8 reasons to care about Azure Resource Manager

August 17, 2016 Ruth Morton

In the beginning, when Azure was new and most organizations were just dipping their toes tentatively into the water, it was usual to deploy a single VM here or a blob storage there. There wasn’t a whole lot to manage as there wasn’t a whole lot up there for most. However, now that many have jumped in and found the water to be just fine, larger and more complex solutions are being deployed necessitating a need for a tool to help manage the resources that make up those solutions.

Today when you use Azure, each solution you deploy is likely to be made up of several components – a virtual machine, storage, database, web app, etc. Even though each component is a separate entity they are part of the same solution that needs to be managed together. Azure Resource Manager (ARM) lets you do this by allowing you to define a container called a Resource Group to hold related resources for a solution.

Microsoft Azure Resources Groups

Azure resource groups

All resources in the group are deployed, updated and removed together. Resources that need to be independent, such as an SQL database can be put into a separate resource group and linked to the resource group or groups that use it.

While Resource Groups is the most visible benefit, there are a number of reasons to take a look and considering using ARM:

  1. Resource grouping: ARM allows you to deploy, manage and monitor the resources for your solution as a group, instead of working with each component individually.
  2. Repeatability: It provides you with the ability to deploy your solution over and over again, knowing that each resource will be deployed in the same way each time.
  3. Dependable repeatability: You can deploy your solution through declarative templates rather than doing it manually or through scripting, making the deployment less prone to errors.
  4. Template management: Since the templates are JSON files, you can maintain them in the same version control system as the application.
  5. Dependencies: You can define dependencies to ensure resources are deployed in the correct order.
  6. Access control: Access control can be applied to an entire resource group through Role-Based Access Control (RBAC).
  7. Tags: Tags can be used to organize all the resources in your subscription.
  8. Straight-forward billing. Billing can be clarified by rolling up costs for the group or resources which share the same tag.
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