Archive for What's new in Azure Automation?

The primary What's new in Azure Automation? article contains updates for the last six months, while this article contains all the older information.

What's new in Azure Automation? provides you with information about:

  • The latest releases
  • Known issues
  • Bug fixes

March 2021

New Azure Automation built-in policy definitions

Type: New feature

Azure Automation has added five new built-in policy definitions:

  • Automation accounts should disable public network access,
  • Azure Automation accounts should use customer-managed keys to encrypt data at rest
  • Configure Azure Automation accounts to disable public network access
  • Configure private endpoint connections on Azure Automation accounts
  • Private endpoint connections on Automation Accounts should be enabled.

For more information, see Azure Policy reference.

Support for Automation and State Configuration declared GA in South India

Type: New feature

Use Process Automation and State Configuration feature in South India. Read the announcement for more information.

Support for Automation and State Configuration declared GA in UK West

Type: New feature

Use Process Automation and State Configuration feature in UK West. For more information, read announcement.

Support for Automation and State Configuration declared GA in UAE Central

Type: New feature

Use Process Automation and State Configuration feature in UAE Central. Read the announcement for more information.

Support for Automation and State Configuration available in Australia Central 2, Norway West, and France South

Type: New feature

See more information on the Data residency page by selecting the geography for each region.

New scripts added for installing Hybrid worker on Windows and Linux

Type: New feature

Two new scripts have been added to the Azure Automation GitHub repository addressing one of Azure Automation's key scenarios of setting up a Hybrid Runbook Worker on either a Windows or a Linux machine. The script creates a new VM or uses an existing one, creates a Log Analytics workspace if needed, installs the Log Analytics agent for Windows or Log Analytics agent for Linux, and registers the machine to the Log Analytics workspace. The Windows script is named Create Automation Windows HybridWorker and the Linux script is Create Automation Linux HybridWorker.

Invoke runbook through an Azure Resource Manager template webhook

Type: New feature

For more information, see Use a webhook from an ARM template.

Azure Update Management now supports CentOS 8.x, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 8.x, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15

Type: New feature

See the full list of supported Linux operating systems for more details.

In-region data residency support for Brazil South and South East Asia

Type: New feature

In all regions except Brazil South and Southeast Asia, Azure Automation data is stored in a different region (Azure paired region) for providing Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR). For the Brazil and Southeast Asia regions only, we now store Azure Automation data in the same region to accommodate data-residency requirements for these regions. For more information, see Geo-replication in Azure Automation.

February 2021

Support for Automation and State Configuration declared GA in Japan West

Type: New feature

Automation account and State Configuration availability in Japan West region. For more information, read announcement.

Introduced custom Azure Policy compliance to enforce runbook execution on Hybrid Worker

Type : New feature

You can use the new Azure Policy compliance rule to allow creation of jobs, webhooks, and job schedules to run only on Hybrid Worker groups. Read the details in Use Azure Policy to enforce job execution on Hybrid Runbook Worker

Update Management availability in East US, France Central, and North Europe regions

Type: New feature

Automation Update Management feature is available in East US, France Central, and North Europe regions. See Supported region mapping for updates to the documentation reflecting this change.

January 2021

Support for Automation and State Configuration declared GA in Switzerland West

Type: New feature

Automation account and State Configuration availability in the Switzerland West region. For more information, read the announcement.

Added Python 3 script to import module with multiple dependencies

Type: New feature

The script is available for download from our GitHub repository.

Hybrid Runbook Worker role support for CentOS 8.x/RHEL 8.x/SLES 15

Type. New feature

The Hybrid Runbook Worker feature supports CentOS 8.x, REHL 8.x, and SLES 15 distributions for only process automation on Hybrid Runbook Workers. See Supported operating systems for updates to the documentation to reflect these changes.

Update Management and Change Tracking availability in Australia East, East Asia, West US, and Central US regions

Type: New feature

Automation account, Change Tracking and Inventory, and Update Management are available in Australia East, East Asia, West US, and Central US regions.

Introduced public preview of Python 3 runbooks in US Government cloud

Type: New feature Azure Automation introduces public preview support of Python 3 cloud and hybrid runbook execution in US Government cloud regions. For more information, see the announcement.

Azure Automation runbooks moved from TechNet Script Center to GitHub

Type: Plan for change

The TechNet Script Center is retiring and all runbooks hosted in the Runbook gallery have been moved to our Automation GitHub organization. For more information, read Azure Automation Runbooks moving to GitHub.

December 2020

Type: New feature

Azure Automation and Update Management support announced as GA for Azure global and Government clouds. Azure Automation enabled Private Link support to secure execution of a runbook on a hybrid worker role, using Update Management to patch machines, invoking a runbook through a webhook, and using State Configuration service to keep your machines complaint. For more information, read Azure Automation Private Link support

Azure Automation classified as Grade-C certified on Accessibility

Type: New feature

Accessibility features of Microsoft products help agencies address global accessibility requirements. On the blog announcement page, search for Azure Automation to read the Accessibility conformance report for the Automation service.

Support for Automation and State Configuration GA in UAE North

Type: New feature

Automation account and State Configuration availability in the UAE North region. For more information, read announcement.

Support for Automation and State Configuration GA in Germany West Central

Type: New feature

Automation account and State Configuration availability in Germany West region. For more information, read announcement.

DSC support for Oracle 6 and 7

Type: New feature

Manage Oracle Linux 6 and 7 machines with Automation State Configuration. See Supported Linux distros for updates to the documentation to reflect these changes.

Public Preview for Python3 runbooks in Automation

Type: New feature

Azure Automation now supports Python 3 cloud and hybrid runbook execution in public preview in all regions in Azure global cloud. For more information, see the announcement.

November 2020

DSC support for Ubuntu 18.04

Type: New feature

See Supported Linux Distros for updates to the documentation reflecting these changes.

October 2020

Support for Automation and State Configuration GA in Switzerland North

Type: New feature

Automation account and State Configuration availability in Switzerland North. For more information, read announcement.

Support for Automation and State Configuration GA in Brazil South East

Type: New feature

Automation account and State Configuration availability in Brazil South East. For more information, read announcement.

Update Management availability in South Central US

Type: New feature

Azure Automation region mapping updated to support Update Management feature in South Central US region. See Supported region mapping for updates to the documentation to reflect this change.

September 2020

Start/Stop VMs during off-hours runbooks updated to use Azure Az modules

Type: New feature

Start/Stop VM runbooks have been updated to use Az modules in place of Azure Resource Manager modules. See Start/Stop VMs during off-hours overview for updates to the documentation to reflect these changes.

August 2020

Published the DSC extension to support Azure Arc

Type: New feature

Use Azure Automation State Configuration to centrally store configurations and maintain the desired state of hybrid connected machines enabled through the Azure Arc enabled servers DSC VM extension. For more information, read Arc enabled servers VM extensions overview.

July 2020

Type: New feature

Use Azure Private Link to securely connect virtual networks to Azure Automation using private endpoints. For more information, read the announcement.

Hybrid Runbook Worker support for Windows Server 2008 R2

Type: New feature

Automation Hybrid Runbook Worker supports the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. See Supported operating systems for updates to the documentation to reflect these changes.

Update Management support for Windows Server 2008 R2

Type: New feature

Update Management supports assessing and patching the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. See Supported operating systems for updates to the documentation to reflect these changes.

Automation diagnostic logs schema update

Type: New feature

Changed the schema of Azure Automation log data in the Log Analytics service. To learn more, see Forward Azure Automation job data to Azure Monitor logs.

Azure Lighthouse supports Automation Update Management

Type: New feature

Azure Lighthouse enables delegated resource management with Update Management for service providers and customers. Read more here.

June 2020

Automation and Update Management availability in the US Gov Arizona region

Type: New feature

Automation account and Update Management are available in US Gov Arizona. For more information, see announcement.

Hybrid Runbook Worker onboarding script updated to use Az modules

Type: New feature

The New-OnPremiseHybridWorker runbook has been updated to support Az modules. For more information, see the package in the PowerShell Gallery.

Update Management availability in China East 2

Type: New feature

Azure Automation region mapping updated to support Update Management feature in China East 2 region. See Supported region mapping for updates to the documentation to reflect this change.

May 2020

Updated Automation service DNS records from region-specific to Automation account-specific URLs

Type: New feature

Azure Automation DNS records have been updated to support Private Links. For more information, read the announcement.

Added capability to keep Automation runbooks and DSC scripts encrypted by default

Type: New feature

In addition to improve security of assets, runbooks, and DSC scripts are also encrypted to enhance Azure Automation security.

April 2020

Retirement of the Automation watcher task

Type: Plan for change

Azure Logic Apps is now the recommended and supported way to monitor for events, schedule recurring tasks, and trigger actions. There will be no further investments in Watcher task functionality. To learn more, see Schedule and run recurring automated tasks with Logic Apps.

March 2020

Support for Impact Level 5 (IL5) compute isolation in Azure commercial and Government cloud

Type:

Azure Automation Hybrid Runbook Worker can be used in Azure Government to support Impact Level 5 workloads. To learn more, see our documentation.

February 2020

Introduced support for Azure virtual network service tags

Type: New feature

Automation support of service tags allows or denies the traffic for the Automation service, for a subset of scenarios. To learn more, see the documentation.

Enable TLS 1.2 support for Azure Automation service

Type: Plan for change

Azure Automation fully supports TLS 1.2 and all client calls (through webhooks, DSC nodes, and hybrid worker). TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.0 are still supported for backward compatibility with older clients until customers standardize and fully migrate to TLS 1.2.

January 2020

Introduced Public Preview of customer-managed keys for Azure Automation

Type: New feature

Customers can manage and secure encryption of Azure Automation assets using their own managed keys. For more information, see Use of customer-managed keys.

Retirement of Azure Service Management (ASM) REST APIs for Azure Automation

Type: Retire

Azure Service Management (ASM) REST APIs for Azure Automation will be retired and no longer supported after January 30, 2020. To learn more, see the announcement.

Next steps

If you'd like to contribute to Azure Automation documentation, see our contributor guide.