How to Get Started with Microsoft Azure

For many businesses, Microsoft Azure is the holy grail of cloud computing. After all, it has more than two hundred products and services that support you and bring your ideas to life. It shows you how to assemble, run and govern multiple applications across many several clouds, and it offers all the apps and frameworks most companies could ever need.

We could talk about Azure advantages forever, but the truth is that you’ll never understand the strength of this cloud platform until you use it, and adapting to this system isn’t exactly a walk in the park for most first-time users.

We’ll run through the basics below so you can sidestep that pesky learning curve.

How to Set Up an Organized Azure System

Let’s say you want to create a Windows virtual machine (VM) and manage it remotely with your desktop. Open up your Azure portal and follow these steps:

  • Click “Add” (or look up for virtual machines in the search bar)
  • Find the server you’d like to configure (i.e. WordPress, Intel, Windows)
  • Click the server and go to its basic settings
  • Pick a name for your server, choose the disk type (this helps performance later on), and select the SSD if applicable
  • Set up your username, password, location, and resource group, then save.

Configuring the VM

Now that you have the fundamentals set up, you’re ready to delve into the specifics of your VM. Stay in the settings where you entered the previous information and prepare yourself to make some decisions about these aspects:

  • Ram
  • Number of cores
  • Disk drive size
  • Price

Tip: Make sure you select “view all” to see all the different options available. 

Want to you beyond just the size of your VM? There are options for that, too. On that same screen, you will see the default settings of the storage, network, extensions, and other optional services. 

If you plan on having more than one VM, use the “availability set” option to group them together.

Creating Snapshots and Photo Galleries

Now that you’ve set up your virtual machine, you can get into the fun stuff: creating content in Azure.

How to Make a Snapshot in Azure

  • In the portal, direct your file share and select “create a snapshot.” 
  • In the virtual machine, open the qtestfile.txt and type “ this file has been modified” and save the file before you close it. 
  • To delete a snapshot simply click on the file share and view snapshots. 
  • On the File share snapshots pane, select the snapshot in the list and click “delete.”

How to Make a Photo Gallery in Azure

Want to set up a photo gallery, learn how to manage your photos and other files on the web? 

  • Log in to the Azure management portal.
  •  Click “New > Compute > Web App> From Gallery. 
  • After you get to “From Gallery”, select Galleries from the left panel.
  • Select your preferred App.

Teaching Your Employees to Use Microsoft Azure 

Learning MS Azure can seem like a headache and a half on the best of days, and teaching it is even worse. Fortunately, you’ve got plenty of resources to lend support.

Microsoft Learn and LinkedIn have great tutorials on other Azure basics. This way you’ll learn all the specifics yourself and be able to guide others to navigate the platform.

Of course, that route takes a little time and patience, which are usually in short supply in the business world. If you’d like the benefits of Azure without the hassle of learning a completely new platform, a software development team is your best bet. 

Chris Turn