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.
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.
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.
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.