Microsoft Azure is a vast ecosystem of services that keeps on growing. As a new comer to this ecosystem, you may feel overwhelmed. But don’t worry, I wrote this post to answer questions like “where should I start?” and “What resources are available to me?”
Where Should I Start?
This is often the hardest thing to identity when we start tinkering with Azure. I started exploring Azure by reading free e-books that you can download from the Patterns & Practices website.
The first books I read were
- Moving Applications to the Cloud, Third Edition on Microsoft Azure
- Developing Multi-tenant Applications for the Cloud, Third Edition on Microsoft Azure
- Building Hybrid Applications in the Cloud on Microsoft Azure
Then I read Cloud Design Patterns. The Patterns & Practices team has also written a book about CQRS Journey, which can greatly influence your overall design.
If you’re looking to buy a book, I highly recommend Cloud Architecture Patterns: Using Microsoft Azure, a book written by Bill Wilder. This should probably be the first book you read. It’s packed with tons of valuable information that applies to most cloud vendors.
- Developing big data solutions on Microsoft Azure HDInsight
- Building an On-Demand Video Service with Microsoft Azure Media Services
- Enterprise Library 5.0 Integration Pack for Microsoft Azure
I found these e-books to be full of valuable information. They helped me define and architect various cloud native solutions. Microsoft has also created a section about Architecture on the Azure portal. This section covers patterns, best practices and provides you with a Visio stencil that I find very helpful when I design Azure solutions.
If you’re like me, you’ll also like to take some time to browse through guidance around best practices on design, deployment, troubleshooting, security, and performance provided by Microsoft.
More Guidance on Azure
Microsoft has also published scenario-based diagrams that help you build on Azure. These blueprints can provide you with a starting point for your own solution architecture.
Don’t forget about case studies, these can help you build arguments to help you promote the cloud within your organization. One of the biggest challenges for cloud adoption, is resistance to change and the lack of context around one’s desire to move to the cloud.
More Resources on Azure
Microsoft has an amazing collection of free online courses about Azure.
- Designing Applications for Windows Azure Jump Start
- Moving to Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure
- Windows Azure SQL Database
- Windows Azure Storage – Design and Implementation Jump Start
- Windows Azure Security Overview
- Windows Azure for IT Pros Jump Start
- DevOps: An IT Pro Guide
Visit Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) for the complete list.
More Posts on Azure
From time to time, I like to write about how to approach Azure. These are a few of my posts about the platform and my adventures on Azure.
- What is Azure?
- Is your application built for the cloud?
- Create a Dev & Test Environment in Minutes!
- How do you build features on #Azure?
- Brownfield Azure solutions & hidden treasures
- Why is Software Architecture important?
- Reaching performance targets on Azure by preparing and pre-calculating data
- Times have changed, Keep Up!
- Designing Cloud Services – consider bulkiness & chattiness
- Keep your privates private!
- Turbo charging your Azure Cloud Services
- Azure Storage Best Practices
- Does your data really belong in your SQL Database?
- Continuous Services require continuous attention
Azure is alive and kicking, its release cycle is quite short and we continuously see new features make their way to general availability. Keep a close eye on the official Azure blog and Azure podcasts. Don’t forget about events like Build whose recorded sessions can be found on Channel 9.