Choosing the right strategy: Sitecore on Azure PaaS or IaaS

Sitecore  has recently released a version which supports deploying Sitecore Experience Platform to Azure web-apps which are a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. Sitecore can also be installed on virtual machines residing in Azure’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings.

Choosing the right strategy will depend on an organization’s maturity model and the motivation to go full-on cloud computing. Below is a quick overview of the 2 flavors of Sitecore installation on Microsoft Azure that should help you decide a path for your deployment strategy.

  • PaaS
  • IaaS
Sitecore on MS Azure PaaS Sitecore on MS Azure Iaas
Azure Web Apps Azure Virtual Machines
Deployment via Marketplace (Standard Sitecore Topology) No Marketplace modules
Deployment via ARM Templates (Customize your Sitecore Topology) No ARM Templates
Consumption Based License Model Standard Licensing Model
Automatic Scaling via App Service Scale up, Scale out options Automatic Scaling via virtual machine scale sets
Azure SQL SQL Server installation + License (ex: On VM)
Azure Search Sitecore search via SOLR or Lucene
Mongo DB Mongo DB
Redis Cache In-Proc, Out-Proc


The table below goes a bit further to compare the Azure Marketplace versus ARM Templates for Sitecore on Azure PaaS

  ARM Templates Azure Marketplace
Customizable Yes No
Knowledge of Azure required Yes No
Control Azure Resources Created Yes No
Add additional services Yes No
Software Required PowerShell Browser

Automatic Scaling

PaaS Vertical Scaling Example


PaaS Horizontal Scaling Example


IaaS Scaling via Virtual Machine Scale-Sets


Further details from Sitecore can be found at


I hope the article will help you decide on an appropriate path for your deployment strategy and operations as a whole.

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