How To Migrate On Prem to Azure

There are a lot of good reasons for enterprises to move to the cloud, such as greater business agility, keeping track with the speed of innovation, and cost savings. The current state of the various cloud surveys shows that cloud adoption is growing and has now hit its stride. The strong growth in the use of cloud means that the majority of organizations are now operating in a hybrid environment that consists of on-premises and cloud-based services. The cloud is also changing how companies consume technology. Employees and business departments are more empowered than ever before to find and use cloud applications, often with limited or no involvement from the IT department, creating what’s called “shadow IT.” Despite the benefits of cloud computing, companies face numerous challenges including the integration of cloud services into the enterprise architecture, security and compliance of corporate data, managing employee-led cloud usage, establishing operational processes for cloud services, and even the development of necessary skills needed in the cloud era.

As companies move data to the cloud, IT departments are looking to put in place policies and processes so that employees and business departments can take advantage of cloud services that drive business growth without compromising the security, compliance, and governance of corporate data.

Considerations Before Migration

The Microsoft Azure migration concept is interesting, but there are considerations to consider before the start of the planning phase.

Proprietary Technology

Which some businesses use, may not be able to be deployed to Azure for legal reasons.

Compliance

Can throw up a roadblock if you have sensitive data that that needs to be migrated.

Platform-specific applications 

Hindered by platform lock-in, making it challenging to move between platforms.

Insufficient Bandwidth

Overlooked consideration that can result in frustration and lost productivity. As part of your assessment, perform an analysis of all network traffic to create a baseline that will help determine the amount of bandwidth needed to meet demand.

System Downtime

Plan accordingly by carefully estimating how much downtime each step of the migration may require.

 Application & System Compatibility

When running older versions of software. The key here is testing by creating a test environment and documenting as you test.

Research Management Systems 

To determine the best option for your situation so it’s ready to go before you migrate.

Analyze Security Requirements

Although the cloud is most often more secure than a traditional infrastructure, you may have additional security needs.

 

Microsoft Azure Migration Approaches

The four most common strategies for migrating to Azure are:

lift and shift

often called “Rehost” transition. This allows you to quickly migrate existing applications to Azure by replacing the cloud infrastructure without changing the architecture. The disadvantage is that this type of migration does not benefit from the elasticity of the cloud platform, which leads to cost savings.

 Refactoring

This cloud migration approach requires small changes to the application code that can benefit from automatic scaling. This approach can save you time and money by using only the resources you need at a given time.

Rearchitect

Some applications may require deeper code changes to benefit from cloud execution. The redesign takes time and is initially more expensive, but saves money over time.

Replace 

Some applications are old and monolithic and are not worth going to the cloud. Consider alternatives to SaaS (software as a service) designed for the cloud.

Breaking Down Azure Migration Phases

Microsoft recommends a four-step migration process for migrating to Azure:

  • Discover: Catalog your software and workloads
  • Assess: Categorize applications and workloads
  • Target: Identify the destination(s) for each of your workloads
  • Migrate: Make the actual move.

Discover

Discovery involves identifying all existing workloads and applications in your infrastructure so you can prepare them for migration. It’s an extensive and tedious process, but critical to success.

Missed applications and workloads can become headaches later on, so you’ll want to make sure your application inventory is complete and up-to-date.

Assess

Once you have a better understanding of Azure products and how they fit into your migration strategy, it’s time to evaluate your existing infrastructure.

Target

Now that you’ve audited your existing environment, it’s time to map out how to get your servers in Azure.

Migrate

Now that you’ve audited and prepared your existing workloads and applications, you’re ready to migrate to Azure.

You can spend significant time reading up on best practices, studying available tools and preparing for the trial-and-error inherent in any new pursuit. But the potential savings are not worth the risk involved in attempting a complex cloud migration without the right expertise.