Azure Cloud CLI PowerShell Bash AZ RM… what? :-)

Can you imagine your job without the seemingly never ending stream of new buzz words, terms and abbreviations?
I can, easily. :-)

Regarding Azure command line administration and automation there are a few important terms, which can be easily confused and therefore can make things seem more complicated than they really are or simply mess up conversations.
So here is a little guide to help you find your way through the Azure command line jungle:

Azure Cloud Shell or Azure Shell or Cloud Shell

  • Is a browser-based console for administrating Azure
  • Comes in two flavors: PowerShell and Linux Bash
  • Access and configuration see here
  • Can be integrated in Visual Studio Code via an extension

Azure PowerShell

  • Is the PowerShell variant of the Azure Cloud Shell
  • Contains all commands of the Azure PowerShell AZ module (see below) and a subset of the locally in PowerShell available commands (about 400)
  • Is sometimes also used to describe anything regarding the use of PowerShell scripts or commands to manage Azure :/

Azure CLI

  • Is a set of commands to manage Azure resources
  • Can be used inside the PowerShell or the Bash version of Azure Cloud Shell
    • Type the command “AZ” into Azure PowerShell or Bash (more details see here)
    • Not to be confused with the PowerShell AZ module (I know…)
  • Can be downloaded and locally installed on Windows and Linux
    • can be used (depending on OS) via PowerShell, Bash and CMD for remote administration

Azure PowerShell AZ or AZ module

  • Is the name of a PowerShell module
  • Is the replacement for the retired AzureRM module (see below)
  • Contains 46 sub-modules with a total of 2353 commands
  • Is available inside Azure PowerShell
  • Can be downloaded and installed locally to manage Azure remotely
  • Local installation is supported on
    • PowerShell 5.1 – Windows
    • PowerShell Core 6.0 – Windows, Mac OS, Linux
    • PowerShell Core 6.1 – Windows, Mac OS, Linux


  • Is the name of a soon to be retired PowerShell module
  • Not to be confused with the Azure Resource Manager, which is the web UI to manage Azure and is also sometimes shortened as Azure RM or more often as ARM
  • Is the predecessor of the Azure PowerShell AZ module
  • Should not be used anymore
  • Commands are still supported as aliases in the AZ module
  • A migration guide for scripts and snippets from AzureRM to PowerShell AZ is available here


Hopefully that clears things up a little.
If your are getting started with Azure automation, check out the  Azure Automation Snippet Pack.

Have a nice day,

Azure Automation Snippet Pack

I’ve created a set of 20 Azure snippets (in the form of reusable functions) to get you started with Azure PowerShell automation.
There are snippets for authentication, installation, virtual machines, storage and SQL and all of them use the new Azure PowerShell AZ module which is the replacement for the AzureRM module.




    • New-AzureContextFile
      • Login to Azure and save the current authentication information to use in PowerShell scripts
    • Use-AzureContextFile
      • Login to Azure via credential (context) File
    • Check-AZmodule
      • Check if the latest available Azure Powershell AZ modules are installed
    • Install-AZmodule
      • Install the AZ module (with auto-elevation)



    • Create-AzureVM
      • Creates a new Azure virtual machine with all necessary resources
    • Remove-AzureVM
      • Removes a virtual machine and all attached resources
    • List-VmSize
      • Retrieves a up-to-date list of all available Azure Virtual Machine sizes in a given location
    • List-VmSkus
      • Retrieves a up-to-date list of all Azure virtual machine offers and their SKUs for a certain or all publishers in a given location



    • New-AzureSQLDB
      • Creates a new SQL instance including firewall rule and database
    • New-GeoReplication
      • Configure an active geo-replication for a single database



    • Azure File Share Backup
      • Creates a backup for all file shares protected by Azure Backup in a subscription
    • Set-AzureBlobContent
      • Upload Files to an Azure blob


You can download the snippet pack here: CodeManager CMB File

  • The CMB-file can be installed quickly in CodeManager v7 via Snippet Backup->Restore.
  • It contains ISE-snippets, so you can use them directly in ISE, but they can be used with CodeManager with any editor (like VSCode) of course.
  • If you wish, you can open CMB files with any ZIP-capable program


Have a nice day!