Azure Automation is Microsoft’s cloud-based workflow engine that executes PowerShell-based runbooks to orchestrate complex, repetitive, or time-consuming tasks. From its release until now, your options for automation using the tool were limited, because it could only operate against Azure cloud resources. It began life as a tool for automating virtual machine or website provisioning in Azure, but not for managing your existing on-premises infrastructure.
That story has begun to change with Microsoft’s release of a new feature for Azure Automation named Hybrid Runbook Workers. Think of it as a server or (highly-available) group of servers in your datacenter that act on behalf of your cloud runbooks, performing tasks locally just as you would run a script or System Center Orchestrator runbook on-premises. This is an exciting and important advance that opens up a variety of scenarios, allowing you to reach into your existing infrastructure anywhere from a highly-reliable, secure, and centralized location, creating a truer “hybrid” cloud/on-premises infrastructure. Very cool stuff.
I’ve shared my in-dept first look at the setup process here, with a couple workarounds for pitfalls I encountered:
You can also read more from Stanislav Zhelyazkov, who is faster at blogging than I: