Use PowerShell to back up your files to an Azure Storage Blob

I was browsing the Microsoft Technet forums last week and came across a question if there’s a way to back up files and folders to an Azure Storage Blob by using PowerShell. I know that Microsoft introduced Azure Site Recovery (ASR) and Azure Backup together with the Azure Backup Agent (MARS) (more information on the Microsoft site) to achieve exactly this functionality.

But thinking further, I thought this could be a nice opportunity to create such a script and get some more knowledge about writing to Azure Storage using PowerShell. So this is exactly what I did: create a script which can create a backup of your files on Azure Blob Storage. This script will check either the last write time of the file, or the MD5 hash of the content (depending on the passed parameters), and copies the files to Azure which are either newer, or have a different MD5 hash. In this article I’ll describe how the script works and what the challenges were when creating the script.

The PowerShell script I created is available on the Microsoft Technet Gallery: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Back-up-files-to-Azure-b9e863d0

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Disconnecting a Citrix Session with CTXDiscon

Windows has a command line tool which allows you to disconnect any RDS Session. The command line tool is “TSDISCON”, available in the System32 folder. Now, if you have connected using XenApp or XenDesktop, this tools does work. However, the Citrix Client will not know that the session has been disconnected, thus the Citrix Client window will remain active on the client’s end device.

There is no built-in tool from Citrix which has the same functionality as TSDISCON has. So I compiled a little tool which allows you to disconnect your Citrix sessions.

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ICAConnect version 1.2

I’ve update my command line tool to connect to XenApp server, ICAConnect. The new version has two new features:

  • Support 32bit color depth
    My fine colleague, Dennis Geerlings, has updated the option to connect to a XenApp server using 32bit colors. To use this, just use the “/color 32bit” switch.
  • Support seamless windows
    I’ve added support for seamless connections. Just use the “/seamless” switch to start an application in seamless mode.

Head over to the Tools section to grab the new version of ICAConnect. If you have any questions or feature requests, feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Connecting to XenApp server through command-line

Citrix Admins out there probably know the issue; a user reports a problem and you need to troubleshoot the problem on the specific server that this user was logged on to. Logging on with user credentials to a certain server is not that easy, unless you create/modify a published desktop (or published application for that matter).

I created a little tool which allows you to easily connect to a published resource on a specific server. You can download it from the Tools section of my site and it’s called ICA Connect.

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