Have a MSDN subscription? Then start using your free monthly Azure credits!

July 31, 2014

SEP’s got a handful of unassigned MSDN subscriptions. We recently started a project that uses Visual Studio Online, so those of us on the team were assigned subscriptions so that we could actually use the VSO service.

We got through Sprint 1 and found out that the integrated code review support in Visual Studio 2013 just wasn’t doing it for us, but we couldn’t use Crucible (since we’re not using git) nor could we use SEP’s Code Review Support Tool, since it currently doesn’t integrate with Visual Studio Online. We found a new tool (another post on this later!) that would fit our needs, but we needed to get a server up and running external to the SEP network, because the client also needed to be able to access it. I talked to our friendly guys at IT but they had some problems getting the external facing working. I was getting frustrated by how long it was taking to get a simple app up and running on an external site and was desperately wishing there was a way I could just do this on my own without having to pester IT to set it up and maintain it.

Turns out, there was.

As part of the MSDN subscription, it turns out that you get $100 of monthly credit for Azure services. After discovering this, I had my external server up and running it under 30 minutes. Between all of us on the team, we’ve currently got about $600 worth of monthly credit (though no more than $100 for a single service) we could use on Azure services, and we never would have even known if our client hadn’t mentioned it to us.

We’re not using anywhere near our $600. In fact, right now we’re using about $13. So if you’ve got a need for some Azure services on your project, come talk to me and we’ll see about hooking you up. Or, if you’ve already got an MSDN license, just go to Microsoft’s site and create a linked Azure account to start using your free credits.

What kinds of things can you do? Well, this pricing calculator will give you the clearest picture, but among them is:

  • Hosting a website
  • Hosting a virtual machine
  • Hosting mobile services
  • Hosting Oracle (pricey, though!) and SQL servers

This is a pretty nice option to have available to us on projects, so let’s find a way to make the most of it!