MANAGE: Tips to name and organize Azure resourcesOctober 4, 2018
After you PLAN your migration and make the MOVE to the cloud, you’ll need to spend time learning the best ways to use it. So in our MANAGE series, we’re talking about best practices to optimize how you use the Microsoft cloud.
That’s because even a simple application in Azure can touch on many resources—everything from virtual machines, network interfaces, IP addresses, storage accounts, virtual networks, subnets, network security groups, and more. So if you’re not careful in how you organize and name these resources, you’ll set yourself up for admin fun down the road.
What’s in a name? In Azure, it can be quite a lot. In this post, we share tips around how to name and organize resources in Azure. Naming is a bit of an art that can help you find what you need, save time, and reduce human error.
Here are some tips for how to go about naming in Azure.
Adopt concise, consistent naming conventions
When you’re looking at a bill that shows usage across hundreds (if not thousands) of Azure resources, the name of each one starts to get pretty important. So when you’re planning what to call resources in Azure, you should use names to clarify exactly what each resource is—and how it relates to others.
If you already have tried-and-true naming conventions for your on-premises infrastructure, you might be able to extend those practices into the cloud, too. But also make sure to tread carefully. It’s especially important to choose the right cloud names up front because it can be tricky to change names later. Plus, names in Azure must meet the requirements of their specific resource types. There are different limitations on what names are allowed in terms of their alphabet, case sensitivity, length, and more.
Microsoft recommends that you use a naming convention like this:
[Company] [Department] [Product Line] [Environment]
- Contoso Gaming AwesomeService Production
- Contoso Gaming AwesomeService Dev
- Contoso IT InternalApps Production
- Contoso IT InternalApps Dev
For more, see these Microsoft naming rules and recommendations.
Use resource groups
To organize related resources, you can group them into a resource group. In Azure, this is a container that holds related resources for an application. A group can include every resource for an application, or only those that are logically grouped together. The person who designs your application architecture decides how to allocate resources to groups based on what makes the most sense for your organization. One common way to do this is to group resources that share the same management lifecycle.
With Resource Manager, application designers can create a simple JSON template that defines how to deploy and configure the whole application. By using templates like this, you can repeatedly deploy the application throughout its lifecycle and have confidence that resources are deploying consistently. And since each template must be deployed to a single resource group, the structure that you choose for your resource groups also impacts how you design your deployment templates. So, for example, if you want to deploy an application to several resource groups, you would need to break your deployment down into separate, nested templates.
As you think through how you want to title your resources, you should also come up with a tagging system to supplement the titles. You can use resource tags to organize Azure resources and help you find and filter on them later. Tags are key-value pairs, with a maximum of 15 tags per resource or resource group. Tags can help you:
- Make billing easier by filtering and grouping resources using tags (billTo=IT-Chargeback-1234)
- Associate resources for a particular application across a resource group (application=payroll)
- Assign resource owners (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Identify the environment of a particular deployment (environment=staging)
For more about the ins and outs of tags, see how Microsoft suggests you use tags to organize your Azure resources.
Need help organizing your resources in Azure? We at Binary Tree are standing by to help with this—and much more. We offer a range of managed services that mitigate the risks and take the guesswork out of adopting, managing, and leveraging the power of the Microsoft cloud. To get started, get in touch.
Source: Microsoft. Cloud Migration and Modernization Playbook. 2018.