Azure | Getting Started

With more and more companies moving towards the cloud, being in the know about cloud technologies is the place to be.

I try to keep up to date with technology but Azure isn’t something I’ve been keeping track of. I’ve now decided to take a dive into the world of Azure and thought I’d share how I’ve got on and the progress I’m making. Fortunately I’ve got access to the Visual Studio Enterprise Subscription (MPN) formerly known as MSDN subscription. One of the benefits you get with an MPN subscription is a small amount of credits that can be used towards testing and training with Azure.

If you haven’t got access to an MPN subscription, you can create a Free account with Azure which gives you access to Azure Free for 12 months of services. The link below will take you there:

Once you’ve got through all of the setup pages you’ll eventually land at the Azure main page.

I wont be going into detail about each of the options in this post but I’ll cover some overall features and terminology.

The three main things I first understood before I jumped straight in was Subscriptions, Resource Groups & Instances.

Navigation Pane


With Subscriptions if not uncommon for companies for have more then one Subscription available in the Subscriptions pane. Many companies will have there Enterprise Agreement which will be their production Subscription but also a Development agreement.

This for done for two main reasons; the first is because it can save companies a lot of money building their development environment under this agreement as the costings are reduced. There some disadvantages by using a Development Agreement as the VM’s can be shutdown if Microsoft need the resources in that region but normally budgets are more of a driver then 24/7 access.

The other reason is because using a Development Agreement is actually considered ‘Best Practice’ if testing in a dev lab.

Subscriptions Pane


Instances are pretty straight forward. In general there just an item in Azure. These include things like:

  • Virtual Machines
  • Networks
  • Storage
  • Databases

These instances can then be grouped into Resource Groups.


Resource Groups

Resource Groups are actually a key element when building your Azure environment. The short story for Resource Groups is that there a collection of instances. These Resource Groups will contain things like VM’s, Networks etc.

A good example of a Resource Group could potentially be a Resource Group named Printing Services. This Printing Services Resource Group will include the printing network, printing servers and any printing databases or storage that will be used.

One thing to note when creating Resource Groups are that they can not consist of any spaces but underscores are allowed.

In the next post…

I’m going to move onto Tags within Resource Groups. Regions when creating practically anything in Azure & a brief over of what Management Groups are.

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