Managed Cloud Hosting

As a customer, you are free to choose where to host the developed solution. This could be in your own data centre or in a partner's data centre. In order to take full responsibility for the available solution, The Reference also offers hosting itself. This is via the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and is supported by our managed services.

Cloud Hosting in Microsoft Azure

What is the most important reason for choosing hosting in 'the cloud'? It is the seemingly unlimited scalability, both in terms of the size of individual servers and the number of servers. This means that capacity planning for future proof solutions becomes less of a crucial element in the solution.

Scaling in Microsoft Azure is not only very fast, you also only pay for what you use. You can temporarily up-scale environments during marketing campaigns, whereby the cost price only increases during the campaign.

Microsoft Azure data centres were established in pairs, so they work as a failover for each other. For Europe, this pair is Amsterdam - Dublin. If necessary the load and the failover aspect can also be expanded globally by providing load-balancing and failover mechanisms.

All these elements make Microsoft Azure a future proof model.

Managed services

The disadvantage of hosting in a cloud model? Lack of managed services. Microsoft does not offer this, as the organization gives her customers complete freedom when deleting, scaling or creating servers or other resources.

The Reference will gladly do your full hosting management for you and provides the following managed services:

  • server patching (security, updates, ...), including zero-day emergency patching after security breaches.
  • anti virus management and zero-day emergency patching.
  • Firewall and VPN management.
  • monitoring of all resources and automatic escalation and intervention at failure of a resource.
  • Microsoft Pro Direct support to escalate first-line problems directly to Microsoft.
  • load balancing configuration, potentially across multiple data centers.

Software as a Service

Certain components of a topology are very sensitive and could constitute a 'weak link' in the configuration. Therefore, servers are often set up in "clusters". That way, if a server goes down, a second can pick up on the defect.

It is, however, very complex to equip certain types of servers, such as SQL Server database servers, with their own cluster, and especially also a lot more expensive than a standalone server. Often the cost is ten times higher, without offering a better performance.

Therefore, The Reference offers separate software services:

  • SQL Server Cluster (Availability Groups in SQL Server Enterprise) with three instances.
  • MongoDB cluster with three instances.
  • Web Application Firewalling (WAF).
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