For those of you that missed the webinar, you can click here to view the Azure vs. Amazon webinar recording.

For those of you who attended and asked questions, here is part 1 of a 5 part series to answer those questions.

Q: Do Azure allow migrating servers back and forth between private and public cloud?
A: Yes.

Q: Does Azure have VMs with preloaded SharePoint?
A: Yes, click (here) for more info.

Q: Having your AD and domain controller on Azure (cloud) as well as on premise, if on premise goes down, can AD/DC on Azure kick in?
A: Yes, when you add an AD site in Azure, it is just like adding an AD site at any other physical location. As long as your branch offices have site to site VPN tunnels to Azure or an ExpressRoute (MPLS) to Azure then AD in Azure can act as a backup to your on-premises AD.

Q: How about conversion and migration of a physical on prem server to virtual Azure cloud?
A: Physical to Virtual (P2V) conversions are required before migrating a physical server to Azure IaaS. There are many options available. Click (here) for a good article describing the options.

Q: How much downtime is involved in the migration from ground to Azure?
A: Divide the size of your .VHD file by the speed of your internet bandwidth and if that length of time is greater than your acceptable window then consider staging a copy first then syncing up the changes manually, or shipping the .VHD on a hard drive with FedEx to Azure, or DHL for regions in Asia. Click (here) to see more information about the import/export service.

Q: Is Azure still support fixed public IP?
A: The first 5 reserved IP addresses are free. After that they are ~$4 dollars per month per IP. For more information click (here).

Q: Is it easy to setup a AAG based replication for SQL Server 2014 VMs between onpremise and Azure
A:  Yes, Always On Availability Groups are supported in Azure and are one method of HADR including the other supported options: Database Mirroring, Log Shipping, and Backup/Restore with Azure Blob Storage. Click (Here) for more information. Also click (here) and (here) for two walkthroughs.

Q: Naming Services, Can you use your own domain? or are you limited to
A:  You can use your own domain and create a cname as described (here).

Q: So App Controller is the tool to migrate a private VM or physical system up to an Azure cloud?
A:  App Controller is a tool that can be used to manage your Hybrid Cloud when you plan on managing both cloud and on-premises VM’s. If you are only looking for a one time migration then you can use the add-azurevhd powershell cmdlet to move the .VHD image to Azure. Click (here) for more information.

Q: So does Azure PaaS refer only to Office365 and SQL?  Are there other pieces I’m missing?
A:  Office 365 is really more of a SaaS offering since you do not manage the platform. SQL is offered in both PaaS and IaaS options in Azure. Click (here) to see all of the Azure PaaS features.

Q: What is the Azure disk average IOPS? 
A: 500

Q: What is the performance comparison between “production” azure vs test/dev azure?  Do the dev/test designated servers get the same performance
A: There is no difference between a production Azure VM and a test Azure VM. They run the same, which is what you really want so that during QA and User Acceptance Testing there is no bait and switch. The terms production versus development refer to how MSDN licenses the VM. You get a 97% price break if you use your MSDN license for Azure SQL VMs.

Q: Where can I learn about Azure’s PaaS features?  Specifically what Azure can do to help reduce development time?
A:  Azure PaaS allows developers to focus on code and not worrying about provisioning VM’s or keeping them patched or secured. This helps reduce the time to market for development projects. You also only pay for what you consume and you can quickly scale up or down as needed.