Windows Azure Automation

Windows Azure Automation allows you to automate the creation, monitoring, deployment, and maintenance of resources in your Windows Azure environment. For example, by default Azure Automation comes with a default Azure runbook containing over 350 Azure powershell commands that you can schedule for automation. You will also be able to import other runbooks to automate non-Azure assets, or create your own.

“Azure Automation provides an orchestration feature set for public cloud resources that is similar to what the Service Management Automation (SMA) engine provides for on-premises private cloud resources via the Windows Azure Pack and System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator.” – Keith Mayer (from his excellent blog on Automation here).

I looked into this service because I wanted a solution to shut down my demo VM’s running in Azure on a nightly basis.

The first step is to logon to the Azure Account Portal and sign in with your subscription information:

https://account.windowsazure.com

Then click Preview Features and click the “Try it now” button

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A pop-up will appear informing you that the feature will be added to your subscription soon.

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Now logon to the Azure Management Portal. If you were previously signed in, you must sign out and back in before you’ll see the Automation option appear in the menu.

https://manage.windowsazure.com

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Click ‘Create an automation account’

At the time of preview, it is only available in East US.

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To get started with your first “Hello World” runbook, follow the guidance online (here).

There are currently 20 powershell commands for managing Azure Automation available (here).

There are 30 runbooks in the Technet script gallery that have been written by the community for use in Azure Automation available (here).

I found a runbook on the Technet script gallery (here) written by Peter Selch Dahl for stopping all VMs.

However, after reading the rest of Keith Mayer’s blog, I decided to just follow his article. http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2014/04/04/step-by-step-getting-started-with-windows-azure-automation.aspx

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