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How Hybrid Runbook Worker work on Azure Automation in practice

I believe many Azure developers have already utilized Azure Automation to automate your management, operation and other tasks to avoid human effort. Azure Automation is fully PaaS feature on Azure, but some cases you might need to integrate its workflow with on-premise or other cloud VMs. You can utilize Hybrid Runbook Worker feature on Azure Automation to integrate Azure Automation built-in environment and other platforms.

Enable Hybrid Runbook Worker

You can enable both Windows and Linux platform into Hybrid Runbook Worker, but I will talk about only Windows in this post. Please refer to Azure Automation Linux Hybrid Runbook Worker | Microsoft Docs if you need.

At first, prepare your Windows Server 2012 or later machine at first, and follow steps Azure Automation Windows Hybrid Runbook Worker | Microsoft Docs.

I have followed the simplest way to setup Hybrid Runbook Worker. You need to download "New-OnPremiseHybridWorker.ps1" script from PowerShell Gallery | New-OnPremiseHybridWorker 1.6 and execute a command below as administrator on your Windows Server machine. It will take a few minutes to complete.

PS C:\Users\xxxxuser> Install-Script -Name New-OnPremiseHybridWorker	

Next, you execute commands below. This will also take a few minutes.

PS C:\Users\xxxxuser> New-OnPremiseHybridWorker.ps1 -AutomationAccountName <NameofAutomationAccount> -AAResourceGroupName <NameofResourceGroup> -OMSResourceGroupName <NameofOResourceGroup> -HybridGroupName <NameofHRWGroup>  -SubscriptionId <AzureSubscriptionId> -WorkspaceName <NameOfLogAnalyticsWorkspace>
Importing necessary modules...
     Required version 6.13.1 of AzureRM is installed...
Pulling Azure account credentials...
Connecting with the Following Parameters
Accessing Azure Automation Account named demo-automation in region southcentralus...
Referencing existing OMS Workspace named automaiton-demo-workspace in region westus...
Warning: Your Automation account and OMS workspace are in different regions and will not be compatible for future linking.
Downloading and installing the Microsoft Monitoring Agent...
Waiting for agent registration to complete...
Registering the hybrid runbook worker...

WorkspaceName and OMSResourceGroupName are optional parameters for Log Analytics and create them automatically if you don't specify them, but you need specify them if Log Analytics is unavailable in Azure Automation account region. You will get error messages below if you try to enable Hybrid Runbook Worker without putting WorkspaceName and OMSResourceGroupName in Analytics unavailable regions.

PS C:\Users\xxxxuser> New-OnPremiseHybridWorker.ps1 -AutomationAccountName <NameofAutomationAccount>  -OMSResourceGroupName <NameofOResourceGroup> -HybridGroupName <NameofHRWGroup>  -SubscriptionId <AzureSubscriptionId>
Importing necessary modules...
     Successfully installed version 6.13.1 of AzureRM...
Pulling Azure account credentials...
Connecting with the Following Parameters
Accessing Azure Automation Account named demo-automation in region southcentralus...
Creating new OMS Workspace named hybridWorkspace6163 in region westcentralus...
New-AzureRmOperationalInsightsWorkspace : HTTP Status Code: BadRequest
Error Message: New workspaces cannot be created in this region
Request Id: 28545988-a1b4-4b3e-b9bc-a0076b3bd05a
Timestamp (Utc):10/06/2019 19:03:53
At C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Scripts\New-OnPremiseHybridWorker.ps1:300 char:18
+ ... Workspace = New-AzureRmOperationalInsightsWorkspace -Location $OmsLoc ...
+                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : CloseError: (:) [New-AzureRmOperationalInsightsWorkspace], CloudException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.Azure.Commands.OperationalInsights.NewAzureOperationalInsightsWorkspaceCommand

You can find your hybrid work group like below after completion the command.

Run Runbooks on a Hybrid Runbook Worker

Refer to Run runbooks on Azure Automation Hybrid Runbook Worker | Microsoft Docs. As example, I have created new Runbook on Azure Automation like below.

$pwd = pwd
write-output $pwd 

$data = Get-Content -Path "C:\opt\localfile-01.txt" -Encoding UTF8
write-output $data 

Next, I create a new text file at C:\opt\localfile-01.txt on Azure VM enabled Hybrid Runbook Worker like below.

Run this runbook on Azure Automation on Azure Portal. You can choose your hybrid worker as "Run Settings" like below.

As a result, you can confirm the outputs like below.

This means your runbook scripts will be executed at temporary folder and it's possible to utilize on-premise assets.