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As part of our implementation of SharePoint 2010 (Server), I am tasked with investigating the option to deploy SharePoint 2010 via the cloud. Does anyone have the benefits and/or limitations for migrating a SharePoint farm consisting of up to seven servers (initially) to Windows Azure? If Azure is not the right cloud product, what IaaS provider would be a better fit?

Is there a significant benefit to placing the WFE servers in the cloud pointing back to App Servers on-premises?

I am sure there are plenty of questions I am neglecting, so please be free to offer as much ancillary information as possible.

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You probably want to have a look at Office 365 for more options for hosted SharePoint. –  James Love Apr 27 '11 at 21:32
    
Office 365/SharePoint Online does not provide a true SharePoint Server infrastructure. All you would have access to is the creation of new site collections. Hardly a full product offering. –  websch01ar Apr 27 '11 at 22:31
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a) You haven't stated in your question what you need. b) If you have enough seats (> ~100,000 users) you will able to negotiate the rest of the farm's capabilities. –  James Love Apr 27 '11 at 22:56
    
a) Does anyone have the benefits and/or limitations for migrating a SharePoint farm consisting of up to seven servers (initially) to Windows Azure? If Azure is not the right cloud product, what IaaS provider would be a better fit? b) Not sure I have an answer. I know what the farm's requirements are. From what I gather Windows Azure is not a good choice as it is not a typical IaaS provider. –  websch01ar Apr 28 '11 at 13:49
    
@user1336 ("All you would have access to is the creation of new site collections") Are you sure? As far as I can see - e.g. from SharePoint Online for Office 365: Developer Guide - you can customize/develop a whole bunch of things on SP Online (not all things you can do on SP). –  superjos May 3 '11 at 11:23

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can't host SharePoint on Azure, and putting the WFEs in the cloud with on-premise SQL would not be workable from a performance stand-point or a supported configuration. If you want a cloud hosting solution and Office365 Enterprise won't fit the bill consider Amazon or Rackspace virtual servers. Make sure you contact Microsoft to validate the licensing required to cover your farm - with cloud hosting it can get tricky.

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Also VM's in Azure are stateless which is not suppoerted by SharePoint! –  Wictor Wilen MCA MCM MVP May 2 '11 at 6:04
    
This should actually be possible at some point. My company is a close partner with the Azure team and have a proof of concept Azure (hosted VM) running SharePoint. –  Andrew May 3 '11 at 6:49
    
I have heard "rumors" that they are getting close to proofing out SP in Azure. So I asked the question to see if anyone else can substantiate these. –  websch01ar May 9 '11 at 13:29

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