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Hybrid Cloud Blog

Earlier this week, we started our tour of IT automation in Operations Management Suite. With both process automation and desired state configuration capabilities in Operations Management Suite, you have a highly available and reliable automation platform delivered from the cloud to help manage your IT environment. Today we’re going to look at some of the features that have been enhanced or added to the IT automation capabilities of Operations Management Suite in just the last 90 days.

Graphical runbooks and authoring tools

IT automation helps you save time and lets you focus on work that adds business value. The process of enabling IT automation involves a set of activities, such as authoring runbooks, that may require additional skills. To make it simple and easy, Operations Management Suite IT automation has introduced a cloud-based, graphical runbook editor and graphical programming model. If you’ve used System Center Orchestrator, you are already familiar with the graphical authoring capabilities found in Operations Management Suite. In this model, you can effortlessly create runbooks through a graphical authoring environment that enables intuitive drag-drop creation of workflows for enhanced productivity and fast time-to-value. For more details, check out this blog post: Azure Automation: Graphical and textual runbook authoring.

Native PowerShell support

In IT automation, Windows PowerShell scripts and workflows—known as runbooks—help you automate your IT lifecycle processes by handling the creation, deployment, monitoring, and maintenance of your infrastructure and application resources. In addition to PowerShell workflow and graphical type of runbooks, recently we introduced PowerShell runbooks that let you run native PowerShell. If you’re a PowerShell user, now you can get started with IT automation using your existing PowerShell knowledge. You can re-use already written PowerShell scripts without any modifications.

For more details, refer to this blog post: Announcing Native PowerShell Script Support in Azure Automation. You can also accelerate your runbook authoring process with tools familiar to you using our open-sourced Azure Automation PowerShell ISE add-on tool. For additional how-to info, read more here: Announcing the Azure Automation PowerShell ISE add-on.

Source control integration

Keeping track of all the automation scripts and runbooks can just be a full-time job on its own, especially in enterprises with multiple automation authors. In today’s fast-paced IT environments, maintaining the history of your automations can be much more challenging. To help with this issue, Operations Management Suite IT automation has introduced source control integration with repositories such as GitHub. You now have the opportunity to treat your automations as code. You can track and manage your scripts and runbooks at a central location with the same types of tools software developers use. You can find more how-to info here: Source Control Integration in Azure Automation.

Improved management UX

With Operations Management Suite you have a centralized repository of your automation assets with a single dashboard view. You can access your automation resources and activities at any time from any device via the web portal. With role based access control for your automation accounts, you can now protect your automation resources such as credentials assets and runbooks from being viewed or modified, while still allowing members of your organization to execute these runbooks.

If you haven’t already, you can register for a free trial of Operations Management Suite and experience all these features.

Stay tuned for more features from Operations Management Suite in the next 90 days. If you’re interested in the hybrid approach for automation, subscribe to our blog posts and check back next week for the continuation of our tour of IT automation.