If you are just starting out with Microsoft Azure, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the tools that are used to interact with the Azure cloud environment. They may seem a little complex, but each has its own unique uses to help you achieve what you want to do.

System administrators, developers, and managers can use these tools to perform various types of tasks in Azure, such as: These include provisioning or creating new resources, configuring cloud services, monitoring Azure services, and checking the cost and health status of resources. Let's examine what these tools do and how to use them.

The management tools provided by Azure are broadly divided into two main categories.

  • Visual tools: Provide you with visually intuitive access to all Azure functions.

  • Code-based tools: Usually accessed through a terminal window, it gives you an easy way to deploy infrastructure on a large scale.

Azure gives you all of these tools to help you get the job done. Depending on your needs, task and professional background, you choose the right tools.

1. The Azure portal


The Azure portal is a web-based tool that gives you an interactive and intuitive way to manage Azure resources through your web browser. You get access to all resources, functions and features in Azure. Use the Azure portal to build and configure a one-time infrastructure; B. Create and configure a virtual machine.

Most users use the Azure portal as their primary way to first interact with Azure. You can use the Azure portal to create services and view status reports in a chart format. Non-IT managers and other executives can use the Azure portal to view costs and other status reports.

2. Azure CLI

The Azure CLI is a command line tool for provisioning and managing Azure resources from the terminal.

If you use Azure extensively to provision and manage resources, you will quickly find that the Azure portal can be cumbersome. For example, if you want to find and create resources, you have to click in the Azure portal UI until you are where you want to be.

Most developers, system administrators, DevOps engineers, and other IT professionals use the Azure CLI to easily create and automate the creation and management of resources. For example, you can use the Azure CLI to run individual commands or create scripts to run a collection of commands at the same time.

Azure CLI is available on Windows, Linux, and macOS. You can also access it via your web browser as a cloud shell in the Azure portal.

Related: Installing and Setting Up Azure CLI on Ubuntu Linux

3. The Azure mobile app

Microsoft Azure also has a mobile app available for both Android and iOS. The official app is a handy tool that you can use outside of your PC or office. For example, you can use the mobile app to monitor your resources or run CLI commands to manage resources from your smartphone or tablet.

Download: Microsoft Azure for Android | iOS (free)

4. Azure PowerShell


Like the Azure CLI, Azure PowerShell is a command line tool for creating and managing Azure resources.

The syntax of the Azure CLI is similar to that of PowerShell. If you have a background in Windows and are familiar with PowerShell, Azure PowerShell might be a likely choice for you.

You can run individual commands in cmdlets (pronounced command-lets) or create scripts to perform administrative tasks in Azure.

Azure PowerShell is available for macOS, Linux and Windows. You can also access it through your web browser.

5. Azure ARM templates

The Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates are a great tool for automating and deploying Azure infrastructure on a large scale.

ARM templates are JSON files that specify how you want to provision or manage Azure resources. Some of the advantages of ARM templates are:

  • Very efficient for creating multiple resources in parallel.

  • Good at creating and specifying dependencies in the correct order.

  • They can be reset so you don't have to worry if a deployment fails while the required infrastructure is being deployed.

  • You can easily share templates with team members, which encourages collaboration.

You can also run PowerShell or Bash scripts inside ARM templates, which makes them very versatile.

Increase your Azure skills

This guide has shown you the various tools Azure provides for provisioning and managing resources. It is now up to you to choose the tools that best suit your needs and competencies.

As more and more companies move their on-premises IT infrastructure to the cloud, the demand for Azure engineers, administrators and architects is enormous and shows no signs of slowing down. Therefore, getting an Azure certification is a great way to prove yourself in the IT industry.

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About the author

Mwiza Kumwenda
(35 published articles)

Mwiza is a professional developer of software and writes extensively on Linux and front-end programming. Some of his interests include history, economics, politics, and enterprise architecture.

By Mwiza Kumwenda

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