You are currently viewing Part 09 – Setting Up Microsoft 365 and Azure Subscription

Part 09 – Setting Up Microsoft 365 and Azure Subscription

Setting Up Your Free Microsoft 365 E5 Tenant and Azure Subscription

Finally boys 🙂 In the previous blog posts, we set up a basic On-Premise environment. Now We will finally start with the cloud. In this blog post, I will show you how to get a Microsoft 365 Tenant and Azure Subscription.

Microsoft 365 Tenant

Unfortunately, this option is no longer available. The Microsoft 365 Developer Program is not available except if you are enrolled in Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program.

To get started, join the Microsoft 365 Developer Program. It’s completely free, and you can set up a new Microsoft 365 Tenant. You will receive 25 Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 licenses (excluding Windows and Audio Conferencing).

Navigate to Developer Program | Microsoft 365 Dev Center and join the Microsoft 365 Developer program.


Log in with your username and password. If you don’t have a Microsoft Account, you will need to register one.


Microsoft 365 E5 Tenant Sandbox options

Next, set up your Microsoft 365 E5 Tenant. You have two options:

  • Instant sandbox: This creates a tenant with preconfigured data, but you cannot customize the domain name.
  • Configurable sandbox: This gives you the option to configure all the data, and the domain name is customizable.

In my case, I chose the Configurable sandbox. Although it’s stated that provisioning can take up to two days, in my experience, it was immediate.


Create an administrator for the tenant and define the domain name.



After provisioning, you’ll receive information about licenses and the time to renew the Microsoft 365 Tenant (Subscription). Click “Go to subscription”.

Note: You need to log in to your tenant every 90 days to renew your resources. If you don’t log in for more than 90 days, your Microsoft Tenant will be deleted.


Open the Admin Center and navigate to the Licenses tab to check the number of licenses available.



Note: In my opinion, this method is currently the best way to get a Microsoft 365 Tenant for free. However, please note that this Microsoft 365 tenant is intended for use in testing environments and not for production.


For more details, refer to the Microsoft Learn page.

Create a free Microsoft Entra developer tenant – Microsoft Entra Verified ID | Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Azure Subscription

After provisioning the Microsoft 365 Tenant, we need an Azure Subscription. There are multiple ways to get an Azure Subscription.

Option 1: Visual Studio Subscription

As an employee of a Microsoft Partner company, I can get a Microsoft Azure Subscription via Visual Studio. This provides me with a $150 monthly Azure dev/test individual credit to explore and try Azure. If you want this type of subscription but your company doesn’t have a Visual Studio Subscription, you will need to pay it yourself.


For more information about costs:

Visual Studio Subscriptions – Visual Studio (

Pricing Details | Visual Studio – Visual Studio (


Option 2: Azure Free Account

With the Azure free account, eligible customers receive $200 in credits which can be used within the first 30 days on most Azure services. If you continue to use Azure services beyond the free service limits, you will be charged for any service usage that exceeds the free service limits.

You get $200 credits for the first 30 days and some free Azure services. All services that are free for 12 months can be used without any cost.

Note: You’ll never be charged unless you decide to move to pay-as-you-go pricing. If you move to pay as you go, you’ll only be charged for services that you use above the free monthly amounts


List of free services within the subscription:

Free Services Microsoft Azure

More information:

Azure Free Account FAQ | Microsoft Azure

Azure Free Account Registration

Registering for an Azure Free Account is straightforward. I won’t show you individual steps.

Visit the Azure Free Account Registration page

Create Your Azure Free Account Today | Microsoft Azure


Log in with your Microsoft 365 personal account. Fill in your information. A credit card is needed, but there won’t be any charge unless you manually change the type of subscription to pay-as-you-go.


After that, your subscription will be available.


Note: The subscription will not be in your current Microsoft 365 E5 Tenant / Microsoft Entra ID. Instead, it will be provisioned in a separate tenant. You can move this subscription to your primary tenant (Microsoft 365 E5 Tenant), but you will lose the $200 credit. However, Free Services will be moved without any interruption.


The process of moving a Subscription from one Tenant to another is not the purpose of this blog post. Perhaps, I will cover it in future posts.


This blog post taught us how to obtain a Microsoft 365 E5 Tenant and a Microsoft Azure Subscription.

I chose the first option (Visual Studio Subscription) for the Azure Subscription because it’s easier for me and allows me to use multiple subscriptions.

If you opt for the second option (which is free), you will have only one subscription. While this isn’t a dealbreaker, you will need to deploy all resources to one subscription and be cautious about the costs.

In the next blog post, we will explore how to customize our Microsoft 365 Tenant. We will set up the domain and customize the branding for our Microsoft Home Lab.

See yaa in the next blog post! 🙂

Github repository – Microsoft Home Lab

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