Sitecore 8.2 Update 1 - Cloud journey with Microsoft Azure

With the release of Sitecore 8.2 Update 1, the Sitecore cloud strategy with Microsoft Azure is now in full swing. Based upon their partnership announced in July 2016, both company’s product teams have worked hand in hand to deliver a native, fully optimized version of the Sitecore® Experience Platform™ running on top of Azure App Service. Based on an post by Ryan Donovan, 05/12/2016
Under the hood, Sitecore has rewritten many core elements of their Experience Platform (XP) to natively leverage Azure.
These are the key changes include in the 8.2 update 1:
- Replacing the Sitecore session state provider (which is currently based on SQL Server or MongoDB) to leverage Azure Redis Cache, which provides the most performant and scalable solution for session management in Azure.

- This benefit also can apply to on-premise customers who also desire to setup Redis in their data centers.

- Adding Azure Search to Sitecore's repertoire of Search Providers. Azure Search is the only fully managed and scalable search solution in Azure that does not rely upon VM-based technologies.

- Replacing the Sitecore diagnostics logging and performance counters with Azure Application Insights. Azure Application Insights provides extremely deep diagnostics, performance analysis, monitoring, and alerting. Application Insights provides the most comprehensive toolset available to monitor and analyze the health and performance of a Sitecore deployment without deep investments in third-party solutions.

- Native support for Web Apps as part of the Azure App Service, with the ability to easily scale up and out, as well as a full lifecycle continuous deployment solution with Git, TFS, GitHub, and Visual Studio Team Services. Auto-scaling is also supported by metric depending on the limits you configure.

- Full support for SQL Azure in lieu of SQL Server, including the many performance and scale benefits of running in a fully managed Cloud Environments.

Sitecore & Microsoft Azure - Image ©Sitecore
Your Big Sitecore Cloud Journey with Microsoft Azure Is Here!
These changes, when combined with the choice of MongoDB solutions on Azure (e.g., mLab, Bitnami, or a native deployment), allow us as Sitecore experts to have an absolutely seamless experience in the cloud.

To help customers get started quickly, Sitecore is now available in the Azure Marketplace on a bring-your-own-license basis. If you have valid credentials to the Azure Management portal here's a direct link. Available at outset is our XM1 edition optimized for to up to 100,000 visits per month. If you need to go bigger, you can scale the deployment through the Azure Management portal. Within a few weeks, XP1 will also be available. The process is incredibly simple, bring your license file, fill out a few dialogs, and within minutes, you will have a fully functional deployment.

Sitecore can be configured in many Azure regions, including:
East US, North Central US, West Central US, West US, North Europe (Ireland), West Europe (Netherlands), East Asia (Hong Kong), Southeast Asia (Singapore), Japan West, Brazil South, Australia East

8.2 Update 1 is just the beginning of Sitecore's elevated partnership with Microsoft and this cloud journey together on Azure. Sitecore has a lot more coming very soon. Bringing larger, more complex topologies for sites having > 100,000 monthly visits as well the other Sitecore modules into Azure Marketplace. Likewise, additional regions will be added as underlying technical dependencies (e.g., solutions for MongoDB, Azure Search) come online. Stay tuned … it’s going to be an amazing flight. Ryan Donovan is SVP, Product Management, at Sitecore | Diagram: ©Sitecore

If you want to talk to an expert in Sitecore 8.2 update 1, don't hesitate to shoot us an e-mail or get in touch with us.
Let's start this Big Cloud journey!