Everyone is talking about Azure these days, and though many have started using it, there are still many who have yet to touch it. In this post I’ll point out 3 ways you can test the Azure waters within your organization to see how it fits and figure out how you can start to use it.

1. Disaster Recovery – Many of us are paying for hardware off site, maybe a colocation data center, for disaster recovery. Looking at Azure for this is a great way to start implementing using the public cloud in your strategy. A big benefit is you’ll cut down on your capital cost for hardware (that hopefully you’ll never use) and replace it with something scalable that you can fire up when you need it and delete it when you’re done with it.

2. DEV Tests – A great scenario for testing out Azure with low risk. How many of us would love to have a test environment that matches our production environment’s performance? Most don’t want to spend money for on-premises hardware that they won’t use in production. With Azure, you can fire up a VM that has a matching performance level of your production, as well as do some performance testing of your applications and then tear it down when you’re done.

3. POCs – My favorite way to test something is to do a POC. One way to do this is to take a business scenario that you haven’t been able to solve, maybe because you don’t have the hardware resources, and you test it out in Azure to see what you can do. Another way is to take one of the Azure technologies and dig in and learn how you can apply it to a business problem.

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