Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Demystified Azure Websites

We discussed about Understanding Microsoft AzureVirtual Networks ,Azure Management Tools and Azure Virtual Machines earlier in our post related to Microsoft Azure Series.

Today we will be focussing on the various aspects related to a Website running in Microsoft Azure Environment and what are the various options/tools available for developers to work on these Websites. 

Azure Websites

  • Azure Website Service is a platform that helps hosting the website in Azure without the need to configuring and maintaining your own machines.
  • Websites written in ASP.NET,PHPPython can run in Azure.

Enough Flexibility is available for choosing the way you want your websites to be available on Azure. We can choose from any one of the below mentioned approach.


1) Virtual Machines:

This Approach is quite similar to running your webfarms for hosting your applications however the servers here are not existing in our datacenter rather being managed by Microsoft.

We can run a Virtual Machine in Azure which includes a Web Server like IIS and Apache which can be further used for hosting web applications.


2) Azure Websites Service

Another Approach which can be used for the hosting your websites in Azure is by using Azure Websites Services where in we can either upload our own custom web applications for it can be chosen from a wide variety of options which are available like Drupal, WordPress.











3) PaaS Cloud Service

If we are looking for more control in terms of scalability we can proceed further with this approach as it consist of Application User Interface and Worker Roles which can be scaled up by specifying the number of instances we are looking for each of these roles.


* Another important aspect related to Azure Websites are the Web Hosting Plan which helps in logical grouping, sharing features and resources across several Websites which are part of the same Web Hosting Plan.

Available Deployment Methods 


There are various deployment methods which can be selected while proceeding further with the deployment of your Websites, however the deployment method can be selected depending upon the location of Source Code ! 

My Source Code can be Local Client Machine (developers machine), maybe managed by some Source Code Control System (Team Foundation Server) or there could be a possibility that my source code is in Cloud Source Control System ( Visual Studio Online)


1) Source Code On Client Machine

In this approach developers can deploy the websites directly to Azure from their Integrated Development Environment by using tools like MS Build.


2) Source Code in On-Prem Source Code Control System

Microsoft Team foundation server is used for the source code management here instead of client machines, where in my development team can configure systems to deliver the contents directly to Azure Websites ensuring that my Website is currently running on Staging Level so as all the changes are tested well in advance before making the content available in Production Environment.


3) Source Code in a Cloud Source Control System

If our Source code is managed by Team Foundation Version Control in Visual Studio Online which is a Cloud Hosted Control System, we can make use of GIT and configure continuous delivery to Azure.


* Web Jobs are one of the feature available in Azure Websites which helps Developers and Administrators to Run Automated Background Tasks which can be scheduled, can run continuously and can also on Demand. (PS1,Bash Shell Scripts,PHP,Python).





Configuring Websites

There are various option available for configuring Azure Websites from Azure Portal using configure tab which helps up in setting up various aspects related to the behaviour of the Websites like.



Framework Versions: Developers can select version before they begin creation of the websites.

Web Sockets:  Enabling Two Way communication between Server & Client.





Platform:  32 Bit or 64 Bit. 

Certificates: SSL


For more information refer Microsoft Azure Essentials

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