Hosting WhosOn in Microsoft Azure data centres

WhosOn is scheduled for a key deployment transition. In a nutshell, the product is switching its cloud hosting partner to enable easier scaling and even stronger stability.

This is an important – and exciting – change. So, to bring you up to speed, we’ve prepared a handy Q&A overview of the hosting changes ahead.

We can’t wait to continue improving your WhosOn experience. In the meantime, here are your hosting questions answered.

What is changing?

We’re moving to an exclusive partnership with Microsoft Azure for our cloud hosting services. This switch is a tactical move away from our previous partnership with Rackspace. (More on this shortly.)

So, all WhosOn cloud accounts will soon be deployed inside Microsoft Azure data centres. Specifically, a UK-based data centre for EU customers, and a US data centre for non-EU customers.

Why Microsoft Azure?

WhosOn is evolving to become more scalable and flexible. The WhosOn server is now coded entirely in Microsoft .NET – which means WhosOn can easily connect with key Microsoft services.

The latest iteration of WhosOn enables smooth integration into third-party technology stacks, and this level of compatibility is an area we’re increasingly focused on improving.

Though Rackspace has been an excellent hosting partner, it is not backed by Microsoft. Nor does it permit the same ability to use cutting-edge Microsoft technology and services.

So, as we look to scale WhosOn and embed it more easily into broader tech ecosystems, it is Microsoft Azure that provides the best environment to do so.

How does the change affect me?

For the most part, the transition to Microsoft Azure will be invisible from a customer perspective. Self-hosted customers are entirely unaffected. For cloud customers, meanwhile, the migration involves only a few hours of planned downtime. (Outside of regular business hours, to minimise disruption.)

However, lowkey upshots from the new cloud hosting service lie ahead. Firstly, Microsoft Azure enables higher SLAs. Reduced maintenance times from the hosting environment mean you get more uptime than ever before.

Less tangibly, (but no less importantly), the shift to Microsoft Azure will also result in a more powerful WhosOn service moving forwards. We’ll be able to deliver you the next generation of WhosOn with greater ease. Thanks to the improved scalability of Microsoft Azure, you’ll get all your WhosOn updates faster and smoother than in the past.

When will the changes roll out?

We’re migrating on a server by a server basis. So, dates for the switch from Rackspace to Microsoft Azure will vary based on your server. We’ll email all customers ahead of their specific migration, so keep an eye out for the notice in your inbox.

Do I need to do anything?

As part of the move to a Microsoft Azure data centre, the IP address of your server will change. So, please ensure that any networking rules are updated to allow you to access this server. (Over TCP port 8011 for your WhosOn client connection.)

Any further questions?

Microsoft Azure is a stable, highly secure hosting provider with some of the smartest features you can imagine. The transition to Microsoft Azure hosting is a positive step forward for both WhosOn and its customers.

If you’d like any help or further information on the coming change, our team is happy to help. Simply start a live chat session with us and we can answer any questions you might have.