Azure Managed Identity Vs Azure Service Principal

Azure Managed Identity and Azure Service Principal are both used for authentication and authorization in Azure.

Azure Managed Identity is a feature of Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) that provides an automatically managed identity in Azure. It allows you to authenticate with Azure services without needing to manage credentials. Managed identities can be assigned to Azure resources like virtual machines, Azure Functions, and Azure App Service and are automatically rotated by Azure AD.

On the other hand, Azure Service Principal is a non-human identity used to access Azure resources. It is a type of application in Azure AD that can be used to authenticate and access Azure resources. Service principals can be used for automated processes like scripts, CI/CD pipelines, and other automation scenarios.

The main difference between the two is that Managed Identity is tied to a specific Azure resource while Service Principal is a standalone identity. Managed Identity is suitable for scenarios where a single resource needs to access another Azure resource, while Service Principal is suitable for more complex scenarios where multiple resources need to access multiple Azure resources.

In summary, Azure Managed Identity is a simpler and more secure way to authenticate with Azure resources, while Azure Service Principal offers more flexibility and control over the authentication process.