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Windows Azure Support?

18 posts, 0 answered
  1. Kevinul
    Kevinul avatar
    11 posts
    Registered:
    10 Apr 2008
    24 Apr 2010
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    Greetings,

    I would like to know if Sitefinity 4.0 BETA would have support to be able to deploy on Microsoft Windows Azure unless the CTP doesn't already have it? I've read once with the forums regarding Windows Azure that Sitefinity 4.0 may be able to do just that thus why I'm asking.

    As for the Sitefinity 4.0 CTP, I've experienced flawless installsion after downloading. I've just clicked 'Run', Sitefinity Project Manager appears, the set up was straight forward, and I've been impressed with overall look of the dashboard. I've noticed that I cannot access my Profile or Preferences from the links on the top-right thus was a slight bummer since I couldn't explore that. 

    I cannot tell you anything about performance-wise issues as I've not uploaded a project on a server yet. I might, if I could, upload it later just to see how well it performs on my server.

    I did however come accross some errors when I was building a page. One of the modules underneath the RadControls node was functioning improperly. The Captha module had a broken image instead of a random text image.

    Regards,
    Kevin Keeney
  2. Ivan Dimitrov
    Ivan Dimitrov avatar
    16072 posts
    Registered:
    16 Jun 2017
    26 Apr 2010
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    Hello Kevinul,

    We will support Windows Azure most probably for the BETA of Sitefinity 4.0. This is the first platform we are going to add.

    If you can provide some more details about this issues

    I did however come accross some errors when I was building a page. One of the modules underneath the RadControls node was functioning improperly. The Captha module had a broken image instead of a random text image.


    I will try to reproduce and fix them if they are bugs.

    Sincerely yours,
    Ivan Dimitrov
    the Telerik team

    Do you want to have your say when we set our development plans? Do you want to know when a feature you care about is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items.
  3. ColdCold
    ColdCold avatar
    9 posts
    Registered:
    14 Mar 2010
    02 May 2010
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    That's fantastic news, Ivan!  I, too, am very excited by the prospect of running Sitefinity 4.0 in Windows Azure.

    Do you have any idea of when the BETA release will happen?  I am eager to deploy a particular site with Sitefinity 4.0 in Azure, if I can.
  4. Ivan Dimitrov
    Ivan Dimitrov avatar
    16072 posts
    Registered:
    16 Jun 2017
    02 May 2010
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    Hi ColdCold,

    We are currently rescheduling our tasks. The initial plans are for July.

    Best wishes,
    Ivan Dimitrov
    the Telerik team

    Do you want to have your say when we set our development plans? Do you want to know when a feature you care about is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items.
  5. krees
    krees avatar
    2 posts
    Registered:
    21 Oct 2008
    06 Jul 2010
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    The current version of SiteFinity 3.6 does not support Windows Azure, but could it be made to make it work?

    Is the effort worth it or just wait to get the version 4 in July?
  6. Ivan Dimitrov
    Ivan Dimitrov avatar
    16072 posts
    Registered:
    16 Jun 2017
    06 Jul 2010
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    Hi Christian,

    We have not performed test with 3.x edition and Windows Azure, so we could not guarantee whether and how it will work. My suggestion is that you should wait for 4.0 edition.

    Regards,
    Ivan Dimitrov
    the Telerik team
    Do you want to have your say when we set our development plans? Do you want to know when a feature you care about is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items
  7. Maciej Skiba
    Maciej Skiba avatar
    15 posts
    Registered:
    28 Sep 2009
    06 Aug 2010
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    Hi all,

    I am currently testing Sitefinity 3.7 on windows azure (I am hosting database on the externel MSSQL 2008 sever). CMS works quite well, all features seems to work properly but there is one problem - my page is very very slow, response times reach several seconds. At first I have thought that it is azure's fault, but I have uploaded old version of my website (before moving it into Sitefinity) and it works normally. So now I am suspecting that data exchange between CMS and database is so slow. Has any one of you tried to run Sitefinity on windows azure and had the same problem? Have you find out some solution?

    Regards,
    Maciej.
  8. Kalina
    Kalina avatar
    176 posts
    Registered:
    27 Oct 2016
    09 Aug 2010
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    Hi Maciej ,

    We have scheduled tests on Windows Azure this month and will include performance optimizations in our development plans.

    In the meanwhile, we will be happy to know more on your experience of Sitefinity and Azure. 


    Sincerely yours,
    Kalina
    the Telerik team
    Do you want to have your say when we set our development plans? Do you want to know when a feature you care about is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items
  9. Steve
    Steve avatar
    3037 posts
    Registered:
    03 Dec 2008
    10 Aug 2010
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    Can anyone give any details on Azure?...what's it typically cost?

    I hear it's pricy...
  10. ColdCold
    ColdCold avatar
    9 posts
    Registered:
    14 Mar 2010
  11. Steve
    Steve avatar
    3037 posts
    Registered:
    03 Dec 2008
    10 Aug 2010
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    Yeah I saw the pricing but it's hardly obvious what a realworld site costs to run in azure...

    More or less than shared hosting is I guess what I wanted to know
  12. mattc
    mattc avatar
    105 posts
    Registered:
    11 Aug 2007
    10 Aug 2010
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    Hi

    Azure hosting would be a lot more expensive than a shared hosting package, but then you are getting a lot more. If you had 2 web roles and a standard 1GB database you are looking at around $200 a month. So seems very expensive but then look what you are getting:

    Load balanced traffic between the instances.
    Auto management of instances, if the machine hosting a web role crashes or something jams, Azure will  close it down and spin up another.
    SQL Azure is a full HA solution with multiple copies of the DB (99.9% SLA). Again, if there is a hardware problem it will fail over automatically without intervention.

    This is no budget shared hosting plan, not suitable for a personal or hobby site but a very low maintenance and high power solution for a small business that would need to be buying 2-3 servers, firewall, bandwidth etc etc to match it. It appeals to me because the overhead of running it is so low, just a web browser and a MMC snap in and you are done!

    I tried spinning up the Beta in a web role on the development fabric today and it all worked, need to do more tests and get the logs out to see if there were any problems but seemed to work with 3 processes. Will post when I have some results but looking like it will live fine within the framework and we are only at Beta. I haven't played with the DB yet but am assuming it is already or close to being Azure compatible.

    Matt
  13. Maciej Skiba
    Maciej Skiba avatar
    15 posts
    Registered:
    28 Sep 2009
    10 Aug 2010
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    Hello Kalina,

    As far as I have tested Sitefinity under Windows Azure, I can say that everything I am using in Sitefinity (pages, templates, multi language support, page workflow, libraries, custom controls) works without problems on Windows Azure (but I haven't tested all features). Of course SQL Azure doesn't work with Sitefinity. I have also tried storing database in the mdf file, but this seems not to work on Azure too. I don't know why, because it works on the Windows Azure Simulation Environment on my localhost but I could make it work on real Azure. Therefore the only way for storing database is external MS SQL server but then you can encounter some performance problems that I have described in my previous post.

    --
    Regards,
    Maciej.
  14. mattc
    mattc avatar
    105 posts
    Registered:
    11 Aug 2007
    10 Aug 2010
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    Hi Maciej

    If you are talking about 3.7 then I think it is not worth trying to get it work but to wait for 4.0 which will be fully supported on Azure.

    Storing the DB in local storage is not a really good idea anyway as this storage is transient and recycled when the Web Role is. You could try using the new Azure Cloud Drive feature which allows you to map a traditional network drive to an Azure Blob... This has the benefit that your DB would then survive the Web Role recycling as the Blob is in Azure Storage. However you can only mount it (read/write) to one Web Role so you would not be able to have a load balanced environment. I haven't tried this, just a thought. I also have no idea what sort of I/O you will get between the Web Role and the Blob. Let me know if you try it!

    Either way, 4.0 is the way ahead :)

  15. Kalina
    Kalina avatar
    176 posts
    Registered:
    27 Oct 2016
    11 Aug 2010
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    Hi Maciej,

    Matthew is right in suggesting that Sitefinity 4.0 is the version to use on Windows Azure.
    You might check this link for report on Matthew's experience with running Sitefinity 4.0 on Azure:

    http://www.sitefinity.com/devnet/forums/sitefinity-4-x/general-discussions/sitefinity-4-0-beta-running-on-azure-now.aspx


    Regards,
    Kalina
    the Telerik team
    Do you want to have your say when we set our development plans? Do you want to know when a feature you care about is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items
  16. Gabe Sumner
    Gabe Sumner avatar
    440 posts
    Registered:
    09 Sep 2007
    26 Oct 2010
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    Hey everyone,

    I now have a handful of people I'm communicating with regarding Sitefinity Azure support.  I'm going to begin directing everyone to this thread so we can collaborate.

    Here is the history:

    Matt Cooper was able to get Sitefinity 4.0 BETA running on Azure and SQL Azure.  However, after some random amount of time Sitefinity would report a database connection timeout error.  The fix for this, I believe, was restarting the instance of the server.

    Matt has communicated a lot with myself, the Sitefinity team and the OpenAccess ORM team.  As far as I know, this issue is addressed in a newer version of OpenAccess.  However, Sitefinity 4.0 is currently running on a slightly outdated version of OpenAccess.  The OpenAccess upgrade is not scheduled (as of this writing) until December.

    Even then, there might be remaining Azure issues.  Azure support is important, but it's currently lower priority than many other Sitefinity 4.0 features.  

    What's the current news:

    I've had several random conversations lately, including a conversation with an Azure MVP.  It sounds like the database connection timeout issue might be a more widespread SQL Azure issue.  Although he reported that he had discovered some workarounds.

    So you want to use Azure:

    As mentioned, we want to support Azure, but right now support is unofficial.  I'll do my best to facilitate communication and feedback between interested customers and the product teams.  Please post experiences, feedback and suggestions here.

    Thanks everyone,

    Gabe Sumner
    Developer Evangelist
    Telerik | Sitefinity CMS
  17. mattc
    mattc avatar
    105 posts
    Registered:
    11 Aug 2007
    26 Oct 2010
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    Hi Gabe et al.

    A good idea to keep everything in one thread (and to reduce the size of your inbox!)

    We have a new version of the SQL Azure runtime live now (update 5) I don't know if this is going to affect the connection pooling issues....
    As far as I'm concerned looking at V4 on Azure I think between Microsoft and the Telerik ORM team that they have it covered. As long as the problem is not specific to Sitefinity I'm confident any problems will be ironed out quickly. The V4 DB structure is fine on Azure, just these connection pool issues every now and then.

    As far as I can see the main stumbling block for running V4 on Azure is that App instances are read only so we can't store config in them which V4 seems to do lots of (App_Config). This is not ideal in a load balanced deployment either as you have to sync changes made on one instance to the others.

    I did think we could write the config folders outside of the app in local storage and sync it to Azure Storage and any other instances but I think there is a more elegant solution. I think the way to go here is a fully DB based config, ie store everything in the DB so there is no local content change when you modify something in the site. This has the benefit of working out of the box on any multi server environment, Azure or not. I think I have seen mention of this already or am I dreaming Gabe?

    However, the problem with this is that we don't really want to store large static assets in the DB or it will bloat very quickly and get expensive and slow.
    So, build a content provider to store all static images/docs/videos/files etc in Azure Storage. This keeps the DB small, just config settings, and also all the assets can be made available through the Azure CDN so will speed up performance too. We can store system assets here as well, not just user content. 

    Individual instances are not persistent either so this way all your content is backed up, without it we would have to backup content from running instances anyway in case they get recycled.......

    I was looking at a Wordpress Plugin today that allows you to use the Azure Storage and CDN from any Wordpress installation, so they are going this way too. Your DB is safe in SQL Azure and your content safe in Azure Storage and scaling is just a case of changing the number of instances and clicking save....

    What do people think?

    Matt




  18. Rok
    Rok avatar
    7 posts
    Registered:
    08 Apr 2008
    02 Nov 2010
    Link to this post
    Hi everyone,

    Retry policy is a MUST for all application using SQL Azure. Even if it seems like the majority of problems only occur 'occasionally', they will definitely take down your app when it is needed the most. As for the Azure blob storage for storing config, it depends on how config settings are saved and/or whether they fit in the BLOB, in which case blob storage is definitely the way to go (most likely page blobs for its random access features). If not, Azure Tables can be a nice way to go, since you can select only the settings you need at any time and they are just as scalable as blob storage. Either way, you probably would want to cache the settings (new appfabric cache might be perfectly suited for just such a problem).

    Providers to use Azure storage are really easy to write, radeditor sample is here.

    Regards

        Rok
18 posts, 0 answered