We’ve been supporting many of our customers for a large numbers of years and walked with them as new versions of the CMS get released, their integration points of CRM, finance, membership, payment… all upgrade or change and as new software versions for both Windows and SQL Server need to be installed on their hosted servers.
Recently however we’re seeing an upsurge in requirements to move away from both on premise and traditional server-based hosting to the cloud. It’s a natural progression led by consumer demand for much else that we all do in digital becoming cloud-based rather than being owned/managed locally.
One specific project has led us to migrate a previously on premise Sitecore solution to Microsoft’s Azure cloud-based hosting using the Sitecore Experience Platform as Platform as a Service (PaaS). In this case the customer can forget about every aspect of the infrastructure and its availability and pay for only what they need, when they need it. The argument is compelling; managed costs, free up your IT team, reliability/availability, flexibility through virtualisation, single point of management and security benefits of being part of a huge managed service.
Deploying an existing Sitecore solution to Azure is a simple process and we’ve been able to bolt instant deployment into our existing automated build processes. That said there is much to consider before moving ahead and key among them is whether your existing solution relies upon third-party systems that are not available to Internet based solutions. Any points in the existing solution where direct access to SQL databases is currently in use will need to be revisited to securely allow Azure to access them either via fixed IP or VPN solutions.
In the case of the latter this can have implications for your existing infrastructure and you need to be aware of the way Azure and the Sitecore application support this kind of access. Fortunately we’ve done the research and can guide you through the process, so if you have any questions just get in touch. There is no doubt that we’ll be doing more migrations to cloud-based hosting. The Azure/Sitecore offering is compelling but customers of our other CMS solutions can also benefit from reduced costs, improved uptime and an infrastructure that can change with their demands. Again, if you need any help just contact the team here and we’ll be happy to help.