Resources and Guidelines for Deploying SharePoint on Windows Azure Virtual Machines

Recently, I’m getting lots of requests regarding to SharePoint deployments on Windows Azure Virtual Machines and I decided to share to the point resources and guidelines for deploying

  • Windows Server Active Directory
  • SharePoint Server 2013 / 2010
  • SQL Server 2012 including High-Availability.

Windows Server Active Directory, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and later versions and 64-bit versions of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and later are supported in Windows Azure Virtual Machines. For full list you can visit Microsoft server software support for Windows Azure Virtual Machines.

Now, we can start deploying our SharePoint farm. First of all it’s good to have a Windows Azure Virtual Network that’ll help us to secure our forest and extend our SharePoint farm for cross-premises installations.

Then, you’ll need to deploy your Windows Server Active Directory to Windows Azure. You can install a new forest or install a replica Active Directory Domain Controller. For replica Active Directory you’ll need to setup cross-premises connectivity.

When you’ll have Virtual Network and Active Directory then it’s time for SharePoint and SQL Server deployments. I strongly recommend to read guidelines and considerations documents before starting deployment. There are some tricks that may be hard to implement after you start installing.

SharePoint 2013 and 2010 are supported, this is why I’m sharing resources for both versions. You’ll see that it’s pretty similar to on-premises deployments.

SQL Server installations highly differ regarding to the performance requirements, database size and High-Availability requirements. I suggest you to read Performance Guidance which is a great document before starting.

SQL Server 2012 / 2014 AlwaysOn Availability Groups is the best option for High-Availability and SQL Server Backup and Restore with Windows Azure Blob Storage Service is a great feature for DR implementations.

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