Moved my Site and Blog to Azure … How Easy!

Well, I finally made the switch. As many of you can see in the URL, my blog has moved from my personal servers onto the Azure fabric. It is something I wanted to do for a while and never got quite around to finishing until now. It is not totally done but I am happy with the interim results.

For those that don't know, Azure can offer easy web hosting up in their cloud with CMS systems like WordPress and DotNetNuke. I personally do use DotNetNuke and have for several years. Installation was looking to be interesting thanks to a few projects around like the DotNetNuke Azure Accelerator. Other blog entries and wikis are out there talking about how to get this accomplished.

A few weeks ago, I tried to use these "recipes" and failed miserably. In the same evening, I also screwed up local installs of some test servers and thought if I could just strike out at a bar, the evening would be complete. The process seemed to be fraught with missing settings, steps that did not work as advertised and some complications, later found out to be caused by Azure issues.

The next day, I sat back down and looked at the Azure offering and within the "creation" workflow for a website is a "From Gallery" option. For grins, I clicked on it and the world got so easy for me! Within this option, Azure offers a multitude of predefined systems for installation from their Azure Store. This includes many CMS systems like DotNetNuke, Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress, MediaWiki, Orchard and many more. It also includes E-commerce engines, forum systems, galleries, and wikis. Right at the top of the list is DotNetNuke Community Edition, my choice for CMS. They make the Professional version available as well but that is a paid product and I know what I am doing with the CMS engine.

I started down their wizard path to creating my new Azure website using the Gallery image of DotNetNuke Community edition 7.0.3. Clicking the "next" arrow brought me to their initial configuration screen where I put in my Azure URL, told it to create me a new DB for the project, and allowed me to choose the region for hosting, West US in my case. One more screen for the DB setup on a new server, the DB username and password, and which region for the DB hosting, West US again for me, and we are off to the races. The next steps are very DNN specific so I will not bore the majority of my readers with those details.

Once all was setup, I could browse to the Azure Base Site URL and look at my new DNN installation. Within 10 minutes, I had my beloved DotNetNuke 7.0.3 running in the Azure cloud without any major work on my part. I was able to install my favorite blogging module, Live Blog from Mandeeps, and thanks to my SQL knowledge, port over this blog from my personal server to the Azure site. A quick set of redirections and here you are with my new version of my blog. Now, I just need to get more content up here…

Have you started using Azure for hosting of your sites? If not, why not give it a try with a 90-day trial? Sign up at