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With the end of support date looming regarding Windows Server 2003, most readers of this blog remember a previous post entitled Step-By-Step: Building Your Own Lab on Windows Server 2012 enabling those to test in lab the new capabilities offered by Windows Server 2012 R2. During today's CANITPRO camp, the question was put forward regarding what would one do should they not have access to hardware to run Microsoft's newest server offering. These steps will detail the ability to test Windows Server 2012 R2 on Azure free for 30 days.
Step 1: Sign-up for a new Microsoft Account ( previously known as Windows Live ID )
A Microsoft Account allows the ability for IT professionals to both sign-up for a free Windows Azure Trial, as well as sign-in to the Windows Azure Management Portal to provision and manage Cloud resources. Many IT Pros prefer to sign-up for a unique account to better track Windows Azure resources even if they already have a pre-existing Microsoft Account.
Note: Country and Postal Code: When completing this form, please be sure to accurately reflect your country ( Canada ) and Postal code
Step 2: Navigate to the FREE Trial Page
Found here: Windows Server 2012 R2 on Azure Evaluation Page Select Try it now to continue.
Step 3: Register for the FREE Windows Azure Trial
On the page following the Windows Server 2012 R2 evaluation page, register for a Windows Azure FREE Trial subscription by clicking on the TRY IT NOW button.
Step 4: Submit the Trial Registration Form for Windows Azure
Complete each field on the registration form and click the SIGN UP button. Note: A valid Credit Card will be requested when completing the form for the Windows Azure Trial Registration in Section 3 of the form. This information is securely processed for validating your individual identity. The supplied credit card will not be charged during the trial subscription period. You must provide approval to convert your trial subscription to a paid subscription. This comes as common practice as most cloud providers generally require credit card information to validate the identity of individuals when signing up for trial programs of their offering. Step 5 - Build Your Windows Server 2012 R2 Virtual Machine
At this point you should now have an active Windows Azure Trial Subscription to use for building your cloud-based lab environment. To build your Windows Server 2012 R2:
This lab setup will take you less time then downloading, installing and setting up a lab allowing IT professionals to learn Windows Server 2012 R2 practices and capabilities that much quicker. To take your learning to the next level, be sure to visit the Microsoft Virtual Academy and review the What's New in the Windows Server 2012 R2 Jump Start session.