With the Sitecore Azure release coming up, I took a look back on the most frequently asked questions we have been having under the early adopters program for Sitecore Azure.
What is Sitecore Azure?
Sitecore Azure is an extension module to Sitecore CMS, which converts and deploys your Sitecore solution onto the Windows Azure Cloud.
What changes will the Sitecore Azure module do to my solution?
Sitecore will not do any changes to your on premises solution. For the cloud deployment the installer will only copy a subset of the on premises solution, leaving out stuff like the Sitecore folder. Please referee to documentation for more information.
The database scheme that is running on the SQL Azure has small changes compared to on-premises version, to make them Azure compliant.
What is the price of Sitecore Azure?
Sitecore Azure is a free extension to Sitecore CMS. You will need Sitecore CMS licenses for all of your cloud based instances.
What ports will my on-premises server use to communicate to the cloud environment?
Sitecore Azure uses port 80 and 1433 for all cloud communication.
Where are the current Windows Azure Hosting center locations:
Currently there are centers in:
- North Central US – Chicago, Illinois
- South Central US – San Antonio, Texas
- North Europe – Amsterdam, Netherlands,
- West Europe – Dublin, Ireland
- East Asia – Hong Kong
- Southeast Asia – Singapore
Can I store my media in blob stores?
Sitecore core, does currently not integrate to blob stores, but custom logic can use blob stores.
Can I use Microsoft Content Delivery Network (CDN) with Sitecore Azure?
No, CDN is an extension to blob stores, and there is currently no out of the box integration to blob stores.
What are the Sitecore Azure requirements?
Sitecore Azure needs to run on an on premises windows 64 bit machine, with Windows Azure SDK v1.2 installed.
Can I have different content in the different Azure hosting centers locations?
Yes, every Azure hosting location will be setup as a separate publishing target in Sitecore.
Are there any limitations to what I can run in the cloud?
Sitecore Azure currently only supports content delivery setups, that uses only web and core databases. Any solution that is coded according to Sitecore scaling guidelines and using publish to distribute data, should be out of the box Sitecore Azure compliant.
Can I use Online Marketing Suite (OMS) together with Sitecore Azure?
No, the Sitecore Azure is currently not able to convert sites with OMS.
How does security and membership provider’s work in the cloud?
Sitecore copies only core databases security accounts the cloud. If other a security model is needed, custom needs to be developed for this.
Can I control the web instance sizes?
Yes change the Service Definition file in “[website]\sitecore\admin\Azure\ServiceDefinition.csdef” value of property vmsize. Default set to Extra Large ( 8 cpu’s )
Will this run with only one Web role instance?
Yes, but in order to get the Microsoft SLA on uptime you need to run at least to instances. For small environments consider lowering the vmsize and run at least two instances.
How do I get new functionality and files to an existing cloud web role:
Just select the desired location in Sitecore Azure and click Web role Refresh Files. This will create a new webrole package, upload it to the location and update existing environment.
Why do i need to state and static IP address on subscription creation?
The static IP is used for the SQL Azure firewall.
Can I have multiple IP or IP-spans database firewall?
Yes, just state so on subscription creation.
Can I run my Sitecore Azure on my own Windows Azure Subscription?
Yes, do keep in mind that Sitecore Azure currently needs a subscription per region, due to limitation on one Azure SQL server per Windows Subscription.
Can I store my large media on the file system?
No, Sitecore Azure current only supports storage of media files in databases.