Microsoft is offering a FREE Trial of their Windows Azure cloud platform. If you’re looking to do something in the cloud, this free trial could be your jumping off point.
This FREE trial is actually quite beefy. It comes with the following:
- compute / 750 small compute hours per month
- web sites / 10 web sites
- mobile services / 10 mobile services
- relational database / 1 SQL database
- SQL reporting / 100 hours per month
- storage / 35GB with 50,000,000 storage transactions
- bandwidth / unlimited inbound & 25GB outbound
- media services encoding / 50 GB (input & output combined)
- cdn / 20GB outbound with 500,000 transactions
- cache / 128MB
- service bus / 1,500 relay hours and 500,000 messages
This cloud stuff is primarily meant for business and, if you’re the IT guy or boss at a business, you should really be looking into this. There are non-business uses, though. For example, I used cloud storage to host and serve a podcast. If you do any video work, you can offload the encoding work to their “media services encoding” tool. If you take a look through the list of things they provide there is bound to be something you can use a free trial of!
Pricing after the trial varies based on your usage so make sure you figure out costs before you do anything with Azure.