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IaaS Management Studio: For Azure and Powershell Lovers

, 17 Jun 2014 CPOL
An overview of IaaS Management Studio, a powerful and reactive tool to manage servers in the cloud that does things which a portal doesn’t.

Editorial Note

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Official Website

Introduction

I really love Azure. I really do. But, the transition of Microsoft from software to "device and services," also means that they will be more distant from the tooling industry in the future.

Azure is great, but the Azure Management Portal is a very broad user interface. You can do nothing about everything. In other words most of the deep usage of Azure is better delegated to other, more specific third party tools like the excellent CloudXplorer to manage your blobs.

But where CloudXplorer focuses on the PaaS Storage part of Azure, IaaS Management Studio focuses on the IaaS part of Azure. With it you will have a powerful and reactive tool to manage servers in the cloud that does things which a portal doesn’t.

If you don’t have any Azure account, I highly advise you to take a 30 days trial.

For a step by step process on how to get started take a look on our website: Getting Started.

VM Creation

You have three ways of creating a new server (Windows, or Linux):

  • By using a VHD
  • By using the Azure Gallery
  • By using VM Depot

With Azure Gallery

You can see that we ask for no duplicate information. The Region of your VM depends to where your storage account is located.

With VM Depot

The image browser is in fact a plain Browser on the VM Depot website.

With VHD

This is the simplest one

Power tips

You can make a script run as part of the VM creation. IaaS Management Studio will connect through SSH or powershell and run the script.

As you can see, the Essentials Tools will install NodePad++, 7Zip, Chrome, Firefox by using chocolatey.

The last used configuration is saved, so this will save time the next time you want to create a VM.

Day to day management

The day to day management is handled by this main grid.

You can decide to show only columns you want, in the order you want; your preferences are saved.

You can run various commands on all VMs.

All of these commands will generate the powershell equivalent. For example, if I block the RDP traffic of my VM.

Then the script is generated.

You can run scripts, connect to your VM with SSH, RDP, or powershell in one click.

You have to know that every password is saved locally in the Windows Credential Manager and you can get them, or delete them, with, or without IaaS Management Studio.

You can attach additional disks:

And troubleshot and manage your endpoints.

Storage Management

IaaS Management Studio allows you to manage your VHDs with the classic features you can expect from a blob explorer.

As you can see you can calculate how much a VHD really cost you (the amount of space really billed by azure as opposed as the size of the VHD)

For each VHD, you can Download (the download manager will only download used disk range, so downloading aoisibmmq will take 10GB and not 127).

One special feature is to attach any VHD as a local drive to your machine. Here I attached Empty.vhd locally to my computer.

Power Tip

Sometimes, you are paying for space you don’t need in azure. Here is an example of clean space:

The green rectangles are the billed ranges of your VHD. As you can see you are paying almost nothing of the whole VHD. On the other hand, if you take a Linux VHD, most of the time your are paying for all of it.

How do you reclaim such wasted space? By checking the "File System Data" layer you can see the green wasted space, compared to what the filesystem (EXT) is really using. You can see I am paying 1,30$/Month for this wasted space.

You can clean wasted space.

The waste analysis only works for EXT (linux) file system right now.

Conclusion

IaaS Management Studio will grow with your support. It has a free version for 30 days (with some features restricted) so I am waiting for your feedback. Nothing prevents you from running this tool in another VM so you can "renew" this 30 days trial. I am sure it will have its place in your toolbox.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Nicolas Dorier
Software Developer Freelance
France France
I am a trainer and a curious developer.
 
CEO of AO-IS, we created a tool to make IaaS on Azure more easy IaaS Management Studio.
 
If you are interested for working with me, for fun coding stuff, for freelance stuff, or interested in using our cloud training infrastructure freely for a kickass presentation for the dev community ? this way Smile | :)

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