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Sitefinity Cloud or not to Cloud

For many years now we have been able to host the Progress Sitefinity CMS system in the Cloud with some tweaks here and there and have been successful doing so. Whether you prefer to use Azure, AWS or Google Cloud, you could as well. Except in the case of the pricing of SQL Server instances, it makes a lot more sense financially to use Azure to host your Sitefinity application in the Cloud.

With the latest announcements of the availability of a new SKU of Sitefinity called “Sitefinity Cloud,” Progress has made it easier for organizations to concentrate more on the experience rather than the infrastructure.

Yes, a technical company with a technical IT department can create their own Azure account and do all the work to host, configure, CI/CD, scale, backup, and manage an instance of Sitefinity in the Cloud, but not all companies are in the business of software and not all companies want to maintain their own infrastructure and continue to maintain their CMS application in the Cloud. 

That is the main reason why Progress decided to create the Cloud SKU, in order to enable companies to build their CMS system with an architecture that facilitates agility, extensibility, and scalability.

Reduce Infrastructure Overhead

As a full Platform-as-a-Service hosted on Azure, Sitefinity Cloud minimizes the need for internal infrastructure management.

Minimize Downtime Risk

Leverage an autoscaling infrastructure backed by 99.9% service level availability and 24/7 support.

Performance

Provides best-in-class performance with CDN and autoscaling so that you can exceed performance requirements for today’s digital economy.

DevOps Efficiency

Microsoft Azure DevOps lifecycle management tooling enables high visibility into state-of-the-art CI/CD processes required for today’s WCM environments.

The Infrastructure Services provide two dedicated environments - Staging and Production, which are isolated from each other. Both environments are created in a dedicated Azure tenant for every customer.


Sitefinity Cloud will also provide a Management Portal for:



• Source Control Management

• CI/CD Management

• Customizable Status Dashboards

• User Management

• Wiki


This user management portal leverages the capabilities of Azure Active Directory.


Which regions in Azure can Sitefinity take place?


• East US

• West US

• Canada

• Europe

• APAC


What services are used by Sitefinity Cloud in Azure?


• Azure App Service with preconfigured auto-scaling to optimally handle to load of the website at any time.

• Azure SQL Database to store the website’s data, tuned to ensure top performance for the application.

• Azure Blob Storage to store the database backups, which are performed on-demand, as well as automatically on a regular basis  At the time of this writing, it is not advised by the Sitefinity Cloud team to use this Blob Storage to store images, videos or documents due to data inconsistencies.

• Azure Search to allow a seamless experience when working with search indexes.

• Azure Cache for Redis used for server-side data caching, to further optimize the website performance.

• Cloudflare CDN to ensure a pleasant user experience by reducing page and content load times.

• Cloudflare WAF to ensure optimal security for the web application.

• Azure Active Directory for easy user management and single sign-on.

• Azure Security Center to ensure defense in depth with its ability to both detect and help protect against threats.

Sitefinity Management Portal – Azure DevOps

• Source Control /Repos – Authorized users will have access to the project repository (all code and configurations)

• CI/CD Management – Azure Pipelines

- The deployment of builds, logs, automated triggers, testing can be automated and be part of the CI process.

- Traceability, releases, approval of deployments to Production and finally automatic rollbacks in case of failures in deployments.

• Dashboards - provide visual representation of the Application Metrics and Deployment process

• User Management - administrators can configure roles and permissions for users to control what information that is accessible and manageable by them

• Documentation - The Wiki section of the Management Portal provides a hub for organizing and sharing information with the team working on the project.

All in all, Sitefinity Cloud is powerful, scalable and saves a significant amount of time and money for the IT department but of course, there is a price for all of that and it is not cheap.  So your company has a decision to make: do you go with the Sitefinity Cloud and let Progress do all the heavy lifting to secure, scale and provide an elegant infrastructure for your CMS system or do you try to do all of it yourself in house based on your expertise and availability for the Azure platform and how Sitefinity works?

There is no wrong answer, it is only money folks 😊


Alain "Lino" Tadros is the Chief Evangelist and Head of Training at Americaneagle.com. Previously, President & CEO of Falafel Software, a Silicon Valley based company, dedicated to providing world-class consulting, training, and software development for small, medium, and enterprise level businesses. Prior to founding Falafel, Lino was a well-respected member of the development team at Borland for Delphi and C++Builder. Lino has been awarded Microsoft MVP status 15 years in a row for his numerous contributions to the C# community and is an expert in AI & Machine Learning, .NET, Azure, ASP.NET, MVC, iOS, Android, Xamarin, Sitefinity. Lino is an industry renowned speaker and has given numerous presentations in 53 countries since 1994. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of 4 Silicon Valley corporations.

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