Microsoft Azure Analysis for a Small Company

Hi Guys,

In this post I am introducing you to Microsoft Azure. I just figured out a hypothetical situation. One small company needs to get ride from their on-premises “wanna-be” infrastructure, because they have not any IT guy to support them in case of power outage or server failure.  So Microsoft Azure services are in this case the best option.

The first thing you need to do is an accurate production assessment, for that purpose I used Microsoft Assessment & Planning Toolkit. –More details about the MAP tool you can find in this post.

Once you have the details about the infrastructure you will need, just start doing some calculations in order to give to the customer an approach of the Microsoft Azure costs. Microsoft gives you the Azure Pricing Calculator online and you can even get a estimation of your monthly costs.

The principal Idea is to host in Microsoft Azure a small infrastructure for a small company with 20users at most.

They need a small Microsoft SQL Server a VPN site to site and a multipurpose Microsoft Windows Server to host File Sharing and some applications.

The basic infrastructure needs from Microsoft Azure:

Networking

In order to connect the on premises network to Microsoft Azure Network, there is the need for a Site to Site IPsec connection or similar. In this scenario I will show you how to achieve the IPsec VPN site to site tunnel with a low cost Router Vigor 2910 –not even supported by Microsoft but the protocols and tunneling algorithms still being the appropriated.

-One router (In my case I bought a second hand  Vigor2910 which supports IPsec, AES, and site2site from one internet store, amazon or e-bay).

-Static Public IP Address in both sides –Azure and Local

-One Router in the Azure side, there it is called VPN Gateway

Database

The customer needs must be measured as accurate as possible. A crucial operation you should do is to monitor the SQL Database DTUs, Data Transfer Units.  Measuring the resource utilization is almost a must do operation.  To get a deeper understanding of DTUs follow this link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/sql-database/sql-database-what-is-a-dtu

To get the tools for making a performance monitoring of your SQL use this tools.

http://dtucalculator.azurewebsites.net/Downloads/sql-perfmon-cl.zip

http://dtucalculator.azurewebsites.net/Downloads/sql-perfmon-ps.zip

Wait while the sqlperfom gather the data and then Upload the CSV file and Calculate.

Here is the link to the DTUs Calculator.

http://dtucalculator.azurewebsites.net/

Computing – Virtual Machine

Choosing the Virtual machine is easier than choosing the SQL database in this case I’ve got a 1Core VM with 1,75GB RAM 70GBdisk and I realize that in the beginning the performance is poor but after a period of time when the VM is “Warmed up” it works fine. J

An Approach – Cost Benefit TCO and Estimated  AZURE Monthly Cost

The actual price for a small HP ML350G9 server including the licensing and all what it need are surrounding the 5.000€. This is a huge investment for a one time pay bill. There must be also a extra support fee for the IT guy who is going to take care of that server, -updates, administration, UPS, and Electricity consumption. In the bottom line, the best choice in this scenario is Microsoft Azure. Calculate, approximately 100€ per month, +50€ for the ISP locally, +50€ of support for the IT Guy. Is about 200€ monthly. So divide 5000€ by 200€ and we get 25 months of Microsoft Azure included in that initial investment.  I would totally recommend Azure to this small company.

Do not forget to download the excel estimate. Looks fine while making pre sales calculation and presentations to customers.

Cheers,

Germán