Today I am like a kid playing with Legos. I’m prepped and ready for the PowerShell Conference in Asia so I’m working on Plan B. Wait, what? I just said that I was prepped and ready. I am, but that does not mean that I am going to rest. I am delivering a workshop on learning PowerShell, but we are using the attendee’s local computer. My Plan B is to provide everybody with a virtual environment to play in for the day using Azure.
My goal is to take everyone’s email address and create a VM in Azure for them. I want to provision them live. The problem with this is that if I do sequentially, it will take more than 4 hours to complete. So, it is time to use background jobs. When done sequentially, the task completes without any problems. When performed using Start-Job, my Azure credentials are not passed into the ScriptBlock parameter of Start-Job.
Azure team member Mark Cowlishaw published a fix for this issue on GitHub. Here is his solution:
To show you how to use it in practice, here is my test code to remove all of the Azure resources that each test run creates.
$path = "$env:USERPROFILE\documents\WindowsPowerShell\profile.json"
$Number = 18
For ($X = 0 ; $X -lt $Number + 1; $X++)
$name = "NC"+$X
Start-Job -ArgumentList $Name, $Path `
-Name $Name `
Param ($Name, $Path)
Select-AzureRmProfile -Path $path
Remove-AzureRmResourceGroup -Name $Name -Force -Verbose
A slightly different implementation than what Mark proposed, but only because some of my code is very large. In short, it works. I am about to take a sequential 4 hour + build of the Virtual Machines and reduce this task to about 16 minutes with background jobs.
I may just have an awesome opening demonstration of automation at the beginning of my presentation. See you all next week from Singapore!