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Should We Move to Azure?

By Steve Jones,

This editorial was originally published on May 23, 2014. It is being re-published as Steve is out of the office, with a few minor editorial changes.

Update: We made a number of changes last year, upgraded the forums, and have continued to implement bug fixes. We are still considering this idea.

At SQLServerCentral we have been debating some architectural changes to the site. We'd like to improve the way a few of our features work, add new ones, and replace a few items that are buggy and hard to maintain. The site has worked well over the years, but we've made relatively few improvements, mainly due to the fact that like many companies, this website isn't our business, and work has a lower priority than some other areas in the company.

Recently I had a suggestion presented to me and I wasn't sure how I felt. There were certainly pros and cons to both taking advantage of the opportunity as well as passing it up. While we are still talking about the process, I wanted to ask the community what they might think this week.

Should we move SQLServerCentral to Azure?

I really like the idea of PaaS. There are issues, and certainly I think Microsoft could do a better job of creating competition as well as securing and even deploying their platform. However I think the idea of just consuming services as opposed to installing and managing pieces of software, is a great direction in which to move. SQLServerCentral would seem to be a perfect type of application that fits in the cloud.

We run a generic ASP.NET site, using fairly common and simple database features in SQL Server. We don't store or manage much in the way of PII, financial, or medical data outside of email addresses, and we don't have the need to scale to high levels, either in data storage or computational resources. The one problematic area is our email requirements. I'm not sure what the cost is to send emails from Azure, but we send millions per week, and CAN-SPAM requirements can be tricky to meet in the cloud.

However I'm just wondering what the community thinks. If we successfully moved to the cloud, and disclosed details about the process, would that give you more confidence in the cloud? Would it be interesting? Or is SQLServerCentral just a service and you don't care how it works, as long as it does. Let us know this week.

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