One of the ways to manage your Azure environment is using the Azure Portal. Most services and configuration options are available in the Azure Portal, which is accessible through https://portal.azure.com. When logging on to the portal you’ll see the dashboard, which should look something like this:
On the left you’ll see the hub menu, this is the main navigation to all services available in Azure. The dashboard contains several shortcuts, and when creating new resources, you can pin these to the dashboard for easy navigation. In the screenshot above you see a Virtual Machine pinned to the dashboard.
When you click on a menu item, for example Virtual Machines the VM resources are shown in a so called blade. A blade contains information of a resource, and when you click on a resource its details are shown in an additional blade on the right.
When you click on a VM in this example another pane is opened with information and configuration options for this Virtual Machine:
This way you can easily browse through all the resources.
Resources are grouped together in Resource Groups. Resource Groups are a logical grouping of resources for management purposes. Resource Groups are defined in a region, for example West Europe or East US. Resources are located in only one Resource Group and cannot be a member of multiple Resource Groups. However, a resource can access resources in another Resource Group, or can be accessed by resources located in another Resource Group.
If you click on Resource Groups in the Hub Menu and click on a Resource Group (RG_Holland in this example) a new blade is opened with options for this Resource Group, and the various resources in this Resource Group. In the following screenshot you’ll see all resources (comes with only one Virtual Machine) in the RG_Holland Resource Group.
One question that often arises is “are there certain limits in Azure?” especially when designing new Azure environment. Yes, there are service limits, and these are described in the Microsoft document “Azure subscription and service limits, quotas, and constraints” which can be found at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-subscription-service-limits.
For example, the default limit for ‘Virtual Machines per availability set’ is 200. When looking at networking, the default limit for Virtual Networks is 50, the maximum limit for Virtual Networks is 1000. If you hit the limit of 50 Virtual Networks you can log a call at Microsoft and request the limit to be raised to a higher value.
You’ll see the term ‘classic model’ and ‘classic portal’ at various places. This is the original model that Microsoft used when they started with Azure. In 2014 Microsoft introduced the Resource Model for Azure, and almost all services have now been decommissioned from the classic model, or migrated to the Resource Model.
There’s also a classic portal, which can be found at https://manage.windowsazure.com.
Microsoft is still working at decommissioning services from the classic model, and where needed a warning message is shown when a certain service is decommissioned.
Azure Active Directory Portal
Another Portal I’d like to point out is the recently introduced Azure Active Directory Portal, which can be found at https://aad.portal.azure.com.
The Azure Active Directory admin center as it’s called looks very much like the regular Azure Portal, besides that it’s focused on Azure Active Directory and related services.
In this blog post I’ve shown you the three portals that are available in Microsoft Azure. The classic portal is being decommissioned, and use of the classic model is not recommended. Instead, the resource model that was introduced in 2014 should be used.
With this resource model come Resource Groups, and resources are logically grouped into Resource Groups, just for management purposes (and nothing else).