Creating API Management instances in Parallel with Automation Runbook

Provisioning an Azure API Management (APIM) service instance is a bit time-consuming task. It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes to get an instance created. In most of cases, it is fine because you usually don’t have the needs to create many APIM instances. For most customers, 2 or 3 instances are enough for their solutions. And provisioning APIM instances doesn’t seem to be a day to day work.

But recently I am preparing a lab environment for an APIM related lab session that I am going to deliver in an event. Given that provisioning an APIM instance would take 20 to 30 minutes, it is impracticable to let attendees create the instances during the lab session. I have to provision an APIM instance for each attendee before the lab session. As there could be more than 40 attendees, I have to do it with a script rather than manually clicking around in Azure portal.

APIM supports creating instances with PowerShell. It doesn’t support Azure CLI at the moment. The Cmdlet for instance creation is New-AzureRmApiManagement, and as mentioned in the document, this is a long running operation which could take up to 15 minutes. If I simply create a PowerShell script to run this operation sequentially, it would take tens of hours to get all APIM instances created. It is not acceptable. I have to run the operations in parallel.

I ended up creating a PowerShell Workflow runbook in Azure Automation to do the task. PowerShell Workflow has several ways to support parallel processing, and Azure Automation provides the enough computing resource to run all operations in parallel.

The following code snippet shows the key part of the workflow.

The code is quite straight forward. I need to include the Azure authorization code for each of the parallel operation because when operations are running in parallel, each operation runs in its own process. So each of them need to be authorized before they can access the Azure resource.

For the completed code, you can get it from here. To run this workflow runbook in Azure Automation, the AzureRM.ApiManagement module needs to be imported into Azure Automation. That’s all.

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