Moving my blog from AWS to Azure
Back in December 2016 I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress and also changed from a free hosting provider to Amazon Web Services (AWS). At the time it was a good move as I was able to take advantage of free services from AWS. However since January 2017 I have been paying for the hosting, at £8.40 a month. So after some research and planning I decided to move my blog to Azure. In order to keep costs low and gain some extra hands on experience I have opted to go deploy my blog into a virtual machine rather than go serverless, although that is the long term plan! ;-)
Burst Virtual Machine
Within the Azure platform there are virtual machines (VM), Burst VMs, they are often referred to as the B-Series VMs. These are VMs that that can be used for workloads that "don’t require the use of the full CPU all the time but occasionally will need to burst to finish some tasks more quickly." These are similar to the AWS T2 instances. They are very cost effective for proof of concepts, low traffic webservers, test servers, etc. I'm not going to give to many specifics away regarding what I've actually implemented within Azure but I have chosen to host my blog on a burst virtual machine.
Deploying a burst VM within Azure I have went with a Ubuntu operating system and installed a traditional LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) configuration as the base for my WordPress installation. It's been a while since I tinkered with a LAMP server or Ubuntu so a huge big shout out to Andrew Kemp's series of blog posts on AllThings365 for giving me some inspiration and help. :) I've used what I believe are best practices both for the WordPress deployment and the Azure infrastructure deployment. I've also set up monitoring using Operations Management Suite (OMS) to catch any potential issues with the deployment. You can read about how to deploy a OMS workspace in a previous blog I've written as well as read about how I deployed the monitoring agents within my Ubuntu machine on another blog post.
This implementation is taking advantage of the cheapest Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) deployment within the Azure platform, in a month or so I will do a more detailed blog post relating to the costs, if there were any hidden gotchas in the deployment, anything that could add to the deployment and how it compares with other hosting options for WordPress. So be sure to keep an eye out for that post and please reach out to me on Twitter with any questions or comments around hosting WordPress on Azure in the meantime - @TechieLass