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Understanding Azure Subscriptions

Using Azure requires an Azure subscription. A subscription provides you with authenticated and authorized access to Azure products and services. It also allows you to provision resources.


In this lecture, you will learn about Azure subscriptions and how they enable you to use Microsoft Azure’s products and services. You’ll come to understand that a subscription is necessary for both authentication and authorization within Azure, and it allows for the provisioning of various Azure resources, such as virtual machines and virtual networks.

You’ll explore the concept that an Azure subscription acts as a logical unit of services, which connects to an Azure account. This account is identified through Azure Active Directory or a trusted directory. You’ll grasp the idea that an account might have one or several subscriptions, each with its own billing model and access management policies.

This session will clarify the dual functions of an Azure subscription: as a billing boundary and an access control boundary. As a billing boundary, a subscription is used to organize and manage costs, generating separate billing reports and invoices, which is especially useful in a large organization with multiple departments. Each department can have its own subscription, simplifying financial management.

When discussing access control, you’ll learn how subscriptions apply access management policies that can reflect an organization’s structure, allowing you to tailor specific policies to departments or teams by using different subscriptions for each.

The lecture will highlight why and when to create additional subscriptions, such as for managing resources, billing, organizational structures, or to accommodate subscription limits like the number of ExpressRoute circuits.

Lastly, you’ll be introduced to the concept of invoice sections and billing profiles, which help organize multiple subscriptions within the same billing account for detailed financial reporting. You will be shown a visual representation to understand how this billing structure is organized.

By the end of this lecture, you should have a solid understanding of how Azure subscriptions work, how they are structured, and how they can be managed and utilized within a business context for cost management and access control.

© 2023 Thomas J Mitchell / TomTeachesIT