Microsoft Azure and SharePoint 2016: how to create the perfect partnership


With more than 250,000 companies using SharePoint, Microsoft’s collaboration and document management tool is one of the most popular to date.

But what is the best way to build a SharePoint estate? And what are the advantages of a successful implementation in your business?

With SharePoint 2016, businesses have the opportunity to upgrade their existing SharePoint farm. Advantages of this model include:

  • Better scalability
  • Easier patching
  • Less broken links
  • An improved naming system
  • Faster performance

However, it’s SharePoint 2016’s cloud capabilities that really make it useful to fast-growing businesses. Microsoft has designed SharePoint 2016 with a hybrid future in mind and has even included SharePoint Online as part of its Office 365 package.

Knowing how to make the most of this partnership is the key to effective collaboration in your company and requires some careful thought.


Is SharePoint 2016 limited on-premise?

Traditionally, SharePoint has been a mainstay of on-premise datacentres. However, in a cloud-first world, traditions are starting to hold less weight.

While hosting SharePoint 2016 on-premise still offers an element of control and customisation, its nothing you can’t replicate in the cloud. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, if you operate in a highly compliant industry, such as the financial services sector, you may feel safer keeping data in your own system.

But for those who are already making the leap to cloud computing, the choice narrows down to two options: SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2016 in Azure.

To help you decide which option is best for your company, let’s take a look at each in more detail.

 a chart comparing SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2016 in Azure

(Source: Microsoft)

Option #1: SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online is Microsoft’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) model and is part of the Office 365 family. Microsoft automatically updates this version of SharePoint and allows you to access it as a monthly or yearly subscription.

While you’re still responsible for its management, it can make SharePoint a more consumable and predictable expense.

Key benefits

  • Easier external user management
  • Automatic updates and rolling releases
  • Instant access from anywhere in the world
  • Easy, economical scaling
  • High availability
  • Enterprise-grade security


Option #2: SharePoint 2016 in Azure

Running SharePoint 2016 servers in the cloud makes disaster recovery, customisation, testing and development far simpler. You can build or tear down virtual machines at any time, allowing you to create a SharePoint farm that adapts to your business needs.

For companies looking to move their existing on-premise estate to the cloud, running SharePoint 2016 in Azure is not only more economical, but easier to manage too.

Key benefits

  • Easy deployment with server images
  • Supports third-party and custom code
  • Simple migration of your existing SharePoint farm
  • Easy, economical scaling
  • Seamless hybrid integration
  • High availability
  • Enterprise-grade security

SharePoint 2016 and Azure: a match made in the cloud

As with any cloud migration, the way you optimise your SharePoint 2016 farm will have a big impact on performance and cost.

So, how do you build that perfect partnership?

Here are a few tips to help you get the most from SharePoint in Azure:

  • Create additional servers for application and performance testing and remove them when finished.
  • Build your SharePoint 2016 development and test environments in Azure and move them seamlessly to your own datacentre when needed.
  • Make the most of SharePoint farm templates in Azure to deploy new servers rapidly and cut administrative costs.

Get your fair share

Don’t let resource requirements get in the way of your SharePoint experience. Whereas an on-premise datacentre can limit the flexibility and performance of SharePoint 2016, the cloud offers a whole new world of possibilities.

With the right cloud strategy, you can build a SharePoint farm that evolves with your business needs and scales to meet new, unpredictable demands. For companies keen on a hybrid future, Azure and SharePoint 2016 are the ultimate partners in collaboration.  

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TOPICS: Azure, SharePoint, modern workplace

Written By: Doherty

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