Free e-Book Helps You Get to the Meat of Microsoft Azure

Cloud computing concept sitting on a fluffy white cloud with laptop

This week's TechNet Flash Newsletter (Vol. 18, Issue 9, Sept. 14) not only proffered a link to free 263-page e-book on Azure (you can view the cover on Page 2), it also go me to thinking long and hard about Microsoft's ongoing and strengthening "cloud pivot."


What does "cloud pivot" mean, in this case? It portends a profound reworking of the way the company does business, with its move toward subscriptions on the consumer/end user software side of their products, and a profound shift toward cloud-based platforms and services on the business-oriented side.


I think we're seeing a radical reinvention of the way Microsoft faces the world and its partners and customers. This is showing up in all kinds of interesting ways, from the migration of Microsoft Office into Office 365 subscriptions to the introduction of the Windows Enterprise subscription for $7 per seat per month.


There's also increasing emphasis on Azure and cloud/Azure-based versions of Active Directory, SQL Server, and all the major Microsoft platforms (Exchange, SharePoint, and so forth). Even the Microsoft certifications are coming in for a shake-up, as I believe the upcoming revisions to the MCSA and MCSE programs will reveal at the Ignite conference in late September, when Windows Server 2016 makes it formal debut.


What About the Free eBook Already?


The afore-cited TechNet Flash issue points to a Microsoft Press blog post entitled "Free ebook: ... " that includes the book's full title (cited below). That blog post is dated September 1 and matches the book's publication date, which makes this offering pretty much "hot off the (digital) press."


It provides a fair level of detail in describing the "wide variety of services you can use without purchasing and provisioning your own hardware" that Azure provides (quotation is from the blog post).


Azure is intended to permit rapid development and more or less instant deployment of resources and services – including the cloud infrastructure standard elements of compute, network, storage and application services – that permit organizations to lean on the cloud to provide the building blocks they need to build workable and highly available technology solutions.


The book is designed to uncover and explain Azure basics so that developers can get to work on building solutions immediately. Thus, it focuses in on key features that developers are likely to need and use, rather than providing an exhaustive reference to the entire battery of Azure features and functions.


The book also uses walkthroughs to illustrate how to create VMs, virtual networks, websites, storage accounts, and more. Readers will also find the information leavened with real-world tips and tricks to help them take advantage of Azure best practices and related development processes and procedures.


Common tools for building Azure-based solutions are also covered, along with overviews of commonly used Azure services not directly explored in this eBook.


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Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure, 2e (ISBN 9781509302963), by Michael Collier and Robin Shahan.


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Best of all, the book is free to anyone who wishes to download it. Follow any or all of the preceding download links, and grab yourself a copy today!


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.