We have helped many companies migrate to the Azure cloud and have managed their Azure cloud environment as well. In the due course, we have come across diverse issues and have successfully dealt with them. However, did you know, the Azure cloud is not just about moving your workloads to the cloud? It has some amazing & interesting features, which can be used for different great purposes. To help you utilize those features, in this article, we have piled up the seven most fun/quirky things we learned while working with the Azure cloud. So, let’s walk through them one by one.
#1: Building an E-commerce Website
Every company wants to launch an eCommerce business as long as they sell something that can be sold through eCommerce. You can easily turn your dream of launching an eCommerce business into reality and can start your online business. To do it, however, you need to follow the steps given below:
Step1: Sign in to the Azure Management Portal
Step2: click New -> Compute -> Web App -> From Gallery
Step3: From the left panel, select Ecommerce
Step4: Select the App you prefer
Step5: Follow the instructions and build your e-commerce website
You have everything in the gallery whether it is Open Cart, Magneto, and Drupal. So, you can set up anyone in just a few clicks.
#2: Creating a Blog
This one is for those creative souls who want to share their ideas and thoughts with the world through the internet. They can create their WordPress blog through Microsoft Azure. For this they need to follow the steps that are given below:
Step1: First thing first! Register with Azure
Step2: Log into the Azure Management Portal.
Step3: Click New -> Compute -> Web App -> From Gallery
Step4: Select Blogs from the left panel
Step5: Select the Blog App you prefer
Step6: Follow the instructions and set up your blog
As of date, most businesses prefer WordPress as their blog app, and that you too can consider it for building your blog.
#3: Creating and Administrating a Forum
The benefits of a forum aren’t hidden from anyone. You can discuss a topic of your interest and crowdsource ideas through it. One can also set up a forum for various other purposes like discussing homework, take the public opinion of a subject, etc. As far as creating a forum is concerned, you again need to login to the Azure Management Portal and follow the steps that are given below:
Step1: Click New -> Compute -> Web App-> From Gallery
Step2: Select Forums from the left panel
Step3: Select your Forum App
Step5: Set up your forum by following the instructions
There are several popular web forums or bulletin boards that you can set up like phpBB.
#4. Setting Up and Managing Wiki
The free open-source wiki packages offered by Azure allow you to create your Wiki in minutes. As far as Wiki uses are concerned, it not only helps you create documentation for your projects easily but also allows you to contribute content for your favorite topics and projects. For this, however, you need to login to the Azure Management Portal and follow the steps given below:
Step1: Click New -> Compute -> Web App -> From Gallery
Step2: Select Wiki from the left panel
Step3: Select the Wiki App you prefer and follow the instructions for setting it up
#5: Setting Up a Photo Gallery
Managing digital assets and setting up a media web gallery was never so easy. Azure provides you with an easy-to-install Gallery Server through which you can manage and share digital assets & media on the web. However, to do so you need to login to the Azure Management Portal like you did in the above cases and follow the steps that are given below:
Step1: Click New -> Compute -> Web App -> From Gallery
Step2: From the left panel, select Galleries
Step3: Select the Gallery App you prefer and follow the instructions for setting up your gallery app
#6: Deploying Website from Other Sources
People often find it easy to work on Dropbox or GitHub. The good news is their code could be hosted on their favorite repositories and can be deployed live through Azure. Moreover, in case an update is pushed, continuous integration can be used for building on Visual Studio Online for deploying from staging to production seamlessly.
#7: Setting Up Own VPN Server
No need to get frustrated on getting blocked while accessing an overseas website. Your very own VPN server could be set up on Azure through a Virtual Machine and your traffic could be routed through it. To do so, first of all, a Linux Virtual Machine should be created on Azure. However, you need to ensure that the Virtual Machine you have selected is according to the region you want to access content in. Once, you have set up the Virtual Machine, connect to it and follow the instructions for setting up & connecting to the VPN server. After the VPN server is created on Azure and you are connected to it, the server located in the data center of your choice will route all your internet traffic. So, sitting in Dubai you can access the internet from a different location of the world.
These were some of the most fun/ quirky things we learned while working with the Azure cloud. So, now when you know these, you need not worry about writing a line of code. All you need to do is follow simple steps and you have your respective app ready in just a few clicks. However, before trying the above-mentioned features of Azure, make sure you have an Azure account. Just in case, you don’t have one, create one by registering with Azure. If you need supplemental support in doing so, several Azure cloud migration services providers assist these also.