I really do like Windows Azure. A, it’s affordable – if not free. B, it’s easy to use – kind of. C, it has a lot of good features.
A little background information. I have been running a virtual machine on a Windows Azure account for about 6 months now. It’s an Ubuntu image and runs really well. I have very little down time and I have played with upgrading and downgrading the size of the server. No problems at all. I also have a website hosted that I have been using (neglectfully) for a while. All in all, I have no issues with the performance of any of Windows Azure services, the cost has been better (cheaper) than what I initially expected.
Additionally, Microsoft’s Bizspark program is also a home run. This gives you “free” access to Microsoft software, tools and help. I can write another article about how great this program is for small businesses.
Now comes the “c’mon” part.
As a Bizspark member, I can get up to $150.00 dollars a month of free services on windows azure. I have not been using this, and have been using a “pay as you go” service with Windows Azure. I have several things “cooking” that are about to come to a boil and will need to start spinning up some databases and a windows server. So I figured it is about time to take advantage of my Bizspark discount.
In order to take advantage of the Bizspark you simply enter your visual studio ultimate product key. But damn, this created a new Windows Azure account and did not add it to my existing account. – First WTF issue.
You can move a virtual machine to a different Windows Azure account as long as the administrators have the same email address (which is easy.) But you cannot apply the MSDN (Bizspark) discount to another account regardless of the administrator’s email. – Second WTF issue.
So I went to remove the costing limit on the new account, but since my card is used on my main account, it won’t let me. – Third WTF issue.
_Now a separate issue_
My company email address uses an “organizational account” with Microsoft’s Office 365. I also have my Windows Azure information tied to that same email, which is under a Microsoft Account. I “literally” have to log in and out with the same information when I want to switch between my Email and Windows Azure services online. I cannot do both at the same time. – Forth WTF issue.
_End non windows azure issue_
Microsoft Support told me they can transfer the services and the credit card to the new account. Great – do it. Transferring the services took 5 minutes, they had to escalate the issue to get my credit card moved over. That took 6 days
My number one suggestion for Microsoft – user your services together and see how they change from one state to another. That way you can make it easy to use, you know – user friendly.
In short – Windows Azure – Great Product with poor management tools.