I have been using the Azure infrastructure for a few months now. My overall experiences have been great. I can now create a virtual machine and entire network infrastructure in the cloud and access it from anywhere. No longer do I need a test server at home taking up space and filling the room with 6 server fans of noise.
This gives me the ability to actually test out ideas faster using Azure. The are many VM’s images already loaded that I can leverage instead of having to install and OS, then a platform. I can use load the SQL Server VM and everything is ready once the image is spun up.
There are a few items that you need to keep in mind. First once you are done with a machine, power it off to save money. Second, you need to plan ahead a bit to give the machines time to power on and get ready for use.
If you have never visited Azure here is the link to get you started – Windows Azure