Silverlight Authors: Steven Mandel, Gerardo A Dada, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Yeshim Deniz, Greg O'Connor

Blog Feed Post

Create a Windows Azure Network using PowerShell – 31 Days of Servers in the Cloud (Part 19 of 31)

Try Windows Azure FREE for 90 daysBack in Part 10 of our “31 Days of Servers in the Cloud” series, my good friend Bob Hunt wrote up an excellent step-by-step  for creating a virtual network in Windows Azure.

His article and guide was so good, in fact, that I am going to attempt to do the very same task – to create and configure a network in Windows Azure; but instead of using the Windows Azure portal, we’re going to do it entirely using PowerShell and some special Windows Azure Management Cmdlets.

“Are you out of your mind?”

Perhaps.  The goal, as it was in Bob’s article, is that in the end we have a network configured and ready to securely connect to (and extend our) existing on-premises network.  From Bob’s introduction:

Before we get started, it’s important to set the stage of what we’re trying to accomplish.  The Windows Azure Virtual Network you are about to create establishes a Site to Site (S2S) VPN between your company’s network and the Windows Azure Cloud Service using the steps outlined below, and requires that you have an already installed VPN device on your premise.  The list of currently supported VPN devices is located hereWindows Azure currently supports up to 5 S2S VPN tunnels, allowing you to have multiple Virtual Networks hosted in Windows Azure, such as a Test Network and a Production Network.

Contoso's Deployment


Set up PowerShell

To make this happen, of course, we’re going to have to have done a couple of things in advance:

  1. Get a Windows Azure account (start with the free 90-day trial),
  2. Get the Windows Azure PowerShell tools, and
  3. Follow some simple instructions to set up the secured connection for Windows Azure management.

Once you have this done, open up your Windows Azure PowerShell window, and open up notepad.

“Huh?  Notepad?”



The .netcfg File

For configuring networking in Windows Azure using PowerShell, there are only two Set-AzureVNet commands:

There are Get-AzureVNet…  commands that retrieve information (and objects), but for actually creating and configuring the networking, you’re going to be using an XML formatted document that has (by default) a .netcfg extension, and then using Set-AzureVNetConfig to upload that file.  And then we use New-AzureVNetGateway and Set-AzureVNetGateway to configure and connect the gateway. 

Again, in Bob’s article, we created a network.   So as a starting point for creating the network using PowerShell, I’m going to use Get-AzureVNetConfig to retrieve his configuration into a .netcfg file.

Get-AzureVNetConfig -ExportToFile C:\Users\kevrem\Desktop\MyAzureNetworks.netcfg

And the resulting file looks something like this:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<NetworkConfiguration xmlns:xsd="
http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ServiceHosting/2011/07/NetworkConfiguration">
         <DnsServer name="YourDNS" IPAddress="" />
      <LocalNetworkSite name="YourCorpHQ">
      <VirtualNetworkSite name="YourVirtualNetwork" AffinityGroup="KevRemWestUS">
          <Subnet name="FrontEndSubnet">
          <Subnet name="BackEndSubnet">
          <Subnet name="ADDNSSubnet">
          <Subnet name="GatewaySubnet">
          <DnsServerRef name="YourDNS" />
            <LocalNetworkSiteRef name="YourCorpHQ" />


Go ahead and copy/paste the above text into Notepad, and save it as a file named MyAzureNetworks.netcfg

Now please note the highlighted portions. Those are unique for your account.  You’ll need to put your own public VPN gateway address, and use your own pre-created affinity group

Also note the bold text.  These are the items that you customize.  Put your own names and desired addresses in there, such as your DNS Server name and address.  Remove or add <Subnet> </Subnet> sections, or <Subnets>. 

But once you have that information, you should be able to use this file with the Set-AzureVNetConfig PowerShell cmdlet to create the same network and subnets.  If you’ve saved the file (let’s say to the root of your C:\ drive), and you have the Windows Azure PowerShell window open and connected..

“How do I know it’s connected?”

Try this PowerShell command:


This should return some details on your connected subscription.

Anyway, once that’s verified, and as a first test of creating a network using PowerShell, run this:

Set-AzureVNetConfig -ConfigurationPath C:\MyAzureNetworks.netcfg

This should return successful. 

Now open up the Windows Azure Portal, login, and click on the Networks tab.  Do you see something like this?:


“Yes, I do!”

Good job!  Click on the Local Networks, DNS Servers, and Affinity Groups tabs.  You should see the values assigned and items created that match what you configured.

Back in Virtual Networks… Clicking on the network name and opening up the network details should look something like this:


Do you see the problem?  We haven’t yet created and enabled the gateway.  We can do that with PowerShell, too.


Create the Gateway

To do this, we’ll use the New-AzureVNetGateway command, and specify the name we used for our Azure NetworkThe command for our example looks like this:

New-AzureVNetGateway –VNetName “YourVirtualNetwork”

Once you run that, if you refresh the Windows Azure Portal screen, you’ll see this:


The creation of the gateway may take as long as 15 minutes.  You can also check the status of this creation by using the Get-AzureVNetGateway cmdlet.



In fact, you can see from my result in PowerShell that my gateway creation has completed, and my gateway address assigned.  Now the Windows Azure Portal looks like this:




But we still have one more thing to accomplish.  We haven’t yet connected our Azure network to our corporate network.


Connect the Gateway

This is also very simple: Set-AzureVNetGateway is the cmdlet we’ll use. 

Set-AzureVNetGateway -Connect –LocalNetworkSiteName “YourCorpHQ” –VNetName “YourVirtualNetwork”


Which shows up on the Windows Azure Portal like this:


Of course, it’s not going to succeed in connecting until we actually have something to connect to on the corporate side.  As you’ll recall, there are specific VPN endpoint devices that are supported on the corporate side, and to configure them you can use the Windows Azure Portal to download the Configuration as well as the Shared Key.

“But.. can you do that with PowerShell, too?”

Absolutely.  Well, two out of three, anyway…


Get the Gateway IP Address and Shared Key

There are three things you’ll need to configure the VPN device on your corporate side:

  1. The Gateway IP Address
  2. The Shared Key, and
  3. A Device Configuration Script

You can use the Get-AzureVNetGateway cmdlet to find the Gateway IP Address:

Get-AzureVNetGateway -VNetName YourVirtualNetwork


To get the shared key, use the Get-AzureVNetGatewayKey cmdlet:

Get-AzureVNetGatewayKey -LocalNetworkSiteName YourCorpHQ -VNetName YourVirtualNetwork


For the getting a script that will automatically configure your device, you’re still want to use the Windows Azure Portal.  Down at the bottom of the page while looking at your network dashboard, you see the “Download” button:


Click that, and then walk through the wizard to select your device type and version information.


The result will be a script that can be used by your VPN / Network administrator to configure the device.  You can get the VPN configuration script from the Management Portal or from the About VPN Devices for Virtual Network section of the MSDN library.  For more information, see Establish a Site-to-Site VPN Connection and your VPN device documentation.

The remainder of this article is “borrowed” directly from the end of Bob Hunt’s excellent article:

The procedure assumes the following:

  • The VPN device has been configured at your company.

To configure the VPN device:

  1. Modify the VPN configuration script. You will configure the following:

    a. Security policies

    b. Incoming tunnel

    c. Outgoing tunnel

  2. Run the modified VPN configuration script to configure your VPN device.

  3. Test your connection by running one of the following commands:

Cisco ASA


Juniper SSG/ISG

Juniper SRX/J

Check main mode SAs

show crypto isakmp sa

show crypto isakmp sa

get ike cookie

show security ike security-association

Check quick mode SAs

show crypto ipsec sa

show crypto ipsec sa

get sa

show security ipsec security-association

Once the Virtual Network tests out, you’re ready to go.  Enjoy!

Thanks, Bob.  I think we will!


Try Windows Azure free for 90 days

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Remde

Kevin is an engaging and highly sought-after speaker and webcaster who has landed several times on Microsoft's top 10 webcast list, and has delivered many top-scoring TechNet events and webcasts. In his past outside of Microsoft, Kevin has held positions such as software engineer, information systems professional, and information systems manager. He loves sharing helpful new solutions and technologies with his IT professional peers.

A prolific blogger, Kevin shares his thoughts, ideas and tips on his “Full of I.T.” blog (http://aka.ms/FullOfIT). He also contributes to and moderates the TechNet Forum IT Manager discussion (http://aka.ms/ITManager), and presents live TechNet Events throughout the central U.S. (http://www.technetevents.com). When he's not busy learning or blogging about new technologies, Kevin enjoys digital photography and videography, and sings in a band. (Q: Midlife crisis? A: More cowbell!) He continues to challenge his TechNet Event audiences to sing Karaoke with him.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, will discuss how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team a...
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance, which provides the AllJoyn® open source IoT framework, today announced that the two organizations’ boards have approved a merger under the OCF name and bylaws. This merger will advance interoperability between connected devices from both groups, enabling the full operating potential of IoT and representing a significant step towards a connected ecosystem.
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
What are the successful IoT innovations from emerging markets? What are the unique challenges and opportunities from these markets? How did the constraints in connectivity among others lead to groundbreaking insights? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Carmen Feliciano, a Principal at AMDG, will answer all these questions and share how you can apply IoT best practices and frameworks from the emerging markets to your own business.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will w...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here