Start DevOps on Azure

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DevOps is a software development culture in which development and operation processes are combined. DevOps methodologies offer practical solutions for quickly developing and deploying applications. Microsoft provides one of the most popular sets of DevOps solutions, Azure DevOps.

Earlier known as Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), Azure DevOps is a practical set of tools and practices developed on the Azure cloud computing platform. 

Introduction - Start DevOps on Azure

Azure DevOps can be understood as a set of tools, practices, and services that enhance the workings of DevOps teams. The solution set brings together IT operations, security systems, development, and a few other practices to develop applications effectively. DevOps on Azure comprises services that simplify automation, application development, and delivery management.

Suppose you are looking for a set of tools that make every stage of application development more efficient. In that case, Azure DevOps can be your perfect choice. From planning and developing to testing and deploying apps, Azure DevOps provides services and tools that make DevOps processes more organized and trackable.

Since DevOps on Azure is built on the Azure cloud computing platform, it lets you connect with a wide range of other products and tools that enhance your processes. 

For those who want to deploy DevOps in their local center, Microsoft offers a DevOps server by Azure. The server's functionality is similar to Azure DevOps and can be useful for on-premise work.

Azure DevOps - Core Services 

Azure DevOps comes with core services that are instrumental in every app development and deployment stage. The solutions include Git Repositories, tools used for tracking and testing, and other support services. The core services of Azure DevOps are discussed below.

Azure Boards

Azure Boards is a set of interactive tools for tracking, organizing, and managing software development projects. With this tool, progress can be tracked in the same place—teams can discuss, code, work, and plan the next moves on the dashboards.

This service consists of Agile tools that enable the management of teams and their multiple processes. The boards can be customized accordingly to suit workflow and study deeper analytics —this is supported by Scrum and Kanban processes.

Azure Repos

Repos is a toolkit that allows teams with Git repositories to control their code. Coders manage their application code using Azure Repos. The version control set of tools is helpful for all software development projects, especially if implemented from the start of the project. 

Azure Repos also enables other DevOps components like CI/CD and pipelines on the project. This version control toolkit makes collaboration between workforce and code easier—with Repos, teams can seamlessly work together and streamline their work processes.

Azure Pipelines

Another cloud-based solution that simplifies software development, Azure Pipelines automatically builds and tests codes for projects. It supports a wide range of coding languages and project types. Users can develop and deploy apps effectively using the tools available on Pipelines.

One of the standout features of Azure Pipelines is that it can handle complex workflows, especially when combined with Repos. Multi-level builds and customized reporting are also available on Pipelines. The solutions support multiple platforms and collaborate effectively with GitHub and Azure deployments as well.

Azure Test Plans 

As the name indicates, Test Plans by Azure is a set of intuitive tools that help enhance the code's quality and facilitate different types of testing like user acceptance testing, planned manual testing, and exploratory testing. The set of tools helps in developing and implementing test cases within Azure Pipelines.

Azure Test Plans is user-friendly, making it better than similar tools. As a test management platform, it accepts many extensions that help implement feedback and test browsers. The platform's versatile application makes it perfect for creating manual and automated tests in software deployment.

Azure Artifacts

Azure Artifacts can be understood as a shared environment where team members share and manage code while also accessing various repositories and projects. Users can both create and access projects and packages using this artifact library platform. Developers can use this service to publish and share packages across teams, organizations, or even publicly. The platform supports different packages, including NuGet, Maven, and Python packages.

How is DevOps on Azure Better Than Similar Solutions?

DevOps on Azure offers a wide range of benefits, including easy project management and reliability. It should also be noted that Azure DevOps services have a free trial for users, making it easy for beginners. Here are some of the benefits of Azure DevOps.

Efficient Collaboration

Apart from the incredible core services, Azure DevOps also offers a Visual Studio Team System that makes collaboration among various teams especially swift and easy. This feature enables coders, testers, managers, and developers to collaborate on different processes in the SDLC cycle and streamline workflow.

High-Quality Deliverables

As Azure DevOps focuses on Agile methodologies like Kanban and Scrum, the quality of the applications developed is top-notch. Testing is rigorous and continuous. Hence the possibility for errors is reduced very effectively.

Quick Turnover Period

Due to improved CI/CD pipelines and the application of the IaaS model, the development and deployment of applications are made very efficient and quick in Azure DevOps. Add the factor of strong security and testing, and all of these elements make DevOps on Azure not just quick but also very effective.

Steps to start DevOps on Azure

Step 1: Create an Azure Account

Go to the Azure website and sign up for a free account

Step 2: Install Azure CLI

Read the official Documentation for Installation and then login the account

az login

Step 3: Create a Resource Group

az group create --name myResourceGroup --location eastus

Step 4: Create a Virtual Machine

az vm create --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myVM --image UbuntuLTS --admin-username azureuser --generate-ssh-keys

Step 5: Create a Storage Account

az storage account create --name mystorageaccount --resource-group myResourceGroup --location eastus --sku Standard_LRS

Step 6: Create a Web App

az webapp create --resource-group myResourceGroup --plan myAppServicePlan --name myUniqueAppName

Documentation for Learning DevOps on Azure

Official DocumentationAPI references, and tutorials.Azure Documentation
TutorialsTutorials for various Azure services.Azure Tutorials
Azure BlogUpdates, tips, and practices from Azure experts.Azure Blog
Webinars and EventsLive and on-demand webinars and events for learning Azure.Azure Webinars
Microsoft LearnFree learning platform with tutorials and modules.Microsoft Learn
Support PlansSupport plans for technical assistance and guidance.Azure Support Plans
Community SupportForums, Stack Overflow, and other community resources for peer support.Azure Community
Azure StatusReal-time status updates for Azure services. 
Pricing CalculatorTool to estimate the costs of Azure services.Azure Pricing Calculator
Cost ManagementTools and resources to monitor and manage Azure costs.Azure Cost Management
Certification PathsInformation on Azure certifications and learning paths.Azure Certifications
Partner NetworkResources and support for Azure partners.Microsoft Partner Network

Pricing for DevOps on Azure

ServicePricing TierDetails
Virtual MachinesBasic, Standard, PremiumPay-as-you-go pricing, reserved instances, spot pricing.
Storage AccountsStandard, PremiumBlob storage, file storage, managed disks.
Azure SQL DatabaseBasic, Standard, PremiumDTU-based and vCore-based purchasing models.
App ServiceFree, Shared, Basic, Standard, PremiumManaged platform for building, deploying, and scaling web apps.
Azure Kubernetes ServiceFreeFree management, pay for VMs and other resources.
Azure Cosmos DBPay-as-you-go, Provisioned throughputGlobally distributed database with multiple consistency models.
Azure FunctionsConsumption, PremiumServerless compute, pay for executions, memory consumption, and premium plans.
Azure Data FactoryPay-as-you-goPricing based on pipeline activities, data movement, and data integration.
Azure Virtual NetworkPay-as-you-goVirtual network pricing, including public IP addresses, VPN Gateway, and ExpressRoute.
Azure BackupPay-as-you-goPricing based on the amount of data backed up and the number of backup instances.
Azure DevOpsBasic, Basic + Test Plans, EnterpriseFree tier, user licenses, and additional services such as test plans.
Azure CDNStandard, PremiumPricing based on data transfer and requests, with standard and premium tiers.
Azure VPN GatewayBasic, Standard, High PerformancePricing based on the number of gateways, data transfer, and connection types.

Useful Commands for DevOps on Azure

az login
Logs in to Azure account.
Resource Group
az group create 
--name <groupName> 
--location <location>
Creates a new resource group.
Virtual Machine
az vm create --resource-group 
--name <vmName> 
--image <image> 
--admin-username <username> 
Creates a new virtual machine.
Storage Account
az storage account create 
--name <storageName> 
--location <location> 
--sku <sku>
Creates a new storage account.
SQL Database
az sql db create 
--server <serverName> 
--name <dbName> 
--service-objective <objective>
Creates a new SQL database.
App Service Plan
az appservice plan 
create --name <planName> 
<groupName> --sku <sku>
Creates a new App Service plan.
Web App
az webapp create 
--plan <planName> 
--name <appName>
Creates a new web app.
Kubernetes Cluster
az aks create 
--resource-group <groupName> 
--name <clusterName> 
--node-count <count> 
--enable-addons monitoring 
Creates a new Kubernetes cluster.
Cosmos DB
az cosmosdb create 
--name <accountName> 
<groupName> --kind <kind>
Creates a new Cosmos DB account.
Function App
az functionapp create 
--resource-group <groupName> 
<location> --runtime <runtime> 
--functions-version <version> 
--name <appName> 
--storage-account <storageName>
Creates a new Function App.
Data Factory
az datafactory create 
--resource-group <groupName> 
--name <factoryName> --location <location>
Creates a new Data Factory.
Virtual Network
az network vnet create 
--name <vnetName> 
--resource-group <groupName> 
--address-prefix <prefix>
Creates a new virtual network.
Public IP Address
az network public-ip create 
--name <ipName> 
--resource-group <groupName>
Creates a new public IP address.
Backup Vault
az backup vault create 
--name <vaultName> 
--resource-group <groupName> 
--location <location>
Creates a new backup vault.
DevOps Project
az devops project create 
--name <projectName>
Creates a new Azure DevOps project.
Content Delivery Network
az cdn profile create 
--name <profileName> 
--resource-group <groupName> 
--location <location> --sku <sku>
Creates a new CDN profile.
VPN Gateway
az network vnet-gateway create 
--name <gatewayName> 
--public-ip-address <ipName> 
--resource-group <groupName> 
--vnet <vnetName> 
--gateway-type <type> --sku <sku>
Creates a new VPN gateway.
Monitor Metrics
az monitor metrics list 
--resource <resourceID> 
--metric <metricName>
Lists metrics for a specified resource.
Azure Active Directory
az ad user create 
--display-name <name> 
--password <password>
--user-principal-name <UPN>
Creates a new Azure AD user.
Role Assignment
az role assignment create 
--assignee <principal> 
--role <roleName> 
--resource-group <groupName>
Assigns a role to a user, group, or service principal at a specific scope.

Comparison of Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud for DevOps

Feature/ServiceAzureAWSGoogle Cloud
CI/CD ToolsAzure DevOps, GitHub ActionsAWS CodePipeline, CodeBuildGoogle Cloud Build, Cloud Functions
Container ServicesAzure Kubernetes Service (AKS)Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), ECSGoogle Kubernetes Engine (GKE)
Serverless ComputingAzure FunctionsAWS LambdaGoogle Cloud Functions
Infrastructure as CodeAzure Resource Manager (ARM), BicepAWS CloudFormation, TerraformGoogle Cloud Deployment Manager, Terraform
Monitoring & LoggingAzure Monitor, Log AnalyticsAmazon CloudWatch, AWS X-RayGoogle Stackdriver, Cloud Logging
DevOps IntegrationsIntegrated with GitHub, Visual Studio CodeIntegrated with Jenkins, Bitbucket, GitLabIntegrated with Jenkins, GitLab, Cloud Source Repositories
Artifact ManagementAzure ArtifactsAWS CodeArtifactGoogle Cloud Artifact Registry
Compliance & SecurityAzure Security Center, Azure PolicyAWS Security Hub, IAMGoogle Cloud IAM, Security Command Center
Cost ManagementAzure Cost Management and BillingAWS Cost Explorer, AWS BudgetsGoogle Cloud Billing


DevOps on Azure is an enhanced set of tools and services that improve and simplify DevOps processes to make software development and deployment more efficient. Azure DevOps is a great option for organizations as the cloud-based services have multiple tools and core services that make software development organized and streamlined. Due to its high reliability and simplified server management, a lot of organizations prefer to choose Azure DevOps over other similar solutions.

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