I initially blogged on this topic (using Azure benefits from your MSDN subscription) on 10/1/2012. At that point in time the Azure benefits from MSDN has been significantly lighter than they are as of today. This equated to approximately a single small computer system for half of month, which needs to be destroyed to not count towards the amount of compute hours. The screenshot of this initial set of benefits is shown below.

Based upon an email from Anton, I went back to revisit this and see what the benefits are currently (Thank you to Anton Gritsenko for pointing this out). As of 2/27/2013 Microsoft has significantly updated the benefits available for your MSDN Ultima subscription. This now equates to two small computer systems for the full month which is a very usable example to demonstrate something like Operations Manager.


Also note the increase in storage from 35 GB to 45 GB, SQL database from 1 DU to 5 DU and data transfers from 25 GB to 35 GB!

Summary: With the increased amount of benefits in the MSDN subscription for Azure this is much more usable now for demo type purposes especially. Check it out and how to activate your benefits at my original blog post at: https://www.catapultsystems.com/cfuller/archive/2012/10/01/creating-my-first-server-running-in-azure-using-my-msdn-subscription-windowsserver-azure.aspx?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed 

Additionally, if you are interested in knowing more about Azure and System Center and where they interact check out the 15 part series I recently completed on this topic available at: https://www.catapultsystems.com/cfuller/archive/2013/01/30/finishing-the-kicking-the-tires-on-azure-post-series-where-do-system-center-2012-and-azure-interact-sysctr-azure.aspx and a great index put together on this by Tommy Gunn at: http://www.systemcentercentral.com/blog-series-kicking-the-tires-on-windows-azure-15-installments/.


Update: This increase is not automatically applied to your account. To apply these changes, re-activate your MSDN Azure subscription and it will create a new subscription for "Windows Azure MSDN – Visual Studio Ultimate" (assuming you have Ultimate edition of course).