Microsoft provides wide range of free resources of training in Azure, mainly through its Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). There’s lot of articles for beginner, intermediate and advanced courses for people who use the technology or who design and sell Azure-inclusive solutions for customers.
For beginners in Azure may do best to start with the highly rated Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, which is the first of a four-part series. Other top-rated MVA Azure courses are Azure Active Directory Core Skills Jump Start, Azure Networking Fundamentals for IT Pros and the Microsoft Azure IaaS Deep Dive.
Microsoft has a few other resources worth checking out:
- Microsoft Learning: This site gives you the scoop on both free training (the same courses you take through MVA) and paid training. You also get links to related certification exams.
- Channel 9: Since 2004, Channel 9 has been a go-to place for Microsoft customers to view videos and webcasts, discuss issues, problems and emerging technology in the forums and generally learn about Microsoft technologies.
- Microsoft Cloud Platform University Online (CPO): This massive open online course (MOOC) site is designed for sales and pre-sales staff. Each course runs for four weeks, with 1 to 2 hours of time required for course work each week.
For hands-on practice and general noodling within the Azure environment, Microsoft grants you a 30-day free trial (to use up to $200 in subscription fees). During the trial, you can provision up to 14 virtual machines or 40 SQL databases, build web and mobile apps (through the App Service Web Apps), play with big data analytics and lots more. You need a credit card and a Microsoft Account username to create a free Microsoft Azure account.
E-book lovers will find lots of great Microsoft Press Azure titles, free for the viewing. Just go to the Microsoft Press portion of MVA, open the menu on the left and select Microsoft Azure, and then download any of the e-books that you want. The following are a few examples of the Azure titles you’ll find on the site:
- Microsoft Azure Essentials Migrating SQL Server Databases to Azure, Carl Raebler, June 2016
- Enterprise Cloud Strategy, Barry Briggs and Eduardo Kassner, January 2016
- Microsoft Azure Essentials: Azure Web Apps for Developers, Rich Rainey, June 2015