Replicating and Improving your SharePoint Farm in Microsoft Azure

SP SQL DC Microsoft Azure from Microsoft Partner Valto

For many organisations, the main reasons for adopting a cloud hosting solution for SharePoint are the cost effectiveness and reliability that is offered when compared to legacy on-premises hosting solutions or traditional datacentres.

Unfortunately, many businesses do not get the performance enhancements that they expect when migrating their SharePoint hosting to Azure. This is usually due to mistakes in the architecture process that lead to insufficient resource being used.

Proper Planning Prevents Performance Problems

Prior to any migration of SharePoint to Azure, it is essential to conduct a thorough review of the existing solution you are using. This involves auditing the specification of all aspects of the hosting including all the application and database servers, as well as the connectivity in and out of your data centre.

In some cases, a SharePoint cloud deployment is simply configured at the basic recommended levels rather than considering the specific needs of an organisation. While this may save money on your existing hosting, it can also create massive performance issues if the existing solution is more powerful.

One reason for this approach is that Azure makes it so simple to deploy an off the shelf SharePoint farm straight from the dashboard. While some configuration is still required, it is often overlooked and needs are not thought through. This leads to an unsatisfactory outcome for staff.

Valto’s approach is to fully audit the performance and requirements of your organisation through analysis of log files. This informs us about the number of connections that are required and the likely throughput of data and server requests that need to be accommodated.  We provide a full service that is designed to complement your IT Strategy.

Once this review has been conducted, it is important to review the current hosting arrangements that you have. In some cases, existing solutions may be over-engineered – more powerful than is needed to handle the application. This may be because of previous planning which sought to ensure that the solution deployed would be futureproof by building in additional capacity.

Given that Azure offers more flexibility than traditional data centre solutions, over capacity is not essential – the specification of the farm can be managed in real time – adding capacity when required and scaling back at other times if necessary – this reduces costs.

Similarly, if the existing farm is under-specification, then a plan can be put in place to architect a solution that is in keeping with current needs along with a roadmap for additional capacity as required.

Ongoing Support and Analysis

As noted above, a key reason why legacy systems can appear expensive is that they are often over-engineered to provide future proofing. This is not necessary with Azure and SharePoint, as the virtual machines can be altered as required. This means that ongoing support is essential.

Regular audits of usage levels will help to ensure that the correct range of machines to meet your business’ SharePoint requirements are in place as required.

Find out More

For more information about Valto’s approach or to talk to one of our qualified Azure Consultants about hosting SharePoint in Azure, please call us on 0207 240 1440.