FAQ for migrating from a Run As account to managed identities
The following FAQ can help you migrate from a Run As account to a Managed identity in Azure Automation. If you have any other questions about the capabilities, post them on the discussion forum. When a question is frequently asked, we add it to this article so that it benefits everyone.
How long will you support a Run As account?
Automation Run As accounts will be supported until 30 September 2023. Moreover, starting 01 April 2023, creation of new Run As accounts in Azure Automation will not be possible. Renewing of certificates for existing Run As accounts would be possible only till the end of support.
Will existing runbooks that use the Run As account be able to authenticate?
Yes, they'll be able to authenticate. There will be no impact to existing runbooks that use a Run As account. After 30 September 2023, all runbook executions using RunAs accounts, including Classic Run As accounts wouldn't be supported. Hence, you must migrate all runbooks to use Managed identities before that date.
My Run as account will expire soon, how can I renew it?
If your Run As account certificate is going to expire soon, it's a good time to start using Managed identities for authentication instead of renewing the certificate. However, if you still want to renew it, you would be able to do it through the portal only till 30 September 2023.
Can I create new Run As accounts?
From 1 April 2023, creation of new Run As accounts wouldn't be possible. We strongly recommend that you start using Managed identities for authentication instead of creating new Run As accounts.
Will runbooks that still use the Run As account be able to authenticate after September 30, 2023?
Yes, the runbooks will be able to authenticate until the Run As account certificate expires. After 30 September 2023, all runbook executions using RunAs accounts wouldn't be supported.
What is a managed identity?
Applications use managed identities in Azure AD when they're connecting to resources that support Azure AD authentication. Applications can use managed identities to obtain Azure AD tokens without managing credentials, secrets, certificates, or keys.
For more information about managed identities in Azure AD, see Managed identities for Azure resources.
What can I do with a managed identity in Automation accounts?
An Azure Automation managed identity from Azure AD allows your runbook to access other Azure AD-protected resources easily. This identity is managed by the Azure platform and doesn't require you to provision or rotate any secrets.
Key benefits are:
- You can use managed identities to authenticate to any Azure service that supports Azure AD authentication.
- Managed identities eliminate the overhead associated with managing Run As accounts in your runbook code. You can access resources via a managed identity of an Automation account from a runbook without worrying about creating the service principal, Run As certificate, Run As connection, and so on.
- You don't have to renew the certificate that the Automation Run As account uses.
Are managed identities more secure than a Run As account?
A Run As account creates an Azure AD app that's used to manage the resources within the subscription through a certificate that has contributor access at the subscription level by default. A malicious user could use this certificate to perform a privileged operation against resources in the subscription, leading to potential vulnerabilities.
Run As accounts also have a management overhead that involves creating a service principal, Run As certificate, Run As connection, certificate renewal, and so on. Managed identities eliminate this overhead by providing a secure method for users to authenticate and access resources that support Azure AD authentication without worrying about any certificate or credential management.
Can a managed identity be used for both cloud and hybrid jobs?
Azure Automation supports system-assigned managed identities for both cloud and hybrid jobs. Currently, Azure Automation user-assigned managed identities can be used for cloud jobs only and can't be used for jobs that run on a hybrid worker.
How can I migrate from an existing Run As account to a managed identity?
Follow the steps in Migrate an existing Run As account to a managed identity.
How do I see the runbooks that are using a Run As account and know what permissions are assigned to that account?
Use this script to find out which Automation accounts are using a Run As account. If your Azure Automation accounts contain a Run As account, it will have the built-in contributor role assigned to it by default. You can use the script to check the Azure Automation Run As accounts and determine if their role assignment is the default one or if it has been changed to a different role definition.
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