Restarting Azure Search

I had the misfortune of discovering that my Azure Search Service had been stopped unexpectedly.  In the end, this turned out to be my fault (I let a subscription lapse), and the azure search folks were a great help in resolving the issue.  But the bottom line was, when I saw that the website had broken and tracked it down to the search service not responding, I was stuck.

Here’s what I saw:

Search with Status = Stopped

After some frantic searching around the portal interface as well as asking the internet I concluded that there wasn’t any way to restart the service from the portal.  What didn’t occur to me since I’ve never used PowerShell for azure management in the past is that there is a reasonably easy way to start and stop the search service (and presumably other services) from PowerShell.

Here’s what I did:

Step 1: Install the Azure PowerShell cmdlets

I followed the instructions here and used the second method – Installing from the WebPI.

Step 2: Logging in

Since I have multiple subscriptions, I couldn’t just use the standard login, I had to add the SubscriptionId parameter.

PS >Login-AzureRmAccount -SubscriptionId xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx

Environment           : AzureCloud
Account               :
TenantId              : yyyyyyyy-yyyy-yyyy-yyyy-yyyyyyyyyyyy
SubscriptionId        : 
SubscriptionName      : BizSpark
CurrentStorageAccount : 

Step 3: Start the Search Service

PS >Invoke-AzureRmResourceAction -ResourceType "Microsoft.Search/searchServices" -ResourceGroupName "My-Resource-Group-Name" -ResourceName "my-resource-name" -ApiVersion 2015-08-19 -Action "Start"

id         : /subscriptions/xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx/resourceGroupsMy-Resource-Group-Name/providers/Microsoft.Search/searchServices/my-resource-name
name       : m4d
type       : Microsoft.Search/searchServices
location   : West US
properties : @{replicaCount=1; partitionCount=1; status=running; statusDetails=; provisioningState=succeeded; hostingMode=Default}
sku        : @{name=free}

And Voila, the search service is restarted and the website is back up and running again.

Search with Status = Running

Step 0: Errata

Of course, this didn’t go as smoothly as I outlined. There were two major blockers. First, I didn’t think to pop down to the PowerShell tools when the portal didn’t do what I needed it to do. That’s a lesson that I’m hoping I only have to learn once.

The second issue was that I didn’t actually do a clean install of the PowerShell extensions, assuming that since I was keeping Visual Studio up to date including Azure extensions that would take care of PowerShell. So my first attempt to start the service looked more like this:

PS >Invoke-AzureRmResourceAction -ResourceType "Microsoft.Search/searchServices" -ResourceGroupName "My-Resource-Group-Name" -ResourceName "my-resource-name" -ApiVersion 2015-08-19 -Action "Start"

Invoke-AzureRmResourceAction : Run Login-AzureRmAccount to login.
At line:1 char:1
+ Invoke-AzureRmResourceAction -ResourceType "Microsoft.Search/searchSe ...
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  + CategoryInfo : InvalidOperation: (:) [], PSInvalidOperationException

But I had already logged in, and apparently successfully. So WTF? After scratching my head a bit, I started looking at version information and discovered that I was on version 1 of the Azure PowerShell cmdlet, while the current version was 3.1.0. Oops.

Here’s how to check your cmdlet versions:

PS >(Get-Module -ListAvailable | Where-Object{ $_.Name -eq 'Azure' }) `
| Select Version, Name, Author, PowerShellVersion  | Format-List;

Version           : 3.1.0
Name              : Azure
Author            : Microsoft Corporation
PowerShellVersion : 3.0

And while I’m at it, here’s how to check your PowerShell version and some of the related stack:

PS >$PSVersionTable

Name                           Value                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
----                           -----                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
PSVersion                      5.1.14393.576                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
PSEdition                      Desktop                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
PSCompatibleVersions           {1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0...}                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
BuildVersion                   10.0.14393.576                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
CLRVersion                     4.0.30319.42000                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
WSManStackVersion              3.0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
PSRemotingProtocolVersion      2.3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


I will be digging into more PowerShell management options since my naive assumption that the portal would give me what I needed to manage Azure Services was proven so totally wrong in this case.

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