Public preview of Azure Cloud Shell

At the recent Build conference, Microsoft officially announced public preview of Azure Cloud Shell browser-accessible, pre-configured shell experience for managing Azure resources without the overhead of installing, versioning, and maintaining a machine yourself.

Cloud Shell runs entirely on containers orchestrated by Kubernetes and shows us just another example of how container technology can revolutionize solutions built on Azure.

Machine for Cloud Shell is not persistent and temporary provided on a per-request basis (1 machine per 1 user, permissions are set as a regular Linux user). That machine’s hosting is free. You just need to pay for storage that it consumes (file share –> described later in this post).

Cloud Shell comes with the support of well known tools and languages:

Category Name
Azure Tools Azure CLI 2.0 and 1.0
Linux shell interpreter Bash,sh
Text editors vim,nano,emacs
Containers Docker,Kubectl, DC/OS CLI
Language Version
.NET 1.01
Go 1.7
Node.js 6.9.4
Python 2.7 and 3.5
More: use this link

It supports Bash experience so far. Everyone’s favorite PowerShell is coming soon. You can try the new shell today by pressing the special icon at the top navigation bar of the Azure portal.

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The new storage account (LRS), resources group and file share will be created during one-time setup.

  • Resource group is named: cloud-shell-storage-
  • Storage Account: cs-uniqueGuid
  • File Share: cs—com-uniqueGuid

As Cloud Shell’s machine is temporary, file share makes possible to persist your bash $Home directory. This file share will mount as clouddrive under your $Home directory and it’s also used to store a 5 GB image created for you that automatically updates and persists your $Home directory as well (see the pic below, acc_<username>.img).

Note: you pay only for this file share. There are no any  additional compute costs.

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To download/upload files you can use portal as usual. For example, I created txt-file in my clouddrive and would like to download it to my local machine. So, I need to open the file share associated with cloud shell, locate the file “text.txt” and just hit “Download”.

To add some files from local machine to clouddrive, use the “Upload” button and then check result by running cd clouddrive and  ls in the cloud shell session

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As you may noticed, Cloud Shell automatically authenticates on each session for instant access to your resources through the Azure CLI 2.0. You can even use the interactive mode for Azure CLI 2.0 to ease scripting and save a lot of time

azure shell

Each cloud shell session times out after 10 minutes without any activities

image

That’s great, but that is not the whole news

Cloud Shell is also embedded directly in docs.microsoft.com and it makes Azure CLI samples in documentation fully interactive. To evaluate this new functionality, go to Azure CLI 2.0 documentation, log in to Cloud Shell by clicking “Try it” and start learning in just a new way.

azure cloud shell and docs

Some more examples

Creating VM in the cloud shell

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List of VMs in the resource group with customized output

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Ignite 2016 Key Announcements

Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 are GA

Windows Server 2016 is available for evaluation and will be on the October price list. Volume licensing customers will be able to download fully licensed software at General Availability in mid-October.

Windows Server 2016 also comes with the built-in support of containers and commercial version of Docker engine without additional charge!

System Center 2016 Evaluation is here . What’s new in System Center 2016?

UPDATE (10/12): WS2016 and SC2016   became available @MSDN and @Azure + UR1 for System Center 2016 and CU for WS2016 + https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3192366

Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Ignite Announcement+ today MS has published pre-configured VHDs to help you quickly evaluate new SC 2016 features

See my previous posts to get what’s new in Windows Server 2016 (Hyper-V, RDS, MultiPoint)  and also check the updated technet articles : WS 2016 and SC 2016

TIP: I’d not recommend to use evaluation version in production. Wait while fully licensed media becomes available.

Azure Stack Technical Preview 2

In fact, Azure Stack TP2 announcement was described earlier in this blog post (TP2 rolled out for some “vip” customers). At Ignite MS confirmed GA for Azure Stack TP2.

And now you can try this new preview here + read what’s new in Azure Stack TP2 and review Azure Stack Architecture

More info about this announcement: New ideas, new solutions, new technical preview of Azure Stack

SQL Server supports Storage Spaces Direct

SQL Server 2016 will support deploying databases on Storage Spaces Direct (S2D).To build up S2D you need from 2 to 16 servers with local-attached SATA, SAS, or NVMe drives and dedicated network between hosts (10+GbE with RDMA is recommended)

storage-spaces-direct-with-sql-server

Continue reading “Ignite 2016 Key Announcements”