What is Azure?

"Azure or  Microsoft Azure (formerly Windows Azure before 25 March 2014) is a cloud computing platform and
infrastructure,
created by Microsoft, for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a
global network of Microsoft-managed
datacenters. It provides both PaaS and IaaS services and supports many
different programming languages, tools and frameworks,
including both Microsoft-specific and third-party
software and systems. Azure was released on 1 February"
Wikipedia



How and where do you start?


To get mastery of the technology you need to get you hands dirty and you can start by creating your
free trial account here

Microsoft Exam For Azure.

One of the fastest way to specialize in a new technology is to take product certifications.
For azure here are the following certifications that you can take.

70-532 or (Beta exam 71-532 beta) Developing Azure Solutions

This Exam covers the following topic:
  • Design and implement websites (15‒20%)
  • Create and manage virtual machines (20‒25%)
  • Design and implement cloud services (20‒25%)
  • Design and implement a storage strategy (20‒25%)
  • Manage application and network services (15‒20%)

70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

This exam covers the  following:Implement websites

  • Implement virtual machines
  • Implement cloud services
  • Implement storage
  • Implement an Azure Active Directory
  • Implement virtual networks

Free Azure E-books

There are several free e-books from ms press that you can you to start up mastering azure.

  • Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure. (download .pdf)
  • Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure. (download .pdf)
  • Introducing Microsoft Azure HDInsight. (download .pdf)
  • Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals (download .pdf)
  • Microsoft Azure SQL Database Step by Step (download .pdf)

Videos


The following Videos are free for you to download and study

Azure Websites

  • Windows Azure Web Sites: An Architecture and Technical Deep Dive (MSDN Channel 9
  • Azure website Best practices (channel 9)
  • Azure WebSites - Deployment Slots for Staging Sites (channel 9)
  • Azure WebSites - Automatic and Easy Backup (channel 9)
  • Azure WebSites - Traffic Manager and Global Load Balancing   (channel 9)

Azure Virtual machines


  • Windows Azure Virtual Machines  (MSDN Channel 9
  • Leveraging SQL Server in Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines - The Important Details (MSDN Channel 9
  • Introduction to Windows Azure Virtual Machines  (Msdn Channel 9)