Increasing the Availability and Scalability of Cloud Applications with Microsoft’s New “High Availability Checklist” for Azure

The ability to increase the availability and scalability of applications is one of the main reasons why enterprises choose to migrate all, or part, of their IT infrastructure to the cloud. However, some enterprises are still not taking full advantage of all the benefits the cloud provides. As a result, Microsoft Azure created a new high availability checklist that aims to provide enterprises with a list of common ways to increase their applications availability in Azure using best practices, tools, and techniques.

According to Microsoft, the checklist draws on the experience of Azure architects who work with customers building on the platform to create a list of best practices and tools enterprises should deploy for maximum scalability and availability. Here’s a quick glimpse at just a few of the best practices included in Microsoft’s new high availably checklist for Azure:

Utilize Traffic Manager: Traffic Manager routes Internet traffic across Azure regions, or Azure and on-premises locations. If a company isn’t using traffic manager, their resources are limited to a single region, which limits scale and increases latency for users not close to a company’s chosen region.

Set up Virtual Machine Scale Sets: Virtual Machine Scale Sets (VMSS), ensure that a company can grow or shrink the number of machines in a tier of their applications, and allows companies to define how their application tier scales by adding or removing servers based on criteria they choose.

Manage Load Balancers: Load balancers give enterprises the ability to spread incoming traffic to their applications across a number of machines, which can be added or removed from their load balancer at any times. Without a load balancer, enterprises aren’t able to add more virtual machines, and their only option will be to increase the size of their existing virtual machine.

Ensure SQL Databases are using Active Geo-Replication: Active Geo-Replication enables enterprises to configure up to 4 readable secondary databases in the same, or different, regions. These secondary databases can then be available in the case of a service disruption or the inability to connect to the primary database.

However, Microsoft acknowledges that the suggestions in this checklist can be implemented at any time in a company’s application and are great “quick fixes,” but the best long-term solution is an application design that is built for the cloud. To address this, the company also has a checklist for these design-oriented best practices. Of course, enterprises need not implement these best practices all on their own. An experienced Managed Service Provider (MSP) can guide enterprises through designing for these considerations and best practices, so IT decision makers can shift their focus to IT strategy.

To learn about Datapipe’s managed services for Azure, click here.

To read the rest of Microsoft’s high availability checklist for Azure, click here.

David Lucky is a Product Marketing leader at Rackspace for the Managed Public Cloud services group, a global business unit focused on delivering end-to-end digital transformation services on AWS, Azure, GCP and Alibaba. David came to Rackspace from Datapipe where as Director of Product Management for six years he led product development in building services to help enterprise clients leverage managed IT services to solve complex business challenges. David has unique insight into the latest product developments for private, public and hybrid cloud platforms and a keen understanding of industry trends and their impact on business development. He holds an engineering degree from Lehigh University and is based out of Jersey City, NJ. You can follow David on LinkedIn at and Twitter @Luckys_Blog.