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As the title suggests, I need to set up MySQL database which can be accessed by two (or more) different sites. The only snag with this is that we need to run a windows service alongside it (this is a 3rd party app and can't be rewritten).

We have some ambitions to move more of our internal services into the cloud over time, so we're taking this as an opportunity to take some first steps, but I'm unsure as to what options are available or feasible.

As I understand it, we could use Windows Azure, Amazon EC2 or simply a VM hosting provider (e.g.

From what I've read of each, given that we need to be running MySQL, we'll end up having to run a full VM, even on Azure/EC2.

Is there another way to do this? Have I massively misunderstood what's possible or even necessary? If not, what benefits would Azure/EC2 offer over a VM host (or even a co-located box)? (and vice-versa?)

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closed as not constructive by Sven, Scott Pack, Ward, Michael Hampton, Jenny D May 2 '13 at 8:31

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you need to run MySQL side-by-side with a Windows Service, this implies single-machine deployment on Windows Server. That gives you only a Virtual Machine option in Azure. Here's all of the latest info on Infrastructure Services which includes Virtual Machines. Your vhd would be backed by blob storage (durable, triple-replicated), as well as the data disks (2 disks may be attached per core, up to 16 disks total).

You can then open an external endpoint (a port exposed to the outside world), and any site may access the MySQL server, given proper credentials.

If your web sites are in Windows Azure and hosted either in Virtual Machines or Cloud Services (Platform-as-a-Service), you can connect those web applications to your database server through a Virtual Network, eliminating the need for external (public) access.

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...we have no web sites, as yet! We don't necessarily need to run the MySQL database on the same machine as the service, but the service needs to be able to access the db and the internet at large. – adhocgeek May 1 '13 at 11:30

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