I love Microsoft Azure. Perhaps I could even be considered an Azure fan boy, but there’s some great reasons I’m an Azure fan boy. Limiting the discussion to Azure websites, the Azure management portal makes it simple to create websites, customize the domain name, dynamically enable load balancing and auto scaling, diagnostic logging (to the file system, or Azure table/blob storage), enable remote debugging with Visual Studio, performance monitoring, and automated backups.
As a developer, Azure is my go-to tool for spinning up a quick website to test some new code in an external environment. Although I’m an admin on one of our local HyperV development clusters, it’s just as easy for me to leverage my free MSDN Azure credits to instantly have a public URL for a 5-minute test.
By the way – did you know you can get a free subscription to Azure for 30 days? Go ahead, sign up for free! Better yet, if you have an MSDN subscription, you already have a free subscription to Azure. Free. No string attached. You just need to activate your subscription. Keep reading to find out how to access your benefits, or check out Microsoft’s site for videos and more detail.
Activate Microsoft Azure
To activate your MSDN Azure benefits, follow these steps:
- Go to the MSDN website
- Click “Sign In” and sign in with your Microsoft ID associated with your MSDN account:
- Click on the “MSDN subscriptions” link (see above image)
- Find the Azure area on the next page and click on the “Activate Microsoft Azure” link
- Continue to follow the directions to finish your Azure activation.
Upon activating your Azure Subscription, you’ll be given up to $150 in Azure credits (based on your MSDN subscription level) to use every 30 days. In most cases, this is enough Azure credit to run a small virtual machine 24×7, so this credit goes pretty far.