I have been using Powershell to manage pieces of Azure on and off for about a year and half now. I had heard tell of Azure Automation but never really had a good reason to justify spending the time climbing that particular mountain (hill really…).

Then the request came through… let’s scale AzureSQL databases up and down based on time of day for a given project… If you have worked in Azure you know Microsoft has built in a fairly robust and relatively easy to use auto scale-out configuration interface for Azure App services. Not so for “up/down” scale operations (increasing/decreasing the size of a single-instance). Hence, my foray into Azure Automation.

I have done a fair bit of Azure Powershell scripting just using the ISE interface and keeping scripts on my desktop. I started out with “AzureRM” and migrated to “AZ” as Microsoft starting a couple of years ago pretty much said “AZ” is the future… switch now.

With that background in place, I will state that I found starting out on Azure Automation to be a bit of a bumpy ride. I wanted to hopefully save you the reader some of the time I spent chasing my tail…

I recently ran into a frustrating issue where I setup a new subscription in Azure and when I went to manage with Powershell I couldn’t see on the list that gets output from the following command:

In my line of work we often evaluate new ways to do things, specifically new platforms for server hosting, disaster recovery, backups, etc.

One of the requests that often comes from vendors is “How big is your environment?”

Microsoft has the rather excellent “MAP” tool however I find it to be a bit slow, somewhat complex, and often returns a lot more information than I want… and not always everything I need.

To that end, I wrote the following powershell function and it has been a major help in automating these inventory requests:

A colleague of mine recently solved one of the biggest pain points I have dealt with regarding Office365 – that is, Microsoft’s seemingly hit-or-miss modern authentication.

Symptoms look like this:
1. Outlook client can’t connect and/or authenticate for end-users
2. Turning on Azure MFA for an end-user ruins their life (and yours) because all office applications, teams, etc. break.
3. Admins have an impending sense of “dread” when setting up systems for new users because 80% of the time they are going to spend hours sorting out the above issues.
4. You call Microsoft Support complaining of these issues and they are eventually stumped and tell you to rebuild the desktop/laptop from scratch… great for end-users that deal with this issue 1 year into the job and rather like their systems as-is… -or- MS Support tells you to pop a registry key into the end-user’s system which just disables Modern Authentication all together – which may fix Outlook but leaves many many other things broken…

Got into the office this morning and immediately started the scramble because of reports from several users that Microsoft Office365 TEAMS was not working (a key communication app for us and many other businesses).

Microsoft officially had no outages reported when I looked ~8:50 AM EST. So I think this is very fresh. Teams is currently only working on mobile devices for us. If you look at DownDetector.com (here: https://downdetector.com/status/teams/) the chart is telling. 0 reports of issues until around 8:20 AM they start trickling in, 7k+ reported issues by 9:30 AM.

Looks like Microsoft isn’t having a great start to the week. Back to phone calls and emails for now… If you can swing TEAMS on your mobile device though, thankfully that still works.

Side note, the WEB Application is unfortunately ALSO not working in our testing.

Confirmed from another news source… Microsoft IS having issues this morning:

Microsoft’s Twitter Feed for Office365 status can be seen here:

If you have access to your office365 Admin portal, you can also see active issues here:

Currently they show a TEAMS Service Degradation – “Can’t access Microsoft Teams” – reported/logged at 9:11 AM EST… the issue actually started around 8:20 AM EST based on reports in Down Detector.

Here is the explanation for the issue per what O365 Admins can see:

Current status: We’ve determined that an authentication certificate has expired causing users who have logged out and those that are still logged in to have issue using the service. We’re developing a fix to apply a new authentication certificate to the service which will remediate impact.

Scope of impact: This issue may potentially affect any of your users attempting to access Microsoft Teams.”

Auth certificate expiration… seriously 🙁


The actual ticket states that the issue started at 8:15 AM EST. The ticket was LOGGED around 9:11 AM EST.