Top 5 Azure management tools, that’s what we are discussing today. Hold on though, let’s start from the beginning, shall we? After cloud computing became popular in the mid-2000s, many companies started employing it in their business. Why not? It makes storing and managing data way easier than the traditional method. Since it was also easier to access those cloud services from anywhere, the usage shot up exponentially. The public cloud services market value is about to hit $495 billion in 2022, based on a Statista report.
This is only going to grow in the coming years, and there are no signs of slowing it down. The well-established cloud computing platform, Azure is something you will see in many companies now. In case you need a definition for Azure, here it is. Azure offers a suite of integrated cloud services- analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage and web-to build, deploy and manage applications through a single interface.
Pretty neat, right? It is a brilliant invention in the world of cloud computing that provides scalability and efficiency. Similarly, it is a great tool to optimize all your workplace services in a single platform. Since the Azure environment is huge, you might wonder, how is it possible to handle all those things in a single platform. Well, we got Azure management tools for that.
Azure Management Tools
We have already established that Azure comes with many services and tools that help with the management of business applications in the cloud. Before we get into the tools part, let us learn a little about the Azure management life cycle. The management life cycle consists of different areas of azure management that help with optimizing the applications.
This life cycle has areas like Migrate, Secure, Protect, Monitor, Configure, and Govern. When it comes to these areas, each one is necessary from the start of deployment to the end-stage. You can learn more about these from this Microsoft document. Coming back to the management Azure tools, there are quite a few of them.
Management tools help users to access, interact, and obviously to make changes to the cloud environment. These tools will allow you to make changes from minor to huge customizations depending on the kind of tool one uses. Users can list and create resource groups and even virtual machines using Azure management tools. This is just the tip of the iceberg and there are many other automation that experienced users can perform.
We are going to list the top 5 azure management tools that you should use. One is a visual-based tool, and the other ones are for the coding aficionados. You’ll know which ones are from which category from their description. The list isn’t in any particular order, so just check it out and decide which one is the best for you. So these tools are basically of two types.
Top 5 Azure Management Tools List
The Azure portal is the most common type of tool which is used by many businesses. It is a visual-based management tool that comes with options to perform simple tasks. Remember, We used the word “simple”, which means you cannot perform any complex automation tasks. Don’t underestimate it though, this visual tool comes with many features and functionalities.
To access the Azure portal, one has to simply open the browser from their device, enter azure.com, and login, to access all the resources. The portal contains various tools, services, resources, subscriptions, Azure management groups, and resource groups. Users can manage them all from the Azure platform with the help of this portal. It is accessible as a public web-based interface.
The dashboard that you find after logging into the Azure portal is customizable based on user requirements. As mentioned earlier, this is best used for simple tasks rather than deployment and automation. Since that’s not enough for everyone, check out the other Azure management tools given below.
Unlike Azure Portal, Azure PowerShell has a different way to access the cloud platform. Users have to employ the terminal, which is the command-line tool in a device to access Azure. This tool has all the features of an Azure portal, meaning, you can manage, optimize, and create resources, and groups in the cloud platform.
All this is possible after you install the PowerShell module on your device. The PowerShell module for Azure was designed by using .NET. In case you are wondering if it works on your device, let me tell you that it does. At least if you are using Windows, macOS, or a Linux device. One of the main reasons Microsoft made PowerShell, was to allow users to automate tasks.
Since we use scripts to use the Azure PowerShell, it allows for complex functions like creating virtual machines. You may think it might be a complex tool to use since it has advanced functionality but that’s not true. All you need is a basic scripting knowledge of command-lets(cmdlets) to use this tool.
How about we give you a few basic examples? To login to your Azure cloud account, simply enter “Connect-AzAccount”. In case you want to check your resource groups then enter “Get-AzResourcesGroup”. This will show you a list of all the Azure resource groups.
Azure CLI(Command Line Interface)
The Command Line Interface is a similar management tool to Azure Powershell. It uses a terminal to access the Azure cloud platform. Just install CLI on your device for Azure and enter the required command in the cmdlets to get the desired output. This output includes managing the resources, creating virtual machines, new resource groups, Azure management groups, and automation.
One other similar feature is that Azure CLI works on multiple Operating Systems since it is based on Python. While Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI, and Azure Cloud Shell(another similar tool that we will discuss later) are all similar in a sense, they do have their differences and unique functionalities. The major difference is the command language used for these management tools. Then there are also different environments in which they operate.
Azure CLI can run in Bash, Cmd, Windows PowerShell, and a few others. If we talk about Azure PowerShell then it runs on Windows PowerShell only. To learn a little more about shell environments, check the link. So, to provide you with a better idea of how different their command language is, check the below commands.
To sign into a web browser for Azure CLI, one has to use “az login”. For checking on available subscriptions, use the command “az account list”. Similarly, using the command “az account list-locations” lists the Azure locations. The differences in commands compared to Azure PowerShell are quite evident.
Azure Cloud Shell
The Azure management tools that we talked about so far are on the user machine and are accessible through either a web browser or a terminal. Now, with Azure Cloud Shell, there is one major difference. Unlike the previous management Azure tools, this one runs entirely on the cloud. Do not get confused. All the Azure tools and services are on the cloud.
The difference here with Azure Cloud Shell is that the things you need to access Azure are already installed on the cloud. So, you don’t have to install them(PowerShell or CLI) on your machine. Rather, it is directly accessible from the cloud. You might not be able to install those things on your device or cannot use the device to access Azure. Microsoft wanted to prevent such issues and provide a way for users to access Azure without having to use their machines. Hence we got Azure Cloud Shell.
Users can choose whether to use PowerShell or CLI depending on their device and requirement as both are already available in Cloud Shell. Another interesting thing about Cloud Shell is that is based on the Ubuntu container. It means that the tools contain some of the Linux OS features. Azure Cloud Shell is also accessible from a mobile application.
Since it has integrated PowerShell and CLI, it has all the features of both tools. One more thing about this tool is that since it is on the Cloud, it is automatically updated. Check out this Microsoft document to learn more about this tool.
Azure Mobile App
Smartphones have made our lives so much easier. We don’t think no matter how many it is said, it will ever get old. Now you have apps for all kinds of things, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that there’s an Azure management app as well. It is the same thing but for your mobile that has almost all the features as the PC one.
Some of the things that you can do with this app include:
- Check services, Azure management groups, resource groups, subscriptions, etc.
- Get instant notifications and Azure alerts.
- There’s an option to connect to virtual machines as well.
- You can even run the CLI commands from your smartphone or tablet.
This Azure mobile app is available for both Android and iOS users. So check it out.
These are our picks for the top 5 azure management tools. While there are a few others, these are good enough for all kinds of users. Even for business requirements.
The above list of management Azure tools isn’t about the best options for a user, it’s about the right option. That’s because each of them has its benefits and the right one depends entirely on the user’s requirement. Now, there are two issues here. One is choosing the right option for you and the other one is how to use them? Since not everyone is not adept at scripting and using such tools, it is better to take expert help.
This help is right here. We at BPK Tech have a team of skilled developers and programmers that can handle your Azure services for you. When you have reliable help from BPK Tech, you can concentrate on your business while we manage everything on your Azure portal.
Also, take a look at this Agile Vs Waterfall Methodology article.