Over the last few years, Microsoft Azure Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) has become a very popular hosting option for Sitecore Experience Platform installations.
With a PaaS option you’ll have access to a pool of computing resources like applications, databases and a variety of specialised services. The underlying infrastructure is fully managed for you, and you can start deploying your applications right away and scale them automatically. But it’s the opportunity to save money that really resonates when you’re paying the hosting and maintenance bills. Choosing Azure PaaS can be really cost effective, here’s why:
You only pay for what you useThanks to automatic scaling, your installation can scale up or down based on your current server load (or another metric). This means that Azure can deal with traffic peaks and fluctuations while making sure you are only charged for the resources that you are using.
Your installation doesn’t need much attention from your IT teamOperating system updates, software hotfixes, hardware failures, network configuration, data backups – it’s all handled by the Microsoft Azure team.
Flexible pricingIn general, you can choose either pay as you go or a reserved instance billing option. Microsoft provides an online pricing calculator that can be used to explore different scenarios before making any commitments.
Tools for monitoring resource usage and cost are providedThe Azure portal offers various options that help you cut costs even further. For example, you can access reports to find resources that are idle or oversized for the job. You’ll also receive automatically generated prompts, advising on how you could further optimize your resources.
Deploying Sitecore to Azure is fast and easy
Sitecore offers tools and templates along with detailed documentation that streamline this process. There are several quick-start templates provided by Sitecore, for both production and non-production installations. So, not only can Sitecore be deployed to the cloud easily, but the work can be done by teams that are just starting their Azure journey.
So the cost efficiency argument is pretty solid, even with these predefined configurations. However, the real optimisation opportunity comes when you begin to customise to create a unique Azure PaaS installation of Sitecore. Every business is different and has its own specific needs. For instance, you may want to increase resources around potential performance bottlenecks, without wishing to size up to an entirely new topology. You might want to analyse parts of the installation to optimize the Azure resource allocation, reducing your overall Azure bill.
Over the past few months, we’ve been exploring ways in which we can help you serve up exceptional customer experiences on your Sitecore platform, optimising it for your business, while ensuring that the on-going costs are kept to a minimum.
To find out more, get in touch. We’d love to talk to you about helping you to switch your Sitecore hosting to Azure PaaS or even getting you started on the Sitecore Experience Platform.
20 June 2012Leszek Ciesielski
03 June 2011Adam Najmanowicz
27 May 2011Adam Najmanowicz
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