Notes on Building SharePoint Solutions in the Cloud with Windows Azure

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Since my schedule only allows me to pop in and out during this session, this blog will be a place for my notes when I can join and want to save something. Details about the webinar are at the bottom.

SharePoint for Internet Sites (FIS) Public facing, anonymous access sites –  Saves bandwidth – running on Azure allows for Azure internet connectivity and bandwidth freeing up your bandwidth at your company. TAIT is currently running a WordPress site for which used to be hosted at Media Temple, but may now be hosted somewhere else.

Dev/Test environments – great benefits using Azure, spin up quickly and easily, turn off and not pay when you don’t need it, but TAIT doesn’t really need this as we aren’t developing software or apps

Hybrid Applications that span your data center in the cloud, TAIT’s not using a full data center, still using network drives, but could connect

Disaster Recovery – huge benefit having a replicated version of TECS, can easily scale out the environment in disaster mode

SharePoint Online Feature Availability in O365 limited online features with this multi-tenant version of SharePoint

Migration Approaches that other customers are using to either move or extend their environment onto a cloud platform like Microsoft Azure. There are 3 common approaches: Forklift, Hybrid and IaaS to Paas

Forklift Migration – Moving everything in your SP farm into the cloud, moving all applications and dependencies. May sound daunting but because you have VM compatibility between Azure and Hyper-V on Premesis, if you’re already running SharePoint in VMs in Hyper-V, it’s easy to download those VMs and then spin them up on an Azure network. If you’re using another VM technology, we have powerful migration tools to migrate them over to a Hyper-V format to easily port them over to an Azure environment. Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter – look it up and you can download it.

Hybrid Migration – leaving your core on-prem farm running, and move certain aspects of that farm up to an Azure VM network.

IaaS to Paas Migration – another form of Hybrid Migration. Not looking at full farm overall, just at the individual custom applications. Particularly for SP 2013 customers, can be auto-hosted or provider-hosted. Custom applications can be easily deployed and wrap your SP chrome, governance, etc. around this easily.

Migration Approaches: migrating an existing VM – or – building VMs in the cloud and migrating data over. Some people prefer this. Often when looking at farm architecture, you may decide that perhaps it’s best to capitalize on a cloud platform like Azure, you may want to take a slightly different architectural approach. Instead of creating a large VM, you may instead decide to take  more of a scale out model where you’re load balancing across smaller VMs, only running at the capacity you need to support the volume of users throughout the day.

From the little that I was able to catch, it was a good webinar. Consistent information with what I’ve seen from Microsoft and I liked the terminology “forklift” 🙂 I haven’t used that, but I will. I wonder if they addressed stopping Azure instances when not using (for development or testing environments) to save money. That’s an issue I’ve run into a couple of times, using all my credits by not shutting down my VMs. Andrew Connell and Chris Johnson are developing a solution for this, Kerrb, which I am excited to take advantage of and will Beta soon.


Building SharePoint Solutions in the Cloud with Windows Azure
Leveraging an on-demand cloud platform for SharePoint can offer many attractive benefits in terms of reduced infrastructure costs, increased agility and nearly unlimited elasticity. As a result, many organizations are evaluating options for building customizable SharePoint environments in the cloud for development, test, pilot and production use cases. However, when architecting SharePoint solutions for a cloud platform, there’s a number of additional planning considerations that are unique from an on-premises SharePoint solution. Register to attend this complimentary webinar on Tuesday, March 24th, 2014 from 10:30 – 11:30 A.M. PST to learn how you can easily leverage the Windows Azure platform for could-based SharePoint deployments from a field-experienced Microsoft Technical Evangelist.
Guest SpeakersKeith Mayer
Senior Technical Evangelist @ Microsoft


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