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Overview of Service Management Automation


Updated: May 13, 2016

Applies To: Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server, System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator

Service Management Automation is a set of tools that is integrated as the Automation extension in Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server. IT pros and IT developers can use Automation to construct, run, and manage runbooks to integrate, orchestrate, and automate IT business processes. Automation runbooks run on the Windows PowerShell workflow engine.

What’s in Automation?

Automation uses the following three underlying components that are connected to Windows Azure Pack through the Service Management Automation service endpoint:

Web service

  • Connects to Windows Azure Pack

  • Distributes runbook jobs to runbook workers

  • Supports HTTPS

  • Enables security group to control access

Runbook worker

  • Executes runbook jobs

  • Runs under a service account

PowerShell module

  • Enables Automation management by using Windows PowerShell cmdlets

Should I use Automation or System Center 2012 - Orchestrator?

In System Center 2012, System Center 2012 SP1, and System Center 2012 R2, the Orchestrator component enables you to automate business processes and IT operations in your data center without scripting or programming. Orchestrator is a feature in System Center 2012. If you already have System Center 2012 installed, and you do not plan to install Windows Azure Pack, use Orchestrator.

Automation in Windows Azure Pack enables you to automate processes within the Windows Azure Pack. Because Automation runs Windows PowerShell workflows, you can also use Windows PowerShell cmdlets to run other System Center 2012 components, including Orchestrator. If you are planning to use the Windows Azure Pack, use Automation, and then you can continue to leverage your System Center 2012 installation (if one exists).


The Service Management Automation Developer's Guide is now available. This is a set of REST API reference documentation for the Service Management Automation web service.