I have a background in web design and am very interested in sharepoint administration. I bought Todd Klint's, Professional Sharepoint 2013 Administration book, have been becoming familiar with Active Directory, Powershell and Windows Server. I signed up for a month trial on Windows Azure in order to build a lab environment. But I am running into a few issues, in particular with Windows Azure and there isn't much support within the Preview/Free trial so it is hindering the learning process for me. Does anyone have a recommendation or another way I can build a farm in the cloud as a lab environment or have other recommendations on how I can learn the administration side of Sharepoint? I am a hands on learner and most of the training I have seen is quite pricey. Thank you for your time and input in advance! ~Sarah

1 Answer 1


Welcome to SharePoint! You'll come to love it, I promise.

As you probably already know, you'll need a server to really get your hands on SharePoint. You could spin up some virtual machines on your workstation/laptop, using all trial versions of software. This would allow you to not only administer it, but also get some hands on access to installation and understanding some other fundamentals.

Otherwise, you need to find a service, like Azure, CloudShare, AWS, RackSpace, which can host it for you. I use CloudShare for development purposes, and is by far the cheapest of the options out there. You can spin up a complete environment in a few clicks, and then you have full access to the server's console.


  • Thank you for such a quick response! I was leaning towards using Cloudshare, I think I will go that route.
    – Sarah.W
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 20:30

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