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I'm really hoping they break out of that model. It's great if you want to run single apps on an instance but it falls down once you look at running a series of clients on the same instance. You need to do some hacking to get the IIS setup for many sites which is how we operate.

Our current proposed structure would be to use AWS for front end and Azure for the DB which isn't ideal but I find AWS far more flexible for our purposes.

Isn't it going to affect performance to have your server talking to your DB over the internet (as opposed to a local network which I presume is the case when running EC2 instances in the same availability zone)?

I thought this but after doing some tests the results are pretty negligible.

A windows 2008 server license on 2 machines for fall back comes in at around £700 - £800 a month per instance. The same redundancy on Azure is around £80 - £100 a month. If it doesn't work then we go back to the drawing board, if it does work then we have saved ourselves an almighty chunk of money.

We cache a lot of data in our application too which we are putting into elasticache, which is local to EC2.

We haven't used it in great stress yet but initial tests were very good

If you have significant write load it can be a very big deal. If you're read-mostly and able to cache a lot, maybe not so much.

A majority of our writes are product updates but they are done directly into azure from a local box. These can't be done from AWS as they go into gbs but that is the only situation we need worry about.

If azure opened it's model up then we wouldn't need to do all this!

You should probably look at what they launched today. They have VM instance images that are what you're describing.

Though they're probably still ephemeral, but then again, so are EC2's...

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