I am new to Server Fault (coming from StackOverflow) and please tell me if this is not the right place to ask this general question. Basically our company is trying to move away from an on premises infrastructure to a cloud infrastructure. We are considering Azure/Aws for this.

Currently we have some virtual machines running on our local server. A Server with the Domain Controller, a File Server, a Database Server, and one for our websites with IIS installed. Our Exchange we already moved to Exchange online with Office365 and Azure Active Directory,

However, we also wanted to move the other servers into the cloud. I thought that we can create Virtual Machines on Azure for example and join all of them to the same Active Directory by connecting them to the same Virtual Network. Would this even be the right approach?

Now, saying that we would set up everything like this, if I informed my self correctly, we would need to set up a site-to-site connection so that we can access everything on these servers from our on premises network. But is it even possible to join the Active Directory that is running on a Domain Controller on a Virtual Machine in Azure from our on premises network?

Another question, how is the performance? Of course it will be slower than having everything in house, but our files are not super large and the requests aren't too many.

Once again, I am net to this stack exchange and I am mainly a programmer. We are a small company though and I am trying to modernize our infrastructure a little bit. I am not an expert in networking, therefore I am asking you experts here hoping to gain some knowledge. So please be nice:)!

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    Short answer: yes. Since you're already in Azure you might as well stick with them. You will either need Azure training or to get someone in to help you do a good job of this, otherwise you could create problems with reliability, DR / backups, cost, performance, or even lose all the data if you do a really poor job. We can't teach you Azure / AWS. Linux Academy is a good training site, at least for AWS. – Tim Jun 19 '19 at 2:18
  • Thanks for your reply! Would you think that this is a good approach or do you think that a company should always stick with on prem? – Tom el Safadi Jun 19 '19 at 2:21
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    Cloud will let you provide more resilient, more reliable, more secure systems. It will also let you create less resilient, less reliable, less secure systems. You need someone with appropriate knowledge to help you on this journey. Cloud can be more expensive than on-premise hosted systems unless you re-architect everything for cloud native - e.g. using functions as a service, auto scaling and using smaller instance sizes. Cloud bandwidth tends to be very expensive as well. – Tim Jun 19 '19 at 7:53

You are thinking correct and you should move to public cloud. You will get a far superior platform then you ever will have on-Prem.

You can look on Azure/aws as your remote datacenter and after you connect to it with a site-to-site VPN or Expressroute it will work with the domain, file server and so on.

As Tim stated you will either need to do a bit of research yourself or hire someone to avoid pitfalls. If you wish to learn yourselves I recommend Microsoft Learn as a starting point for Azure. And you can always ask questions here when needed.

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  • Thanks for the information! – Tom el Safadi Jun 19 '19 at 8:45
  • ExpressRoute seems like the perfect solution in this case. Would you say ExpressRoute is better than a Site-to-Site connection? – Tom el Safadi Jun 19 '19 at 8:53
  • @TomelSafadi Expressroute is better, but probably slightly more expensive and takes a couple of weeks to implement from your ISP(if they can offer it). – Jarnstrom Jun 19 '19 at 11:16

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