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Choosing a SharePoint Hosting Provider: How the different clouds stack up

Cloud ProviderSharePoint on Azure, AWS or’s Cloud?

You can easily move SharePoint to the Cloud with Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS or  But what are the real differences between the three? 

First you need to examine your business. How are you using SharePoint now and what are your plans for the future?  Let’s look at the real world issues of moving SharePoint to any of the three SharePoint IaaS and PaaS providers by picking them apart one by one.

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Gartner Confirms the Growth of SharePoint IaaS

SharePoint IaaSSharePoint IaaS is Trending!

I’m writing this blog in Orlando as Gartner’s 2013 Symposium IT Xpo wraps up.  The Xpo is billed as the world’s largest gathering of CIOs and IT executives.  (3,000 and 5,000 respectively.)  Yes, there is some serious geek power here and with Gartner’s insight, it has been quite a week.  Both SharePoint and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) were discussed and analyzed in depth and the results are rather interesting.

Let’s take a look at what your peers are saying and doing about SharePoint IaaS.

Growing and Growing

According to Gartner, IaaS will continue to be the fastest growing segment of Cloud services consumed by Enterprises through 2016.  The other two major segments are Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

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SharePoint Cloud Hosting: IaaS for your PaaS

Sure, in one sense Microsoft SharePoint is an application: the SharePoint software package is installed and deployed directly on a server (or cluster of multiple servers). But SharePoint is so much more than just another enterprise-level application. Fundamentally, SharePoint is also a platform. Beyond its ‘off-the-shelf’ capabilities for online collaboration and workflow management, SharePoint also serves as the backbone to enable specialized apps and solutions from third-party vendors.

With a SharePoint environment, you get a fully-featured platform upon which other business-critical applications can be installed. And under the broad umbrella of the SharePoint platform, there is a rich tapestry of business applications to choose from: Business Intelligence (BI) apps, content and document management apps and extensions, search software ‘bolt-ons’ including FAST Search Server, extensible code libraries, reusable web parts, security and compliance solutions and list goes on and on. While maybe SharePoint was originally conceived as a standalone program, it has evolved to become a premier applications platform for developers to customize and build upon.

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Where Cloud Computing Meets SharePoint

Cloud ComputingAre you in the Cloud yet? Microsoft and are “all in”. Cloud computing adoption is soaring, but there are still a lot of IT pros and decision makers who don’t trust or simply don’t understand the benefits and details of how it works.

So what’s ‘The Cloud’ all about?

Cloud computing takes the efficiency gained by virtualization over physical hardware to the next level. With the Cloud, computing resources can be scaled up and down on demand better utilizing the underlying computing resources.

Cloud computing is divided into three service models:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

Along with these service models, there are also different deployment models: public, private, community, and hybrid clouds. We’ll focus on private cloud environments for the remainder of this article.

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