Azure vs IIS

Hi Experts, are there advantages of using Microsoft Azure over (Windows Server + IIS + SQL Express)? I have an ASP.NET 4.0 application that I am ready to publish into the real world. I currently have a Virtual Machine running Server 2008 R2 with IIS 7 and SQL Express 2012. My site will also need an SSL certificate later.

Is my own server the best way to go about things or should I publish the app directly to Azure? I feel as if using the server means I have more direct access but I don't know whether that'll be good for scalability in the future or any other pro's/cons
David CIT Projects ManagerAsked:
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Azure offers you two options (broadly speaking):

Virtual Servers
Azure offers you virtual servers as well. These are just your typical self managed (Windows Server + IIS + SQL Express) in the cloud. the benefits of cloud hosting vs hosting on your own are greater scalability. You big benefit here as opposed to on premise options is that it's a whole lot easier and faster to provision extra resources. You also don't need to worry about upstream and downstream bandwidth for users to get to your on-premise server environment.

Azure Web Apps
Azure Web Apps adds another layer of abstraction. You no longer have a Windows Server to log onto. There is no IIS to configure. You application truly sits in a the cloud. Your SQL Server would also be hosted in the relational database-as-a-service environment (think of it just like a private SQL Server instance hosted in the cloud... coz that's what you get).

Important notes for Azure Web Apps:
Not having a Windows Server also means a very important thing... there are no addressable hard disk drives. You cannot rely on there being a file system. There is no C:\ to fiddle in. If you want to persist files in Windows Azure (Web Sites) you should use Blob Storage.
Sending emails is also not possible with Windows Azure Web Apps. You'll need to do this through a third party: SendGrid

Azure Development Guidelines for ASP.NET Developers
With every new platform comes new things to learn and consider.

Which is best for you appliation
it depends. I've armed you will all the info you need... and a bit more...

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David CIT Projects ManagerAuthor Commented:
Excellent! Thank you
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