1 Before you begin

Azure is one of the largest public cloud computing providers for services such as virtual machines (VMs), containers, serverless computing, and machine learning. We won’t dive into all 100 or more Azure services in this book, but you’re going to learn about the core services and features that cover most of what you need to start building and running solutions in Azure. We’ll look at a common example of how to build and run a web application, and you’ll see how to use some of the core infrastructure and platform services that can make your job easier.

With Azure, you don’t need a magic wand to predict how many servers or how much storage you’ll need over the next three years. No more delays as you gain budget approval; wait for new hardware to ship; and then rack, install, and configure everything. You don’t need to worry about what software versions or libraries are installed as you write your code.

Instead, select a button, and create whatever resources are needed. You pay only for each minute those resources are running or for the amount of storage space or network bandwidth used. When you don’t need the resources anymore, you can power down or delete them. If you suddenly need to increase the amount of compute power by a factor of 10, select a button, wait a couple of minutes, and it’s there. And all this is managed by someone else, freeing you to focus on your applications and customers.

1.1 Is this book for you?

1.2 How to use this book

1.2.1 The main chapters

1.2.2 Try it now

1.2.3 Hands-on labs

1.2.4 Source code and supplementary materials

1.3 Creating your lab environment

1.3.1 Creating a free Azure account

1.3.2 Bonus lab exercise: Creating a free GitHub account

1.4 A little helping hand

1.5 Understanding the Azure platform

1.5.1 Virtualization in Azure

1.5.2 Management tools

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