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What we learned at our Windows Azure Regcast

Hands-on configuration

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Advanced configuration

Setting up a virtual machines or a virtual hard disk is more or less a point-and-click exercise but many users will want to automate the process. Using PowerShell, provisioning can be done to a template.

“This is part of the promise of the cloud,” Matt explains. “I can have infrastructure in a script, and afterwards tear it down again.”

The same goes for basic configuration. Using PowerShell to set up Apache on the Linux server used a simple downloaded script. Defining Endpoints is prompted by the portal and load balancing is just a question of checking a box.

Networking

This is relatively new territory for Windows Azure, one in which there will be rapid development – especially if it wants to make good on the promise of a truly hybrid data centre.

The first iteration of VNs allows users to extend their on-premise infrastructure to the cloud: specify a DNS server from the networking dialogue box (either your own or a public one, or the Windows Azure DNS server will be specified by default).

Then define the IP addresses of the network and set up the VPN gateway using a point-and-click interface. After 20 minutes, you can install the VPN on your machine.

Where to go for more

There are more resources and you can download a 30-day free trial here. Also, you can set spending limits while you are experimenting with Windows Azure.

A tab on the top of the portal lets you know how much you have left in the kitty and what your spending limit is. Those tabs also link to downloads, help, tools and the training kit.

Credit also to Matt: QA is the biggest exponent of Microsoft training and education, and if you decided that an hour of him is not enough, you can book some more of his training here.

And, finally, after Matt finished in the studio with us, he sped off to do a Twitter Q&A session with another Windows Azure expert, sitting on board Concorde. They are both Cloud Pioneers, you see.

If you want to see what they discussed in their twitcast – and see the expert answers to some tough questions – then search for hashtag #CloudPioneers on Twitter. It is the next best thing to travelling at twice the speed of sound.

You can find out more about Microsoft’s Cloud OS in our next hands-on training session "Managing Multi-Vendor Devices with System Center 2012". Click here to register or here to add it to your calendar. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

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