Kentico CMS Windows Azure Deployment Guide

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We have prepared Windows Azure Deployment Guide, which is intended to help you with the deployment of your Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 solutions onto Windows Azure.  This guide is part of a new deployment package for Windows Azure.

We informed you about Windows Azure support in Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 in a previous blog post (http://devnet.kentico.com/Blogs/Michal-Neuwirth/December-2010/Kentico-CMS-5-5-R2-Got-Windows-Azure-support.aspx) and based on your feedback we have enhanced the features of Kentico CMS 5.5R2 when running on Windows Azure.

As we got several questions regarding Kentico CMS Windows Azure Support, their answers are provided below and should help you to better understand Kentico CMS and its support of Windows Azure.

 

Q: Where we can find the new deployment package and the guide?

A: The package is available for download here:  http://www.kentico.com/downloads/Kentico_CMS_55_R2_Windows_Azure.zip. The guide is part of this package and also available for download here: http://devnet.kentico.com/downloads/Windows_Azure_Kentico_CMS_5.5R2.pdf.

 

Q: What’s new in Windows Azure support?

A: Windows Azure offers Azure Drive (Virtual Hard Drive) that can be used for file-based operations like those required for Media libraries etc. We added support for Azure Drive, which came with Hotfix 4 for CMS 5.5R2. Applying this hotfix (or higher), you can use the following features that weren’t supported by the final release of Kentico CMS on Windows Azure:

  • Smart Search (built-in search in Kentico CMS)
  • Media Libraries
  • Web Analytics

You can find how to use Azure Drive with Kentico CMS in the Deployment Guide.

 

Q: Are there any limitation in using Azure Drive?

A: Azure Drive connects a blob storage to your instance and it’s a single instance only and you can’t share it for read&write between instances. It’s also one of the reasons why Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 supports only a single instance.

 

Q: Which version of Azure SDK do we have to use?

A: Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 is tested and fully supported for Azure SDK 1.2. The deployment package is built on top of this SDK.

 

Q: Which features are not available in Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 on Windows Azure?

A: Current build doesn’t support the following features:

  • Import/Export
  • Files Import
  • WebDAV

Azure SDK 1.3 brings support of IIS configuration. We are currently testing it and maybe it will allow us to configure WebDAV.

 

Q: I would like to use SQL Full-text. How to do it?

A: Unfortunately it’s not possible now. SQL Azure doesn’t offer SQL Full-text yet. The roadmap is “in the next build”. But you can use Smart search of Kentico CMS.

 

Q: I would like to use Kentico CMS for Web Farms on Windows Azure. Is it possible?

A: Kentico CMS 5.5 R2 can be run only as a single instance solution in Windows Azure environment right now. The current version allows you to deploy standard websites using Azure, but you cannot scale it accross multiple instances. Full support of running on multiple instances of Windows Azure will be brought in Kentico CMS 6.0 later this year. If you need to run Kentico CMS in a web farm, you will need to use your own hardware or use some other hosting service for now.

 

Q: How can we apply a hotfix?

A: Windows Azure doesn’t support the “uploading” of a file that is part of the Windows Azure application. It’s possible to deploy the whole solution in a single package only. So, to apply a hotfix, you have to apply it on your local application, create a new package and deploy it onto Windows Azure.

 

Q: How we can upgrade to a new version?

A: It’s the same as for the hotfixes. It’s necessary to upgrade your local instance and then deploy it.

 

Q: How can we import a new site?

A: Same as for upgrades and hotfixes. Import your site locally and then deploy it.

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Comments

Michal Neuwirth commented on

Hi paxer,

just set in the settings "Store files in database" and no other steps are required.

paxer commented on

I wonder does document attachments will work on Windows Azure ? I mean if Kentico deployed on Windows Azure and i need to add some new attachments to the document (page) ?

Michal Vrana commented on

Corrected.
Thank you Alex.

Alex Rybin commented on

It looks like the link does not work... :)

The package is available for download here: http://www.kentico.com/downloads/Kentico_CMS_55_R2_Windows-Azure.zip.