Microsoft Azure Deployment Stack

Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Arnav Sharma

The Azure Deployment Stack, currently in public preview, is revolutionizing how we manage collections of Azure resources. This innovative feature in Azure Resource Manager, accessible through Bicep, Azure CLI, and Azure PowerShell, simplifies the life cycle management of Azure resources, making it an indispensable tool for developers and IT professionals.

What is an Azure Deployment Stack?

An Azure Deployment Stack is a type of Azure resource that allows for the management of a group of Azure resources as a single unit. When a Bicep file or an ARM JSON template is submitted to a deployment stack, it defines the resources managed by the stack. This feature is particularly useful for creating, updating, and deleting resources in a coordinated manner.

Creating and Managing Deployment Stacks

To create a deployment stack, you can use Azure CLI, Azure PowerShell, or the Azure portal, along with Bicep files. These files are transpiled into ARM JSON templates, which are then deployed as a deployment object by the stack. The deployment stack offers capabilities beyond traditional deployment resources, serving as a superset of those capabilities.

Creating a Deployment Stack

Suppose you need to provision test VMs for various application teams across different resource group scopes. A deployment stack can be used to create these test environments and update the test VM configurations through subsequent updates to the stack. After the project, the managed resources can be easily removed by specifying the appropriate delete flag, streamlining the environment cleanup process.

Benefits of Using Deployment Stacks

  1. Simplified Resource Management: Deployment stacks simplify the provisioning and management of resources across different scopes.
  2. Preventing Undesired Modifications: They help in preventing undesired modifications to managed resources through deny settings.
  3. Efficient Cleanup: Deployment stacks enable efficient environment cleanup by employing delete flags during updates.

Key Features and Operations

  • Resource Type: The resource type for deployment stacks is Microsoft.Resources/deploymentStacks.
  • Scope: Deployment stacks can be created at resource group, subscription, or management group scope.
  • Deny Settings: These settings prevent unauthorized deletion or modification of managed resources.
  • Update and Deletion: Deployment stacks allow for easy updating and deletion of resources, managed by specifying the appropriate flags.

Detaching and Deleting Resources

A key feature of deployment stacks is the ability to detach or delete resources. If a resource previously included in the template is removed, it will either be detached or deleted based on the specified actionOnUnmanage behavior.

Bicep and Deployment Stack

Example: Creating a Deployment Stack with Bicep for an Azure Storage Account

Step 1: Create a Bicep File

First, we need to create a Bicep file that defines the Azure resources we want to manage with our deployment stack. Let’s call this file storage.bicep.

 
resource storageAccount 'Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts@2021-04-01' = {
name: 'mystorageaccount${uniqueString(resourceGroup().id)}'
location: resourceGroup().location
kind: 'StorageV2'
sku: {
name: 'Standard_LRS'
}
properties: {
supportsHttpsTrafficOnly: true
}
}

This Bicep file defines a storage account with a unique name, located in the same region as the resource group, and using the Standard_LRS SKU.

Step 2: Deploy the Bicep File to Create a Deployment Stack

To deploy this Bicep file and create a deployment stack, you can use Azure CLI or Azure PowerShell. Here’s how you can do it with Azure PowerShell:

New-AzResourceGroupDeploymentStack `
-Name "MyDeploymentStack" `
-ResourceGroupName "MyResourceGroup" `
-TemplateFile "./storage.bicep" `
-DenySettingsMode "none"

This command creates a new deployment stack named “MyDeploymentStack” in the specified resource group “MyResourceGroup” using the storage.bicep file.

Step 3: Verify the Deployment

After creating the deployment stack, you can verify that the storage account has been deployed successfully:

Get-AzStorageAccount -ResourceGroupName "MyResourceGroup"

This command lists the storage accounts in “MyResourceGroup”, and you should see the newly created storage account as part of the output.

Step 4: Update the Deployment Stack

If you need to update the deployment stack, for instance, to change the SKU of the storage account, you would modify the Bicep file and then update the stack:

Set-AzResourceGroupDeploymentStack `
-Name "MyDeploymentStack" `
-ResourceGroupName "MyResourceGroup" `
-TemplateFile "./storage.bicep" `
-DenySettingsMode "none"

Step 5: Delete the Deployment Stack

To delete the deployment stack and its associated resources, you can use the following command:

Remove-AzResourceGroupDeploymentStack `
-Name "MyDeploymentStack" `
-ResourceGroupName "MyResourceGroup" `
[-DeleteAll/-DeleteResourceGroups/-DeleteResources]

This command will remove the deployment stack and, depending on the flags used, can also delete the resources managed by the stack.

FAQ: 

Q: What is a Managed Resource in the Context of Azure Deployment Stacks?

A managed resource refers to a new resource type for managing a collection of Azure resources as part of a deployment stack. These resources are managed by the deployment stack, meaning that actions like create, update, and delete are handled through the stack, simplifying the complexity of resource management.

Q: How Do You Create a Bicep File for Azure Deployment Stacks?

To create a bicep file for Azure deployment stacks, you can use bicep to create and deploy resources. Bicep is an ARM or bicep language that allows for more streamlined coding. Microsoft Learn provides resources on how to use bicep, including the creation of deployment stacks within Azure.

Q: What is the Purpose of a Deployment Stack in Azure?

A deployment stack in Azure is a stack of resources that depend on each other and are managed as a single entity. It enables the management of resources from a deployment stack as a single call to the deployment stack, streamlining the deployment process within Azure scopes.

Q: How Can You Update the Deployment Stack in Azure?

To update a deployment stack in Azure, you can use commands like az stack group create \ --name followed by the specific parameters for the stack. This command allows you to modify existing resources or add new ones to the deployment stack.

Q: What are the Steps to Deploy a Deployment Stack Using Terraform?

To deploy a deployment stack using Terraform, you need to first create a deployment stack with Terraform configurations. Then, execute Terraform commands to apply these configurations, which will create and deploy the desired resources within Azure. Terraform manages the deployment stack resource as a 1-to-many operation.

Q: How Can You Verify the Deployment of a Deployment Stack in Azure?

To verify the deployment of a deployment stack in Azure, you can access the Azure portal by navigating to the specific deployment stack. From there, you can check the status of each resource in the stack, ensuring that each part of the deployment stack is functioning as expected.

Q: What is the Role of Microsoft Learn in Creating Deployment Stacks?

Microsoft Learn provides educational resources and tutorials on creating deployment stacks in Azure. It offers guidance on managing deployment stacks in public or private preview, showing how to use the underlying bicep file and Azure commands for effective deployment stack management.

Q: Can You Delete or Update Individual Resources in a Deployment Stack?

Yes, you can delete or update individual resources in a deployment stack. However, it’s important to note that deletion of a single resource might not always be straightforward. In some cases, resources can be detached but not deleted, and you may need to run the delete commands without actually removing the entire stack.

Q: What is the Role of the ‘az stack’ Command in Azure Deployment Stacks?

The ‘az stack’ command is a pivotal tool in Azure for managing deployment stacks. It allows users to create, update, and delete deployment stacks. The command is versatile, enabling actions like az stack group create \ --name for specific stack operations and az stack sub create for managing resources within a stack.

Q: How Does Microsoft Support Deployment Stack Creation and Management?

Microsoft, through its Azure platform and Microsoft Learn resources, supports the creation and management of deployment stacks. It offers tools and educational resources for users to learn how to use bicep to create and deploy a deployment stack. Microsoft’s involvement ensures that deployment stacks in public preview are accessible and manageable for users.

Q: Can You Describe the Deployment Stack Resource in Azure?

A deployment stack resource in Azure is essentially a managed resource group within which you can deploy and manage a stack of resources that depend on each other. It acts as a centralized unit for resource management, enabling a more streamlined deployment and management process.

Q: What is the Significance of the Resource VirtualNetwork in Deployment Stacks?

The resource VirtualNetwork plays a significant role in deployment stacks as it represents one of the many types of resources that can be managed within a stack. It is crucial for networking within Azure, allowing for the interconnection of various resources managed by the deployment stack.

Q: How Can You Use Azure Scopes to Manage Deployment Stacks?

Azure scopes are utilized to manage deployment stacks by defining the level at which the stack is created and managed. For example, a stack can be created at the resource group level with a command like az stack group create \ --name. This allows for a more granular control over the deployment and management of resources within specific Azure scopes.

Q: What Are the Challenges Addressed by Deployment Stacks in Azure?

Deployment stacks in Azure address challenges like the complexity of resource management and the need for a streamlined deployment process. By allowing for the creation and update of resources from a deployment stack as a single operation, deployment stacks simplify the management of complex dependencies and configurations.

Q: How Do Deployment Stacks Template Facilitate the Deletion of Resources?

Deployment stacks facilitate the deletion of resources by enabling users to run the delete commands without the delete operation impacting the entire stack. This allows for the deletion of a single resource or a subset of resources, which can be detached but not deleted, providing flexibility in resource management.


keywords: deployment stack at the resource stack at the resource group

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