The architecture of SharePoint has changed and inflated from the earliest days up to the present. SP version 2016 accommodates a whole array of scenarios, from on-premises and hybrid, to SharePoint Online. Nonetheless, in exactly what way must SharePoint on Azure be categorized, and who stands to benefit from it?
In this article, I would like to show you how SharePoint on Azure must be classified, why it could offer any real added value to your brand, and which benefits and opportunities you get from it. Furthermore, we will find out why it’s deemed as the sure-shot answer to any barriers that are related to business.
Microsoft Azure, what is it?
Azure is a virtual private cloud by Microsoft. It’s the same as having your private datacenter run by Microsoft. The difference however is that none of the costs of hardware and maintenance rests on you. It’s run on clusters of redundant servers; which Microsoft slices up into smaller chunks logically.
This way, you don’t have to incur the upfront expense of buying servers or any maintenance expenses associated with owning a server, since the servers are ‘virtual’. You are the owner of the data on them and could export the whole virtual server should you find that you no longer want to run your servers in the cloud anymore, although this is not likely.
Still, in order to run all of your other apps, you still need Windows Servers. As long as you need to run server-based software, a Windows Server is always required, either on-premises or in the Cloud.
Microsoft SharePoint, what is it?
SharePoint is a customizable web app, which could integrate with other different Microsoft services. It could store documents that could be accessed by the team. Moreover, it could also house checklists for the team to work on.
There’s no point in comparing Azure to SharePoint; they’re oranges and apple. SharePoint could store documents for the team to access. This platform has been extremely useful to organizations big and small for some time now. SharePoint frameworks continues to be in demand at present.
An advanced programmer or a SharePoint consultant for that matter could build advanced customized workflows for business organizations using the platform to keep tabs of sales, leads, internal projects, and orders. The platform is extremely robust in what it does, but don’t run regular Windows Software, thus you need a server for that. For running a virtual server in the cloud, Azure is an option.
What is SharePoint on Azure and its Benefits
The entire infrastructure is hosted by Microsoft, which includes server, storage, network, and administrative services in Azure, otherwise known as the IaaS, or the Infrastructure-as-a-Service. This means that you could have worldwide access to the platform’s resources if you want to do so.
SharePoint on Azure Benefits
1. Operational Expenses. You only get to pay for what you actually utilize. Most probably, billing occurs every minute of deployed resources, aside from the fixed IP addresses, or the storage space needed for virtual machines. This allows high resources scalability, for example in load or stress testing, or to include more servers, which are at the end of the test are disabled again. This cuts ongoing operations expenses.
2. No costs on procurement. The costs for the necessary hardware practically is zero. This is because the required services and infrastructure are made available in Azure. Visual Studio subscribers furthermore have the added benefit of using test and development licenses and thus cutting the costs on software licensing.
3. Availability and scalability. The process of customers and employees’ authentication with Azure AD is uncomplicated and simple. The infrastructure of SharePoint could be up and running in no time at all. The system enables test and even development environments configuration.
For productive deployment, vertical and horizontal scaling are possible. Servers with similar configuration could be used as resource groups, ensure high availability of services configured on the servers themselves, and facilitate horizontal scaling.
4. Templates. You may prefer using solution templates that are predefined. The same as a master copy, the template could be loaded for provisioning a specific Azure system. You can equally configure individual SharePoint servers fast, as well as any other ones that you may need, such as for instance Windows Servers with Active Directory and SQL servers, or connect the SP server with your local servers.
This could create a likely hybrid scenario wherein you host the Active Directory or vital company data in a local environment, while the host function for SharePoint Azure is outsourced.
Hosting SharePoint on Azure Scenarios
Development and Testing Environment
Hosting SharePoint on Azure is suitable in particular for developing and the testing environment, as well as for UAT or User Acceptance Tests. Farms could be developed quickly and in the most convenient way using scripts or templates, and just as quickly disabled when the test or development phase is done.
You could save on hardware and other resources, bringing the operation costs down, as well as the resources and time invested. SharePoint on Azure is furthermore great as a staging environment for updates and testing solutions, before it’s rolled out into the productive environment.
Another advantage is that farm solutions could be developed and provisioned in SharePoint on Azure. Developments could come in any form or shape, the same with on-premises architectures.
SharePoint on Azure is conceivably the same as a productive environment. Sharing and publishing pages is easy, particularly in combination with a customer account management and Azure AD. Azure’s geo-distribution is used to minimize access and response times across different sites.
The internet farm, even on high traffic will attain satisfactory momentum via cutting access routes down and keeping away from VPN connections that are slow. Currently, it’s possible to host the farm in 36 various regions all over the world. Currently in the plan are other regions, such as South Africa.
If you want to expand or protect your present infrastructure, then you may want to consider checking out SharePoint on Azure. To all your business barriers, SharePoint on Azure could be the sure-fire way to get the solutions you need.
The SharePoint farm templates in Azure enable you to deploy the platform very fast, internally and externally, for colleagues, partners, and customers, slashing the administrative cost of your IT department simultaneously. The expenses are easy to check and remain transparent, and you get to pay only for what you need.
When it comes to developing and testing environments, this makes SharePoint in Azure very interesting, as well as for disaster recovery scenarios.