Manage schedules in Azure Automation

To schedule a runbook in Azure Automation to start at a specified time, you link it to one or more schedules. A schedule can be configured to either run once or on a recurring hourly or daily schedule for runbooks in the Azure portal. You can also schedule them for weekly, monthly, specific days of the week or days of the month, or a particular day of the month. A runbook can be linked to multiple schedules, and a schedule can have multiple runbooks linked to it.

Note

Azure Automation supports Daylight Savings Time and schedules it appropriately for automation operations.

Note

Schedules currently are not enabled for Azure Automation DSC configurations.

PowerShell cmdlets used to access schedules

The cmdlets in the following table create and manage Automation schedules with PowerShell. They ship as part of the Az modules.

Cmdlets Description
Get-AzAutomationSchedule Retrieves a schedule.
Get-AzAutomationScheduledRunbook Retrieves scheduled runbooks.
New-AzAutomationSchedule Creates a new schedule.
Register-AzAutomationScheduledRunbook Associates a runbook with a schedule.
Remove-AzAutomationSchedule Removes a schedule.
Set-AzAutomationSchedule Sets the properties for an existing schedule.
Unregister-AzAutomationScheduledRunbook Dissociates a runbook from a schedule.

Create a schedule

You can create a new schedule for your runbooks in the Azure portal or with PowerShell. To avoid affecting your runbooks and the processes they automate, you should first test any runbooks that have linked schedules with an Automation account dedicated for testing. A test validates that your scheduled runbooks continue to work correctly. If you see a problem, you can troubleshoot and apply any changes required before you migrate the updated runbook version to production.

Note

Your Automation account doesn't automatically get any new versions of modules unless you've updated them manually by selecting the Update Azure modules option from Modules. Azure Automation uses the latest modules in your Automation account when a new scheduled job is run.

Create a new schedule in the Azure portal

  1. From your Automation account, on the left-hand pane select Schedules under Shared Resources.

  2. On the Schedules page, select Add a schedule.

  3. On the New schedule page, enter a name and optionally enter a description for the new schedule.

    Note

    Automation schedules do not currently support using special characters in the schedule name.

  4. Select whether the schedule runs once or on a reoccurring schedule by selecting Once or Recurring. If you select Once, specify a start time and then select Create. If you select Recurring, specify a start time. For Recur every, select how often you want the runbook to repeat. Select by hour, day, week, or month.

    • If you select Week, the days of the week are presented for you to choose from. Select as many days as you want. The first run of your schedule will happen on the first day selected after the start time. For example, to choose a weekend schedule, select Saturday and Sunday.

    Setting weekend recurring schedule

    • If you select Month, you're given different options. For the Monthly occurrences option, select either Month days or Week days. If you select Month days, a calendar appears so that you can choose as many days as you want. If you choose a date such as the 31st that doesn't occur in the current month, the schedule won't run. If you want the schedule to run on the last day, select Yes under Run on last day of month. If you select Week days, the Recur every option appears. Choose First, Second, Third, Fourth, or Last. Finally, choose a day to repeat on.

    Monthly schedule on first, fifteenth, and last day of the month

  5. When you're finished, select Create.

Create a new schedule with PowerShell

Use the New-AzAutomationSchedule cmdlet to create schedules. You specify the start time for the schedule and the frequency it should run. The following examples show how to create many different schedule scenarios.

Note

Automation schedules do not currently support using special characters in the schedule name.

Create a one-time schedule

The following example creates a one-time schedule.

$TimeZone = ([System.TimeZoneInfo]::Local).Id
New-AzAutomationSchedule -AutomationAccountName "ContosoAutomation" -Name "Schedule01" -StartTime "23:00" -OneTime -ResourceGroupName "ResourceGroup01" -TimeZone $TimeZone

Create a recurring schedule

The following example shows how to create a recurring schedule that runs every day at 1:00 PM for a year.

$StartTime = Get-Date "13:00:00"
$EndTime = $StartTime.AddYears(1)
New-AzAutomationSchedule -AutomationAccountName "ContosoAutomation" -Name "Schedule02" -StartTime $StartTime -ExpiryTime $EndTime -DayInterval 1 -ResourceGroupName "ResourceGroup01"

Create a weekly recurring schedule

The following example shows how to create a weekly schedule that runs on weekdays only.

$StartTime = (Get-Date "13:00:00").AddDays(1)
[System.DayOfWeek[]]$WeekDays = @([System.DayOfWeek]::Monday..[System.DayOfWeek]::Friday)
New-AzAutomationSchedule -AutomationAccountName "ContosoAutomation" -Name "Schedule03" -StartTime $StartTime -WeekInterval 1 -DaysOfWeek $WeekDays -ResourceGroupName "ResourceGroup01"

Create a weekly recurring schedule for weekends

The following example shows how to create a weekly schedule that runs on weekends only.

$StartTime = (Get-Date "18:00:00").AddDays(1)
[System.DayOfWeek[]]$WeekendDays = @([System.DayOfWeek]::Saturday,[System.DayOfWeek]::Sunday)
New-AzAutomationSchedule -AutomationAccountName "ContosoAutomation" -Name "Weekends 6PM" -StartTime $StartTime -WeekInterval 1 -DaysOfWeek $WeekendDays -ResourceGroupName "ResourceGroup01"

Create a recurring schedule for the first, fifteenth, and last days of the month

The following example shows how to create a recurring schedule that runs on the first, fifteenth, and last day of a month.

$StartTime = (Get-Date "18:00:00").AddDays(1)
New-AzAutomationSchedule -AutomationAccountName "TestAzureAuto" -Name "1st, 15th and Last" -StartTime $StartTime -DaysOfMonth @("One", "Fifteenth", "Last") -ResourceGroupName "TestAzureAuto" -MonthInterval 1

A runbook can be linked to multiple schedules, and a schedule can have multiple runbooks linked to it. If a runbook has parameters, you can provide values for them. You must provide values for any mandatory parameters, and you also can provide values for any optional parameters. These values are used each time the runbook is started by this schedule. You can attach the same runbook to another schedule and specify different parameter values.

  1. In the Azure portal, from your automation account, select Runbooks under Process Automation.
  2. Select the name of the runbook to schedule.
  3. If the runbook isn't currently linked to a schedule, you're offered the option to create a new schedule or link to an existing schedule.
  4. If the runbook has parameters, you can select the option Modify run settings (Default:Azure) and the Parameters pane appears. You can enter parameter information here.

Use the Register-AzAutomationScheduledRunbook cmdlet to link a schedule. You can specify values for the runbook’s parameters with the Parameters parameter. For more information on how to specify parameter values, see Starting a Runbook in Azure Automation. The following example shows how to link a schedule to a runbook by using an Azure Resource Manager cmdlet with parameters.

$automationAccountName = "MyAutomationAccount"
$runbookName = "Test-Runbook"
$scheduleName = "Sample-DailySchedule"
$params = @{"FirstName"="Joe";"LastName"="Smith";"RepeatCount"=2;"Show"=$true}
Register-AzAutomationScheduledRunbook –AutomationAccountName $automationAccountName `
–Name $runbookName –ScheduleName $scheduleName –Parameters $params `
-ResourceGroupName "ResourceGroup01"

Schedule runbooks to run more frequently

The most frequent interval for which a schedule in Azure Automation can be configured is one hour. If you require schedules to run more frequently than that, there are two options:

  • Create a webhook for the runbook, and use Azure Logic Apps to call the webhook. Azure Logic Apps provides more fine-grained granularity to define a schedule.

  • Create four schedules that all start within 15 minutes of each other and run once every hour. This scenario allows the runbook to run every 15 minutes with the different schedules.

Disable a schedule

When you disable a schedule, any runbook linked to it no longer runs on that schedule. You can manually disable a schedule or set an expiration time for schedules with a frequency when you create them. When the expiration time is reached, the schedule is disabled.

Disable a schedule from the Azure portal

  1. In your Automation account, on the left-hand pane select Schedules under Shared Resources.
  2. Select the name of a schedule to open the details pane.
  3. Change Enabled to No.

Note

If you want to disable a schedule that has a start time in the past, you must change the start date to a time in the future before you save it.

Disable a schedule with PowerShell

Use the Set-AzAutomationSchedule cmdlet to change the properties of an existing schedule. To disable the schedule, specify False for the IsEnabled parameter.

The following example shows how to disable a schedule for a runbook by using an Azure Resource Manager cmdlet.

$automationAccountName = "MyAutomationAccount"
$scheduleName = "Sample-MonthlyDaysOfMonthSchedule"
Set-AzAutomationSchedule –AutomationAccountName $automationAccountName `
–Name $scheduleName –IsEnabled $false -ResourceGroupName "ResourceGroup01"

Remove a schedule

When you're ready to remove your schedules, you can either use the Azure portal or PowerShell. Remember that you can only remove a schedule that has been disabled as described in the previous section.

Remove a schedule using the Azure portal

  1. In your Automation account, on the left-hand pane select Schedules under Shared Resources.
  2. Select the name of a schedule to open the details pane.
  3. Click Delete.

Remove a schedule with PowerShell

You can use the Remove-AzAutomationSchedule cmdlet as shown below to delete an existing schedule.

$automationAccountName = "MyAutomationAccount"
$scheduleName = "Sample-MonthlyDaysOfMonthSchedule"
Remove-AzAutomationSchedule -AutomationAccountName $automationAccountName `
-Name $scheduleName -ResourceGroupName "ResourceGroup01"

Next steps