What are ARM Templates? | Azure ARM

Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates are declarative JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) files used to define the infrastructure and configuration of resources in Microsoft Azure. They provide a way to automate the provisioning and deployment of Azure resources, ensuring consistency and repeatability in the cloud environment.

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Using ARM Templates

ARM templates are composed of JSON objects that describe the desired state of resources to be created or updated. They can be stored in source control, allowing versioning and collaboration. ARM templates are designed to be idempotent, meaning they can be applied repeatedly without causing any harm or inconsistency to the environment.

Here's a simple example of an ARM template to deploy an Azure Virtual Machine (VM):

{ "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentTemplate.json#", "contentVersion": "", "parameters": { "vmName": { "type": "string", "defaultValue": "myVM", "metadata": { "description": "Name of the Virtual Machine." } }, "vmSize": { "type": "string", "defaultValue": "Standard_DS1_v2", "metadata": { "description": "Size of the Virtual Machine." } } }, "resources": [ { "type": "Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines", "apiVersion": "2022-01-01", "name": "[parameters('vmName')]", "location": "[resourceGroup().location]", "properties": { "hardwareProfile": { "vmSize": "[parameters('vmSize')]" }, "osProfile": { "computerName": "[parameters('vmName')]", "adminUsername": "myAdmin", "adminPassword": "myP@ssw0rd123" }, "storageProfile": { "imageReference": { "publisher": "MicrosoftWindowsServer", "offer": "WindowsServer", "sku": "2019-Datacenter", "version": "latest" }, "osDisk": { "createOption": "FromImage" } } } } ], "outputs": {} }

The above template creates an Azure VM with the specified name and VM size. It uses parameterized values, making it reusable for different configurations.

Steps to Deploy ARM Templates

Here are the steps to deploy an ARM template in Azure:

  1. Author or obtain the ARM template: Create or obtain the ARM template JSON file for the resources you want to deploy.
  2. Customize the parameters: Modify the parameter values in the template if needed.
  3. Deploy the template: Use Azure Portal, Azure CLI, PowerShell, or Azure DevOps to deploy the template to your Azure subscription.

Common Mistakes in ARM Templates

  • Missing or incorrect parameter values, leading to deployment errors.
  • Not defining dependencies between resources, causing deployment failures.
  • Incorrect JSON syntax, resulting in parsing errors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use ARM templates to deploy existing Azure resources?

Yes, you can use ARM templates to define the desired state of existing resources and manage their configuration.

2. How can I validate an ARM template before deployment?

You can use the "Test-AzResourceGroupDeployment" cmdlet in PowerShell to validate your ARM template without deploying it.

3. Can I deploy ARM templates across multiple Azure regions?

Yes, you can specify the location property in the ARM template to deploy resources in different Azure regions.

4. Are there any limitations to using ARM templates?

ARM templates have some limitations, such as the inability to define complex control flow or iterative logic.

5. How do I roll back a failed deployment using ARM templates?

ARM templates support the "dependsOn" property, which ensures that resources are created in the specified order. If a resource fails to deploy, the deployment process will be automatically rolled back.


ARM templates are a powerful tool for automating the deployment of Azure resources. By defining the infrastructure and configuration as code, you can ensure consistency and repeatability in your Azure environment. Avoiding common mistakes and following best practices will lead to successful deployments and efficient resource management in Azure.