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The Compelling Case for Azure Subscription Segregation

Posted by Chris Beamon

Tue, Apr 25, 2023


The popularity and wide adoption of Microsoft Azure public cloud has transformed the way millions of businesses operate. It provides a wide range of services where customers can choose to develop and scale applications in a “pay for what you use” model. Getting the most out of Azure in a cost-effective way requires technical acumen, attention to detail and strong organizational skills.

Today, I want to focus on one of the components that requires organizational discipline -- Azure subscriptions. An Azure subscription is a logical container that holds Azure resources. In addition to it being a way to organize your Azure resources, it is also the basis that Microsoft uses for billing. Traditionally, organizations have maintained a small number of subscriptions and associated permissions for precise rights at the resource group level. However, as Azure has grown in complexity and scale, subscription management has become a critical aspect of effective cloud governance. In this post, we'll explore the best practices for managing Azure subscriptions, in particular subscription segregation, so you can ensure that your organization is taking full advantage of Azure's capabilities while optimizing costs and minimizing risk.

Effective Management of Azure Subscriptions

Segregating Azure subscriptions provides a clear and easy way to see all resources based on their criticality and role in the environment. It enables businesses to identify and separate subscriptions based on a wide range of factors. For instance, critical data and resources that are stored in a production environment, should be isolated from testing and development, while development and testing resources should not be mingled with production. With this type of segregation, organizations can manage access control and maintain a clear separation of duties, which is crucial for compliance with various industry regulations.

Compliance and Security Considerations

Segregation can play a key role in the complex world of compliance too. Industry regulations, such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and SOC 2, require organizations to maintain strict access control and security measures. Segregating subscriptions enables businesses to easily implement and maintain security practices to ensure compliance and minimize the risk of penalties or legal action.

Azure subscription segregation can also be applied to programming regions. This practice helps minimize the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security-related incidents. With a separate platform environment, businesses can not only keep their development, testing, and production resources separate, they gain greater control over access control and user permissions, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches and optimizing least access by ensuring that users only have access to the resources necessary for their specific tasks.

Extended Benefits

Creating separate subscriptions for different environments clearly offers benefits beyond ease of management. Optimizing resources, enhancing security and compliance, and carefully managing invoicing from Microsoft make Azure subscription segregation a compelling argument.

At Daymark, we’ve been helping businesses architect and deploy Azure environments for more than a decade. As a Microsoft Gold Cloud partner with 50 Microsoft certification and specializations, we work closely with Microsoft to ensure that we deliver outstanding solutions and services to our customers. In addition to design, deployment and on-going management of Azure and Azure Government, we can provide additional support to customers with proof of concepts, executive briefings and technical training. Please contact us if you need support getting your Azure house in order.