Onboard update and change tracking solutions to Azure Automation

In this tutorial, you learn how to automatically onboard Update, Change Tracking, and Inventory solutions for VMs to Azure Automation:

  • Onboard an Azure VM
  • Enable solutions
  • Install and update modules
  • Import the onboarding runbook
  • Start the runbook


To complete this tutorial, the following are required:

Onboard an Azure VM

There are multiple ways to onboard machines, you can onboard the solution from a virtual machine, from browsing multiple machines from your Automation account, or by runbook. This tutorial walks through enabling Update Management through a runbook. To onboard Azure Virtual Machines at scale, an existing VM must be onboarded with the Change tracking or Update management solution. In this step, you onboard a virtual machine with Update management, and Change tracking.

Enable Change Tracking and Inventory

The Change Tracking and Inventory solution provides the ability to track changes and inventory on your virtual machines. In this step, you enable the solution on a virtual machine.

  1. From the left menu, select Automation Accounts, and then select your automation account in the list.
  2. Select Inventory under CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT.
  3. Select an existing Log Analytics workspace or create new. Click the Enable button.

Onboard Update solution

When the change tracking and inventory solution onboarding notification completes, click on Update Management under CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT.

Enable Update Management

The Update Management solution allows you to manage updates and patches for your Azure Windows VMs. You can assess the status of available updates, schedule installation of required updates, and review deployment results to verify updates were applied successfully to the VM. In this step, you enable the solution for your VM.

  1. From your Automation Account, select Update management under UPDATE MANAGEMENT.
  2. The Log analytics workspace selected is the same workspace used in the preceding step. Click Enable to onboard the Update management solution.

Onboard Update solution

While the Update management solution is being installed, a blue banner is shown. When the solution is enabled select Change tracking under CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT to go to the next step.

Select Azure VM to be managed

Now that the solutions are enabled, you can add an Azure VM to onboard to those solutions.

  1. From your Automation Account, on the Change tracking page, select + Add Azure VM to add your virtual machine.

  2. Select your VM from the list and select Enable. This action enables the Change tacking and Inventory solution for the virtual machine.

    Enable update solution for vm

  3. When the VM onboarding notification completes, from your Automation Account select Update management under UPDATE MANAGEMENT.

  4. Select + Add Azure VM to add your virtual machine.

  5. Select your VM from the list and select Enable. This action enables the Update management solution for the virtual machine.

    Enable update solution for vm


If you do not wait for the other solution to complete, when Enabling the next solution you receive a message stating: Installation of another solution is in progress on this or a different virtual machine. When that installation completes the Enable button is enabled, and you can request installation of the solution on this virtual machine.

Install and update modules

It is required to update to the latest Azure modules and import AzureRM.OperationalInsights to successfully automate solution onboarding.

Update Azure Modules

From your Automation Account, select Modules under SHARED RESOURCES. Select Update Azure Modules to update the Azure modules to the latest version. Select Yes on the prompt to update all existing Azure modules to the latest version.

Update modules

Install AzureRM.OperationalInsights module

From the Modules page, select Browse gallery to open up the module gallery. Search for AzureRM.OperationalInsights and import this module into the Automation account.

Import OperationalInsights module

Import the onboarding runbook

  1. From your Automation Account, select on Runbooks under the PROCESS AUTOMATION.

  2. Select Browse gallery.

  3. Search for update and change tracking, click the runbook and select Import on the View Source page. Select OK to import the runbook into the Automation account.

    Import onboarding runbook

  4. On the Runbook page, select Edit, then select Publish. On the Publish Runbook dialog, select Yes to publish the runbook.

Start the runbook

You must have onboarded either change tracking or update solutions to an Azure VM in order to start this runbook. It requires an existing virtual machine and resource group with the solution onboarded for parameters.

  1. Open the Enable-MultipleSolution runbook.

    Multiple solution runbooks

  2. Click the start button and enter the following values for parameters.

    • VMNAME - Leave blank. The name of an existing VM to onboard to update or change tracking solution. By leaving this value blank, all VMs in the resource group are onboarded.
    • VMRESOURCEGROUP - The name of the resource group for the VMs to be onboarded.
    • SUBSCRIPTIONID - Leave blank. The subscription ID of the new VM to be onboarded. If left blank, the subscription of the workspace is used. When a different subscription ID is given, the RunAs account for this automation account should be added as a contributor for this subscription also.
    • ALREADYONBOARDEDVM - The name of the VM that was manually onboarded to either the Updates or ChangeTracking solution.
    • ALREADYONBOARDEDVMRESOURCEGROUP - The name of the resource group that the VM is a member of.
    • SOLUTIONTYPE - Enter Updates or ChangeTracking

    Enable-MultipleSolution runbook parameters

  3. Select OK to start the runbook job.

  4. Monitor progress and any errors on the runbook job page.

Clean up resources

To remove a VM from Update Management:

Next steps

In this tutorial, you learned how to:

  • Onboard an Azure virtual machine manually.
  • Install and update required Azure modules.
  • Import a runbook that onboards Azure VMs.
  • Start the runbook that onboards Azure VMs automatically.

Follow this link to learn more about scheduling runbooks.