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What are my options for a third-party Azure management tool?

Microsoft offers a number of management tools for Azure, but what are some options for third-party or open source management tools?

Microsoft offers a range of management tools for Microsoft Azure. But sometimes, a single Azure management tool...

is not enough and organizations need to supplement it with additional third-party tools. These open source and third-party tools can work with your primary management tool to provide additional or more advanced capabilities. By using third-party management tools, enterprises can also save time and money.

Most of the open source and third-party tools geared toward Microsoft Azure are intended to perform a specific task. For example, Azure Storage Explorer is a free, open source tool that allows administrators to browse Azure blobs and containers through a graphical interface. While this tool is handy, it is not a comprehensive Azure management tool.

A third-party Azure management tool that provides robust functionality is Azure Management Studio from Cerebrata, an Azure tool vendor acquired by Red Gate in 2013. The main features include controlling Azure cloud storage, monitoring and streamlining Azure workflows.

While many of Azure Management Studio's features focus on storage and databases, the tool also provides significant management capabilities for VMs.

Like Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Azure Management Studio allows administrators to view, change the state of and connect to Azure VMs. In addition, the tool provides for endpoint management and disk management.

When it comes to Azure, there isn't necessarily one perfect management tool. While Microsoft's own Azure Management Portal is adequate for smaller Azure deployments and day-to-day management tasks, larger organizations with many VMs or multiple clouds will likely want to supplement its functionality by using an external tool.

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This was last published in January 2016

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