Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates for infrastructure provisioning

Azure Resource Manager

Are you tired of manually configuring your infrastructure every time you need to deploy a new application in Azure? Say goodbye to tedious and time-consuming setup processes! With Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, you can easily automate the provisioning of your infrastructure, saving you valuable time and effort. In this blog post, we will explore what ARM templates are and how they can simplify the process of deploying resources in Azure. So, let’s dive right in and discover the power of ARM templates for infrastructure provisioning!

What is Azure Resource Manager?

Azure Resource Manager (ARM) is a powerful management framework provided by Microsoft Azure. It acts as the control plane for managing and organizing resources in your Azure environment. With ARM, you can not only provision and manage resources but also define their dependencies, versioning, and access control policies.

At its core, ARM provides a consistent way to deploy and manage resources across different Azure services. It allows you to group related resources into logical units called resource groups. This makes it easier to organize and maintain your infrastructure.

One of the key benefits of using ARM is its declarative nature. Instead of writing imperative scripts or commands to configure your infrastructure, you can use JSON-based templates known as ARM templates. These templates describe the desired state of your infrastructure and allow for easy replication and reuse.

With ARM templates, you gain full control over how your resources are provisioned and configured. You can specify properties such as virtual machine sizes, networking settings, storage configurations, security rules, and much more – all within a single template file.

Not only do ARM templates enable efficient provisioning of individual resources, but they also support complex deployments involving multiple interconnected components. By defining dependencies between resources in the template file, you ensure that they are deployed in the correct order without any manual intervention required.

In addition to provisioning new infrastructure from scratch using ARM templates, you can also use them for updating existing deployments or even deploying entire environments with just a few clicks.

Azure Resource Manager simplifies the process of managing your cloud infrastructure by providing a centralized platform with robust automation capabilities through its templating system. Whether you’re looking to automate resource deployment or enforce consistent configurations across multiple environments – ARM has got you covered!

What are ARM templates?

Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates are JSON files that define the infrastructure and configuration needed to deploy Azure resources. They provide a declarative way to describe and provision resources, allowing for consistent and repeatable deployments.

With ARM templates, you can specify the desired state of your infrastructure in code rather than manually configuring each resource. This makes it easier to manage complex deployments and ensures consistency across environments.

ARM templates are composed of various sections, including parameters, variables, resources, and outputs. Parameters allow you to customize the deployment based on specific requirements or inputs. Variables provide a way to store values that can be reused throughout the template. Resources define the Azure services that will be provisioned as part of the deployment. Outputs enable you to retrieve information about deployed resources for further use or reference.

By using ARM templates, you gain several benefits, such as version control for your infrastructure code, greater automation capabilities through integration with tools like Azure DevOps pipelines, and simplified management of resource dependencies.

ARM templates offer a powerful mechanism for provisioning infrastructure in Azure by leveraging Infrastructure-as-Code principles.

How to create an ARM template

Creating an ARM template is a straightforward process that allows you to define your infrastructure as code. The first step is to understand the structure and syntax of an ARM template. It consists of JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) that defines the resources, their properties, and any dependencies.

To start creating a template, you can use Azure Portal’s Template Designer or your preferred text editor. Begin by defining the parameters needed for deployment, such as resource names and settings that may vary across environments. These parameters make your template reusable.

Next, specify each resource you want to provision in the “resources” section of the ARM template. You can choose from various Azure services like virtual machines, storage accounts, or networking components. Define their properties according to your requirements.

Additionally, consider any dependencies between resources using “dependsOn” statements within each resource definition. This ensures proper sequencing during deployment.

You can also incorporate conditions and loops into your templates using functions provided by Azure Resource Manager. These allow for dynamic decision-making based on runtime values or iterating over a collection of resources.

Once you have completed defining all necessary resources in your ARM template file, save it with a .json extension and validate its syntax before deploying it through PowerShell scripts or Azure CLI commands.

By following these steps and leveraging the flexibility of ARM templates’ declarative approach, provisioning complex infrastructures becomes more manageable while promoting consistency across deployments without manual intervention.

How to use an ARM template

Once you have created your ARM template for infrastructure provisioning, the next step is actually to use it. Here’s a breakdown of how you can effectively utilize an ARM template in Azure:

Log in to your Azure portal and navigate to the desired subscription or resource group where you want to deploy your resources.

Next, select the “Deploy a custom template” option from the deployment options section. This will open up a new blade where you can provide details about your deployment.

In this blade, choose whether to deploy the template from local files or from an external source such as GitHub. Select the appropriate option based on where you have stored your ARM template file.

If deploying from local files, browse and upload the JSON file containing your ARM template. If deploying from an external source, provide the URL of the raw JSON file.

After selecting and uploading your ARM template, review and validate its contents. Ensure that all parameters are correctly set according to your requirements.

Click on the “Create” button at the bottom of the page to initiate the deployment process. Azure will now start provisioning resources based on the definition provided in your ARM template.

Using an ARM template provides numerous advantages, such as repeatability and consistency in infrastructure deployments. It allows for automated provisioning with minimal manual intervention required.


Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates are a powerful tool for infrastructure provisioning in the Azure cloud. With ARM templates, you can define and deploy complex resources as code, making it easier to manage and automate your infrastructure.

In this article, we explored what Azure Resource Manager is and how it helps in managing resources efficiently. We also learned about ARM templates and their role in defining infrastructure as code. By following the steps outlined above, you can create your own ARM templates and use them to provision resources consistently across different environments.

Using ARM templates brings numerous benefits, such as version control, repeatability, scalability, and ease of deployment. By leveraging the power of Infrastructure-as-Code with Azure Resource Manager, you can streamline your resource management processes while ensuring consistency and reducing manual errors.

So why wait? Start exploring ARM templates today to take full advantage of their capabilities in provisioning and managing your Azure infrastructure efficiently. Happy coding!

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