Are you looking for the various ways to connect to Azure. Or may be you might be thinking about is how do any Azure cloud professional access Microsoft Azure in a day to day. How do they go about job of administering the environment. Actually there are multiple ways to access Azure besides accessing programmatically through APIs. If you’re trying to program against Azure, multiple API methods available as well. Though that is not the topic of our discussion as of now here. This is more around just administering day to day tasks in Azure. So let’s dive and see what are the different option available with us.
Four ways to access the Microsoft Azure Resources for your day to day administrations are as follows:
1. Azure Portal
2. Azure Power Shell
3. Azure CLI
4. Azure Mobile App
How to access Azure in multiple ways
Let’s discuss each way in detail one by one here.
We’ve got the Azure portal. That’s the user interface that you’ll use most of the time as this is one of the most popular and easy way to connect to the Azure resources. It is accessible by using this website url : https://portal.azure.com
This is probably the main place you’re going to go to look around the environment. It gives you that nice visual. There’s a lot of power and having a graphical user interface. If you want to see all of your resources filtering resources, look at dashboards, look at monitoring events, all those things. This is the central place. And, you know, Microsoft have done an absolutely fantastic job with the portal and it continues to be updated. I will say that as you look through videos, documentations, things change very, very frequently. You’ll see different icons change from time to time. Everything is still there. They just make a lot of incremental improvements all the time. So, you know, by the time you sort of get to the portal, don’t be surprised if a few things change, you know, one week to the next, you know, that’s perfectly normal.
Recently Microsoft Azure has changed their logo for Azure. Hence these kinds of updates to the portal is very normal and frequent.
Azure Power Shel
Next, we have Azure Power Shell, and you should definitely go ahead and grab the free Azure Power Shell Guide. Just check out the link that’s attached here and that will guide you on where to get that.
Power Shell is all about installing locally on your Windows, Mac or Linux computer. It is possible to access power shell through the Azure portal. But in this context, we’re talking about installing locally because then you would log into Azure through power Shell and then you can run commands against your Azure resources.. My Power Shall Guide contains a lot of those commands for you to reference.
You know, you can also combine with other power shell commands for full end to end scripting as well. So it doesn’t just have to be Azure power shell commands. You can combine things like Windows Power Show with Azure Power Shell and write pretty complex scripts that have seen people write out that.
Next We have the Azure CLI, this came along a little bit later, frustrated power shell and they brought out the CLI very quick and easy way to create and manage azure resources. The nice thing is you can run it from Azure Cloud Shell or you can install it locally on your Windows, Mac or Linux computer. Nice thing is, these are simple to read commands based on the task at hand. So for example,
az group create --name azurelib-resource-group-name --location eastus
I could do something like a group, create dash dash name and give it a resource group name like ‘ azurelib-resource-group-name ‘ dash location with ‘eastus’, and that would create a new resource group in that location.
You’ll learn more about resource groups and other services as you continue on with my full blogs. But just to note, you know, this is very readable, very easy to understand about what you do. And the other nice thing is you can find commands with ‘ az find ‘ very quick and easy way to find commands that are out there.
One example that would be ‘az find group’ it would find commands related to a group. In this case, we would know to search for group because we’re looking to do things against resource groups.
Finally, there’s just an emphasis on automation with the same with power shell. You know, the goal here is string together different scripts and commands. You need get things done more quickly as opposed to clicking around the portal. You know, build in one VM here and there on the portals. Fine. But when you want to do lots and lots of things, it is helpful to have a script table language you can use.
Azure Mobile App
Next, we have the mobile app. This came out again available for iPhone or Android, and this gives you a nice visual of machines running. You know, this is great more for if you just want to check the status on a machine, check if it powered on, perhaps you got an alert, come in and you want to check what’s going on with that machine.
This is a great way to get some quick information. Obviously, you are doing on a mobile phone. You’re not going to get the huge UI that you’ve got with Azure Portal. So this is just for like small tasks and things that you might want to do on the go.
Features of the Azure mobile app
- You basically can download it from the Apple or Android store.
- You can monitor Azure resources with it.
- You can take corrective action with it.
- You can run commands.
We’ve got Azure CLI 2.0 running inside the mobile phone there. So you could run the CLI commands from the phone if you wanted to.
With that, covers our four main methods for accessing Azure. Now you know that they exist and definitely you can use them as per your need. This article have gave you different insights about the Azure environment and just help you understand. You know, as you get more and more mature with Azure, all the different ways you can access it, maintain it, maybe get a bit more advanced using Power Shell and CLI when you’re ready to start some scripting. Please don’t forget to grab your Free Power Shell Guide, you’ll really, really find it useful.
Deepak Goyal is certified Azure Cloud Solution Architect. He is having around decade and half experience in designing, developing and managing enterprise cloud solutions. He is also Big data certified professional and passionate cloud advocate.