If you’re looking for an easy way to start evaluating Windows Server 2012 this couldn’t really be any easier, quicker, cheaper or faster (if you have 30 mins you can do this). Windows Azure’s IaaS features make it is as simple as it could possibly be to setup a test lab without the use of any hardware but with the full features of the OS and the platform. It’s also a really good way to start getting a handle on Windows Azure’s IaaS features and to start understanding how they come together.

Over the festive period I had some time to play with some new features of some of our technology and to make some videos, in this first video I’ll take you through the simple signup process for Windows Azure. It’s free for 90 days and has a £0 spending limit set so you won’t get charged (unless you remove that limit). Next we’ll setup a private network on Windows Azure to connect our virtual machines, then we’ll use PowerShell to connect to Azure and provision our first VM.  Finally in my next post I’ll show you how to setup your first Active Directory Domain Controller in your first AD Forest in Windows Server 2012.

You won’t need much in the way of resources for this, you’ll just need: