One of Directions Training’s Microsoft Technical training experts wanted you to know…

So, all this “cloud” talk got you seeing fuzzy elephants and lions eating lollipops? Well, here’s the deal-you rent your servers. You rent your servers by how much you use them.

And yes, it’s cheaper than owning your own stuff.

There’s good and bad about cloud services, but at the end of the day, you have to know that the majority of IT departments are going to be using them to some extent. So, here are three services to help you start your investigation into cloud services:

  1. Amazon Web Services: Super cheap and the reliability of Amazon, Amazon has a host of services. The best known among them are S3 for storage services and EC2, Elastic Compute Cloud for hosting web applications. They run a variety of Linux flavors, an added Microsoft Server.  Amazon is so confident in their cloud services, they run on their own cloud.
    Pros: Pretty cheap and reliable, and a FREE Tier to help you get started. If you’ve got the time and desire, this may be the best entry point in becoming familiar with cloud services. A lot of the big shops out there rely on Amazon, so you know they have to have their stuff together. Adobe and Netflix don’t play around with their hosting and trust Amazon.
    Cons: It’s not the easiest platform to get familiar with, and there’s definitely a learning curve. Once you get all the weird vocabulary down and become familiar with the tools and interface, you’ll like it, but give it a little bit of time. (Bonus: Check out this Wikipedia entry and all the links in it to get you started. I know, who knew that Amazon’s platform had its own Wikipedia page!?)
  2. Microsoft’s Azure services: If you’re already comfortable with Microsoft Server and related services, Azure is kind of a no-brainer. The tools are very easy to learn, and you can literally be up and running with your own servers in a matter of minutes. You can get a free 90 day trial and learn the in’s and out’s before you buy. It’s really kind of beautiful.
    Pros: Familiar platform, access to all the Microsoft toys, easy to learn, and free trial!
    Cons: A little more expensive than Amazon, but you can stand up almost anything Microsoft in minutes.
  3. Joyent: A dark horse in the race but a big player, Joyent is more of a competitor to Amazon than Microsoft. They definitely beat Amazon’s prices, and you can stand up a Microsoft Server as well as Linux and an interesting hypervisor platform called SmartOS. A lot of developers really like the flexibility, and the C-suite types like the price. 
    Pros: The price, easily understandable lingo, have been providing cloud hosting before anyone called it “cloud,” and a shorter learning curve than Amazon. Plus, a free trial!
    Cons: Limited Microsoft options.

So there you have it-three beginning points to your cloud journey. If you start seeing dragons breathing cotton candy flames when you look at your old server machines, you can totally blame me.

For more Microsoft Technical Training information visit or call 1-855-575-8900.