Soon, you’ll be able to author your own templates, but as of today, you can provision an 3 Machine SharePoint 2013 Farm – have it running in less than 1 hour with just a few clicks.

For details take a look here:

SharePoint Server Farm at http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-machines-sharepoint-farm-azure-preview/
SharePoint Server Farm Configuration Details at http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-machines-sharepoint-farm-config-azure-preview/

Now, for some fun…

First, navigate to the new portal at http://portal.azure.com

Once there, choose “New”.

There you’ll get the new experience for Template based provisioning.  Click on “Show Everything” to see the full Gallery of Microsoft and non-Microsoft templates.

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After choosing a SP Farm, you set a few global settings, or you can choose to modify the template choices, like Machine size (A5 vs. A4, etc.).  Even account names, etc.

I chose the easy route.

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After a bit, and if you chose to “Add to Start Board” you’ll see your farm provisioning notifications, and eventually your finished Farm Tile.

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The following shows the individual VM status (I shut mine down to save some $).  But easy enough to restart when I need it.

Remember, that while it’s COLD you only pay for the actual non-zero’s bits in the Page Blobs for the VHD storage. So, a 60 GB disk really only may be using 5 GB etc.

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