Azure Automation Scheduled Runbook PowerShell Script to automatically update site-to-site VPN Local Network VPN Gateway Address with dynamic public IP

You can download the script at the end of the article. When you’re connecting a home (or perhaps even an office) lab to Azure with a site-2-site VPN you’ll probably have to deal with the fact that you have a dynamic IP assigned by your ISP. This means unless you update the VPN Gateway Address of your Azure local network in some automated way, your connection is down very often and you’re faced with this this in Azure …


which on my DELL SonicWALL NSA 220 that looks like this …


A fellow MVP of mine (Christopher Keyaert) has written a PowerShell script that a few years back that updated the VPN gateway address of your Azure local network via a scheduled task inside of his Windows RRAS VM. Any VM, either in Azure or in your lab will do. Good stuff! If you need inspiration for a script  you have a link. But, I never liked the fact that keeping my Azure site-to-site VPN up and running was tied to a VM being on line in Azure or in my lab, which is also why I switched to a SonicWALL device. Since we have Azure Automation runbooks at our disposal I decided to automate the updating of the VPN gateway address to the dynamic IP address of my ISP using a runbook.

Finding out your dynamic IP address from anywhere in the world

For this to work you need a way to find out what your currently assigned dynamic IP is. For that I subscribe to a free service providing dynamic DNS updates. I use That means that by looking up the FQDN is find can out my current dynamic IP address form where ever I have internet access. As my SonicWALL supports dynamic DNS services providers I can configure it there, no need for an update client running in a VM or so.


The runbook to update the VPN Gateway Address of your Azure local network

I will not deal with how to set up Azure Automation, just follow this link. I will share a little hurdle I needed to take. At least for me it was a hurdle. That hurdle was that the Set-AzureVNetConfig cmdlet which we need has a mandatory parameter -ConfigurationPath which reads the configuration to set from an XML file (see Azure Virtual Network Configuration Schema).

You cannot just use a file path in an Azure runbook to dump a file on c:\temp  for example. Using an Azure file share seems overly complicated for this job. After pinging some fellow MVPs at Inovativ Belgium who are deep into Azure automation on a daily basis, Stijn Callebaut gave me the tip to use [System.IO.Path]::GetTempFileName() and that got my script working. Thank you Stijn Winking smile!

So I now have a scheduled runbook that automatically updates my to the dynamic IP address my ISP renews every so often without needing to have a script running scheduled inside a VM. I don’t always need a VM running but I do need that VPN to be there for other use cases. This is as elegant of a solution that I could come up with.

I test the script before publishing & scheduling it by setting the VPN Gateway Address of my Azure local network to a wrong IP address in order to see whether the runbook changes it to the current one it got from my dynamic IP. As you can see it was successful.


Now publish it and have it run x times a day … depending on how aggressive your ISP renews your IP address and how long your lab can sustain the Azure site-to-site VPN to be down. I do it hourly. Not a production ready solution, but neither is a dynamic IP and this is just my home lab!


Now my VPN looks happy most of the time automatically



Download the runbook  here (zipped PowerShell script)

PowerShell: Monitoring DrainStatus of a Hyper-V Host & The Time Limited Value of Information In Beta & RC Era Blogs

I was writing some small PowerShell scripts to kick pause and resume Hyper-V cluster hosts and I wanted to monitor the progress of draining the virtual machines of the node when pausing it. I found this nice blog about Draining Nodes for Planned Maintenance with Windows Server 2012 discussing this subject and providing us with the properties to do just that.

It seems we have two common properties at our disposal: NodeDrainStatus and NodeDrainTarget.


So I set to work but I just didn’t manage to get those properties to be read. It was like they didn’t exist. So I pinged Jeff Wouters who happens to use PowerShell for just about anything and asked him if it was me being stupid and missing the obvious. Well it turned out to be missing the obvious for sure as those properties do no exist. Jeff told me to double check using:

Get-ClusterNode MyNode -cluster MyCluster | Select-Object -Property *

Guess what, it’s not NodeDrainStatus and NodeDrainTarget but DrainStatus and DrainTarget.


What put me off here was the following example in the same blog post:

Get-ClusterResourceType "Virtual Machine" | Get-ClusterParameter NodeDrainMoveTypeThreshold

That should have been a dead give away. As we’ve been using MoveTypeTresHold a lot the recent months and there is no NodeDrain in that value either. But it just didn’t register. By the way you don’t need to create the property either is exists. I guess this code was valid with some version (Beta?) but not anymore. You can just get en set the property like this

Get-ClusterResourceType “Virtual Machine” -Cluster MyCluster | Get-ClusterParameter MoveTypeThreshold

Get-ClusterResourceType “Virtual Machine” -Cluster MyCluster | Set-ClusterParameter MoveTypeThreshold 2000

So lessons learned. Trust but verify Smile.  Don’t forget that a lot of things in IT have a time limited value. Make sure that to look at the date of what you’re reading and about what pre RTM version of the product the information is relevant to.

To conclude here’s the PowerShell snippet I used to monitor the draining process.

Which outputs


Monitoring Startup,Shutdown and restart of a Virtual machine With PowerShell 3.0

During scripting some maintenance PowerShell scripts for Hyper-V guests I felt the need for a more accurate way to monitor the startup of a virtual machine. Pings, telnet to a known open port it all doesn’t do the job accurately enough as I want to know when CTRL+AL+DEL appears on the screen. So I pinged Jeff Wouters who told me I could monitor Get-VM -Name DC01 | Get-VMIntegrationService  to detect when PrimaryStatusDescription goes to “OK”.

Now when you look at the Integration services there are 5 of them.


Which one is the best to use for our purpose? Well,I tested them out and after some experimenting with the various services I concluded that the PrimaryStatusDescription of the  Key-Value Pair Exchange works best for this purpose. All others become available a bit to soon in the process of starting a VM, which seems logical.

Monitor a starting virtual machine

So how to use this in a script? We’ll here’s a snippet to monitor the boot process of a guest.


Monitor a stopping virtual machine

Likewise, sometime we want to monitor a VM shutting down, which is the same code as above but with reverse logic.

Monitor a restarting a virtual machine.

When in a PowerShell script you want to monitor progress of a virtual machine restarting you can combine both. You monitor shutdown and you monitor startup.

Note that in all the above snippets  I’ve thrown some logic in to us the progress bar as an activity bar as I know of no way to calculate real % done in a startup, shutdown, restart process. It looks something like this in ISE


or like this in a PowerShell prompt


Checking Host Integration Services Version on all Nodes of A Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Cluster With PowerShell

It’s important to keep our Hyper-V cluster hosts and the virtual machines running on them up to date. Whilst we have great and free solutions to achieve this there are some things missing like centralized reporting on the Integration Services component version running on all of the nodes in a cluster and way to upgrade all the virtual machines to version running on the host. This post deals with the first issue.

Before we upgrade the Integration Services components on the virtual machines we always check if all nodes in the cluster are on the same version themselves. Sure this should not happen if you mange them right but my world isn’t perfect. So trust but verify.With cluster sizes now up to 64 nodes it’s ever more important to keep an eye on them. But even for smaller cluster the task of determining the Integration Services components manually via the GUI, event viewer and/or registry is rather tedious. Out of sync Integration Services components can be troublesome and cause many issues and if you have out of sync virtual machines, imagine the extra mess you’ll be in when even the cluster nodes are running different versions.

To make live easier I threw a little PowerShell script together to check the host Integration Services component version on all nodes of a Window Server 2012 Hyper-V Cluster With PowerShell. I’m far from a PowerShell guru, but you’ll see that you can do a lot of things  done even if you’re not. I’m sharing it here for you to use, adapt for your own needs and get some inspiration. It basically allows you to optionally pass an expected version of the IS components and a cluster name like this

CheckHyperVClusterHostsICVersion -Version 6.2.9200.16433 -cluster "MyClusterName"

It does the following:

  • It will list per Integration Services component version found on cluster nodes what version was found on what nodes. This gives you a nice overview. I hope this never becomes to much of a list in your clusters.
  • If you don’t specify a cluster it will try to connect to the cluster to which the host you’re running on belongs, if any.
  • If the host does not belong to a cluster it will just provide feedback on the IS version of that Hyper-V host you’re running the script on.

Here’s a screen shot of when you run this on a none clustered host, without Hyper-V installed:


This is the result of running it against a well maintained cluster without any parameters that has been updated with KB2770917:


The same but now with the expected version and cluster name passed as parameters


So, there you go, I hope you find it useful.