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My colleague Hanu Kommalapati provides the step by step instructions on how to go from your Windows Azure account and add the new Windows Azure Virtual Machines features.
See Sign-up Process for Azure Virtual Machines Preview.
Windows Azure Virtual Machine enables you to create a server in the cloud that you can control and manage. After you create a virtual machine in Windows Azure, you can delete and re-create it whenever you need to, and you can access the virtual machine just like any other server. You can use a virtual machine in Windows Azure to deploy the Windows Server 2008 R2 or multiple distributions of Linux operating systems.
Migrate existing workloads such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft SharePoint to the cloud, bring your own customized Windows Server or Linux images, or select from a gallery. As a common virtualization file format, VHD has been adopted by hundreds of vendors and is a freely available specification covered under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise.
The virtual hard disk (VHD) that you deploy in a virtual machine can contain customized settings and your applications, which provides a robust platform for developing or migrating your application solutions. You can create multiple virtual machines and then load-balance traffic between them, and you can connect virtual machines to other Windows Azure cloud services running web roles and worker roles.
For a tutorial on getting started, see Windows virtual machines on the Windows Azure site.
See the video from the Meet Windows Azure event where Scott Guthrie describes the new features in Windows Azure.
Bruce D. Kyle Technical Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation