Following yesterday’s “I’ve moved to Azure” post, I decided to write a bit more about what I’ve done. For obvious reasons, I will not get into deep specifics.
The first step was to create a cloud service. Each cloud service in Azure should be seen as an external point of contact … a public IP address if you want to think of it that way.
I then created a single subnet virtual network.
A storage blob was created in Azure to store the VHD files of the new virtual machine.
A small spec VM (single core, 1.7 GB RAM) was created. An endpoint was created for HTTP in the Azure portal to allow incoming web traffic. I don’t need HTTPS and I don’t use the FTP functionality of WordPress.
I then created a WS2012 R2 Datacenter virtual machine. I configured patching using GPEDIT.MSC, and a few other things. I added IIS and ran the Web Platform Installer to install MySQL, PHP and a few other WordPress prerequisites. I also installed MySQL Workbench … I can’t be bothered googling for MySQL commands.
Two websites were created in IIS and two databases/service accounts were created in MySQL. I have this blog and my photography website to host. I downloaded and extracted 2 copies of the WordPress files, and configured each blog.
I’ve only migrated this site so far – the photography site will be next (more complex because of galleries). I decided against exporting the database from the old server; this was an opportunity to go with whole new versions of everything. So I did WordPress export/import. The export file was bigger than the 2 MB max so I split the export file using a free tool called WXR File Splitter. 2 MB files were too large and caused the import to timeout, so I went with 512 KB. Apparently a hack of PHP would have been an alternative, but I want to avoid hacks.
I added all my WordPress plug-ins and configured them, making sure that my advertisers were OK. And then I tested a bit. And then came the next step: switching the A records for my domain to switch to the new server. That’s the REAL test – will this server work for you.
The last steps were to configure backup. I configured a MySQLDump job to export all databases using Task Scheduler and a batch file. That backs up to a folder called Backup. I then configured an Azure Recovery Services backup Vault for Azure Online Backup. I created a 3 year 2048 bit certificate using the CA in the lab, uploaded the public key to Azure Backup, and imported the private key into the My Computer – Personal Store in the guest OS of the VM. I downloaded the Azure backup agent and configured a daily backup job to backup the Inetpub and the Backup folders. That’s the data of the two WordPress sites saved.
And that’s the lot!
There’s a new Basic VM configuration coming this week. I’ll consider migrating again to a higher spec one of those.
The one question I’ve gotten over and over is “how much does this cost?”. The answer: nothing. I’m using the benefits of my personal MSDN subscription (€75/month). The other one (which I answered in the previous post) was “Why not use an Azure web site?”. Simple: it does not offer enough disk capacity.
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