In this series, I’ll show you how to bake your own delicious Azure cake
This post is the third in ‘The Azure Bakery’ series: this part is about subscriptions. [Click here_](https://itnext.io/the-azure-bakery-series-introduction-277be6b7cdd3?source=friends_link&sk=5a0f506c63bd47be964728d462ace005) for the introduction to the series._
Welcome back for the third layer of our cake. The second layer was management groups. Today, we look at subscriptions, design strategies, cost management, and Azure Policy.
There are multiple design strategies for management groups and subscriptions. We went through the most comprehensive approach in the previous layer: the enterprise-scale landing zone architecture framework. In this layer, we’re going through the other design strategies and their benefits.
Subscriptions, in their simplest, are containers for your resource groups and resources. When you deploy and use resources, the costs are billed to the subscription. The subscription is your agreement with Microsoft and allows you to use their platform and services. Subscriptions are mandatory when you want to deploy resources — without them, this is not possible.
The subscription is also the administrative security boundary. In most cases, the role-based access control configuration is assigned to the subscription and inherited by the underlying resource groups and their resources.
There are limitations within Azure. The limits (or quotas) are in place for lots of services, as well as for subscriptions. For example, a subscription can have up to 980 resource groups and 50 tags. These limits can change over time. You can find the limits here.
Subscriptions are mandatory when you want to deploy resources — without them, this is not possible.
There are lots of offers and subscription types which you can find here. Today, we’re going through the four most common.
*Enterprise Agreement: *This is a manageable volume licensing program that offers the best value to organizations with 500 or more users. It’s a three-year agreement where you pay in advance using standardized payments. One of the benefits is activating so-called Dev/Test subscriptions with reduced development and test rate.
*Pay-As-You-Go: *This is a subscription that allows you to pay only for what you use monthly. The costs are slightly higher, but there’s no upfront commitment, and you can cancel anytime.
Free Trial: This is a free Azure trial valid for 30 days with €170 worth of spending credits. After 30 days, the trial gets converted to a Pay-As-You-Go subscription, billed using the assigned credit card. You’ll also get 12 months of selected free services with monthly limits. The free trial is a great place to start getting comfortable with Azure.
*Cloud Solution Provider: *This isa Pay-As-You-Go subscription purchased by invoice through a Microsoft partner. You don’t need a credit card, and the partner manages the subscription for you.
Every organization is different. Therefore, management groups and subscriptions are designed to be flexible. There are multiple design strategies for management groups and subscriptions.
Workload separation *strategy: *This is the most straightforward approach. You have two management groups, one for production and one for pre-production workloads. Both management groups contain multiple subscriptions, where ownership or responsibility is the differentiator. This approach isn’t best suited for applying different policies across your subscriptions and workloads because of the limited use of management groups.
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