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Understanding Azure Resource Manager: A Comprehensive Overview

Microsoft Azure's Resource Manager providing readers with a thorough understanding of its architecture and functionalities within the Azure cloud environment.
Understanding Azure Resource Manager: A Comprehensive Overview
Photo by Microsoft Edge / Unsplash


When learning Azure, by experience, I must use the portal when personally learning and exploring other services. 

However, as time passed, I recognized other ways to create resources in Azure, such as CLI, SDKs, PowerShell, etc. 

Imagine how Azure Resource Manager is managing all of these. 

That's why it provides a unified management layer for all resources in your Azure environment, enabling you to deploy and manage applications consistently and efficiently.

In this article, we'll explore what Azure Resource Manager is, the tools that interact with it, and its characteristics. 

Let's get started then. 

What is Azure Resource Manager?

Before we define Azure Resource Manager, please see the image below so we'll know how it works. 

Now that we have seen the image above. 

Let's define Azure Resource Manager. 

It is a management framework that allows you to deploy and manage resources in Azure. 

These resources may include virtual machines, storage accounts, networking components, etc. ARM templates, written in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), define your needed resources and their configuration. 

Moreover, ARM templates are the building blocks for consistently deploying and managing resources across your Azure environment.

Tools that Interact with Azure Resource Manager

Several tools integrate with Azure Resource Manager to facilitate resource management, deployment, and monitoring.

Here are some essential tools and their roles.

Azure Portal

  • It is a web-based management interface.
  • Azure Portal is a user-friendly web interface that allows users to interact with Azure services. It provides a graphical representation of resources and offers point-and-click resource management.

Azure PowerShell

  • It is a command-line interface, enabling the automation and scripting of Azure resource deployment and management tasks. 
  • It uses cmdlets to interact with ARM and perform various operations.

Azure CLI (Command-Line Interface):

  • It is a cross-platform command-line tool.
  • It supports scripting and automation using Bash or PowerShell scripts.

Azure DevOps

  • It is a CI/CD platform.
  • Azure DevOps provides development tools for building, testing, and deploying applications. 
  • It integrates with ARM to automate infrastructure deployment as code and application code.

Azure Resource Explorer

  • It is a resource visualization and exploration to understand the structure of Azure resources.
  • It provides a detailed view of resource properties and relationships.


  • It is a programmatic access to Azure services.
  • Azure Resource Manager exposes a REST API that allows developers to interact with Azure resources programmatically. 
  • This API is the foundation for various SDKs and tools.

Characteristics of Azure Resource Manager

Now that we have seen that some tools can interact with Azure Resource Manager let's explore their essential characteristics. 

Template-based Deployment

ARM relies on templates written in JSON to define the desired state of resources. This declarative approach ensures consistency in resource deployment across different environments.

Resource Group Concept

In Azure, resources are logically grouped into resource groups, enabling the organization, management, and monitoring of related resources as a single unit.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

ARM provides RBAC, which allows administrators to define fine-grained access controls for resources that ensure that users and services have the proper permissions to perform specific actions on resources. 

Dependency Management

ARM intelligently handles resource dependencies.

It automatically determines the correct order for deploying resources based on their dependencies, streamlining the deployment process.

Tagging and Metadata

Resources in ARM can be tagged with metadata, providing additional information for organization and management.

Tags help in categorizing resources and simplifying the process of resource tracking.

Rollback and Roll Forward

ARM supports automatic rollback in case of deployment failures. If an error occurs during deployment, ARM can revert the changes to the last known good state.

Additionally, it allows for rolling forward to a desired state.

Template Validation

Ideally, administrators should validate ARM templates before deployment to ensure they adhere to the Azure Resource Manager schema, which helps catch errors and inconsistencies early in the development lifecycle.

Multi-Region and Multi-Environment Support

ARM enables the deployment of resources across multiple Azure regions, and templates can use parameters for different environments, such as development, testing, and production.


Azure Resource Manager is crucial in efficiently managing and deploying resources in Microsoft Azure. 

With its template-based approach, extensive tooling support, and critical characteristics like RBAC and dependency management, ARM provides a robust framework for organizations to embrace infrastructure as code and streamline their Azure operations. 

As cloud environments evolve, Azure Resource Manager remains a cornerstone for achieving consistency, reliability, and scalability in resource management.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. Till next time, happy programming and happy cloud computing!

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