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Moving your SharePoint workload to Azure – Things you should know

Vikram Pendse Dec 15, 2016

CMS PaaS IaaS SharePoint 2016 Collaboration Enterprise Enterprise 2.0 Azure Azure Cloud

SharePoint is the backbone of majority of enterprises today and has become an integral part of daily business for many. SharePoint is not just used as Document Management System but also leveraged as a product in many enterprises which is capable of running business processes, workflows and hosting applications within it. Many enterprises have done customization of SharePoint and now using it as product for their business as well as their customers.

Building SharePoint Farm or High Availability Farm on premise is always a difficult process not only in terms of actual software and hardware setup but from management point of view as well. Also, overall cost involved in doing the SharePoint setup is quite high. In some cases, a dedicated SharePoint Administrator is required to manage the entire infrastructure.

Microsoft Azure is a leading cloud platform and recognized as a leader in Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service by Gartner. Microsoft enables enterprises to move their SharePoint workloads to cloud with smooth and hassle free migration and in cost effective way along with a set of rich tools for analytics and security.

Pre-requisites for moving your SharePoint workload to Azure

You will require Microsoft Azure subscription to get access to Azure which is a cloud platform from Microsoft. Here are the steps to get Azure Subscription.

*Note: It is not recommended to setup SharePoint HA and SharePoint Non-HA Farm on Azure Trial Subscription.

It is strongly recommended to opt minimum Pay-As-You-Go subscription for setting up the SharePoint Farm.

We can also build SharePoint development environment as well on Azure. We will also see the pre-requisites for that later in this article.

SharePoint on Azure in High Availability and Non-High Availability

For SharePoint Non-HA Farm you need 3 Azure VM’s. One for SharePoint server, second for Active Directory Domain Controller and third one for SQL Server. Here is the High-Level architecture diagram which shows SharePoint Non-HA Farm.

img 1 .jpg

*Diagram reference : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/virtual-machines-windows-sharepoint-farm

For SharePoint HA Farm, you need 9 Azure VM’s. 4 For SharePoint server, 2 for Active Directory Domain Controller and 3 for SQL server. Here is the High-Level architecture.

img 2.jpg

*Diagram reference : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/virtual-machines-windows-sharepoint-farm

Limitations ofSharePoint Farm Available Templates in Azure

  • You cannot create the SharePoint 2013 non-HA Farmor SharePoint 2013 HA Farm with an Azure free trial and it is not recommended since you may exhaust your free trail credits immediately
  • When you create the basic or high-availability SharePoint farms using the Azure portal, you cannot specify an existing resource group

Possible scenarios for SharePoint in Azure

  • Disaster recovery of on-premises SharePoint farms to Azure
  • Development and test environments
  • Internet-facing sites that use features and scale not available in Office 365
  • App farms to support Office 365 or on-premises environments

 Pricing (approximately – pricing will vary based on region and subscription model)

  • For Non HA with minimum configuration of two D2V2 (2 core & 7 GB RAM) VMs and one SQL server Standard Edition (not requirement of specific edition) VM’s of size D2V2. US$ 880.15 /month
  • For HA with minimum configuration of seven D2V2 (2 core & 7 GB RAM) VMs and two SQL Server Enterprise Edition VM’s of size D2V2. US$ 3979.66/month

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