• 2 min read

Visual Studio Release Management for Azure VMs

As part of the recent TechEd announcements, Azure announced the integration of Visual Studio Release Manager Extension with Azure Ibiza Portal using the Azure VM Extension model.

Visual Studio Release Management is a great solution for automating multi-stage deployment and managing the release process. As part of the recent TechEd announcements, Azure announced the integration of Visual Studio Release Management Extension with Azure Ibiza Portal using the Azure VM  Extension model. For anyone who is already using Release Management(RM) , this extension will simplify the bootstrapping process. The general overview of RM and the licensing information can be found here.

Here is a quick snapshot overview:




To enable Azure Virtual Machines to participate in the release management process,  PowerShell DSC &  Windows Management Framework needs to be configured on each VM. The Release Management Extension takes care of this. To do this, browse to your VM in Azure Ibiza portal and add the Release Management Extension. Once its configured, the Virtual Machine can be managed from the RM console . For detailed documentation on this process, please refer to the blog post here.




To automate this, run the following cmdlets after downloading the Azure PowerShell cmdlets from here:

$publicConfig = ConvertTo-Json -Depth 8 @{

    SasToken               = ""

    ModulesUrl             = ""

    ConfigurationFunction  = ""

    Properties             = @{


$vm = get-AzureVM -ServiceName $svcName -Name $name

Set-AzureVMExtension -ExtensionName DSC -Publisher Microsoft.Powershell -Version 1.* -PublicConfiguration $publicConfig  -VM $vm
Update-AzureVM -VM $vm.VM -ServiceName $svcName -Name $name

Hope you find this integration of RM with Azure Portal useful.  The Release Management team is working on providing a richer/deeper integration to manage the deployment process on Azure, in their future releases. Stay tuned!


In my previous post I have listed a couple of new capabilities we are working on to make the experience for DSC based extensions even better. These are applicable for RM extension as well, so I’d like to mention them here again:

1. ‘Release Management’ in the Installed Extension list:

Release Management underneath uses DSC technology for configuration. Currently the Ibiza UI shows DSC status as part of the installed extensions. In the future releases, we want to provide more granular status of the components managed by DSC, in this case Release Management.

2. Detailed Status reporting from Portal and PowerShell:

All the detailed configuration logs for this extension are available on the VM but they are not reported in the UI or from Azure PowerShell cmdlets. In the future releases we want to provide this detailed status via a REST API just like we do for other extensions so Portal, PowerShell and other clients can consume them.

3. Support for Server 2012 and Below.

In the current version, DSC is supported on Windows Server 2012 R2 but we are actively working on porting this to Windows Server 2012 and below in the upcoming releases. The update for 2012 support is coming very soon.