Azure Terminology

If you are having conversations about migrating to Azure and want to understand all of the terminologies and acronyms, we’ve got you covered.

Below are some of the Azure terms that you might hear when reading Azure documentation.

Azure Load Balancer

Azure Load Balancer is a resource that distributes incoming traffic among computers in a network. Traffic is distributed among virtual machines defined in a load-balancer set. A load balancer can be external or internet-facing, or it can be internal.

Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

ARM is the new management framework for services in Azure. Azure Load Balancer is managed using ARM-based APIs and tools.


Binary Large OBject – Any binary object like a file or an image that can be stored in Azure storage.

ExpressRoute circuits

An ExpressRoute circuit represents a logical connection between your on-premises infrastructure and Microsoft cloud services through a connectivity provider. ... Each circuit can be in the same or different regions and can be connected to your premises through different connectivity providers. Essentially plugged into the Azure platform directly without a middle man, it's not for everyone, and it's not cheap.


A hypervisor or virtual machine monitor (VMM) is computer software that creates and runs virtual machines and is the key to virtualisation. The hypervisor acts as a platform for the VM's to be created on. A computer on which a hypervisor runs one or more virtual machines is called a host machine, and each virtual machine is called a guest machine.


NOT a server, a workload is a type of Application Service running on one or more components of IaaS. For example, Backup on Cloud, Website Hosting, Web-Based App Deployment, Mobile backend, Test & Dev for ERP, DR or Azure.


Redundancy ensures that your business is able to retrieve information at any given time, regardless of any planned or unplanned issues that may arise. ... This high availability means that redundancy extends to all elements of your cloud service and not just data.

Data Centre

Physical space where servers and network devices are located. It requires access control, cooling, redundant power supplies etc. They're usually organised in 'racks' which are vertical shelves. They vary significantly in size.

Azure Cost Management

A Tool to understand your Azure billing, manage your account and subscriptions, monitor and control Azure spending and optimize resource use. Analyze costs, create and manage budgets and export data.


It can be defined as an IP address pair (public IP and private IP) associated with an individual NIC. In an IP-Config, the public IP address can be NULL. Each NIC can have multiple IP-Config associated with it, which can be up to 255.

Network Security Group (NSG)

NSG contains a list of Access Control List (ACL) rules that allow or deny network traffic to your virtual machine instances in a virtual network. NSGs can be associated with either subnets or individual virtual machine instances within that subnet. When an NSG is associated with a subnet, the ACL rules apply to all the virtual machine instances in that subnet. In addition, traffic to an individual virtual machine can be restricted further by associating an NSG directly to that virtual machine.

Public IP Addresses (PIP)

PIP is used for communication with the Internet, including Azure public-facing services and is associated with virtual machines, Internet-facing load balancers, VPN gateways, and application gateways.


An area within a geography that does not cross national borders and that contains one or more datacenters. Pricing, regional services, and offer types are exposed at the region level. A region is typically paired with another region, which can be up to several hundred miles away, to form a regional pair. Regional pairs can be used as a mechanism for disaster recovery and high availability scenarios. Also referred to generally as location.

Resource Group

A container in Resource Manager holds related resources for an application. The resource group can include all of the resources for an application, or only those resources that are logically grouped together.

Storage Account

An Azure storage account gives you access to the Azure blob, queue, table, and file services in Azure Storage. Your storage account provides the unique namespace for your Azure storage data objects.

Virtual Machine

The software implementation of a physical computer that runs an operating system. Multiple virtual machines can run simultaneously on the same hardware. In Azure, virtual machines are available in a variety of sizes.

Virtual Network

An Azure virtual network is a representation of your own network in the cloud. It is a logical isolation of the Azure cloud dedicated to your subscription. You can fully control the IP address blocks, DNS settings, security policies, and route tables within this network. You can also further segment your VNet into subnets and launch Azure IaaS virtual machines and cloud services (PaaS role instances). Additionally, you can connect the virtual network to your on-premises network using one of the connectivity options available in Azure. In essence, you can expand your network to Azure, with complete control on IP address blocks with the benefit of enterprise-scale Azure provides.

Azure Account

An account that's used to access and manage an Azure subscription. It's often referred to as an Azure account although an account can be any of these: an existing work, school, or personal Microsoft account, or an Office 365 user name and password. You can also create an account to manage an Azure subscription when you sign up for the free trial.


A defined boundary for data residency that typically contains two or more regions. The boundaries may be within or beyond national borders and are influenced by tax regulation. Every geo has at least one region. Examples of geos are the Asia Pacific and Japan. Also called geography.


A file that contains the operating system and application configuration that can be used to create any number of virtual machines. In Azure there are two types of images: VM image and OS image. A VM image includes an operating system and all disks attached to a virtual machine when the image is created. An OS image contains only a generalized operating system with no data disk configurations.


A means for controlling access that can be assigned to users, groups, and services. Roles are able to perform actions such as create, manage, and read on Azure resources.


An indexing term that enables you to categorize resources according to your requirements for managing or billing. When you have a complex collection of resources, you can use tags to visualize those assets in the way that makes the most sense. For example, you could tag resources that serve a similar role in your organization or belong to the same department.

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