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Amazon CloudFormation Templates Help Move Clusters to the Cloud

Author: Owens Gollamandala | | April 27, 2017

Now that you can easily run SharePoint Server 2016 on Amazon Web Services (AWS), many companies are using AWS as part of a low-cost, hybrid solution for database back up. SharePoint on AWS also provides scalability advantages while lowering the cost of purchasing and maintaining on-premises hardware.

One way Amazon makes it easy to migrate your SharePoint Server environment to AWS is a CloudFormation Template. According to a new white paper from Datavail, Running SharePoint Server on Amazon Web Services AWS, the CloudFormation template “helps speed the process of provisioning a database by creating a virtual network and then installing the resources needed to build it out.”

Using the CloudFormation template significantly reduces the complexity of database migration while reducing the likelihood of errors in the process. This is especially important to getting the security settings correct for the new cloud environment. The AWS CloudFormation Template also provides pricing for the configurations you select.

“AWS CloudFormation service provides a template-based orchestration API for provisioning cloud resources that removes the inherent risk of multiple human interactions,” says Eric Schmidt in Technically Philly, noting that the security in the cloud is often better than on-premises because it relies less on human intervention.

How the AWS CloudFormation Template Works

  1. You need an AWS account. If you have an account, you already have an account you can use to get started.
  2. Use AWS Marketplace to access the CloudFormation template and choose the services and licenses you want to use. SharePoint Server 2016 can be purchased in AWS Marketplace or you can migrate your existing license.
  3. AWS Marketplace will calculate the monthly costs of your configuration. Accept the terms and press the button to configure the server.
  4. Amazon will provision a stack of selected software and storage options. You can change the configuration any time you want or save a template of your custom configuration.

Default Configuration from AWS CloudFormation Template

According to the new Datavail white paper, Running SharePoint Server on Amazon Web Services (AWS), using the Amazon Web Services CloudFormation Template to provision a SharePoint Server 2016 environment will automatically generate the following configuration:

  • Redundant servers for Active Directory, SQL Server and SharePoint Server 2016
  • Servers are maintained in two separate Availability Zones
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is available in each zone
  • Two subnets are provisioned in each VPC
  • Each subnet includes a private and public address space (DMZ)
  • Public address space (DMZ) includes RD gateways and NAT gateway endpoints
  • Private address space includes Active Directory domain controller
  • Private address space includes SharePoint’s web front end and application servers
  • Remote administration is provisioned

Customizing the AWS CloudFormation Template

You can create a custom AWS CloudFormation template with pre-selected choices for provisioning an instance, or you can modify the configuration of the instance created when using the default AWS templates.

AWS CloudFormation Designer allows you to see your templates as diagrams and edit them with a drag-and-drop user interface. Creating your own CloudFormation Templates provides a way to update AWS-based applications quickly and safely, raves Mike Pfeiffer at TechTarget.

If you are interested in learning more about migrating your SharePoint servers to the cloud, download the Datavail white paper, Running SharePoint Server on Amazon Web Services (AWS), or contact Datavail today. Moving to the cloud doesn’t eliminate the need to monitor, maintain and upgrade your databases; it just changes the way those things are done, the cost profile, the flexibility and the capacity for growth. Let Datavail help you make the most important move your databases will ever make.

Datavail is the largest provider of data and database administration (DBA) services in North America with more than 800 DBAs, analysts, developers and consultants. We offer 24×7 managed services and project consulting in database administration, BI/Analytics, data warehousing, and enterprise performance management. Datavail’s expert consulting team specializes in integrations, implementations, and upgrades for applications across the Oracle stack, including Hyperion, OBIEE, OBIA, GoldenGate, Weblogic, and more.

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