When it comes to moving existing infrastructure like virtual machines or your web applications to Microsoft Azure or any other cloud platform the first reaction of most people is: “How much will it cost?”

If you are an enterprise developer you should be able to test Azure services for free. I am not only going to tell you where you get those free credits, but I will also tell you how to make the most out of them.

This blog post is part of a blog post series. In this series, I am going to explain how I setup TeamCity on the Microsoft Azure cloud and how I integrated different types of applications for automated build, test, and deployment.

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Most people are aware of the fact that you could potentially save money if you move to the cloud. At least it is one of the most commons reasons why people make the step towards the cloud.

It is often not that easy to estimate the cost for an entire business to move to the cloud or sometimes it’s not even possible to estimate the cost for a single web application in advance. It all comes down to the complexity of the system.

You just have to make the move and optimize your usage afterward. That is the way most people do it, including me. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but if you have to ask your boss if you can move something to the cloud and he or she wants to know about the cost you surely have to have answer questions.

How cool would it be if you could just try out Azure services without paying for them to evaluate your strategy and decide later if you want to really use those services?

The good news is that this might be already possible for you. Since you are reading this blog post on a developer blog chances are that you are an enterprise developer.

Most enterprises have some kind of subscription to one or more of Microsofts developer programs. Just to name a few there is the Visual Studio Professional with MSDN subscription or the Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN subscription.

Depending on your particular subscription level you are allowed to spend between 50$ and 150$ for free. And do you know what is even more exciting? Those free credits are monthly recurring credits. This implies that you can try a certain amount of services continuously for free.

With an enterprise subscription, the amount of free Azure credits is not even limited by month. You can spend these credits for every Azure account connected with the enterprise. This means if you have 10 developers in your enterprise and you have an enterprise subscription you should have access to 1400$ monthly Azure credits.

I do not know about you, but I was really excited when I found out about this opportunity. Follow the link below to check if you are eligible for some free Azure credits.

Did it work out for you? Let me know in the comments and tell me what services you tried out.

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Claudio Bernasconi

Claudio Bernasconi is a professional software developer, Microsoft certified technology specialist, blogger, technology enthusiast and founder of CarParking Schweiz. Since 2010 he works for KMS AG in Lucerne, Switzerland.