Last Updated: June 2022

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 to 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 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 upfront 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 backups, 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 budgets. Contact a member of our team today to find out more about deploying SharePoint in the Cloud.

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.