Azure Web Roles Sync

Sometimes you may need to disable the sync service between your Azure Web Roles. Those occasions are like deploying large sites, or copying files to server manually. You can disable / enable the Azure Web Role Sync using Website Manager Tool.

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Start/Stop Synchronization Process

The next feature we added was the ability to start and stop the synchronization process. Normally, the synchronization process continually runs on each web role instance to check for updated sites, configuration changes, etc. There are a couple reasons why you may want to stop this process.

The first is a work around for a known issue. When deploying large sites, the synchronization tool can actually pick up the site before it has finished deploying. This can result in inconsistent deployments across your instances. Generally this would be temporary as the synchronizer should resynchronize after the large site has finished deploying, but you want to avoid the partial synchronization altogether. For this reason, the recommended practice for deploying large sites is to stop the synchronizer before you deploy and then start it after the deployment has finished.

The second reason you may want to stop the synchronization process is to save on storage transactions. The default configuration for the synchronization is to check blob and table storage for changes every 15 seconds. Additionally, there is a log message written every time a synchronization occurs. This results in 12 storage transactions per instance per minute or about 518,400 transactions per month. This may seem like a lot, but remember that transactions only cost $0.01 per 10,000 so the cost of these synchronizations is only about $0.50 per instance per month. For a company doing lots of deployments to Windows Azure this is probably well worth the cost. However, if you are only deploying occasionally you can save a few dollars per month by disabling the synchronization process until you need to deploy.

To start and stop the synchronization process simply click the “Disable Sync” link at the top of your admin page. When synchronization is disabled, you will see a warning message at the bottom of the admin portal.”