Azure Automation Accounts: Automating Cloud Management Tasks with Managed Identity

This blog post will focus on the use of Managed Identity with Azure Automation Accounts.


Azure Automation Accounts is a service provided by Microsoft Azure that enables the automation of cloud management tasks. It provides a reliable and scalable platform for process automation, allowing businesses to streamline their operations and reduce manual intervention. This blog post will focus on the use of Managed Identity with Azure Automation Accounts.

What is Azure Automation Accounts?

Azure Automation Accounts is a cloud-based automation and configuration service that supports consistent management across your Azure and non-Azure environments. It comprises process automation, update management, and configuration features. Azure Automation delivers these tools for managing operating systems and processes across Windows and Linux environments.

Managed Identity in Azure Automation Accounts

Managed Identity is a feature of Azure Active Directory. It provides Azure services with an automatically managed identity in Azure AD. You can use this identity to authenticate to any service that supports Azure AD authentication, without having credentials in your code.

Azure Automation Accounts can leverage Managed Identity to authenticate and interact with other Azure resources. This eliminates the need to store credentials in your Automation runbooks.

Setting Up Azure Automation Accounts with Managed Identity

  1. Create an Automation Account: In the Azure portal, you can create a new Automation Account by specifying some basic information such as your subscription, resource group, and a unique name for your Automation Account.

  2. Enable Managed Identity: In the settings of your Automation Account, you can enable Managed Identity. Once enabled, Azure creates an identity for the instance in the Azure AD tenant that’s trusted by the subscription of the instance.

  3. Grant Permissions: You can grant the managed identity access to another resource by assigning the appropriate role to it. This role assignment can be done in the IAM section of the resource.

  4. Use Managed Identity in Runbooks: In your runbooks, you can use the managed identity to authenticate to other Azure resources. The Connect-AzAccount cmdlet allows you to authenticate using the Managed Identity.

Example of Using Managed Identity in a PowerShell Script

Here is an example of how you can use Managed Identity in a PowerShell script within a runbook:

# Authenticate to Azure with Managed Identity
$AzureContext = (Connect-AzAccount -Identity).context

# Select the subscription
Select-AzSubscription -SubscriptionId $AzureContext.Subscription -TenantId $AzureContext.Tenant.Id

# Perform operations on Azure resources

This script first authenticates to Azure using the Managed Identity of the Automation Account. It then selects the subscription associated with the Managed Identity. After that, you can perform operations on Azure resources.

Key Features of Azure Automation Accounts

  • Process Automation: This feature allows you to automate frequent, time-consuming, and error-prone cloud management tasks.

  • Update Management: You can manage operating system updates for your Windows and Linux computers.

  • Configuration Management: Desired State Configuration (DSC) is a feature in PowerShell 4.0 and above that helps to implement and manage the configuration data for software services and manages the environment in which these services run.

  • Inventory: You can track changes in servers across your environment to help you pinpoint operational issues.


Azure Automation Accounts is a powerful service for automating your cloud management tasks. Its integration with Managed Identity makes it a secure and efficient solution for managing your Azure resources.

For more information, you can refer to the official Azure Automation Accounts documentation and the Azure Automation Accounts FAQ. For more details on Managed Identity, you can visit the official Managed Identity documentation.