Skip navigation
Fundamentals of Azure: Microsoft Azure Essentials – Free Microsoft Press eBook

Fundamentals of Azure: Microsoft Azure Essentials – Free Microsoft Press eBook

Are you interested in learning more about Microsoft Azure, its offerings and the basics about Microsoft’s cloud services that are available on the growing platform?

Yesterday, Microsoft Press announced the availability of an electronic book by authors Michael S. Collier and Robin E. Shahan that is actually the first in a series about Microsoft Azure.

I have been poking around Azure for several months now and currently host several aspects of my website on the service including my Observed Tech PODCAST MP3 files, Windows Themes and other miscellaneous downloads.

Recently I even built a few small websites on the service using WordPress to see how reliable it is and so far with these sites and the downloads I mentioned it has been rock solid.

Microsoft Azure can make a lot of people nervous because it moves your services off premise and places them in the cloud on another companies set of servers and data centers however, the first step to gaining comfort with an offering like Azure is to learn more about it.

That is exactly what this book and its follow on offerings in the series are intended to do.

According to Microsoft Press this is the goal of the book:

This ebook focuses on providing essential information about the key services of Azure for developers and IT professionals who are new to cloud computing. Detailed, step-by-step demonstrations are included to help the reader understand how to get started with each of the key services. This material is useful not only for those who have no prior experience with Azure, but also for those who need a refresher and those who may be familiar with one area but not others. Each chapter is standalone; there is no requirement that you perform the hands-on demonstrations from previous chapters to understand any particular chapter.

The specific topics the authors cover in this are:

- Getting started with Azure: Understand what cloud computing is, visit the management portals, and learn about billing.
- Websites and Cloud Services: Learn about Azure Websites, from deployment to monitoring, and gain an understanding of the web and worker roles used in Azure Cloud Services.
- Virtual Machines: Explore the basic features of Azure Virtual Machines, including how to create, configure, and manage them.
- Storage: Read about the basics of Azure Storage, including blobs, tables, queues, and file shares.
- Virtual Networks: Learn the basics of virtual networks, including how to create one, and why a virtual network might be necessary. This also covers site-to-site and point-to-site networking, as well as ExpressRoute.
- Databases: Explore two relational database options available in Azure: Azure SQL Database and SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines.
- Azure Active Directory: Explore basic features of Azure AD, including creating a directory, users and groups, and using the application gallery.
- Management Tools: Explore three common tools for working with Azure: Visual Studio 2013 and the Azure SDK, Azure PowerShell cmdlets, and the Cross-Platform Command-Line Interface
- Business Scenarios: Explore four common scenarios for utilizing Azure features: development and test, hybrid, application and infrastructure modernization, and Azure Mobile Services.

The 246 page eBook can be downloaded from the Microsoft Virtual Academy website in three different formats:

Download PDF (6.66MB)

Download EPUB (12.04MB)

Download Mobi for Kindle Fire (24.57MB)

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.