hands-on lab

Start Your First Azure Virtual Machine (Windows)

Up to 1h 30m
Get guided in a real environmentPractice with a step-by-step scenario in a real, provisioned environment.
Learn and validateUse validations to check your solutions every step of the way.
See resultsTrack your knowledge and monitor your progress.


Microsoft Azure is comprised of compute infrastructure and cloud services that Information Technology (IT) professionals and developers use to build, deploy and manage their applications. This is a beginner level Lab that focuses on the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) component of Azure. The legacy model of IT includes purchasing, shipping, receiving, configuring, and booting up your infrastructure. In this Lab, you will launch your first Windows Virtual Machine (VM) in Azure in minutes… not days or weeks!


  • Remote Desktop (RDP) client software installed on your local machine
  • Basic understanding of Information Technology (IT)

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this Lab, you will be able to:

  • Log in and use the basics of the Microsoft Azure portal
  • Configure a Windows VM
  • Launch a VM
  • Connect to the VM with Remote Desktop (RDP)
  • Perform basic VM controls (start, stop, restart, delete)

Lab Environment

Before completing the Lab instructions, the environment will look as follows:

After completing the Lab instructions, the environment should look similar to:



March 22nd, 2023 - Updated VM creation instructions

August 29th, 2022 - Updated instructions and screenshots to match UI

March 7th, 2022 - Updated the instructions and screenshots to reflect the latest UI

June 8th, 2021 - Updated the instructions for creating a Windows Server VM to match the latest portal experience

July 14th, 2020 - Updated the instructions to match the latest Portal experience

July 14th, 2020 - Updated the Lab validation check to check the VM is created in the same Lab step it is created rather than at the end of the Lab

January 6th, 2020 - Updated instructions to match the latest Azure Portal experience and to default to using managed disks

December 12th, 2019 - Updated screenshots and instructions of the Lab because of Azure changes

July 1st, 2019 - Updated to use Windows Server Datacenter 2019 and resolved an issue that prevented the desired VM size from being selected

December 14th, 2018 - Added a validation Lab Step to check the work you perform in the Lab

July 13th, 2018 - Updated resource security policy to allow more regions and modified instructions to always use the East US region

June 29th, 2018 - Updated screenshots and virtual machine configuration to reflect Azure changes

September 26th, 2018 - Updated screenshots and virtual machine configuration to reflect Azure changes

About the author


Greg has been a consistent high performer for pioneering technologies in the wireless web industries with an illustrious career that is a testament to his breadth of knowledge. Dabbling with MS Azure, at Cloud Academy, Greg really thrives on evangelizing the benefits of Amazon Web Services. A dedicated and passionate professional who learns new and emerging technologies quickly, Greg always ensures the highest quality and caliber of everything he produces.

Covered topics

Lab steps

Logging in to the Microsoft Azure Portal
Configuring and Launching a Windows VM
Introduction to Helpful Azure Portal Features
Connecting to the Virtual Machine (RDP)