Microsoft has taken the wraps off another free learning offering in the form of an eBook (PDF). Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals (by Mitch Tulloch and the Windows Azure Team) is one of the first stabs at trying to lure IT Pros into the Windows Azure party. At roughly 130 pages, the book introduces Windows Azure and then proceeds along 6 chapters to describe each Windows Azure service that is applicable to IT Pros.

The Windows Azure services covered include:

  • Compute Services– web sites, virtual machines, development and testing, cloud services, and mobile services.
  • Network Services– virtual networks and traffic manager.
  • Data Services– data management, HDInsight (Big Data), Business Analytics, backup, storage, Recovery Manager, and Caching.
  • App Services– Windows Azure Active Directory, multi-factor authentication, identity and access management, messaging, BizTalk services, and media services.

And, though brief, the eBook also touches on one of the more important aspects of Windows Azure entitled, Resisting the Cloud. In this early section, the book outlines 5 potential areas that are keeping companies from migrating apps and services to the Microsoft Cloud. You can read the full explanations yourself, but the general points are:

  • IT infrastructure investments have not earned-out yet.
  • Complex, heterogeneous environments not support by the Cloud yet.
  • Risk of hosting reliability
  • Business politics
  • Security and compliance requirements prohibit adoption.

Download the free eBook from here: Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals

There's also some companion content available for download, which includes 3 scripts noted in the book. You can download the Zip file here:  Companion Content

And, though there's no content available yet, any errata information will be listed on the following O'Reilly page: Errata for Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals