The Imperfect Lab: Creating Client Machines

Playing with domain controllers is all well and good, but I also needed some client machines in my lab.  My goal for the exercise was to be able to create a couple new VMs in the proper subnet and have them automatically join to my domain.
I debated making having each VM in its own cloud service or sharing one cloud services for all my client VMs.  I went with the latter just to keep things neater.  I don’t think there is a right or wrong pick on that one – my client VMs will simply all share the same external *.cloudapp.net DNS name.
For networking, the recommended guidance is to not mix machines with static/reserved DHCP addresses (like my DCs) with machines that are going to use the standard DHCP.  Thus my client machines will go into the alternate subnet I have in my ImperfectNet.
  • ImperfectNet
    • FirstSubnet (192.168.1.0/24)
    • HalfSubnet (192.168.2.0/25) <- right in here!
    • Gateway (192.168.3.200/29)
Since I would be creating a new cloud service name, there are few requirements to keep in mind.  Cloud service names need to meet DNS standards, so they have to start with a letter, end with a letter or number, can only include letters, numbers and hyphens and must be between 3-15 characters.
Because they must also be unique to the “cloudapp.net” domain, you might want to check that your name is available before incorporating it into your script.
Test-Azurename -service “CloudServiceName”
The results of this command will be either “True” or “False”.  You might think this means:
  • True = name already used
  • False = name not used, thus available

 But this thinking will lead you astray.  A “TRUE” response can mean that the name is already in use, but it can also mean that it did not meet the DNS standards.  The line below will return “TRUE” because its longer than 15 characters and includes an underscore.
Test-Azurename -service “imperfectlab_clientmachine1”
Anyway, once you’ve got a good cloud service name sorted out, you’ll want to deploy a VM or two into it.  For my lab, I went with two VMs one running Windows 8 and one with the Windows 10 TP.  (If you are playing along at home don’t have an MSDN subscription that gives you the option to use the Clients OS choices from the gallery, feel free to use another copy of server.)
I set up all my necessary variables, including two different ones for the OS images.  You may want to have different usernames and passwords for the domain vs. the local admin on the clients, but for my ease of not forgetting things in the lab, I’ve been making all mine the same for now.
$image = “03f55de797f546a1b29d1b8d66be687a__Windows-8.1-Enterprise-x64-en.us-201410.01”
$image10 = “03f55de797f546a1b29d1b8d66be687a__Windows-10-Technical-Preivew-Enterprise-x64-en.us-201411.01”
$pwd = “password”
$un = “username”
$subnet = “halfsubnet”
$instancesize = “Small”
$domainjoin = “imperfectlab.com” #this is the domain FQDN
$domain = “imperfectlab” #this is the domain name
$VnetName = “imperfectnet”
Because the variable are preset, I can reuse the same line of code almost exactly, with only a couple of tweaks.
$newVM1 = New-AzureVMConfig -Name “Imperfect-Win8” -InstanceSize $instanceSize -ImageName $image |
    Add-AzureProvisioningConfig -WindowsDomain -JoinDomain $domainjoin -Domain $domain -DomainPassword $pwd -Password $pwd -AdminUsername $un -DomainUserName $un | 
    Set-AzureSubnet -SubnetNames $subnet 
$newVM2 = New-AzureVMConfig -Name “Imperfect-Win10” -InstanceSize $instanceSize -ImageName $image10 |
    Add-AzureProvisioningConfig -WindowsDomain -JoinDomain $domainjoin -Domain $domain -DomainPassword $pwd -Password $pwd -AdminUsername $un -DomainUserName $un | 
    Set-AzureSubnet -SubnetNames $subnet
New-AzureVM -ServiceName “ImperfectClients” -VMs $newVM1 -Location “West US” -VNetName $vnetName
New-AzureVM -ServiceName “ImperfectClients” -VMs $newVM2
For the 2nd VM, I didn’t need to include the “Location” and “VNetName” switches because the cloud service would have already existed due to the creation of the first VM. 
The beauty of this was once I had worked out what I wanted, I kicked off the script and walked out to get coffee.  When I came back, everything was up, running and domain joined.  Look Ma! No portal needed!
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