchKeyVault=$(az keyvault list -g $resourceGroupName --query "[?name=='$keyvaultName'].name" -o tsv )
lenResult=${#searchKeyVault}

if [ ! $lenResult -gt 0 ] ;then
    echo "---> Creating keyvault: " $keyvaultName
    az keyvault create --name $keyvaultName --resource-group $resourceGroupName --location $resourceGroupLocation --enabled-for-template-deployment true
else
    echo "---> The Keyvaul $keyvaultName already exists"
fi


echo "---> Populating KeyVault..."
az keyvault secret set --vault-name $keyvaultName --name 'vmPassword' --value 'cr@zySheep42!'


# Deploy the DevTest Lab

echo "---> Deploying..."
az group deployment create --name $deploymentName --resource-group $resourceGroupName --template-file $templateFilePath --parameters $parameterFilePath --verbose

# Create the VMs using the formula created in the deployment

labName=$(az resource list -g cloud5mins --resource-type "Microsoft.DevTestLab/labs" --query [*].[name] --output tsv)
formulaName=$(az lab formula list -g $resourceGroupName  --lab-name $labName --query [*].[name] --output tsv)

echo "---> Creating VM(s)..."
az lab vm create --lab-name $labName -g  $resourceGroupName --name FrankSDevBox --formula $formulaName 
echo "---> done <--- code="">

In a video, please!


I also have a video of this post if you prefer.



Conclusion


Would it be for developing, testing, or training, as soon as you are creating environments in Azure, the DevTest Labs are definitely a must. It's a very powerful tool that not enough people know. Give it a try and let me know what do you do with the Azure DevTest Lab?


References:

  • Azure-Devtest-Lab-efficient-deployment-sample: https://github.com/FBoucher/Azure-Devtest-Lab-efficient-deployment-sample
  • An Overview of Azure DevTest Labs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caO7AzOUxhQ
  • Best practices Using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) Templates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myYTGsONrn0&t=7s
  • 5 Simple Steps to Get a Clean ARM Template: http://www.frankysnotes.com/2018/05/5-simple-steps-to-get-clean-arm-template.html



~

How to Deploy your Azure Functions Faster and Easily with Zip Push

Azure functions are great. I used to do a lot of "csx" version (C# scripted version) but more recently I switched to the compile version, and I definitely loved it! However, I was looking for a way to keep my deployment short and sweet, because sometimes I don't have time to setup a "big" CI/CD or simply because sometimes I'm not the one doing the deployment... In those cases, I need a simple script that will deploy everything! In this post, I will share with you how you can deploy everything with one easy script.

The Context


In this demo, I will deploy a simple C# (full .Net framework) Azure functions. I will create the Azure Function App and storage using an Azure Resource Manager (ARM template) and deploy with a method named Zip push or ZipDeploy. All the code, script, a template is available on my Github.

The Azure Functions Code


The Azure Function doesn't have to be special, and it can be any language supported by Azure Functions. Simply to show you everything, here the code of my function.


namespace AzFunctionZipDeploy
{
    public static class Function1
    {
        [FunctionName("GetTopRunner")]
        public static async Task Run([HttpTrigger(AuthorizationLevel.Function, "get", "post", Route = null)]HttpRequestMessage req, TraceWriter log)
        {
            log.Info("C# HTTP trigger function processed a request.");

            string top = req.GetQueryNameValuePairs()
                .FirstOrDefault(q => string.Compare(q.Key, "top", true) == 0)
                .Value;

            if (top == null)
            {
                dynamic data = await req.Content.ReadAsAsync< object>();
                top = data?.top;
            }

        return top == null
                ? req.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.BadRequest, "Please pass a number to get your top x runner on the query string or in the request body")
                : req.CreateResponse(HttpStatusCode.OK, new { message = $"Hello, here is your Top {top} runners", runners = A.ListOf(int.Parse(top)) });
        }
    }

    class Person
    {
        public string FirstName { get; set; }
        public string LastName { get; set; }
        public int Age { get; set; }
    }
}

It's a really simple function that will return a list of Person generated on the fly. The list will contain as many person as the number passed in parameter. I'm using the very useful GenFu library, from my buddies: ASP.NET Monsters.

The only thing we need to do is to create our compress file (Zip or Rar) that contains everything our project required.

createZip

In this case, it's the project file (AzFunction-ZipDeploy.csproj), the function's code (Function1.cs) the host (host.json) and local settings of our function (local.settings.json).

The ARM template


For this demo, we need one Azure Function App. I will use a template that is part of the Azure Quickstart Templates. A quick look to the azuredeploy.parameters.json file and we see that the only parameter we really need to set is the name of our application.


{
    "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2015-01-01/deploymentParameters.json#",
    "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
    "parameters": {
        "appName": {
        "value": "zipdeploydemo"
        }
    }
}

To be able to ZipDeploy, we need to add one Application Setting to let the Kudu interface we need its help to compile our code. To do that let's open the azuredeploy.json and go to the appSettings section. We need to add a new variable named: SCM_DO_BUILD_DURING_DEPLOYMENT and set it to true. After adding the setting it should look like this (see the last one... that's our new one):


"appSettings": [
    {
    "name": "AzureWebJobsDashboard",
    "value": "[concat('DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=', variables('storageAccountName'), ';AccountKey=', listKeys(variables('storageAccountid'),'2015-05-01-preview').key1)]"
    },
    {
    "name": "AzureWebJobsStorage",
    "value": "[concat('DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=', variables('storageAccountName'), ';AccountKey=', listKeys(variables('storageAccountid'),'2015-05-01-preview').key1)]"
    },
    {
    "name": "WEBSITE_CONTENTAZUREFILECONNECTIONSTRING",
    "value": "[concat('DefaultEndpointsProtocol=https;AccountName=', variables('storageAccountName'), ';AccountKey=', listKeys(variables('storageAccountid'),'2015-05-01-preview').key1)]"
    },
    {
    "name": "WEBSITE_CONTENTSHARE",
    "value": "[toLower(variables('functionAppName'))]"
    },
    {
    "name": "FUNCTIONS_EXTENSION_VERSION",
    "value": "~1"
    },
    {
    "name": "WEBSITE_NODE_DEFAULT_VERSION",
    "value": "6.5.0"
    },
    {
    "name": "SCM_DO_BUILD_DURING_DEPLOYMENT",
    "value": true
    }
]

The Deployment Script


Now that all the pieces are ready it's time to put it together one script. In fact, only the two last commands are required; everything else is just stuff to make it easier to re-use it. Check out my previous post 5 Simple Steps to Get a Clean ARM Template, to learn more about the best practices related to ARM template. So let's see that script, it's pretty simple.

    # script to Create an Azure Gramophone-PoC Solution

    resourceGroupName=$1
    resourceGroupLocation=$2

    templateFilePath="./arm/azuredeploy.json"
    parameterFilePath="./arm/azuredeploy.parameters.json"

    dateToken=`date '+%Y%m%d%H%M'`
    deploymentName="FrankDemo"$dateToken

    # az login

    # You can select a specific subscription if you do not want to use the default
    # az account set -s SUBSCRIPTION_ID

    if !( $(az group exists -g  $resourceGroupName) ) then
        echo "---> Creating the Resourcegroup: " $resourceGroupName
        az group create -g $resourceGroupName -l $resourceGroupLocation
    else
        echo "---> Resourcegroup:" $resourceGroupName "already exists."
    fi

    az group deployment create --name $deploymentName --resource-group $resourceGroupName --template-file $templateFilePath --parameters $parameterFilePath --verbose

    echo "---> Deploying Function Code"
    az functionapp deployment source config-zip -g $resourceGroupName -n zipdeploydemo --src "./zip/AzFunction-ZipDeploy.zip"

    echo "---> done <--- code="">

The only "new" thing is the last command functionapp deployment source config-zip. That where we specify to the Azure Function App to look to --src to get our source. Because I'm running it locally, the path is pointing to a local folder. However, you could execute this command also in the CloudShell, and that would become a URI... to an Azure Blob Storage by example.

Deploy and Test


If you didn't notice yet, I did my script in bash and Azure CLI. That because I want my script to be compatible with all platforms. Of course, you could have done it in PowerShell or anything else that would call the REST API.

To deploy, just execute the script passing the ResourceGroup name, and its location.

    ./Deploy-AZ-Gramophone.sh cloud5mins eastus

ScriptOutputs

To get to Function URL, go to the Azure portal (portal.azure.com) and click on the Function App that we just deploy. Click on the function GetTopRunner in this case, and click on the </> Getfunction URL button.

GetFunctionURL

Use that URL in postman and pass another parameter top to see we the deployment ws successful.

postmanTest

In Video Please


If you prefer, I also have a video version of this post.



~Enjoy!

5 Simple Steps to Get a Clean ARM Template

You have a solution that is already deployed in Azure, and you would like to reproduce it. You know that Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template could help you to do that, unfortunately, you don't know how to get started. In this post, I will share with you the best practices and how I implement them while working on ARM template.

How to Get your ARM Template


Of course, you could build your ARM template from scratch. However, there many quickstart templates available on GitHubd. Even more, you could also get Azure to generate the template for you!

If your building a new solution, go in the Azure portal (portal.azure.com) and start creating your resource as usual. But stop just before clicking on the Create button. Instead click on the link on his side named Download template and parameters. That will open a new blade where you will be able to download the template, parameters files, and a few scripts in different languages to deploy it.

Arm_fromNew

If your solution is already deployed, you still have a way to get the template. Again, from the Azure portal, go to the resource group of your solution. In the left option panel, click on Automation script.

ARM_fromLive

Step 1 - Use Git


Once you have your ARM template and a parameter file, move them in a folder and initialize a Git Repository. Even if it's only a local one this will give you an infinite of Ctrl-Z. Doing multiple commit along your journey to get a better and cleaner template, you will always have options to get back when your template was "functional".

A fantastic tool to edit ARM template is Visual Studio Code. It's free, it supports natively Git, and you can install great extensions to help you.

Step 2 - Validate, Validate, Validate, then Commit

az group deployment validate --resource-group cloud5mins --template-file .\template.json --parameters .\parameters.json

Step 3 - Reduce the Number of Parameters


Nobody like tons of questions. Too many parameters is exactly like too many questions. So reduce them to the maximum. We cannot just delete those unwanted parameters, but they are still providing important information. Instead move them in the variables section.

You can do that in different ways, let me share mine. I start with the parameter files and bubble-up any parameter that I would like to keep. Next Cut/Paste all the unwanted parameters to a new file. Then I use the multi-cursor selection of VSCode to clean them in 2 clicks.

Once we have all parameters "converted" in variables, copy them into the variables section of the ARM template. You will need to delete the parameter equivalent from the top of the template.

Now that we have a clean list of parameters, and variables, we must fix the references to the converted parameters. To do that replace all

parameters() references by variables().

For exemple this:

parameters('networkInterfaceName')

will become that:

variables('networkInterfaceName')

Now that we have a more respectable list of parameters, we must be sure that what we expect from them is clear. To do that we have two simple feature at our disposal. The first one of course the name. Use a complete and clear name. Resist the temptation to shorten everything or use too many acronyms. The second is to use metadata description. This information will be displayed to users through the portal as tooltips.

    "adminUsername": {
        "type": "string",
        "metadata": {
            "description": "Name of Administrator user on the VM"
        }
    }

Step 4 - Use Use Unique String


When you deploy in Azure some names are global, and by definition need to be unique. This is why adding a suffix or a unique identifier to your named is a good practice. An excellent way to get an identifier is to use the function uniqueString(). This function will create a 64Bits hash based on the information passed in parameter.

"suffix": "[uniqueString(resourceGroup().id, resourceGroup().location)]"

In the example just above, we pass the identifier of the resource group and its name. It means that every time you will be deploying in the same resource group and at that location suffix will be the same. However, if your solution is deployed in multiple locations (for a disaster recovery, or another scenario), suffix will have a different value.

To use it, let's say the name of a virtual machine was passed as a parameter. Then we will create a variable and concatenate the parameter and our suffix.

"VMName": "[toLower(concat(parameters('virtualMachineName'), variables('suffix')))]",

Then instead of using the parameter inside your ARM template, you will be using this new variable.

Step 5 - Use Variables


One of the great strengths of using ARM template is that we can use them over and over. This is why we want to avoid anything that his static name or value. When we generated template from the Azure portal, these templates are a snapshot of that particular instances. The best way to stay structured and avoid too fixed names is to leverage variables.

When you use an ARM template generated from a "live" and already deployed solution the ARM will contains a lot of very specific information about this instance (Comments, ResourceIDs, States, etc.). When you are building a generic template don't hesitate to delete those.
Let's see some examples.


"RGName": "[toLower(resourceGroup().name)]",
"VMName": "[toLower(concat(parameters('virtualMachineName'), variables('suffix')))]",

"virtualNetworkName": "[concat(variables('RGName'), '-vnet')]",
"networkInterfaceName": "[toLower(concat(variables('VMName'),'-nic-', variables('suffix')))]",
"networkSecurityGroupName": "[toLower(concat(variables('VMName'),'-nsg-', variables('suffix')))]",

"diagnosticsStorageAccountName": "[substring(concat(variables('RGName'), 'diag', variables('suffix')), 0, 24)]",

You may wonder why we need the first variable RGName , since the resource group name is already available through the resourceGroup() function? Some resources, like Azure Blob Storage's name, must only contain lowercase characters. By making a variable we avoid repeating the to toLower() every time.

You can concatenate two, or more variables and/or string with the "very popular" function concat(). Sometimes, the name built by all those string is too long. You can trim it by using the function substring(stringToParse, startIndex, length). In this case, the Azure Blob Storage required a name with a maximum of 24 characters.

To learn more about all the available function and how to use it visit the Azure Resource Manager template functions page from the Microsoft documentation.

Step 6 - Create "T-Shirt Size" or smart options


The best way to build a good template is to think like the people who will use it. Therefore, a developer may not know what the difference between a Standard_D2s_v3, a Standard_F8 or a Standard_H8. But will clearly know if he needs a medium, a large, or a web development VM.

That means that we will create a parameter with only specific values allowed, and base on that simple selection we will take more specific and technical decision. See the declaration of the following parameter.


    "EnvironmentSize": {
        "type": "string",
        "defaultValue": "medium",
        "allowedValues": [
            "medium",
            "large"
        ],
        "metadata": {
            "description": "Medium for regular development. Large for huge memory usage"
        }
    }

This parameter will only allowed two string "medium" or "large", anything else will return a validation error. If nothing is passed the default value will be "medium". And finally using a metadata description to make sure the purpose of the parameter is clear and well defined.

Then you define your variable (ex: TS-Size) as an object with two properties, or as many as you have allowed values. For each of these properties, you could have many other properties.

"TS-Size":{
    "medium":{
        "VMSize": "Standard_D2s_v3",
        "maxScale": 1
    },
    "large":{
        "VMSize": "Standard_D8s_v3",
        "maxScale": 2
    }
}

Then to use it, we just need to chained the variables and parameter. Notice how we have nested square brackets... This will use the TS-Size.medium.VMSize value by default.

"vmSize": "[variables('TS-Size')[parameters('EnvironmentSize')].VMSize]"

I hope you will find those tips as useful, as I found they are. If you have other suggestions or recommendations, don't hesitate to add them in the comment section or reach me out.

The full ARM template is available at : https://gist.github.com/FBoucher/adea0acd95f86e5838cf812c010564cf

In Video Please!


If you prefer, I also have a video version of that post.





Don't install your software yourself

I don't know for you, but I don't like losing time. This is why a few years ago I started using scripts to install all the software I need on my computer. Got a new laptop? N You just need to execute this script, go grab a coffee and when I'm back all my favorite (and required) softwares are all installed. On Linux, you could use apt-get, and on Windows, my current favorite is Chocolatey. Recently I needed to use more virtual machine (VM) in the cloud and I deceided that I should try using a Chocolatey script during the deployment. This way once the VM is created the softwares, I need is already installed! This post is all about my journey to get there, all scripts, issues and workarounds will be explained.

The Goal


Creating a new VM on premises applying the OS update and installing all the tools you need (like Visual Stutio IDE) will takes hours... This solution should be done under 10 minutes (~7min in my case).
Once the VM is available, it should have Visual Studio 2017 Enterprise, VSCode, Git and Node.Js installed. In fact, I would like to use the same Chocolatey script I use regularly.
# Install Chocolatey
Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))

# Install Software
choco install visualstudiocode -y
choco install git -y 
choco install nodejs-lts  -y

(Available on gist.github)

The Tools


In this post I will use Azure CLI, because it will works on any environment. However, PowerShell can also be use only a few command will be different. The VM will be deploy with an Azure resource Manager (ARM) template. To create and edit the ARM template I like to use VSCode, you don't need it but it's so much easier with it! I use two extension.
The first one Azure Resource Manager Snippets will help by generating the schema for our needs. In a JSON file you just need to type arm en voila! You ahave a long list of ARM template!

armSnippets

The second is Azure Resource Manager Tools. This extension provides language support for ARM and some validate. Very useful...

toolvalidation

Creating the ARM Template


To Get started create a new JSon file. Then type arm and select the first option; to get an empty skeleton. Then add an extra line in resources and type again arm. This time scroll until you see arm-vm-windows.

step2Here

A multi-cursor will allow you to edit the name of your VM everywhere in the file in one shot. Hit Tab to navigate automatically to the userName, and Tab again to go to the password.

createARM
Now we have a functional ARM template that we could deploy. However, let's add a few things first.

Searching the Image SKUs by Code


One of my favorite VM images for a DevBox is the one that includes Visual Studio pre-installed. One thing to know is those images are only deployable in an MSDN subscription. To specify wich image you want to use you need to pass a publisher, offer, and sku.
Here how to do it with Azure CLI commands
# List all the Publishers that contain VisualStudio (It's case sensitive)
az vm image list-publishers --location eastus --output table --query "[?contains(name,'VisualStudio')]"

# List all offers for the Publisher MicrosoftVisualStudio
az vm image list-offers --location eastus --publisher MicrosoftVisualStudio  --output table

# List all availables SKUs for the Publisher MicrosoftVisualStudio with the Offer VisualStudio
az vm image list-skus --location eastus --publisher MicrosoftVisualStudio --offer VisualStudio --output table


Now that all the information is found, search in the ARM template and replace the current values by the one found. In my case, here are the new values.

"imageReference": {
                    "publisher": "MicrosoftVisualStudio",
                    "offer": "VisualStudio",
                    "sku": "VS-2017-Ent-Win10-N",
                    "version": "latest"
                }

Adding our Custom Script


Great now we have a VM with Visual Studio but our applications are still not installed. That will be done by adding the Custom Script Extension for Windows to our template. documentation page, a sample schema is there ready to be use.
The last node of your template is currently another extension. For the purpose of this blog post let's remove it. You should have something like this.

newExtensionPlace

We will copy/ paste the snippet from the documentation page a change a few little things. Change the type (thank to our VSCode Extension for that catch). Update the dependencies to reflet our demo.

To use the extension your script needs to be available online. It could be in a blob storage (with some security) or just publicly available. In this case, the script is publicly available from my gist.github page. I created a variable in the variables section that contains the RAW URL of my script, and a reference to that varaibale is used in the fileUris.

The extension will download the script and then execute a function locally. Change the commandToExecute to call our script with unrestricted execution policy.

You have a timed window of ~30 minutes to execute your script. If it takes longer then that, your deployment will fail.

{
        "apiVersion": "2015-06-15",
        "type": "extensions",
        "name": "config-app",
        "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
        "dependsOn": [
            "[concat('Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/', 'FrankDevBox')]"
        ],
        "tags": {
            "displayName": "config-app"
        },
        "properties": {
            "publisher": "Microsoft.Compute",
            "type": "CustomScriptExtension",
            "typeHandlerVersion": "1.9",
            "autoUpgradeMinorVersion": true,
            "settings": {
                "fileUris": [
                    "varaiables('scriptURL')]"
                ]
            },
            "protectedSettings": {
                "commandToExecute": "[concat('powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -File ', './SimpleDevBox.ps1')]"
            }
        }
    }
`

The ARM Template


It's finally time to deploy our VM.

# First, we need a Resource Group
    az group create --name frankDemo --location eastus

    # ALWAYS, always validate first... you will save a lot of time
    az group deployment validate --resource-group frankDemo --template-file /home/frank/Dev/DevBox/FrankDevBox.json

    #Finally deploy. This script should take between 5 to 10 minutes
    az group deployment create --name FrankDevBoxDemo --resource-group frankDemo --template-file /home/frank/Dev/DevBox/FrankDevBox.json --verbose

What's Next?!


We created one template; you could make it better.

Deploy from anywhere


By moving the computerName, adminUsername, adminPassword, and the script url in the parameters section, you could then put the template in a public place like GitHub. Then with use the one click deploy!

Directly from the Github page or from anywhere you just need to build a URL from those two parts: https://portal.azure.com/#create/Microsoft.Template/uri/ and the HTML Encoded URL to your template.

If my template is available at https://raw.githubusercontent.com/FBoucher/SimpleDevBox/master/azure-deploy.json then the full url become:
https://portal.azure.com/#create/Microsoft.Template/uri/https%3A%2F%2Fraw.githubusercontent.com%2FFBoucher%2FSimpleDevBox%2Fmaster%2Fazure-deploy.json

Clicking that URL will bring you to the Azure Portal (portal.azure.com) in a customized form to deploy your template.

DeployForm

It cannot be easier! You can see mine on GitHub.

Auto shutdown


It's very easy to forget to turn off those VM. And whatever you are paying for them or your using the limited MSDN credit it's a really good practice to turn them down. Why not do that automatically!
That can be very simply done by adding a new resource in the template.

{
        "name": "[concat('autoshutdown-', 'FrankDevBox')]",
        "type": "Microsoft.DevTestLab/schedules",
        "apiVersion": "2017-04-26-preview",
        "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
        "properties": {
            "status": "Enabled",
            "taskType": "ComputeVmShutdownTask",
            "dailyRecurrence": {
                "time": "19:00"
            },
            "timeZoneId": "UTC",
            "targetResourceId": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines', 'FrankDevBox')]",
            "notificationSettings": {
                "status": "Enabled",
                "emailRecipient": "frank@frankysnotes.com",
                "notificationLocale": "en",
                "timeInMinutes": "30"
            }
        },
        "dependsOn": [
            "[concat('Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/', 'FrankDevBox')]"
        ]
    }


In Video Please!


If you prefer, I also have a video version of that post.

How to Create an Azure VM with Chocolatey


~Enjoy!


References: