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Understanding Microsoft SharePoint Cloud Terminology

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When people think of cloud computing, they tend to think in absolutes. Either a software system or platform is in the cloud or it is not. While it would be nice if it were that simple, there are actually numerous variations of cloud implementations, and each one has its benefits and drawbacks. Microsoft SharePoint is no exception to this cloud rule.

First, it is important to understand what IT experts mean when they talk about SharePoint in the cloud. Many Microsoft partners offer hosting solutions for SharePoint that allow you to forgo purchasing costly hardware, data center security, and extra IT support to manage it. Alternatively, you can now subscribe to SharePoint Online as part of Microsoft Office 365, a full cloud implementation of SharePoint on Microsoft’s servers.

The article “Demystifying Microsoft SharePoint in the Cloud” helps buyers understand that hosted SharePoint solutions come in a variety of flavors each with its own distinct characteristics and benefits.

  • Multi-Tenant Server Farm – In this model, the host offers SharePoint server packages to customers who then share the same infrastructure. The cost of the server farm is shared by them, reducing the individual cost. Because they all must play nicely with the shared system, some more advanced features may be disabled.
  • Shared infrastructure, dedicated virtual machine – Like a virtual private server (VPS), this model typically uses a hypervisor solution (i.e. Hyper-V for Windows Server 2008). In this deployment model, the customers share the storage layer, hypervisor layer, and networking.
  • Private infrastructure, dedicated virtual machine – With a private cloud, you can essentially do with it what you want. You are in full control of the hypervisor and can add or remove virtual machines when needed. The downside is the extra cost involved.
  • Dedicated Server Hosting – This is basically identical to having your own on-premise server without the headache of having to manage it yourself. This makes it costly but allows you to leverage the full power that SharePoint has to offer.

Microsoft SharePoint offers unparalleled flexibility and scalability for truly dynamic business collaboration. Whether on-premise, hosted, or on Office 365, SharePoint is yours and can fit whatever business needs you have.

By Avastone Technologies LLC, Wisconsin Microsoft SharePoint Partner

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One question

  1. Peter Jones says:

    Thanks for the article and the break down of the different solutions that are offered, I think a lot of people are sometimes wary because the cloud scares some people. To be honest, for me what sounds most appealing is Dedicated Server Hosting.However when you say costly, is it a one off fee? Or regular payments?

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