Exam 70-462: Using Azure for the Practice Setup

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  • Great enlightenment, thanks.

  • I'm trying to do this, and I'm concerned about the cost. I'm at the step where I'm creating the Windows 2008r2 server. In the pricing tier, it has Standard D1 ($118.30 estimate) even though the subscription says Free Trial. Will I be charged if I create the server? I'm only doing this to learn and I don't want to spend that kind of money. Can someone tell me if this will charge me?


  • I believe free trial is an amount. If I look at the main Azure site, I see the trial is listed as a $200 credit in the FAQ. That means you could run that D1 for a month for free (a bit more).

    However I tend to go with less and smaller VMs/dbs/etc to watch my credit. You can monitor the cost and shut things down if it gets close to the limits. The billing notifications are pretty good and in some services, you can set limits for spending.

  • Also says if you exceed the $200, they suspend your services.

  • Did you look into using the TechNet Virtual Labs: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs

    I used those for my practice exams way back when for SQL 2008.


  • nice guide! I will try this myself when updating my certifications. probably will do it all on my desktop PC (even though with only 8GB RAM things may get a bit slow).

    I was also wondering if there is any other free resource from Microsoft to help people who are studying. maybe something from Virtual Academy[/url] ?


  • The free trial gives you up to $200 or 30 days worth of activity, whichever comes first. If you remove the billing limit on the account before then, it will automatically roll over to a pay-as-you-go subscription if you hit one of those limits. So, no, you won't be charged for creating a VM, but the price you see will tell you how quickly your free credit will get used up.

    Also, the price you see for the VM's is based on the machine running 24/7. If you shutdown your machines at the end of each session (through the Azure portal, not via remote desktop), you'll stop being charged for compute time. You'll still get charged for blob storage associated with those machines while they exist, but it's literally pennies. If you're working through the blue book, most of the time you'll only need one or two machines running at a time. So far, my invoices average about $30 per month, based on about 5-10 hours of play time per week, but obviously your mileage will vary depending on how efficiently you use your up-time.

  • thanks very much for the swift replies, Nimbell!

  • Thanks for your help!

  • Very nice tutorial and I like the 71 screenshots! I think you should re-post this with a Getting Started with Azure title -- it deserves a wider audience. The general objective is to set up networked machines running SQL Server and that applies to many people, not just those preparing for the exam. I haven't found anything else like this online and it will be very helpful to me in setting up networked machines. Is this "Point to Site" networking? I've been told that's what I need to do if I'm trying to survive off the MSDN credit 🙂

    The biggest hurdle to me in using Azure is my lack of networking knowledge. I don't even understand static and dynamic IPs, but I think I'll be able to use these screenshots to network my VMs in Azure. (I use them for testing our software and I agree strongly...the key to low-budget usage is to shut down the machines when not in use and to be sure to shut them down in the Azure Portal, not simply through the remote session.)

    Thank you for sharing your experience and including the screenshots!

  • romefor4, thank you for your comments! Much appreciated, and I'm glad you liked the article.

    Azure can be used for such a broad range of possibilities that I don't think my article would do proper justice as a 'getting started' guide. I'm by no means an expert on networking, and I haven't tried it with my set-up, but point-to-site, as I understand it, is allowing a single machine access to your network by using certificate authentication. I'd recommend downloading the ebook mentioned in the preparation section. It covers virtual machines, networking (including setting up point-to-site), storage, and a lot more.

  • nimbell, Thanks, I'll take a look at the e-book!

    PS: I shared the link to your post on Microsoft's exam forum: https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/certification/database/f/517/t/327366

  • This is a great contribution, thanks a lot for sharing.

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