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Management Groups & Subscriptions

Hey there, Azure fans! Today I want to talk to you about two important concepts in Azure: management groups and subscriptions. They may look similar, but they are actually different things that serve different purposes. Let me explain.

Azure Management Groups:

Management groups are a way to organize your Azure subscriptions into a hierarchy. They help you manage access, policies, and compliance for multiple subscriptions at once. For example, you can create a management group for each department in your organization and assign different roles and policies to each one. All subscriptions in a management group automatically inherit the conditions that are applied to the management group .


  • Higher Level: Management Groups provide a higher level of organization and governance above subscriptions.
  • Hierarchical Structure: You can organize subscriptions into a hierarchy within a management group. This hierarchy helps in applying policies and governance at scale.

Azure Subscriptions:

Subscriptions are a way to associate user accounts with the resources that they create and use. They also have limits or quotas on the amount of resources that they can create and use. For example, you can create a subscription for each project or environment in your organization and track the costs and usage of each one.


  • Lower Level: Subscriptions are the basic billing unit and represent an agreement with Microsoft to use Azure services.
  • Isolated: Each subscription is isolated from others.

So, when should you use management groups and when should you use subscriptions? Well, it depends on your needs and preferences, but here are some general guidelines:

  • Use management groups when you want to apply consistent governance across multiple subscriptions.
  • Use subscriptions when you want to isolate and manage resources for specific purposes or scenarios.
  • You can nest management groups and subscriptions up to six levels deep to create a flexible hierarchy that suits your organization.
  • You can also use resource groups to further organize and manage resources within a subscription.


In summary, Management Groups provide a way to centrally manage and govern multiple subscriptions, while Subscriptions offer a level of isolation and independence for resource deployment and management. The choice between them depends on the organizational structure, governance requirements, and the need for centralized control. Often, a combination of both is used for a well-structured and governed Azure environment.

I hope this blog post helped you understand the differences between management groups and subscriptions in Azure. If you want to learn more, check out these links:

Thanks for reading and happy Azure-ing!

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