Getting a Windows Azure account for Rock, Paper, Azure

If you’re interested in getting a Windows Azure account to play in Rock, Paper, Azure (RPA), there are a few options available to you, from least painful to most painful (in my opinion, anyway):

Method 1 – Windows Azure Pass

The way most people are getting an account is through the Windows Azure Pass program (using code PLAYRPA).  More details can be found on the Get Started page under step 1.    But, this certainly isn’t the only way to get an account, and – for a few of you – might not be possible.  The Azure Pass is limited to one Live ID, so if you got an account through the Azure Pass program say 6 months ago, you can’t get another one.  (I won’t say anything if you just sign up for another Live ID.)

Method 2 – Windows Azure Trial Account

Sign up for the Windows Azure Free Trial.   This gives you 750 hours of an extra small compute instance, and 25 hours of a small compute instance.  You do need a credit card to cover overages.  Note: the Bot Lab project by default is set up as a small compute instance.  If you go this route, I highly recommend you change the Bot Lab to be an Extra Small instance.  You can do this by double-clicking the role and changing the VM size:


Method 3 – MSDN Subscriptions

Have an MSDN Premium or Ultimate subscription?   You already have account hours you can use.  Log into your MSDN account for more information.   This step does require a credit card (or other billing arrangement) to handle overages, but you are not billed as long as you stay within plan.  As of the time of this writing, please note that Extra Small compute instances are beta and not included in the MSDN hours – so be sure to stick with a small instance.  As usual, we recommend taking down deployments once you’re done to avoid wasting compute time.

Method 4: Pay as You Go Specials

Check out the current offers.   There are few different options based on your needs (and some are available specifically for partners).  The introductory special is the best way to get started, but if you’re using Windows Azure consistently, the Windows Azure Core offers a great value.   If you’re just interested in playing the game and willing to pay or aren’t able to receive other offers for some reason, deploying the Bot Lab as an Extra Small instance costs $0.05 per hour.   If you were to play during the week, and leave the Bot Lab deployed 24 hours, you’d be looking at roughly $5.  (If you only code in the evenings for a few hours, pulling down the deployment overnight and not during use will bring that down substantially.)

See you on the battlefield!

Comments (2) -

4/7/2011 7:26:23 PM #

I have sent my request for the Azure Account last week on thursday, and it has been a week already and I did not get it yet!!! What should I do???


4/8/2011 1:42:06 AM #

Hi Mateus -- I'll ping you via email...

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