mandag den 4. marts 2013

SharePoint 2013 on Azure

So this blog post is about Windows new Azure platform. And will not have any technical contend. But take it as a fun story on me trying to figure out the price for a server on Windows Azure.
I as a Microsoft Bizspark Partner was looking for an easy way to set up a new SharePoint 2013 installation on Azure. Just to start a POC on hosting SharePoint 2013 server. So i went to the portal administration panel to create my first windows machine, so I could get started.

My first concern was with the size, I should at least start with the minimums requirements for SharePoint 2013, since I need to present this solution to some customers and need to show that my solution is running fast and problem free. And also not get in to a discussion about my solution is running on at testing environment and it of course would be much faster for the customer. So to find out how big my installation needed to be I went to Microsoft to find the minimums requirements, just to discover that its good sense and fully lives up to my expatiation. So for the smallest installation I need 4 CPU and 8GB RAM, this should be no problem. (I would strongly recommend a larger server)

As a Bizspark Partner I have some benefit regarding Azure as I can use some servers for free so I can get up and running before I have to pay for the services I need. And trust me I have no problem with paying for a service. So I went and signed up for Azure to get started. I thought to myself this is no problem, Microsoft have this under control so it is just for me to start. And my expectation was correct, under offers I found a link and with no problem I was up and running. This process got me smiling. 

So to set up A virtual machine on Azure just go to the administration portal click the big and easy to find plus sign and pick Virtual machines (This of course demand that you sign up for the review program first). So I thought to myself. Microsoft wants all to use SharePoint so they will make this easy for me. I will just have to pick an image and off I go right.

But I was soon to get a lot wiser. First up to choose the Image, just to find that I can choose a SQL image, a windows image even a Linux image, but not a SharePoint image? So I figured out that they properly haven made this one jet, so I will just need to create this myself. So I picked a clean windows 2012 server. And then I needed to choose my Virtual machine size. And then I got a little confused. I could choose from the following sizes.

Okay not the biggest machines in the world. I  can as a bizspark partner choose extra small or small. So to have the minimums demand in the back of my head, I found that I needed the extra large server to install a single instance of SharePoint 2013. (BTW why can have a server with 768MB of RAM, that's not even enough to run a decent IIS).
So looking at the largest instance I can start using being the small server having 1 CPU and 1.75BG RAM it would be a little hard to get something installed. So okay I thought, to get something up and running I need to pay for my service.

So to make a simple calculation on what I need to pay, for my minimum installation. I went to the calculation site to look at some numbers. For a single SharePoint installation with everything on the same box I need an Extra Large server, since the Large server with 4 CPU’s only have 7GB RAM. Remembering that the minimum RAM I need is 8GB.

After finding out that I needed an Extra Large server, I wanted to figure out what my monthly bill would be. I navigated to the calculator and found out that I had to pay. $460,80 per month for a single virtual server to run SharePoint 2013. (I know that I should use Office 365 for Office installation, and with good sense.) But I wanted to have full control over my installation and did not want to invest in hardware.

Azure is a good and fast system especial if you are using the "websites, databases or any other service", but in my sense it's not really mature for a windows installation. Except if you want to pay some really heavy prices. For my startup installation, I would need at least two severs one for SharePoint and one for SQL. So the price would be $921 on a monthly base. That’s a really heavy price to have as a startup.

So what is the key learning’s.

Azure is a really good alternative to buying servers yourself, and get them hosted. But I think the price is a little high for the machines you need. In my case I would have to spend almost $11.000 per year for two servers. Can I do this better? Well this depend on how good price I can get in a hosting company like Rackspace. I can get a decent server for less than $2.500 that matches the demands for running SharePoint and SQ. So I just need to find a place in the country to store my servers for about $5.000 a year. Well maybe it’s okay to pay a little more be-course my servers will hopeful work for more than one year.

So what will I do. Am not sure, I might call up Microsoft and ask if they can raise the number of RAM in there large server, this way it will support most of the applications for a little less on monthly base.
Else I will go and figure out on how to use O365 and SharePoint 2013.

2 kommentarer:

  1. Microsoft has introduced bigger VM sizes(up to 56GB 8 core for $2.04 p/h)(check out ).

    The extra small VM is intended for development/testing. I use them a lot because , in my case, many async jobs don't need more resources.

    1. Hi Valery.

      Thanks for your comment, I appreciate.
      I know that Microsoft have added new servers and "a higher price after 1th. June". But this still not going to change the overall calculation, the pricing is still quit high for a full environment.
      But its really good that you now are able to get better spec servers.
      I don't use the extra small since they are barely can run a IIS site. instead I use the Small version that are a bit better and things are running more smooth.