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Running Sync in Microsoft’s Azure cloud hosting
Sync is supported on Azure’s Virtual Machine (VM) offering – simply ensure your VM is running a compatible Windows Server image.
Note that Sync installation on Azure App Service or Azure Cloud Services is NOT currently supported.
There are no major differences between setting Sync on a local Windows server or an Azure VM, so all steps in the installation guide still apply.
Note that you will need Administrator level access to your target VM in order to install YourCompany Sync successfully.
This is because several steps in the installation require Administrator access, and there is not a way around this requirement.
In terms of the SQL Server requirement of Sync, you can address this in two ways on Azure:
- Run your own SQL Server installation in Azure.
This can be achieved by either installing SQL Server alongside Sync in the same VM as Sync (e.g. using SQL Server Express) or by running a separate SQL Server VM.
A dedicated SQL Server VM is recommended if you expect to be processing several thousand rows daily through Sync.
- Use Azure SQL Database, which is Microsoft’s managed SQL Server option.
This is a flexible database option which includes guaranteed high availability and is easily scalable.
However it can be more expensive than running your own SQL Server instance, and the performance of SQL Database can be disappointing, depending on the price tier you use.
Our recommendation would be to try the SQL Database option first since this is much faster and simpler to set up.
However, you should field test to see if the price/performance combination fits your requirements.
If not, then simply export backups of the Sync databases and import these into your own SQL Server installation of choice.
Once you have a SQL Server instance via either option above, you will simply need the relevant SQL Server connection strings to complete your Sync installation.
Connecting to Azure SQL Database
With your VM running within Azure, you will likely need to configure firewalls on both the VM and Database sides.
For Database side, the simplest option is to check the “Allow Azure Connections” box on the SQL Database firewall configuration.
This will ensure your VM are able to connect to the database.
Alternatively ensure your VM has a static IP address and specify this IP on the SQL Database firewall.
For the VM side, you need to ensure that the VM firewall permits connections to the SQL Database.
However since you are running inside Azure, this is not as simple as just specifying the Azure SQL Database’s gateway IP.
The reason for this is that your SQL database will be running on a separate IP to the SQL gateway, and thus after initial connection is made by Sync, all further database calls will occur directly against your specific SQL instance cluster’s IP.
As such, you will need to cater for this on your VM firewall by adding not only the SQL Gateway’s IP, but also the specific IP of your database cluster.
You can find gateway IPs and learn more about Azure SQL connectivity here: