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What is ARM (Azure Resource Manager) and ARM Templates?



What is ARM (Azure Resource Manager)?

Definition: Azure resource manager is a deployment and management service in azure.

  • ARM is kind of an Admin layer in Azure that lets you create, update, and delete your Azure resources.
  • When a user sends a request to azure via the portal, API, Service, or tools, the Resource Manager receives the request. ARM authenticates the request and sends the request to Azure service, which takes the action as requested.

What is the ARM (Azure Resource Manager) Template?

Definition: ARM templates are JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) files that define the structure and configuration of your project.

Difficulties and solutions with Azure Infrastructure maintenance

  • With the help of cloud services like Azure, we have also moved our infrastructure to the cloud.
  • Now it is very difficult to create, manage and deploy the same infrastructure in different environments.
  • Using ARM templates, we can practice Infrastructure as Code and manage the infrastructure easily. You can also put the code in the repository and apply versioning to it.
  • You can run the same template multiple times and every time you will get the same result.

What is the ARM (Azure Resource Manager) Templates’ feature and benefits?

  • You don’t need to worry about the sequence of resource deployment using the ARM template. The resource manager will take care of the interdependent resources’ deployment.
  • Whenever possible, the Resource Manager deploys resources parallel. That makes your deployment faster.
  • You can deploy the template using a single command rather than executing a series of commands.
  • You can break the template and create multiple modules and at the time of deployment, you can just interlink all of them. This way you can achieve reusability for the other deployments.
  • You can also keep one template inside another template (nested template).
  • You can add PowerShell or Bash scripts in Azure Template.
  • You can use the What-If operation to get a preview of the changes before the deployment. You can check which resources are going to be created, updated, or deleted.
  • In ARM, there’s a built-in validation mechanism that will check the template before running it, and only after passing the validation, the template will be deployed.
  • You can track the ARM template deployment history. From history, you can check the template deployed, input parameters passed, and output of the deployment.
  • You can integrate ARM templates in your CI-CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment) pipelines. This can automate your application and infrastructure updates.
  • You can export an ARM template code of an existing resource group. This will contain the deployment code of all the resources within that resource group.
  • For editing purposes, you can use Visual Studio Code. You will get IntelliSense, Syntax Highlighting, in-line help, and many other features that will help you in developing an ARM template.

Notes:

  • When you deploy ARM Template, Azure converts it into REST API service calls.
  • You can use any of the following to deploy the ARM Template.
    • Azure portal
    • REST API
    • Azure Cloud Shell
    • Azure CLI
    • PowerShell


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Azure ARM Templates
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