Azure Websites is happy to announce support for integration between your Azure VNET and your Azure Websites. While you cannot place your Azure Website in an Azure VNET, the Virtual Network feature grants your website access to resources running your VNET. This includes being able to access web services or databases running on your Azure Virtual Machines. If your VNET is connected to your on premise network with Site to Site VPN, then your Azure Website will now be able to access on premise systems through the Azure Websites Virtual Network feature. This feature is currently in Preview and will continue to be improved on the road to GA.
Azure Websites Virtual Network integration requires your Azure virtual network to have a Dynamic routing gateway and to have Point to Site enabled. The feature is being released now in preview and is currently available only at the Standard tier. Standard web hosting plans can have up to 5 networks connected, while a website can only be connected to one network. However, there is no restriction on the number of websites that can be connected to a network.
This Virtual Network feature is accessible through the new Azure Preview portal and shows up alongside Hybrid Connections.
Through the new user interface, you can connect to a pre-existing Azure VNET or can create a new one. This capability to attach to an Azure VNET is not something that must be done when creating the website but can be added, changed or removed at any point. The only restrictions are that you must be in the correct pricing plan and that you have not met your quota limit for the plan.
The Virtual Network feature supports both TCP and UDP protocols and will work with your VNET DNS. Hybrid Connections and Virtual Network are compatible such that you can mix both in in the same website. It is important to note that while there are some use cases that overlap between Virtual Network and Hybrid Connections, they both offer separate things that are very useful in and of themselves.
Hybrid Connections offer the ability to access a remote application. The Hybrid Connections agent can be deployed in any network and connects back to Azure. This provides an ability to access application endpoints in multiple networks and does not depend on configuring a VNET to do so. Virtual Network gives access to all the resources in the VNET and does not require installation of an agent to do so. The Azure Network Site to Site VPN allows enterprises to connect their on premise networks to their Azure Network using the tools they are used to. Both features offer important capabilities and complete the remote data access story for Azure Websites.