Sitecore and cloud – Iaas, PaaS (Part II)

In previous article, I covered some basic stuff related to Sitecore and PaaS topic. And as promised, now we will deep into installing Sitecore 9.0 into Azure. At first step, we will focus on installation requirements.

Installation will be covered from very beginning steps in manual mode (so, we will not use prepared images available on Azure marketplace), which allows us to customize our sitecore installation.

As second solution, there are prepared Sitecore images in Azure Marketplace, which are ready for “few click” installation.

This article is part of series of articles. To read other parts, you could use following links:
Part 1 (Sitecore and Azure introduction)
Part 2 (Installation prerequisities)
Part 3 (Installation)

Some theory for beginning

Sitecore Azure installation is based on set of powershell scripts and modules, and is completely scriptable – for fully working Sitecore installation, you don’t need to touch anything in Azure and for your projects (or development environments) you can deploy as many instances of sitecore as you need by execution of one script.

If you already spent some time with installation of Sitecore 9, you will find Azure installation process very similar to that – and you will be right – azure installation framework is “ancestor” of SIF and installation procedure for Sitecore 9.

Prerequisities

For successfull finish of Sitecore installation, you will need some few scripts, tools and libraries. Here is list of that:

  • Azure account
  • Sitecore installation packages for XP0 Azure
  • Configured blob storage for deployment packages
  • Sitecore installation scripts
  • Certificate

Azure account

For installation, you need to have Azure account (of course), and you should expect some costs. Athough XP0 instance is the smallest possible instance, it deploys couple of Azure services – Application Insights, Search service, App Service, 1 SQL Servers and 11 SQL databases. And for installation, you need also some storage for installation files.

Sitecore installation packages for XP0 Azure

Installation packages are available on Sitecore downloads. Navigate to Sitecore downlads and download Packages for XP Single from  Download options for Azure AppService section.

Downloaded ZIP file contains two another ZIP files – extract those two files and put them somewhere on disc.

Sitecore installation scripts

Sitecore provides installation framework for 8.x and 9.x version of sitecore.  They are publicly available on https://github.com/Sitecore/Sitecore-Azure-Quickstart-Templates.

Navigate on URL https://github.com/Sitecore/Sitecore-Azure-Quickstart-Templates/tree/master/Sitecore%209.0.0/XPSingle and download files azuredeploy.parameters.json. Additionaly, navigate to https://github.com/Sitecore/Sitecore-Azure-Quickstart-Templates and save content of example PowerShell script as Deploy.ps1.

Blob storage configuration

Installation scripts requires installation files available on some publicly visible URL. You can use any place on web, but for installation in Azure there is no better place, than Azure.

  1. Create resource group “Sitecore-Deployments”
  2. In resource group, create “Storage account” with any valid name
  3. In newly created account, create container, again with valid name
  4. Upload all required files into created container – 2 files from archive downloaded from Sitecore. Do not forget to set visibility to public.

Certificates

As new requirement (in comparison with Sitecore 8.x PaaS installation) we must provide certificates used for secure communication. We need certificate in PKCS12 form and password.

For testing pursposes, we can use “fake” certificate, for example, we can use self-signed certificate generated by www.getacert.com website. If you will use this “fake” certificate, at the end of process, download Entire certificate (pkcs12) variant (password is “password”).

 

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