I’ve had quite a few students tell me that they’d like to use a cloud platform, but they’re complex, hard to get started with, or expensive. I agree they can be quite confusing to a new user, but I’ve set out to make a simple ‘Getting Started’ guide for Microsoft Azure.
I’ve worked with the Azure platform for a couple of years now. As such, I’m starting to get an idea of what all the buttons do, and where all the settings are. However, Azure is a constantly evolving platform, and by the time you read this, it is very possible options have moved. Take these instructions as a guide, and maybe a search engine can help you find the rest.
We’ll start with how to get signed up for an Azure subscription as a Student. Azure has several layers of privilege behind its billing system. The main thing to know is every resource you create (VMs, App Services etc) is linked to a Subscription. Subscriptions have payment details linked to them, and determine how much you pay. If you use Azure in a professional capacity, you may use a Subscription setup by a CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) or some other entity. For our purposes, we’ll be setting up our own Imagine Subscription (Mine is called Dreamspark, yours may well be different too. As long as it’s not Pay-As-You-Go or Free Trial, you should be OK).
If you’re not a Student, or your School or University doesn’t have a partnership with Microsft (This is rare but it happens), you can sign up using the Free Trial here. Microsoft will give you $200 (at time of writing) to play with. You can still use all of the free services, but if you’re not careful, you might end up paying for Standard Resources! Student subscriptions have a payment cap of £0 to stop them accidentally spending money!
Signing Up for Microsoft Imagine
First things first, you need to sign up for Microsoft Imagine, the Microsoft Student program. Imagine gives you access to a whole range of Microsoft services, and it’s worth having a browse around to see what’s available This will give you a link to use to sign up for Azure. If you wish to keep using your Imagine account, you’ll need to re-verify your Student status once a year. If you have done this already, you can skip ahead, otherwise read on to find out how to sign up.
- Head over to Microsoft Imagine
- Sign In in the top right corner (If you haven’t already) and click Imagine Account
- Next, you’ll need to verify your Student status using the pane on the left. If you’ve already done this, no need to do the next step.
- Select how you’d like to verify your Student status. This will vary based on your institution (I used my Student email address)
- Finally, complete your verification (In my case, using the email from Microsoft)
Get your link to the Azure Sign up
Now we’ll get signed up for Azure using our Student status. As of writing, this link will get you $100 of credit, and access to a bunch of Always Free and Free for 12 Month services.
- Head to this Microsoft Imagine page
- Click the ‘Register Now’ button. If you don’t see it, you may not be signed in, or you may not have verified your Student status
- You will then be redirected to Azure to complete the process.
- Complete the Identity Verification presented
- Then. complete the Card Verification. If you use any chargeable resources, this is the card they will be charged to!
- Finally, complete the Agreement
- You should then be left in the Azure dashboard
Feel free to explore the Azure dashboard and the resources available. Be aware that if you create any, they may cost money, and be charged to your card.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be writing a few guides for projects you can do to get started on Azure. These will only use Free resources, so you can try them out too!
How’d it go? Has anything changed? Ran into issues? Got an idea for a project you want to build in Azure?
Leave me a comment, or Contact Me!