Deploy projects to Azure Cloud Services

You can run your website in any cloud environment that supports Windows Server role instances, such as RackSpace and Amazon AWS. In these scenarios, you can set up your website as part of a load-balanced environment. 
For more information, see Load balancing.

RECOMMENDATION: By default, Sitefinity CMS uses network communication between the nodes to handle the NLB in Azure Cloud services. However, for cloud deployments, we recommend using Redis to handle load balancing. For more information, see Prepare your project for deployment.

PREREQUISITES: Before you proceed with deploying your project to Azure Cloud Services, you must have the following:
  • You must be using Sitefinity CMS 4.2 SP1 or above.
  • You must have an active Windows Azure subscription.
    The following procedure uses Windows Azure Platform Management Portal to manage your cloud services, storage accounts, and databases.
  • You must have a valid Sitefinity CMS license for <your domain> (<domainprefix>.cloudapp.net by default). To use multiple role instances (Windows Azure SLA requires at least two) your license must support Use Network load balancing (NLB).
    For more information, see the License Comparison page.
  • You must have one of the following versions of Microsoft Visual Studio installed:
    • Visual Studio 2015 
    • Visual Studio 2013
    • Visual Studio 2012
    • Visual Studio 2010 (does not support Windows Azure SDK 2.2)
  • You must have installed the proper version of Windows Azure SDK. For more information, see Reference: Windows Azure SDK supported versions.
  • You must have installed and configured Microsoft SQL Server version 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 to Microsoft SQL Server version 2012.
IMPORTANT: Deploying the project to Windows Azure has the following restrictions:
  • You cannot install a project directly to the cloud. You must create and develop your project locally and then migrate it to the cloud environment.
  • You must prepare locally and include in the deployment package all themes, labels (after language pack imports), and other resources that are kept in App_Data folder. Once the project is deployed, they must remain read-only. For example, to include an imported language pack in the deployment, include the ~/App_Data/Sitefinity/GlobalResources folder in project. Always ensure that the Build action property of the included files is set to Content. To view or change this, in the context menu of the file, select Properties.
  • By default Sitefinity CMS uses Lucene.net search service, and if deployed to Windows Azure, search is disabled in a way that nothing is actually written to the disk. This means no updates/deletes are applied to the index but you could still perform a search. For cloud deployments it is recommended to use Azure Search Service or Elasticsearch which support all search functionalities (including updates of the search index).
    For more information about configuring search indexes on cloud deployments see Generate and store search indexes in the cloud.
  • Video thumbnails are not automatically generated and you must set them manually. 

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