Azure Sleuths: How Most Microsoft Employees Find What They Need

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

Namaste Folks!

(Namaste is traditional Indian greeting and Salutation which became popular during COVID-19 pandemic. It is a non-contact greeting which is performed by pressing the palms and hands together and placing them in front of the chest, with the fingers pointing upwards. The head bows slightly, and the eyes are closed or downcast. The word "namaste" is spoken softly as the greeting is performed).


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Often times I have been asked this question by our partners and customers – “Hey Karan, tell me how you guys at Microsoft get the answers related to Azure. Do you have a dedicated team who takes up those questions? Or, some internal portal where you throw open those questions and you get the responses through a bot. Where do you find out the latest updates on what’s coming and what has been released? How do you guys do your own research? How do you get back to us faster than we need?”


My answer is standard – “Everything is Public. You can find it yourself.”


Microsoft Employees do have additional helpful avenues (like access to Product Group, Marketing, Sales, Content Team, Microsoft Support, etc.) but most technical information can be found on the Internet. In the information excess world, it has become quite important to declutter the necessary repositories and just focus on what's important. There’s nothing that should make your Azure knowledge depth any lesser than a Microsoft FTE, MVP, or a Partner. This blog will unearth those avenues.


Microsoft Learn Docs


Often taken for granted, Microsoft Learn Documentation (formerly known as has always been the torch bearer when it comes to finding Product documentation. Think of It as the de facto product manual that comes inside the box of any product that you buy.


Most Azure documentations come with the following table of contents:

  • Overview – for a quick general ‘what-is’ of the Azure service.
  • Tutorial – to get your hands dirty without going through deep functional concepts of the service.
  • Concepts – for detailed concepts and the underlying architectural components of the Azure service. Let’s say you want to understand ‘how auto-scaling works for Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)’ or ‘different load-balancing method for AVD’, you are likely to find it here.
  • How-to guides – for a detailed how-to guide for end-to-end deployment and management of the Azure service. For example, if you want to know ‘how to add session hosts to a host pool?’ or ‘how to connect to AVD using Web Client?’, you can find it here.

To summarize, Overview – provides ‘What it is’, Tutorial provides ‘How to just get started’, Concepts provide ‘Tell me more’ and How-to guides provide ‘Let's really try to deploy it end-to-end' knowledge.



Microsoft Learn DocumentationMicrosoft Learn Documentation


Fun Fact: Most times, you would find missing answers in the FAQs. Questions like ‘How many simultaneous users can access AVD?’ can be found here. FAQs can be scattered across multiple pages in the documentation so make sure to leverage the search bar on top of the table of contents to find out all.


Azure Blog


I utilize Azure Blog for any ‘major’ product announcements and retirements. The articles mentioned here are usually written by the Microsoft Product Group – the teams behind the core engineering, development, and maintenance of Azure Services. If you have heard that Microsoft recently announced the GA of Azure Blob Storage Cold Tier, this is the place where you are most likely to find out that news.


Azure BlogAzure Blog


Azure Updates


Azure Updates is the place where one can find ‘minor’ updates/upgrades to an Azure Service. Often these updates as categorized as ‘Now Available’, ‘In Preview’, and ‘In Development’. Here, you may also find shorter versions of announcements made in the Azure Blog.



Azure UpdatesAzure Updates


Azure Pricing


If you are looking to find detailed pricing for a specific Azure Service, Azure Pricing is the go-to location. Product pricing for specific regions of an Azure service can be found here. You can filter by your desired Azure service in the product search box. This should not be confused with the Azure Pricing Calculator which provides a unified online cart-like interface.


AAzure PricingAzure Pricing


Fun Fact: FAQs under product pricing often contain some important points that may affect your overall Azure bill. Questions like ‘Will I be charged for the entire amount or just the storage space used of an Azure disk?’ can be found here. You will find them at the bottom of the product pricing page.


Microsoft Community Hub


Microsoft Community Hub (also known as Tech Community) is the place where you would find general blog posts and updates from various teams within Microsoft like Product Group, Engineering, Sales, etc. This is often utilized by Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Employees to post how-to guides and their 'personal' experiences with Microsoft services. This is where you are right now and reading this blog.


Microsoft Ignite Archive


If you are a person who likes to see visuals, action-packed demos, and interesting technology sessions in Audio/Video format, Microsoft Ignite Archive can become your Swiss Army Knife. I have often utilized Ignite archives in scenarios where I needed to take a dump of an Azure service at level 300, and I have not had enough time. The sessions are usually delivered directly from the manufacturers (Azure PG) and contain first-hand information about Azure Service as well as its underlying platform architecture. I am fond of knowing how PG designs an Azure Service/Product and Microsoft Ignite never fails to amaze me with cool not-so-popular information.


Microsoft Ignite ArchiveMicrosoft Ignite Archive


Fun Fact: The Breakout Sessions (usually 45 Minutes to 1 hour) are the best-in-category and provide unique information that will stay in your head forever. Don’t forget to find them using the ‘Session Type’ filter.


Official Microsoft Blog


Use Official Microsoft Blog for strategic announcements and partnerships in the technology space. This covers major announcements at the company level and for a 360-degree Microsoft products and services portfolio.

Official Microsoft BlogOfficial Microsoft Blog


Microsoft Learn Q&A


MSDN and TechNet Forums have played a quintessential role for over 10 years by offering a platform where technical questions could be answered by Microsoft and the community. Today, both these forums have been completely replaced by Microsoft Learn Q&A.

Microsoft Learn Q&AMicrosoft Learn Q&A


And that’s it!


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