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Azure Automation Pricing And Features: Creating & Scheduling Workflows

Azure Automation

Azure Automation is all about automating manual and tedious tasks in the cloud atmosphere. Azure Automation is a cloud-based automation platform with a lot of energy. It offers a comprehensive automation service that allows user organizations to change chores that would otherwise eat up important IT personnel time. It provides a framework for creating and scheduling workflows in order to change the mundane and repetitive duties that Cloud directors conduct with Azure. Runbooks are commonly used to describe workflows. Runbook assists businesses in saving time and increasing the consistency of executive-assigned duties. Moreover, In this blog post, we will go through Azure Automation Pricing and features for organizations.

Explanation of Azure Automation Pricing and Features: Organizational Point of View

Logo For Automation

Use cases for Azure Automation for organization

Azure Automation helps user organizations manage their infrastructure and applications over their entire lifecycle. The following are some examples of common scenarios:

  1. Schedule tasks – Weekly or monthly scheduled maintenance routines, stopping VMs or services at night and turning them back on during the day.
  2. Create and deploy resources – Use Azure Resource Manager templates and runbooks to deploy virtual machines across a hybrid environment. 
  3. Configure VMs – Evaluate and set up Windows and Linux machines with infrastructure and application configurations.
  4. Distribute knowledge – Incorporate information about how your organization distributes and manages workloads into the system.
  5. Retrieve inventory – For targeting, reporting, and adherence, acquire a comprehensive inventory of deployed resources.
  6. Identify Changes– Identify and pinpoint tracking machine modifications that could result in configuration errors, and improve operational conformity. Remedial action should be taken, or they should be escalated to management systems.
  7. Hybrid automation – Manage or automate on-premises servers and services like SQL Server, Active Directory, SharePoint Server, etc.
  8. Azure resource lifecycle management – for IaaS and PaaS services.
  9. Dev/test automation scenarios – Start and start resources, scale resources.
  10. Governance-related automation – Automatically apply or update tags, locks, etc.
  11. Azure Site Recovery – orchestrate pre/postscripts defined in a Site Recovery DR workflow.
  12. Windows Virtual Desktop – orchestrates scaling of VMs or start/stop VMs based on utilization.

The pricing structure of Azure Automation:

Azure Automation Pricing Model is as follows:

Process automation

Runbook jobs and watchers are examples of process automation. Jobs are billed according to the number of job run time minutes used per month, whereas viewers are billed according to the number of hours utilized per month. Every time a task or observer runs, a charge for process automation is incurred. Only the minutes/hours that surpass the free included units will be charged.

 Free units included (per month)**Price
Job run time500 minutes$0.002/minute
Watchers744 hours$0.002/hour
Azure Automation Working Process

Management of configurations

The configuration pull service and update tracking features are included in configuration management. The number of nodes associated with the service and the log data stored in the Azure Log Analytics service are used to determine the bill.

Configuration management charges begin when a node registers with the service and end when the node unregisters with the service. Any machine whose configuration is handled through configuration management is referred to as a node. This might be an Azure VM, an on-premise VM, a physical host, or a VM from another public cloud .Node billing is done on an hourly basis.

 Free units included (per month)**Price
Azure nodeN/AFree
Non-Azure node5 nodes$6/node

Update management

The transparency and distribution of updates in your environment are part of update management. The service is free; users just pay for the log data that is saved in the Azure Log Analytics service.

 Free units included (per month)**Price
Any nodeN/AFree

Core features of Azure Automation:

Following are the core features available under the above Azure Automation Pricing structure.

Integrate Management Systems

Create runbooks in PowerShell or Python that graphically integrate Azure services as well as other public systems for installing, customizing, and monitoring your end-to-end operations. To deliver on-demand services across on-premises settings, use a hybrid runbook worker. To fulfill demands and assure a continuous delivery process, users can use automation from ITSM, DevOps, and monitoring technologies.

Configuration Management

Author and maintain PowerShell configurations in the cloud, as well as import configuration scripts and build node setups. Supervise and automatically adjust machine settings across physical and virtual computers, Windows or Linux—in the cloud or on-premises—with Azure Configuration Management.

Control hybrid environments

For Windows and Linux, monitor update compliance across Azure, on-premises, and other cloud platforms. Plan deployments to ensure that updates are installed during a specific maintenance window.

Automation of daily tasks with Azure Automation for time-consuming tasks.

Azure Automation Features

Role in simplifying cloud management with process automation:

Azure Automation’s Process Automation feature allows users to manage time-consuming and error-prone management operations. This solution allows users to concentrate on work that brings value to the company. It also helps to reduce the company’s operational costs by decreasing errors and increasing efficiency. Runbook execution in Azure Automation describes the process automation operating environment in depth.

Process automation features under Azure Automation pricing enable the deployment, configuration, and management of end-to-end processes by integrating Azure services and other third-party systems. Users can create graphical, PowerShell, and Python runbooks using the service. They can deploy a Hybrid Runbook Worker to the system to run runbooks directly on the Windows or Linux workstation or against resources in an on-premises or other cloud environments to control those local resources.

By prompting automation from Azure Logic Apps, Azure Functions, ITSM product or service, DevOps, and monitoring systems, webhooks let organizations satisfy requests and assure continuous delivery and operations to their clients.

Functions of configuration management in Azure Automation

Configuration Management in Azure Automation is supported by two capabilities:

  • Change Tracking and Inventory
  • Azure Automation State Configuration

Inventory and Change Tracking

Change Tracking and Inventory is a set of tools that lets the users keep track of changes to Linux and Windows virtual machines and server infrastructure. To assist users, detect undesired changes, and issue alerts, the service provides change tracking across services, daemons, software, registry, and files in your environment. Inventory support lets users look for installed apps and other configuration items on in-guest resources.

Configuration of the Azure Automation State

Azure Automation State Configuration is a cloud-based tool that provides services for PowerShell desired state configuration (DSC) in enterprise contexts. Users can use Azure Automation to govern their DSC resources and deploy configurations to virtual or physical machines from a DSC pull server in the Azure cloud.

Tracking Inventory of Operating System and Monitoring Details

An inventory of operating system resources, including deployed apps as well as other configuration items, can be acquired by user organizations. They may rapidly obtain comprehensive data on anything that has been set up in the operating system by using rich reporting and searching. To quickly analyze issues, track changes between services, daemons, software, the registry, and files—and turn on diagnostics and alerts to keep an eye on problematic changes.

Integration of Azure Automation with other Azure services

Under the Azure Automation Pricing structure, user organizations can use Azure automation to create runbooks in PowerShell or Python that combine Azure services as well as other public systems to deploy, configure, and manage their end-to-end operations. To deliver on-demand services across on-settings, use a hybrid runbook worker. To execute requests and assure uninterrupted delivery and management, use automation from ITSM, DevOps, and monitoring technologies.

Connecting to AzureAD (Microsoft Entra ID) from an Azure Runbook

  • First connect to Azure AD and replace the service principal object id with your own object id.
  • If you only need to read data from the AzureAD (Microsoft Entra ID), then you can give the service principal the Directory Reader role.
  • Another option is to make it Global Admin so it can fully manage your Active Directory:
  • You can list all available roles in your tenant.
  • You can now connect to AzureAD (Microsoft Entra ID) with the following code in your PowerShell Runbooks.

Connect to Exchange Online from an Azure Runbook

  • There is an extra step needed to grant the service principal account access to Exchange Online. We have to give it the Exchange Administrator role and the appropriate API permissions.
  • If you don’t have the Exchange Administrator role in your tenant, then you can enable it with a code.
  • All you need to do after the code is to grant admin consent for the permissions that we have assigned.
  • Open your Azure Active Directory (Microsoft Entra ID)
  • Choose App registrations
  • Click on All applications and select your Automation account
  • Go to API Permissions
  • Click Grant admin consent

Security features available in Azure

Azure Security

Azure Automation is a Microsoft Azure solution that comes with a number of security features that protect the data of the user organization. In addition, the following are the service’s security features:

  • Microsoft invests more than USD 1 billion annually in cybersecurity research and development.
  • We employ more than 3,500 security experts dedicated to data security and privacy.
  • Azure has more certifications than any other cloud provider.

EPCGroup as Azure Consulting partner:

EPC Group is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner and a market leader. Their Microsoft Azure Consultancy Services experts provide consulting to help user companies implement their cloud architecture using the newest technology-driven solutions on the Azure platform. EPC Group helps users shape their digital transformation requirements with Azure cloud and remarkable cloud computing solutions, ranging from pre-assessment and strategy to Azure deployment.


In conclusion, Features under Azure Automation Pricing provide a scalable and dependable automation mechanism for all IT-connected operations to users or organizations. Organizations will use Azure automation to standardize common processes, reduce manual operations, and lower the risk of human mistakes. Users will also save a significant amount of time for their company by using Runbooks and settings. Whatever the automation requirements are, Azure Automation can help users automate them and obtain their outputs quickly.

Errin OConnor

Errin OConnor

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology and Management Consulting, Errin O’Connor has led hundreds of large-scale enterprise implementations from Business Intelligence, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, IT Security, Azure and Hybrid Cloud efforts for over 165 Fortune 500 companies.

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