Service Lifecycle
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Microsoft Azure is a comprehensive collection of cloud-based services and features, ranging from Infrastructure as a Service virtual machines to Software as a Service offerings, such as Office 365. Using Azure subscriptions, businesses can choose which Azure services and features they want to deploy in the cloud. Prior to deployment to Azure, it is important to know how Microsoft bills for Azure services as well as what levels of support are provided.

This course provides an explanation of Azure subscriptions, the different types of subscriptions that are available, and the options available that can be used to save money in an Azure deployment. The course then focuses on Azure services, how they are priced and, where applicable, what metering costs are associated with the service, and how it is metered. This course also covers the Service Level Agreements that are available for some of the Azure services and the different levels of support that can be purchased. Lastly, it covers the Azure service lifecycle, including public and private previews of new services and features, and how you can be notified when they become available for preview.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand Azure subscriptions and subscription types
  • Understand Microsoft’s Azure pricing
  • Plan and manage costs associated with subscriptions
  • Understand Azure support options
  • Understand Microsoft’s Service Level Agreements
  • Understand Azure’s service lifecycle

Intended Audience

  • Sellers or purchasers of cloud-based solutions and services
  • Individuals preparing for Microsoft’s Azure AZ-900 exam


  • Basic understanding of cloud computing
  • Experience with Azure, while not required, will be helpful

Azure frequently undergoes changes and improvements, as well as production additions. Using Azure Preview features, you can beta test prerelease versions of products and features. As part of the beta testing process, you can also provide feedback to Microsoft, which is used to improve Azure. 

There are two types of previews, private and public. The private preview is only available to certain Azure customers for evaluation purposes. The public preview is available to all Azure customers. 

To preview Azure features, navigate to the URL listed here ( This webpage lists all of the Azure features that are currently in preview and available for evaluation. The features are listed in chronological order, newest feature at the top. Click on the link for a feature to learn more about that feature and how to use it. 

Preview features that are specific to the Azure portal can be found by navigating to the portal preview features webpage. 

You can also subscribe to receive notifications whenever new Azure features become available for preview ( By using the RSS feed option on the Azure updates webpage you can receive these notifications using your preferred feed reader. 

Azure features that have been successfully evaluated and tested will typically be released to customers as part of the generally available product integrated into Azure. So, general availability becomes the next phase in the Azure product life cycle after the private and public preview phase.

About the Author

Jeff is a technical trainer and developer residing in Arizona, USA. He has been a Microsoft Certified Trainer for the past 18 years, providing in-house development and training on Microsoft server operating systems, PowerShell, SQL Server and Azure.  When he’s not developing and delivering courses on Azure, he’s photographing galaxies, nebulae and star formations from his computer-automated observatory in Chino Valley, Arizona using a 14” Schmidt Cassegrain telescope.