SysPrep Error Due to Windows 8 Store Apps

A coworker wanted a copy of my development VM so I SysPrep’ed it and gave him a copy of the VHD.  There were two challenges. First challenge was that my VHD is a differencing disk so I shutdown the VM and used “Edit Disk…” to Merge to a new VHD file.  This worked out well because I wanted to… Read more

AzCopy and the Azure Storage Emulator

AzCopy is now part of the Azure SDK and can copy files to and from Azure Storage.  I couldn’t find any examples of it copying to the Storage Emulator but it works.  Here is an example batch file I use: set Destination= DestinationKey=Eby8vdM02xNOcqFlqUwJPLlmEtlCDXJ1OUzFT50uSRZ6IFsuFq2UVErCz4I6tq/K1SZFPTOtr/KBHBeksoGMGw== set AzCopy=”%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Azure\AzCopy\AzCopy.exe” %AzCopy% FooFolder %Destination%FooContainer /S /BlobType:block /Y /DestKey:%DestinationKey%%AzCopy% C:\BarFolder %Destination%BarContainer… Read more

Using WebPICmd to Install an Older Azure SDK

To avoid regression testing I recently had to build a web role with a minor bug fix using Azure SDK 1.8 and Visual Studio 2012 even though SDK 2.2 and Visual Studio 2013 are the latest versions. I created a Hyper-V VM and it was easy enough to installed Visual Studio 2012.  Getting Azure SDK 1.8 was a little harder… Read more

.publishsettings Warning and Info

Use Azure’s ability to generate a .publishsettings file carefully.  The capability is described here.  Remember the Tribbles on Star Trek?  Well each time you call that publishprofile.aspx page you get another management certificate added to all your subscriptions until the maximum allowed is reached.  If you manage a lot of subscriptions, like I do, you can easily end… Read more

Azure Management Certificate Public Key / Private Key

// Today I’m exploring how the public and private keys created with MakeCert.exe are stored.  Earlier I wrote about the difference between SSL certificates and those used for Azure Management API authentication.  For this post I’m creating Azure Management API certificates. I use the certificate creation scripts from a TechNet article I helped create back in 2011.  Most… Read more

CloudFx Tracing and Diagnostics

Today I’m investigating how CloudFx tracing and diagnostics works.  I want to control the verbosity of output.  I found an answer from Valery M here to a question titled “Annoying diagnostics traces for queue storage”, which got me started. As of the CloudFx release on NuGet, there is a class called TraceManager which contains the… Read more

Improved Tracing and ETW Support in .NET 4.5

.NET 4.5 added the System.Diagnostic.Tracing namespace.  Classes derived from its EventSource and EventListener classes are now preferred for tracing.  Vance Morrison’s blog has excellent articles about developing with these new classes.  EventSource is now the gateway from .NET to ETW so use EventSource instead of TraceSource or EventProvider. For codebases prior to .NET 4.5, one of Vance Morrison’s blog… Read more

Building and Packaging Virtual Applications within Azure Projects

Azure SDK 1.8 introduced a change in how CSPack locates virtual applications given the physicalDirectory attribute in the ServiceDefinition.csdef file while packaging an Azure project. This blog shows how to support build and packaging of virtual applications within both Visual Studio and TFS Build using Azure SDK 1.8. Prior to SDK 1.8 my team used… Read more