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Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing platform.

Deployment models

Azure's history has seen a major redesign:

  • Azure Service Manager (also called "Classic deployment") is the older model, dating back to the Windows Azure days. Resources marked as "classic" are generally totally different types to the newer ones supporting ARM, greatly limiting access to modern Azure resources.
  • Azure Resource Manager (also called "ARM") is the newer model, designed to accommodate a larger number of more disparate services.


  • The Az PowerShell module (Az, formally AzureRM) is compatible with PowerShell Core.
  • The Azure Portal.
  • The azurerm Terraform provider.

Azure CLI

The Azure CLI (az) is a cross-platform Python application providing clients for most services. It's possible to write and distribute applications for easy extension of the CLI.

See Microsoft's documentation.

PowerShell module

The Az PowerShell module offers an object-oriented means of browsing and managing Azure resources. It's useful for complex operations across a bunch of resources, requiring less scripting than the az CLI tool.

Rest API

It's sometimes necessary to work with the REST API directly, especially when doing new development for or troubleshooting issues in clients like Terraform.

The documentation for all Azure service APIs can be found in the REST API reference.

Activity Log

Most actions performed on Azure resources are written to the Azure Activity Log, allowing auditing. These are retained for 90 days.

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