To create and use Azure services, you will need an Azure account. The account is free, and it allows you to build and deploy cloud-based applications, utilize sophisticated artificial intelligence services, and extract essential insights from your data.

With an Azure account, you can use a variety of free and paid services to create the next-generation architecture for your product and users.

Azure Accounts and Subscriptions

With a free Azure account and subscription, you can build, test, and deploy enterprise applications, create custom web and mobile experiences, and gain insights from your data through machine learning and powerful analytics.

What is an Azure account?

An Azure account is tied to a specific identity and holds information like:

  • Name, email, and contact preferences
  • Billing information such as a credit card

An Azure account is what you use to sign in to the Azure website and administer or deploy services. Every Azure account is associated with one or more subscriptions.

What is an Azure Subscription?

An Azure subscription is a logical container used to provision resources in Microsoft Azure. It holds the details of all your resources like virtual machines, databases, etc.

Subscription Types

Azure offers free and paid subscription options to suit different needs and requirements. The most commonly used subscriptions are:

  • Free
  • Pay-As-You-Go
  • Enterprise Agreement
  • Student

Azure Free Subscription

An Azure free subscription includes a $200 credit to spend on any service for the first 30 days, free access to the most popular Azure products for 12 months, and access to more than 25 products that are always free. This is an excellent way for new users to get started. To set up a free subscription, you need a phone number, a credit card, and a Microsoft account.

Azure Pay-As-You-Go subscription

A Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) subscription charges you monthly for the services you used in that billing period. This subscription type is appropriate for a wide range of users, from individuals to small businesses, and many large organizations as well.

Azure Enterprise Agreement

An Enterprise Agreement provides flexibility to buy cloud services and software licenses under one agreement, with discounts for new licenses and Software Assurance. It’s targeted at enterprise-scale organizations.

Azure for Students subscription

An Azure for Students subscription includes $100 in Azure credits to be used within the first 12 months plus select free services without requiring a credit card at sign-up. You must verify your student status through your organizational email address.

Using multiple Azure subscriptions

You can create multiple subscriptions under a single Azure account. This is particularly useful for businesses because access control and billing occur at the subscription level, not the account level.

Access Management

You can create separate subscriptions on your Azure account to reflect different organizational structures. For example, you could limit engineering to lower-cost resources, while allowing the IT department a full range. This design allows you to manage and control access to the resources that users provision within each subscription.


One bill is generated for every Azure subscription on a monthly basis. The payment is charged automatically to the associated account credit or debit card within 10 days after the billing period ends. On your credit card statement, the line item would say MSFT Azure.

You can analyze your bill in the Azure portal – this will provide access to all your invoices, as well as a cost analysis breakdown of what got charged each month.

You can set spending limits on each subscription to ensure you aren’t surprised at the end of the month. Reports can be generated by subscriptions, if you have multiple internal departments and need to do “chargeback,” a possible scenario is to create subscriptions by department or project.

Authenticate access with Azure Active Directory

As you’ve seen, your Azure account is a globally unique entity that gives you access to your Azure subscriptions and services. Authentication for your account is performed using Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Azure AD is a modern identity provider that supports multiple authentication protocols to secure applications and services in the cloud.

Users, applications, and other entities registered in Azure AD aren’t all lumped into a single global service. Instead, Azure AD is partitioned into separate tenants. A tenant is a dedicated, isolated instance of the Azure Active Directory service, owned and managed by an organization. When you sign up for a Microsoft cloud service subscription such as Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Intune, or Office 365, a dedicated instance of Azure AD is automatically created for your organization.

When it comes to Azure AD tenants, there is no concrete definition of “organization” — tenants can be owned by individuals, teams, companies, or any other group of people. Tenants are commonly associated with companies. If you sign up for Azure with an email address that’s not associated with an existing tenant, the sign-up process will walk you through creating a tenant, owned entirely by you.

Azure AD tenants and subscriptions have a many-to-one trust relationship: A tenant can be associated with multiple Azure subscriptions, but every subscription is associated with only one tenant. This structure allows organizations to manage multiple subscriptions and set security rules across all the resources contained within them.

Here’s a simple representation of how account owners, subscriptions, tenants, and resources work together.

Notice that each Azure AD tenant has an account owner. This is the original Azure account that is responsible for billing. You can add additional users to the tenant, and even invite guests from other Azure AD tenants to access resources in subscriptions.

For more on Tutorial visit – Microsoft Azure Fundamental (AZ-900)