Run Azure PowerShell cmdlets in PowerShell Jobs

Azure PowerShell depends on connecting to an Azure cloud and waiting for responses, so most of these cmdlets block your PowerShell session until they get a response from the cloud. PowerShell Jobs let you run cmdlets in the background or do multiple tasks on Azure at once, from inside a single PowerShell session.

This article is a brief overview of how to run Azure PowerShell cmdlets as PowerShell Jobs and check for completion. Running commands in Azure PowerShell requires the use of Azure PowerShell contexts, which are covered in detail in Azure contexts and sign-in credentials. To learn more about PowerShell Jobs, see About PowerShell Jobs.

Azure contexts with PowerShell jobs

PowerShell Jobs are run as separate processes without an attached PowerShell session, so your Azure credentials must be shared with them. Credentials are passed as Azure context objects, using one of these methods:

  • Automatic context persistence. Context persistence is enabled by default and preserves your sign-in information across multiple sessions. With context persistence enabled, the current Azure context is passed to the new process:

    Enable-AzContextAutosave # Enables context autosave if not already on
    $vmadmin = Get-Credential
    Start-Job {
      New-AzVM -Name MyVm -Credential $Using:vmadmin
  • Provide an Azure context object with any Azure PowerShell cmdlet that has an AzContext parameter:

    $context = Get-AzContext -Name 'mycontext' # Get an Azure context object
    $vmadmin = Get-Credential
    $job = Start-Job {
      New-AzVM -Name MyVm -AzContext $Using:context -Credential $Using:vmadmin

    If context persistence is disabled, the AzContext parameter is required.

  • Use the AsJob parameter provided by some Azure PowerShell cmdlets. This switch automatically starts the cmdlet as a PowerShell Job, using the active Azure context:

    $vmadmin = Get-Credential
    $job = New-AzVM -Name MyVm -Credential $vmadmin -AsJob

    To see if a cmdlet supports AsJob, check its reference documentation. The AsJob parameter doesn't require context autosave to be enabled.

You can check the status of a running job with the Get-Job cmdlet. To get the output from a job so far, use the Receive-Job cmdlet.

To check an operation's progress remotely on Azure, use the Get cmdlets associated with the type of resource being modified by the job:

$vmadmin = Get-Credential
$context = Get-AzContext -Name 'mycontext'
$vmName = 'MyVm'

$job = Start-Job {
  New-AzVM -Name $Using:vmName -AzContext $Using:context -Credential $Using:vmadmin

Get-Job -Id $job.Id
Get-AzVM -Name $vmName

See Also