5 Free Azure Resources

The 5 FREE Azure Resources You Didn’t Know You Needed

So yep, Azure’s kind of a big deal right now, and you might be feeling a little left behind. Why? Oh, probably because they ship new features almost weekly. Microsoft’s Azure team is putting out new features and changing old ones at a breakneck pace. So where do we even start?

Well, the good news is, the basics of Azure are still pretty much the basics: virtual machines, virtual networks, SQL as a service, Azure Active Directory, and Web hosting (although now Azure Websites go by the alias of Web Apps now—because all the cool kids have apps, of course LOL).

Here’s 5 free resources that you can jump on right now to get caught up on the Azure phenomenon:

1. Microsoft Virtual Academy’s FREE Azure Training: http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/product-training/microsoft-azure  What? You didn’t know about all these great free videos? Well, now you do, and while they’re all good, you’ll probably want to start with this one.

2. FREE eBook from MS Press: Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals. Yep, I know, I was surprised as you are right now when I found out that MS Press was just giving away these free eBooks. The above link is a direct download of the PDF, here’s the link to the Kindle Edition, as well as the book’s companion files.

3. Another FREE eBook: Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure. Is Microsoft really this serious about Azure that they’re just giving this away for free? Yep, they sure are. Also, here’s the Kindle edition.

4. FREE GUI for Storage Accounts: Azure Storage Explorer Working with Azure Storage Accounts can be a little tricky if you’re brand new to them, especially if you and the command line tools like PowerShell are still kind of frenemies. But this tool is fantastic for admins who want to avoid carpal tunnel from typing a billion commands just to get their stuff into a storage account. Here’s a walkthrough of how to use the tool as well.

5. FREE Azure Credit: One Month Trial  I’m always surprised at how many people don’t know they can get a 30 day supply of Azure credit for free. $200 you can use for 30 days to try out all the fun stuff that Azure has in store for you.

OH BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Bonus Assessement Tools: Even if you’re really sure how ready your shop is to start using Azure, you can run a free Azure Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment, whether your environment has physical or virtual machines, or both!  And if that’s not enough, here’s the Azure Websites Migration Assistant for your web sites, to see if they’re good to go for bouncing up into the cloud.

See, it’s a fantastic idea to read to the bottom of the blog. 😉

P.S. There’s even more free ebooks on Azure here: http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com but I thought you might dig the direct links, 😉