Using SnowMirror with Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure is one of the most popular cloud services in the world, offering everything from virtual machines to SQL servers to managed disks. SnowMirror is a smart replication tool for ServiceNow and Salesforce. But what a lot of potential SnowMirror users may not know is that SnowMirror can be easily set up on Microsoft Azure, which offers customers a powerful and flexible set of solutions in the cloud. We spoke with SnowMirror consultant Pavel Müller about how SnowMirror can be deployed on Microsoft Azure, and the advantages that can bring.
“We’re seeing growing interest in Microsoft Azure as a solution for SnowMirror,” Müller said.
There are a number of reasons for this increased interest. Microsoft Azure offers a number of business advantages, including flexibility and cost effectiveness, he added, explaining that Azure’s pay-as-you-consume model allows businesses to scale their usage as needed. Its compliance with various regulations is also an advantage, especially for the legal or finance sectors, because Microsoft is proactive at making sure its solutions are compliant with the given country’s regulations.
Microsoft Azure offers ready-to-use virtual machines running either Windows Server or Linux, which means it’s very easy to install SnowMirror because it’s written in Java. “The installation process for SnowMirror on a virtual machine on Azure is exactly the same as it is on a physical machine at a company’s IT facility,” Müller added. The process of installing the SnowMirror software itself on an Azure virtual machine takes a matter of minutes. What can take longer is data transformation, because the database fields come from SnowMirror unmapped to other applications, and this work varies depending on what is required. The only thing administrators need to do differently during Azure setup is to turn on an SSL connection between SnowMirror and the database.
The other part of a SnowMirror installation on Azure is the database server. Here there are three options that may be useful: Azure Database for MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server on a virtual machine, or Azure SQL database.
“We want to provide our customers with as much flexibility and power as possible,” Müller said, “which is why replication from ServiceNow to the Azure cloud may be the right solution for some clients.”
Azure also makes it easy to use business intelligence solutions such as PowerBI Embedded in its cloud on a ready-made basis, which makes it very attractive for organizations seeking both speed and flexibility.
Reporting and business intelligence tools such as Tableau or Qlik can be used on Azure, either on a virtual machine or as a ready-made cloud app. Tableau, for example, provides extensive documentation on how to set up a Tableau Server on Azure, and Qlik has good documentation as well. When combined with ServiceNow data that is replicated to an SQL database in the Azure cloud by SnowMirror, a powerful solution can be quickly and reliably deployed.
“It’s possible to have an entire business intelligence solution powered by SnowMirror run entirely on Microsoft Azure,” Müller said. “That gives companies a lot of flexibility and power.”
“There are a lot of options available,” Müller said. “What’s important is that SnowMirror provides IT managers have the flexibility they want and the quality they require.”
If you’d like to to talk with us about how SnowMirror can help your business get the most out of ServiceNow, please get in touch.