Your first project in Azure


Your first project in the cloud, on Azure

Ever considered creating something in the cloud, but didn’t quite know where to start? It can be a daunting subject to approach, especially if you have little to no experience working with it. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to see what you can do.

The best way to learn something new has always been getting hands-on, which is why you can use a free Azure trial to test out some of the tools and services. That way, at the end of the 30-day trial, you’ll know a lot more about cloud computing and what you can do with it.

To start you off, here are a few things you can do with your Azure trial.

Create a WordPress website

This is one of the easiest things you can do with Azure, and whether or not you plan to keep a website in the cloud, it’s good practice for becoming more accustomed to Azure tools and features. This will also give you a basic idea of how to set up other kinds of websites, perfect if you’ve long been planning to get a portfolio website put together!

In the Azure toolbar, navigate to the ‘Web Sites’ tab and click the ‘Create a web site’ button. From here, it’s as simple as selecting WordPress as your website of choice, then following through some basic setup. Once that’s finished, Azure will initiate build and deploy operations.

Once Azure has completed those operations, you’re ready for the final step. Simply navigate back to the ‘Web Sites’ tab and select your new site. You’ll need to run through some basic WordPress setup, but you’ll now have a functioning website! Try playing with the settings to see what kind of control you have when running it in the cloud.

During the trial, you can run up to ten websites. The DNS name will be fixed for the duration of the trial, but your URLs will be fully customisable if you have a full account.

Store some files

With the free credit in your trial account, you can use up to 8TB of storage. While you’re learning the basics of Azure, why not create some storage and host some files? This might be where you would want to keep server files, but you may also need to share documents with people you’re collaborating with on a project. With all that storage, it’s perfect for moving large video files, too.

To do this, navigate to the ‘Storage accounts’ option in the Azure navigation menu. From here you can create a storage account; in this instance, we want to use the ‘files’ type of storage. Once that’s set up, you can create a file share instance and define how large you want it to be. You have up to 8TB, so don’t worry about running out of space just yet!

With this in place, you’ll be able to select that file share and upload/download files. Try it out, and see if you finally have a good way to send large files to your friends.

Next steps

Now you’ve seen a little of what you can do with Azure. Hopefully it will have got you thinking about what you’d like to do with it, but if you're looking for more small projects to complete during your trial, here are a few suggestions:

  • Set up Linux and Windows virtual machines
  • Create an automatic backup of files to the cloud
  • Create and host a web or mobile app
  • Create a Twitter bot

These are some of the simpler uses of the cloud, but you’ll soon find yourself more confident and ready to take on larger projects. Perhaps you'll use it on large volumes of data for machine learning, running high-demand computing, or even getting to grips with the IoT Developer Center.

The free trial is a fantastic way to get started with cloud computing, so try it out and experiment. By the end of the 30 days, perhaps you’ll have your eyes on an exciting project or two!

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