I receive a lot of questions from partners on the best way to get started with hands-on experience in Windows Azure. I recommend the following (free!) resources to get going or further deepen your already existing knowledge on Windows Azure:
- Windows Azure Training Kit: A comprehensive set of resources covering PaaS and IaaS workloads, including presentations, hands-on-labs, demos, and scripts so that you and your team may learn and re-deliver information to your customers about Windows Azure.
- Windows Azure Track: A comprehensive set of online trainings broken down by role (sales, pre-sales, architect, developer)
- Moving Applications to the Cloud: Provides an introduction to Windows Azure and discusses the cost model and application life cycle management for cloud-based applications, and describes how to migrate an existing ASP.NET application to the cloud.
- Developing Applications for the Cloud: Discusses the design considerations and implementation details of applications that are designed from the beginning to run in the cloud.
- Building Hybrid Applications on Windows Azure: Covers many topics related to architecting applications which rely on cloud AND on-premise technology (for example, an application that contains some components or features that cannot be located in the cloud, such as third-party services or sensitive data that must be maintained onsite under specialist control).
- Building Elastic and Resilient Cloud Applications: Self-explanatory description.
- A Guide to Claims-Based Identity and Access Control: Self-explanatory description.
- Cloud Ninja: A comprehensive code sample on codeplex developed to demonstrate the design and implementation of key features in Windows Azure with emphasis on metering and automated scaling.
- Fabrikam Shipping: Provides an in depth coverage of Identity Federation for multi-tenant applications. This is recommended to be reviewed in addition to Cloud Ninja.
- Windows Azure Forums: An online community of very responsive Azure
geeksusers who help each other out with common questions, code samples, and other general technical support.
I encourage you to take advantage of the resources listed here and also let me know if you’ve found other items that are useful. I plan to add to this list and make it permanently available as a page on my blog so you may refer back to it as needed.