Microsoft Cloud Workshop

The Microsoft Cloud Workshop (MCW) program maintains a number of Workshops that are used to train Microsoft’s own Cloud Solution Architects, as well as Microsoft Partners all over the world, how to use Microsoft Azure services. Currently there are a total of 36 Microsoft Cloud Workshops that cover a wide range of enterprise scenarios within Azure. These include Interest of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Cost Optimization, Cloud Migration, Microservices, Serverless, and much more!

Open Source Hands-on Lab Guides and Design Sessions

You can find the more information about the Microsoft Cloud Workshops at https://MicrosoftCloudWorkshop.com.

You can also view the “Microsoft/MCW” GitHub repository, and Github repositories for each individual MCW for access to the Free, Open Source content of these cloud workshops!

Not only are these Microsoft Cloud Workshops made available for free via GitHub, but they are also licensed under the MIT License. As a result you can use and reuse this content in many ways.

Also, as all Open Source software goes, if you find bugs or issues with these, please submit Pull Requests on the repositories. Microsoft doesn’t officially solicit PRs from the community on these, but I’m sure the MCW team would appreciate any help you might be willing to offer.

How are these used?

For your use, you can navigate to a Microsoft Cloud Workshop of interest, and then just go through the Hands-on Lab to learn more about Microsoft Azure and how it applies to the constructed scenario of the workshop. The main README.md file of the repository will give you an introduction to things. Then, the other files within the repository will give you access to the full content.

Each workshop has a couple folders organized for accessing the content. Here’s the main folders and their purpose:

  • “Hands-on Lab” – This folder contains the Hands-on Lab portion of the workshop
  • “Whiteboard design session” – This folder contains the design session part of the workshop.

To do the “Hands-on Labs” you can navigate to that folder for the workshop of interest, then perform the steps listed. You can open the markdown (.md) files right within the GitHub repo and it will display as HTML for you to follow along. You’ll want to start with the “Before the HOL” file to get started, then move on to the “HOL step-by-step” file for the remainder of the lab.

Microsoft Cloud Workshops: Free Microsoft Azure Hands-on Lab Guides 1

Once you open the markdown file for the “HOL step-by-step” guide, it will render as HTML with images and formatting. You can scroll down and follow along with the steps. The labs even start with giving you an outline of the enterprise scenario for the lab and an introduction to what you’ll be building.

Microsoft Cloud Workshops: Free Microsoft Azure Hands-on Lab Guides 2

The “Whiteboard design session” folder for the Microsoft Cloud Workshops contain the full Trainer and Student guides that are used to deliver the “Design Session” portion of the workshops. These offer great exercises for teams to run through together to get practice designing Azure solutions in a structured and guided manner for the given enterprise scenario of the workshop.

Microsoft uses these Workshops to train their Cloud Solution Architects in Microsoft Azure services and architecture. They hold internal events for their Cloud Solution Architects every couple months where they will have a couple hundred or more in attendance to train up on Microsoft Azure services and architecture. These same CSAs then take this knowledge and workshops to Microsoft Partners to help them design and implement solutions using Microsoft Azure services.

(NOTE: I’m mentioning the events that Microsoft uses these themselves, but these are largely internal events only. I’m not certain how many partners, if any, get to attend these internal events. So, please don’t go asking how you can attend. But, please do look through the list of workshops and use them for your own learning pleasure.)

With these workshops being Open Source, anyone can benefit from this great resource of enterprise and Microsoft Azure architecture and implementation best practices!

Keep in mind that some of these workshops are currently marked to be retired soon, and there are more new workshops coming soon. Be sure to check out the list of Microsoft Cloud Workshops and see what you can learn from these!

My Involvement

I have had the pleasure to work on updating the content, best practices, and architecture designs in a few of the Microsoft Cloud Workshops over the last couple years. I have even authored new workshops over this time as well!

Here are some of the Microsoft Cloud Workshops (MCWs) I’ve either built out new or have been involved in updating:

I have even been involved in proctoring the Cloud Workshop events in Seattle that are held every few months to train Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Architects using these exact workshops. These events are an internal Microsoft event that they use to train a couple hundred or more of these CSAs at a time. Any large training event is always packed with tons of energy and is like a mini-conference. It’s been pretty cool to have been a part of these.

Also, if you have any suggestions or comments about these workshops, please post them as Issues within the GitHub repositories for the Microsoft Cloud Workshops themselves. I’m sure the MCW team would be appreciative of the feedback.

Overall there is a fairly large team of people involved in the authoring and updating of this large number of Microsoft Cloud Workshops. I’m just happy to have been involved and able to help put together new enterprise scenarios for the Microsoft Cloud Workshops (MCWs) I have built.

Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect