This article describes what an Azure subscription is and how to create one. It also touches on some of the best practices for managing multiple subscriptions.
What is an Azure Subscription?
An Azure subscription allows you to get access to the Azure cloud services through the Windows Azure Platform Management Portal. It is mostly used for recording resource usage and billing services.
How to create an Azure subscription?
If you are new to Azure, the easiest way to get started is to navigate to http://azure.microsoft.com and click “Start free” button. This will walk you through the process of creating a free trial account with some free credit (as of 08/13/2016 they are offering $200 free credits that expire after a month), and you can continue to purchase credits or use their free services.
If you are already registered in the Azure portal and would like to create additional subscriptions, you can navigate to this link . Similarly, if you are logged into the portal, you can click on the account name on the top right corner and select “View My Bill” from the menu. Here you should be able to manage your existing subscriptions and add new ones.
Some best practices
- It is possible for an organization to have several Azure accounts, each one with one subscription. However, it is generally a better approach to have one Azure account with multiple subscriptions, in order to reduce the management complexity.
- Use separate subscriptions for different departments, to keep track of usage, spending, and to be able to use different payment methods (very useful for managing cost centers).
- Assign different co-admins to each subscriptions to be able to delegate management and billing operations. Ensure granular security and use minimal access strategy.
- It is a good idea to create separate subscriptions for DEV/TEST and Production environments. This will allow you to monitor billing and usage for each of this environment separately. Also, you can leverage free services while in DEV/TEST.