Microsoft Azure – Classic vs Resource Manager web interface

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Microsoft Azure has two deployment models: Classic and Resource Manager. If you have been using the portal for a while it is most likely that you are using the Classic model. In this Tutorial we are going to show how to connect on each one of them using web interface.


You should be asking yourself, what is the big deal between those two models for me as tenant, right? Well, for starters there are some resources that are only available on Resource Manager, which is the future standard for the Azure platform, and the interoperability between the two models may be tricky sometimes. Another point is that new functionalities may not support the classic model in the feature.

We are going in details about these deployment models in different Tutorials, but on this one we will cover how to use both models from the web interface. One thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft Azure has two portals, as follows:

  • Azure Portal which supports the Classic model
  • Azure Preview Portal which supports the the Resource Manager model

Classic model…

That is the default model when you access the portal (as shown in the figure below), and that is the traditional way that several customers have been using the platform. Nowadays, it is easier to manage things on the Classic model than on the Resource Manager one.


When using the Classic model, the administrator can switch to Resource Manager model, by clicking on his name on right-upper corner, and then selecting Switch to Azure Preview Portal.


Resource Manager model…

This is the new model, the interface is different and it uses the concept of tiles, and you can swipe on the web interface to go further on the configuration of certain objects. The biggest difference here is the Resource Groups item located right underneath + New and that is only available on this model. 


When creating new objects in the new Azure Portal (Resource Manager model), the administrator can choose which model the new resource should be deployed, as shown in the figure below. The opposite is not true when using Classic model, everything that is created there is always classic and there is no option to choose from.


If you want to switch back to Classic mode, click on name on the right-upper corner, and then click on Azure Portal.


These are the two models and how to access them using the web interface. Microsoft Azure is moving towards the Resource Manager model, and if you have the opportunity is better to start deploying on that new model, there are a few tricks to move/integrate components already deployed on the Classic model to the new one, but if you don’t have the need now, you can wait to later on.


You may have some questions about the models, we listed a couple of questions that I receive from the community, customers. If you have additional ones, just use the comments area and we will update this post accordingly.

  • Which model is easier for an ITPro?
    Well, my answer would be Classic model, using the Resource Manager requires a lot of PowerShell (although we have the Template resource that we are going to cover in the future in a separate article) to get the same thing done.
  • Which one is more powerful for an ITPro?
    That is an easy answer: Resource Manager. Using this model we can have easy charge back for a specific application, access delegation (RBAC), tags, templates and all those features are not available on the Classic model.
  • I’m building my Hybrid Cloud right now, which model should I use?
    Since it is a brand new environment, I would recommend to start on the right foot using Resource Manager.

Written by Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian Exchange Server MVP and MCSM (Solutions Master) and he contributes to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor at, and (Portuguese).