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Microsoft Azure Automation: Concepts and Practical Usage

Course Introduction

Join Trevor Sullivan, a Microsoft MVP for Windows PowerShell, in this conceptual and practical course covering the Microsoft Azure Automation service! This course from Cloud Academy guides you through the fundamental concepts of Azure Automation, and offers live demonstrations for all of its major components, including cloud-based PowerShell Runbooks, and a cloud-hosted Pull Server for PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC)! Leave a comment on the course, get involved in the discussion, and tell us what you'd like to see more of! 

The Microsoft Azure Automation service offers two key components, both of which are covered in depth, in this course:

- Runbook Automation - Execute PowerShell-based Runbooks securely in the cloud. Runbooks can be authored as PowerShell scripts, PowerShell Workflows, or as Graphical Runbooks, using an in-browser designer. Azure Automation provides an "asset store" that enables you to store supporting variables, credentials, schedules, and other resources, which can be referenced by Runbooks. Once you've created or imported an Azure Automation Runbook, you can invoke it directly from the Azure Portal, from the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) PowerShell module, or even from external services through the use of Webhooks

- Automation Desired State Configuration (DSC) - Manage your cloud and on-premises Windows or Linux infrastructure using declarative configuration files that are hosted in the cloud! With Azure Automation DSC, there's no need to set up a PowerShell DSC Pull Server, which normally would require additional infrastrucutre, complex configuration, and ongoing maintenance! Simply create an Automation Account, upload your PowerShell DSC configurations and compile them into "node configuraitons" (MOF files)! After "onboarding" (registering) your managed nodes with Azure Automation, you can assign the node configurations to each node, and you're done! There isn't an easier way to get stared declaratively managing your nodes, than signing up for Azure Automation DSC.

Key Takeaways

After watching this Cloud Academy course, you'll be empowered to start automating tasks, using Windows PowerShell, in a cloud-first approach! You'll also be able to set up Azure Automation as a cloud-based PowerShell DSC Pull Server, making it incredibly easy to start managing your nodes using declarative PowerShell syntax. If you have any comments for this course, please leave a comment on the course, or e-mail support@cloudacademy.com!

This course isn't intended to be a deep dive on authoring PowerShell scripts and PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) documents, but keep an eye out for content surrounding these topics!



Hello and welcome to Microsoft Azure Automation. The requirements for this course are as follows. For Azure Automation Runbooks, you'll want to have experience using PowerShell as a scripting language. And you'll also want to be familiar with the Microsoft Azure Resource Manager architecture and its corresponding PowerShell module.

For Azure Automation DSC, you'll want to have a moderate knowledge of PowerShell Desired State Configuration. You'll want to understand the process of authoring DSC configuration documents. And you'll also want to understand the concept of a DSC pull server.

The topics that we'll cover in this course include for Azure Automation Runbooks, authoring Runbooks, Hybrid Runbook Workers and Webhooks.

For Azure Automation Desired State Configuration Pull Server, you'll want to understand configuration documents and how to onboard manage to nodes. You can provide feedback by leaving a comment on this course or emailing support@cloudacademy.com. I hope you enjoy what's to come.

About the Author

Trevor Sullivan is a Microsoft MVP for Windows PowerShell, and enjoys working with cloud and automation technologies. As a strong, vocal veteran of the Microsoft-centric IT field since 2004, Trevor has developed open source projects, provided significant amounts of product feedback, authored a large variety of training resources, and presented at IT functions including worldwide user groups and conferences.