"Microsoft Azure [VM] 101" (Or How do I use all those MSDN Azure Credits? Or VS "14" CTP Azure VM in minutes... )
I have been using Amazon’s AWS for the last couple of years. I grew accustomed to the interface and felt pretty comfortable spinning up new images to help in my development work or creating demos for clients or just to research some new technology. However, as a proud owner of a MSDN subscription it was hardly financially prudent for me not to make the switch over to Azure, especially in light of the many improvements Microsoft has made to the platform. My goal in this article is to provide some guidance to people like me who are beginning their Azure journey. I will not be discussing the pros and cons of Azure over AWS or vice versa. I will simple be providing an introduction to Microsoft Azure for those who may need it.
This should be the easy part, right? In most cases, I am sure that it is. In my particular case it was a bit more painful, but only because there was a glitch in the process where my MSDN subscription did not get linked correctly to my Azure account. However, Joe C, an Azure support engineer, fixed me up moments after I submitted a support request. I give Microsoft an A+ on the focus they are giving support of Azure customers.
The first thing you will need is a Microsoft account. I know, kind of obvious, right? After logging in with your Microsoft account, you proceed to link that account to an Azure subscription. There are a few pricing options to pick from including a pay-as-you-go and subscriptions linked to your MSDN or Enterprise account. Once you get through the initial signup process you are taken to the management portal where the true adventure begins
This Azure VM focused "101" looks like a good resource for those who've yet to jump in. I comment allot about the Azure MSDN credits, the VM's you can get their, like the VS "14" CTP2, etc. But for those who've never used it before (No, I'm no looking at you co-workers... no really, I'm not... :/) this article is a great way to get started. And best of all it comes from outside of Microsoft from a company that does training for a business...