The term “cloud” implies a monolithic and singular environment that delivers computing, storage, and application services through the Internet, with an array of options within each service. One such example is the technology that has various deployment and implementation options — or topologies — SharePoint. Let’s take a look at how Azure fits in with SharePoint, including recommended practices.
Traditionally most SharePoint installations have been deployed in the on-premises configuration. The on-premises format has served well in that it has allowed for:
Onsite hosting of data in a controllable and administrable environment
Collaboration in an environment that can be scaled as and when required
Flexibility to integrate with customized solutions
SharePoint Online, a part of Office 365, changed the scenario even more dramatically by enabling organizations that had not budgeted for on-premises SharePoint, and the accompanying infrastructure costs, to reap the benefits of SharePoint at a low per-user fee.
The fact remains, however, that the two topologies, SharePoint Online and the on-premises installation of SharePoint, are almost diametrically opposite.
The following are a few characteristics of SharePoint Online that might prevent a full-scale migration of an on-premises SharePoint installation to Office 365 or SharePoint Online:
This is a SaaS implementation of SharePoint and the user has little or no control over customization and administration.
The SaaS version would also not support third-party or custom code and applications that would be integrated into an on-premises installation.
There would be compliance-based restrictions that would prevent migrating all SharePoint documents to the cloud — as would be required in migrating an on-premises installation to SharePoint Online.