For the past several years Microsoft has been building PowerShell hooks into every product that it produces. PowerShell is a powerful scripting language for sure, and as an IT Pro, if you're not learning PowerShell, you should be. Utilizing Microsoft's scripting language, you can simplify many tasks without compromising power and value.

In PowerShell version 4.0 Microsoft introduced Desired State Configuration (DSC) which is basically a set of instructions that allows PowerShell to be used as a fully capable management tool. With DSC you can do things like deploy software, enable or disable server roles and features, manage registry settings and files and directories, modify user accounts, repairing configurations, running other PowerShell scripts, and many other things. The amount of value is endless and only limited by your imagination and not your requirements.

Microsoft has been steadily building a PowerShell SDK for Azure. This is an obvious path for Microsoft, considering PowerShell cmdlets are available for all other products and Azure is the future.

Today Microsoft has announced the initial release of DSC for Azure PowerShell. Those with the Azure PowerShell SDK already installed, you'll want to update to 0.8.6. Those without the Azure PowerShell SDK already installed, you can get it from Azure downloads site.

BTW: We have some great sessions lined up for PowerShell and PowerShell DSC for IT/Dev Connections 2014. Two of those sessions will be delivered by the inventor of PowerShell himself, Microsoft Distinguished Engineer, Jeffrey Snover.