4 Tips & Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Azure

by Jaap van Duijvenbode on November 16, 2015

The advantages of selecting Microsoft Azure for your cloud infrastructure are numerous. First, it makes spinning temporary applications up and down incredibly easy. Second, for developers used to using .NET, there is almost no learning curve to speak of. It's also an affordable, powerful, scalable, flexible, and secure option for the enterprise. Are you interested? If so, here are some great tips to get you started right with Azure.

1. Take Advantage of the Free Trial Subscription of Azure

If you can get a free month of Azure, why not?

If you haven't already cranked up with Azure, it is highly recommended that you take advantage of the free 30-day trial that Microsoft offers. This is a no-risk way to be sure that Azure is right for you. It comes with a $200 credit for unlimited Azure access. There really is no reason not to capitalize on this if you can.

2. Be Sure to Install PowerShell to Get the Maximum Potential of Azure Business Cloud Storage

PowerShell is the only way to take advantage of much of the high-level features and functionality of Azure. If you have more than the absolute basic features in mind, PowerShell is going to be essential in your ability to leverage the full potential of Azure. You can download the PowerShell cmdlets at the Microsoft website (it is also totally free), and then you will need to install all of the different components so that you can take advantage of all of the different features available. Note: this platform is updated every month, so check for new tools often so that you aren't missing out on anything.

3. Give the VMs a Static IP Address

Using the default setting, Azure will assign IP addresses out of a pool of available addresses, which means that you are not likely to get the same address again if the VM is de-allocated. If you want to assure that the VM gets the same IP address each time you crank it up, you will need to establish a virtual network in the web portal, and open up a PowerShell console using local admin privileges. Then you can run these commands:

$staticIP = Get-AzureVM -ServiceName myvm -name myvm Set-AzureStaticVNetIP -VM $staticIP -IPAddress | Update-AzureVM

Once the VMs are established, Azure will assign the VMs their own cloud service. Note: the ServiceName parameter is the name of the cloud service, and the -name is the VM name.

4. Control Costs by De-allocating Unused Resources

You can cut costs by making sure you de-allocate (stop) the VMs you aren't currently using.

VMs can have a status of running or stopped (de-allocated). Just to be sure that you are not racking up charges for VMs that you aren't using, de-allocate (stop) those by using the Shutdown button. You can find this button in the web management portal. Alternately, you can use the Stop-AzureVM cmdlet. If you simply shut down the VM using the operating system, however, this does not stop/de-allocate the VM in the Azure fabric.

Azure's business cloud storage instantly becomes a way to centralize and secure enterprise data when paired with the CloudFAST™ connectivity product by Talon Storage. This product allows all of your branch offices and remote workers to connect to the Azure cloud from anywhere, achieving the same level of performance and security that you would expect from an onsite solution. Get an overview of CloudFAST™ today.

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