Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Windows Azure Tangent

I lost a couple of days earlier this week when I decided to look into alternatives to us hosting our own web site in house, which is basically just a little DotNetNuke site these days, but many moons ago, well before the plethora of Content Management Systems that are available today, we had a very cool ASP (Classic!) site with CMS capabilities, before anyone knew what is was. (I'm talking 1998.)  Anyway, the rest is history, and remnant of that system remain, and we still rely on sharing one portion of the back end SQL database, with an in house app.

I looked into a few hosting solutions which provided DotNetNuke. They were all awesome and clearly selecting one of these very affordable hosting solutions is the way to go. Unfortunately, throwing our SQL database into the cloud, and running our ancient VB6 app against it, was going to impact performance too much at this stage. Suffice to say, some re-factoring (rewriting) of that old app is now on the agenda so we can get some stuff that ought not to be in house, out of house!

Along the way though I signed up for a three month trial of Windows Azure, only to discover when I logged in using my Windows Live ID, the same Windows Live ID that links to my MSDN Premium subscription, that I receive a Windows Azure account along with that subscription. Hadn't realised that, but how good is the sign up process that just realised it all for me.

Now I can build web sites / web servers etc on Azure. Looks like that might just be the way to go next. After a day or so of playing I'm quite excited about the prospects, but for now it's back to the day job before someone notices... but I have got a few things I'm busting to try out.

Unfortunately though, correct me if I'm wrong but it doesn't look exactly straight forward to move an existing SQL Server database onto SQL Azure. Certainly not a simple as a backup and restore, as I had originally hoped.