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We are delighted and proud to announce that nearly a decade's worth of community contributions have been gifted with a shiny new home in Azure, and the migration was smooth and seamless.

 

TechNet Wiki is one of Microsoft’s oldest surviving “heritage” community platforms - a very special case. You’ve probably got one in your company. A most precious time bomb. The “black box”. The dragon no-one is prepared to slay. Bulging with domain data, customised configurations, modified modules, dedicated daemons, or some very obscure integrations buried deep and hard to untangle.

 

Microsoft loves its community very much. Both TechNet, MSDN and the communities that grew around them have a chapter all of their own, in the story of Microsoft’s success and achievements. A passionate community, which makes sure we all move forward, no man (or woman) left behind.

 

This presented a great opportunity to demonstrate how easy it was to “lift and shift” even the most surly server, up to the higher vantage point of Azure cloud services.

 

This is an example of how you can exactly mirror your on-site hardware with the virtual equivalents. Which goes to show there really is no reason to delay, moving up to a better vantage point, in Azure managed services. With ExpressRoute providing a seamless bridge between internal and external networks. 
 
All it took was a bunch of Azure Virtual Machines. First, they configured the Web service in scalable Azure VMs. Then they copied over the site bits (configurations and dependencies) from the old machines, tweaking here and there, where there were updated components. The crown jewels (data) were then transferred over to the new Azure database servers and the switch was flipped. Job done!
 
The final switchover was performed as a "live failover". Flipping from old to new was an Akamai click of a button and it all happened in real time. Within the blink of an eye, TechNet had moved! From that point on, tweaks and bug fixes have been deploying smoothly and gracefully.

 

Thus, with very little fanfare, commotion or tribulations (that we know of at least) TechNet Wiki was reborn! Microsoft’s most treasured “community crown jewels” - passed over to the loving embrace and attentive gaze of Azure’s managed services!

 

When asked for the top three benefits of migration, Microsoft’s Aman Singh [who led the task] said:

 

  1. Increase compute resource at any time within minutes over bare metal servers that are hard to upgrade
  2. Scalability to allow us to increase our VM’s at anytime without the need to procure any additional servers
  3. More fault redundancy as we are now supported across all the redundant Azure infrastructure
  4. Performance improvements due to better Azure resources available for hosting

 

No, you didn’t count wrong.

Microsoft (especially Aman's team) always give us 133%!! :D

 

Congratulations to Microsoft for a successful shift into warm blue Azure. My best wishes also, to everyone who continues to educate us all, leaving a trail for the next generation of Microsoft community contributors.

 

The story does not end there though. Watch out for more chapters, in the never ending story of community collaboration and cooperation, within and around the world's biggest and bravest company!