Advantages of Deploying SharePoint in the Cloud

Many businesses choose to host SharePoint on physical servers in a data centre and there are a number of advantages of deploying SharePoint in the Cloud. A typical on premises SharePoint Farm includes multiple machines to handle the application, databases, and front end of the platform. There are a number of disadvantages with this approach, and as cloud technologies become more accessible to businesses, an increasing number of companies are choosing to migrate their SharePoint farm to the cloud.

Improved Reliability & Resilience

The biggest disadvantage of a local or on premises SharePoint farm is reliability. If there are any issues with the equipment that is being used – from a simple power interruption through to a failure, the whole installation can be compromised. This can significantly impact on productivity and may even result in data loss that could be highly costly.
By migrating to the cloud, you remove that point of failure and create an environment that is naturally more resilient. Cloud applications run on virtual machines that are spread over a number of physical servers which means that the risk of data loss or an interruption is minimal.

In the event of a physical machine failing, there can be a gap in service while the machine is replaced. Depending on the spec of the server being used, there may be a long lead time for a like for like replacement which may mean that an interim solution is required that could impact performance until a solution can be provided. Virtual machines can be provisioned almost immediately.

deploying sharepoint in the cloud

Reduce Costs by deploying SharePoint in the Cloud

The total cost of ownership (TCO) of an On Premises hosting solution for SharePoint is high. Aside from the up front cost of the equipment itself, other ongoing costs are incurred. These include general costs such as the electricity to run the service, and also (more importantly), the cost of managing the platform. This includes back ups, physical maintenance, software licenses, and patches.

With virtual infrastructure, back-ups can be automatic, and most ongoing costs are built into the subscription. There may be an upfront cost for the initial cloud set-up, but many of the day to day management tasks that are required for a datacentre can be either automated, or are not required which means a lower overall management cost.  If you are already using cloud services for SharePoint, the chances are that Valto can help you to reduce your Azure Costs through better optimisation.

Increased Flexibility

In most cases, an on-premises SharePoint farm will need to have a higher specification than is needed at the time it is set up. The reason for this is that it needs to be able to support changes in the business over the time it is used. Typically the capital expenditure for infrastructure investment is high and the servers are a long term commitment.
Migrating SharePoint to the cloud gives you more flexibility which can reduce costs. Rather than needing to create a spec for the future, you can create a spec that’s right now, and then change the requirements as the business scales.

In fact, cloud platforms like Azure can provide granular flexibility, so you can adapt the specification depending on demand at different times of day – reducing the spec of your VMs at times of lower demand reduces the subscription costs leading to savings.

Ready To Find Out More?

If your business is currently hosting SharePoint on legacy equipment, migrating to the cloud could help you to improve performance and free up some of your IT budget. Contact a member of our team today to find out more about deploying SharePoint in the Cloud. Call now on 03335 779 009

Hosting Applications in Azure

With Azure, you benefit from a scalable computing resource which enables application hosting in a way that can reduce infrastructure costs, increase stability, and improve flexibility.

If your staff work in a flexible way and need to access information from multiple locations but still need to access applications when they need them, Azure lets you deliver those applications without the need to maintain legacy infrastructure.

Making Application Hosting Simpler

Rather than the traditional model of needing multiple physical servers to handle the different elements of the software, the cloud allows you to virtualise and configure machines quickly. This means that lead time for equipment delivery is no longer a factor and you can scale faster.

On top of the basic servers to run applications like SharePoint, the costs of additional equipment for back-ups can become expensive to acquire, maintain, and power, not to mention inflexible.

Compared to this, IaaS is fast to deploy and can bring major cost savings thanks to Pay As You Go pricing, and no maintenance costs.

Application Management in Azure

When hosting applications in Azure, your infrastructure and deployment is managed through a single dashboard. It’s possible to provision new Machines quickly, which allows you to create test environments where updates and patches can be tested quickly.

Custom Development to Run Applications in the Cloud

In most cases, if an application can be run on a physical server, it’s possible to create a virtual environment in Azure that can replicate the original version. This usually precludes the need to add layers of custom development – although you may need to carry out some configuration work to handle data storage or user management.

Azure includes the Microsoft RemoteApp Platform which lets you migrate existing applications painlessly and can be used by your internal team to manage user access and monitor application performance.

As part of our managed Azure service, Valto will work with you to build an effective cloud strategy that includes full systems architecture planning and the creation of infrastructure for most popular applications including SharePoint, as well as custom deployments tailored to any bespoke applications that your business relies on.

Expert Support

A major challenge for businesses as they migrate to Azure is ensuring that the correct skills are available to manage your environment to ensure best performance. This is where Valto can help – our team have multiple years’ experience of optimising Azure to host multiple applications and websites while increasing reliability and reducing costs.

For more information, call us on 03335 779 009 and we can start to discuss your requirements.

Selecting the right SharePoint Development Company

If SharePoint is a key part of your company’s IT Strategy, then finding the right SharePoint Development company is essential.  A bad choice can leave you with a project that’s overrunning, costing you more than you expected, and failing to deliver to your expectations.

On the surface, SharePoint can be quite easy to work with – if you have the correct environment, a senior member of your IT team should be able to deploy SharePoint.  The new App model for extensions means that functionality can be added in a straightforward way.  That having been said, very few businesses find that they can use SharePoint straight out of the box.  In most cases, some custom development is required.

Getting the Most out of SharePoint

If you want SharePoint to do exactly what you want, you need to find a development partner who not only understands the platform itself, but also understands your goals from a commercial perspective.

Whether your need is a simple intranet, or a complex business management system that uses SharePoint to move data between multiple applications, there is a clear need that you need to meet.

When you speak to your development company, it’s important to discuss what the goal of the project is, and what the perceived benefits are.  If a company is simply focused on the project without understanding what your ultimate goal is, then the chances of them helping you to achieve it are very slim.

Choosing the right SharePoint Development Company

The key things that you need to look for in a SharePoint development company are as follows:

Experience with your particular version of SharePoint.  SP2016 and Online are the current versions, but not everyone has upgraded.  Some developers might not have worked with older versions for some time, or have familiarity with the specific extensions that you’re using.  Some complex deployments may require multiple teams to handle the process of adding functionality if the full skillset isn’t available in once place.

A good Development company will have access to skillsets beyond the ones in their direct team and handle communication.

Experience with the type of application that you have.  Some companies are specialists in intranets – rather than being specialists in SharePoint.  They may have lots of experience with your version of SharePoint, but if they don’t have experience working with the type of application that you have, then you may be storing up problems.

The right qualifications.  Microsoft offer professional certification that qualifies specialists in different areas.  Talk to prospective companies about what qualifications they have within their team and what knowledge you have access to.

The ability to support you.  If you have a business-critical application, it makes sense to work with a company who are going to be around for a long time.  A contractor may be able to deliver a project more cheaply, but if the code is eccentric or unusual, then it may cause issues if you need a different person to help in the future if something goes wrong later.  Choosing a company that has an in-house support function means that they will have access to the original development plans and be able to identify and resolve any issues more quickly.

If you’re currently planning a project around SharePoint, speak to a member of our team – we’ll be happy to provide you with advice and information about how we can help you achieve your gaols and support you in the long run.  Call us today on 03335 779 009 .