First experiences with Azure

I have an MSDN account through work, which gives me some free credits with Azure. We’ve been considering using Azure for hosting and for running test servers and such. Therefore yesterday, I created my account and tried to publish a very simple website to Azure. That’s when I hit some trouble. The firewall in the office is blocking me. I’ve put a request in to have it opened, but who knows what will happen.

In the meantime, I’ve tried it from home, and I’m very impressed. It set up a new website and database in seconds, and published the website. Very smooth. I made a few changes and published again, almost instantly.

The Azure dashboard is excellent, easy to navigate and lots of information. I’m now planning on running something a little more complex with services, etc. to see how it goes. I also want to look at Service Bus.

But, apart from the firewall issue, which is a work issue not an Azure one, I’m very, very impressed.

Oh, and today I got a call from a nice lady at Microsoft, giving me the details of my dedicated point of contact to help with any support issues. which is a nice touch.