Moving WordPress Blog to Custom VM hosted on Windows Azure

Some months ago I migrated my blog from blogger to self hosted WordPress on Windows Azure. My initial experience was good, having a website hosted on azure standard instance with MySQL database somewhere in cloud. All good, I started doing some WordPress optimization.

One day I got an alert from “ClearDB” that my database storage is about to reach limit and then I realized that MySQL database for my blog was actually hosted by ClearDB which by default gives you only 20 MB free space plus with the option to get 1 GB for $9.99 per month. So they expect me to pay for both website hosted on Azure and then MySQL database as well. Yes as MSDN subscriber I do get $150 credit for Azure but I don’t want to waste them plus pay an additional amount to ClearDB. This does not make sense to me as I can get complete WordPress hosting on $9-$13 per month, why would I pay 9 dollars just for database 😐

I also cleaned up DB to reduce its size by removing revisions, spasms etc. but I kept getting the annoying alerts from ClearDB. Therefore I decided to get rid of this model and create my custom VM to host WordPress website with MySQL database.

I end up creating a Ubuntu virtual machine on Windows Azure (yes we are fortunate to see this day) and thereby creating a complete LAMP environment. I followed an article “How to setup rock solid VM on Windows Azure for your WordPress blog” and it worked smoothly. So I mapped the domain to this new VM and satisfied so far.

Another benefit I see of having custom VM is that you can save the snapshot as backup or later host it somewhere else as well.

How is your experience of hosting blog, dear reader?