Cloud computing: Free courses to help you understand Microsoft Azure

SOURCE: Manjunath Kiran / AFP
Microsoft Corporation CEO Satya Nadella said Microsoft is building out Azure as "the world’s computer".

By U2B Staff 

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Cloud computing has radically changed the IT industry, eliminating the need to own and maintain expensive computing hardware and software. Its popularity is growing — the global cloud computing market size is expected to grow from USD$272.0 billion in 2018 to USD$623.3 billion by 2023, said ReportLinker. Microsoft Azure is among the top contenders in the public cloud space and is used across various industries, and organisations, including Fortune 500 companies. 

But what is it exactly and how can you learn it? We cover the basics below:


What is Microsoft Azure? 

Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform that provides a variety of cloud services to help you build, run, and manage applications to meet your business goals. There are over 200 products and cloud services within the platform that you can use to improve your IT performance.

Its services range from simple web services for hosting your business presence in the cloud to running fully virtualised computers for you to run your custom software solutions. Some of the cloud-based services include remote storage, database hosting, and centralised account management. Azure also offers new capabilities like AI and Internet of Things (IoT).

Microsoft notes that Azure provides solutions for all industries, including Fortune 500 companies; it supports open source technologies, which means you’re not limited to using it only for Windows apps and services.

How can I learn more about Microsoft Azure?

If you’re new to Azure, you can learn the fundamentals via Microsoft Learn, a free, online training platform that provides interactive learning for Microsoft products. There are beginner, intermediate and advanced courses to choose from.

Here are some that might interest you:

Introduction to Azure fundamentals

This module is perfect for beginners who want to learn the basics of cloud computing and Azure, and how to get started with Azure’s subscriptions and accounts. It takes approximately 38 minutes to complete.

Explore Azure compute services

This module will teach you how to take advantage of several virtualisation services in Azure compute, which can help your applications scale out quickly and efficiently to meet increasing demands.

You’ll learn about the benefits and usage of Azure Virtual Machines, Azure App Service, and Azure Container Instances, among others. It’ll take around 52 minutes to complete.

Introduction to Azure virtual machines

Learn about the decisions you make before creating a virtual machine, the options to create and manage the virtual machine, and the extensions and services you use to manage your virtual machine in just over an hour with this module.


Choose the best Azure service to automate your business processes

Are you familiar with Azure and have some basic knowledge of REST and APIs? 

This highly ranked module will teach you about several technologies, including Azure Functions, Microsoft Power Automate, Azure Logic Apps, and Azure WebJobs, and how to choose the right one for a given scenario in under an hour.

Store data in Azure

Azure provides a variety of ways to store data: unstructured, archival, relational, and more. Learn the basics of storage management in Azure, how to create a Storage Account, and how to choose the right model for the data you want to store in the cloud. This learning path can help you prepare for the Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate certification.

Design your migration to Azure

This intermediate module will help you understand how Azure Migrate can assess your existing workloads and plan your migration to Azure, and learn how Azure Migrate and Azure Database Migration Service can migrate your systems to Azure.

It’ll take about 44 minutes to complete.

Before taking this course, you’ll want to ensure that you have knowledge of cloud and traditional architecture concepts, as well as an understanding of networking, compute, and database systems.