As you know, we are in the middle of discussing different options for SharePoint cloud migration. Last week, we gave you a little insight on SharePoint migration to Office 365 - the benefits of it and what you get when you move to Office 365. This week, we are discussing the second option in SharePoint cloud migration - Windows Azure. I'm sure you have all heard about Azure by now, but you might not be familiar with how it works or how your SharePoint cloud strategy could align perfectly with everything Windows Azure has to offer.
Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing platform that runs in the same datacenters as Office 365. Among Azure's service options is, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IAAS) which provides an operating system onto which SharePoint Server 2013 (the on-premises version) can be installed. And to make things much simpler, there is an Azure Resource Group Gallery Template for SharePoint Server 2013 that automatically builds a SharePoint farm in just a few clicks.
SharePoint in Azure offers a slightly different value proposition than SharePoint Online; but it also shares some of the same benefits:
- Hardware and Maintenance
- Guaranteed Availability (up to the OS layer)
- Pay-As-You-Go with Scalability
Keep in mind, however, SharePoint in Azure requires that the customer be responsible for upgrades and patches for the installed software and feature integration with other Office 365 services, like Exchange Online, is less robust than with SharePoint Online.
The flexibility of SharePoint in Azure provides additional benefits not included with SharePoint Online:
- Tight integration with other applications. Server-side code is not allowed in SharePoint Online.
- Development and test farms. Deployment scripts get you running quickly and test farms can be turned off when not in use.
- Large workloads executed. Processes can be throttled in Office 365 to meet the 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Public website with a vanity URL. Office 365 does not allow unique DNS entries - only redirection.
It's obvious that there are some definite benefits to migrating your SharePoint farm to Azure, but there are also benefits to SharePoint Online. Now that we have covered the primary cloud solutions, be sure to stay tuned for next week's blog update on a hybrid cloud solution for SharePoint hosting!