For many years now I have been a pretty ignorant SharePoint developer, running my SharePoint development and prototype environment on a laptop.
The benefit of course is the offline availability.
However, is the past couple of years I’ve been running into few issues where:
-I need to share my environment with others so they can work on it
-I hate the idea of carrying a brick like laptop around the airport and to work just so I can manage to run latest version of SharePoint
-Setting up SharePoint or other services in a first place just to prototype or try something (I am not an infrastructure guy)
-Worrying about my VM when I need it most and when I accidentally screwed up an image (and a backup of it, and the backup of the backup and didn’t noticed until everything stopped working).
So, I turned to cloud services to host my VMs and there have been a few, and recently I discovered Azure for my VMs.
It’s been pretty awesome so far, I literally signed up and created my SharePoint 2013 Dev VM with all the tools in just a few minutes.
Here is how you create a new VM from gallery:
You can also create a VM from an existing image or VHD you can upload … so if you have those pre-configured VMs you want to use, no problem with uploading those; although it’s not a clickity-click approach, you actually have to run PowerShell to do that, but luckily there is a blog post that describes just that: http://alinzaman.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/uploading-a-vhd-file-to-windows-azure/