Step-By-Step: Windows Azure - Back to the basics

Last week I talked about setting up the Online Backup Service for Windows Server 2012. Since then I've received a few message from IT Pros that felt like I skipped a step. They mentioned that Jumped right into the management portal. “How do you set up the account first?” they asked.

You could start with Windows Azure for IT Pros Jump Start on MVA.  but for now, I decide to go back to the basic and start from scratch. With Windows Azure, you can easily deploy and run Windows Server and Linux virtual machines on your own virtual network in the cloud. With Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) we take care of the platform, you manage the virtual machines and their payload.

This can be really great in many several scenarios, such as: building virtual lab environments, piloting new software in the cloud… you can even upload your own VMs (the VHDs) and run them in the cloud. So let’s turn back the clock and start anew.

Step 1: Get a free trial account

You receive $200 of Windows Azure credits with the Free Trial. The choice is now yours on how you use your Windows Azure credits. Use them on Virtual Machines, Web Sites, Cloud Services, Mobile Services, Storage, SQL Database, Content Delivery Network, HDInsight, Media Services, whatever you need.

Here are a few examples of usage scenarios that consume no more than $200 in a month:

· Run 2 small Virtual Machine instances for the entire month, or

· Store 800 GB of data in Storage, or

· Develop and test a web application using Cloud Services, with 3 web roles and 2 worker roles on medium instances, for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, or

· Run a 100GB SQL Database for the entire month

As you can see it’s worth it.

Sign up for a FREE Trial of Windows Azure


All you will need is a Microsoft Account and a credit card.

Not to worry, this information is used only to validate your identity and your credit card will not be charged, unless you explicitly convert your FREE Trial account to a paid subscription at a later point in time.

We do this by setting a spending limit. To protect you from accidentally incurring charges for usage beyond the included offer amount, we set the Spending Limit feature by default to a limit of $0. So if you use more than the $200 credit, your services will just stop…. no charge.

To see your free trail balance just look at the top of the browser windows once you registered and are in the portal.


And you’ll see your Credit Status.

Step 2: Deploy something!

Open Internet Explorer and browse to enter the Windows Azure portal. Then, log in with your credentials.

In the menu located at the bottom, select New | Compute | Virtual Machine | From Gallery to start creating a new virtual machine.


And pick a Virtual Machine from the Gallery


In our case I picked a Windows Server 2012 Datacenter VM so I can run all the other Step-By-Step scenarios.

And from this point, just run through the wizard. Once you have completed the wizard, your machine will be provisioned. It might take a couple minutes. But as soon as it’s done you can connect to this machine from the internet.


Now that we “rebooted” this part, we can move on to exploring more scenarios.

Step 3: Don't stop learning!

In the meantime there are a lot of great content on the Microsoft Virtual Academy for you to consume.

Because there’s always more to learn.



Pierre Roman | Technology Evangelist
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