Category: Automation

Azure Runbook Limitiation

Here I am testing my Runbooks in my Azure lab, and all of a sudden I get the following alert, “The job failed. The quota for the monthly total job run time has been reached for this subscription. To get more job run time you can change to a different Automation plan or wait until next month when the quota will reset.

Whaaaaat!!?

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Well that sucks… I don’t wait to wait another month! And I certainly do not want to upgrade my Azure subscription plan.

I contact Microsoft, and they advised me the same, I will need to either wait until next month, or upgrade my subscription plan.

“…using a Free account, then it is limited to 500 job minutes per calendar month. You can change to the Basic pricing tier and get unlimited job minutes for just $0.002 / minute.”

Turns out, with the Free account, I am limited to 500 job (Runbook) minutes per calendar month. If I upgrade then I get unlimited job minutes, but at a cost of $0.002 per minute.

Well this is certainly good to know, also good to know, when creating Runbooks, we should code efficiently, otherwise our 500 minutes will but gone soon. =)

Thanks to Chris Sanders, Program Manager @ Microsoft for the helpful information!

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Enabling SCOM 2012R2 Agent Proxy

The other day, I’m asked, “what the heck are these SCOM agent proxy alerts!?” I’m sure you fellow SCOM admins have seen these alerts before:

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You could go to the computer that SCOM is complaining about and manually enable the agent proxy via Administration > Managed Computers, and modifying its properties, see below:

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Or…… you could make your life easier, and do this…

The fix is easy, and the explanation are both below:

To resolve the “Agent proxy not enabled” alert for all machines in your current environment, run the following PowerShell code in the SCOM PowerShell Console:

get-SCOMagent | where {$_.ProxyingEnabled -match "False"} | Enable-SCOMAgentProxy

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To prevent this alert in the future, run the following below:

 

add-pssnapin "Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.OperationsManager.Client";
new-managementGroupConnection -ConnectionString:yourSCOMserverFQDNhere;
set-location "OperationsManagerMonitoring::";
Set-DefaultSetting -Name HealthService\ProxyingEnabled -Value True

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Automating Start and Stop Times for Azure VMs

So you have set up an Azure lab, but you are now starting to see your billing costs are higher than you anticipated, or maybe you are getting tired of logging in to the Azure portal, every morning and every evening to start and shutdown your lab/Virtual Machine(s). Unfortunately there is no UI in the Azure portal that allows you to input a start and stop time for your Virtual Machines to be powered on and/or off, however there are some clever workarounds! Below are the steps I have taken to automate this problem.

Of course you will need an Azure environment, at least one Virtual Machine and some (very) basic PowerShell knowledge.

For starters, I have already built my VM, and I have already created an account that is a member of the domain administrators.


  • Log into the Azure portal and expand the Browse All icon, located on the left pane.

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  • Select Automation Accounts and create a new Automation Account. I called mine “MachineStartStopAutomation”.

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  • Next under the new account, select Assets

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  • Here we will assign credentials associated to this Automation account. Within Assets, select Credentials

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  • Once you have created the Credentials, next we will need to create the Runbook
  • Go back to the Automation Account, and this time select Runbooks

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  • Provide some descriptive name for the Runbook. I used “Start<hostname>VM”. Also, I had some issues creating/editing the Runbook script when using the Graphical Runbook type, so I used the PowerShell Workflow. I would advise using the PowerShell Workflow option.

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  • Within the script, use the code similar here. Note, your workflow will be name of your Runbook name. Also, in line 5, the -Name <hostname> will be your VM you are interested in automating the PowerOn. To be safe, I specified the FQDN.

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  • Once complete, you can test and/or publish the Runbook. (You will need to Publish the Runbook in order to make use of it)
  • Next you will need to create a schedule. Go back to the Runbook, and select Schedules

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  • Since I would like to start this VM daily, I set it for daily Recurrence.

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You will now need to repeat all the steps above (starting at step 7) to create an automated shutdown Runbook. The PowerShell code will be almost exactly the same, but you will make use of the “Stop-VM -Name <hostname>” Cmdlets.

Once complete, your new Automation Runbook should look similar to this. Hopefully this will keep your Azure billing costs down, and hopefully no more daily/manual starting and shutting down your lab/Virtual Machine(s). =)

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