Establishing a Sure-Fire Strategy for Your Azure Migration Journey

There has been a surge in cloud adoption by businesses across the globe, with aging on-premise hardware and decentralized IT service management (ITSM) acting as a catalyst for change. The benefits of moving to the cloud are undoubtedly attractive, but improper planning and implementation can dampen the success of your cloud migration initiative.

So, what should you be aware of when migrating to the cloud? How can you maximize your return on investment, and what should you expect during the migration process? Keep reading to find out more.

Assessment

The first thing you will need to do on your Azure migration journey is a full assessment of your IT operations.

This assessment will start with your IT department. Before anything else, your IT Engineers should analyze the current state of your IT infrastructure. There are a few things to consider here, such as:

  • Server Operating Systems
  • Business Critical Software Applications
  • Existing Server Hardware
  • VoIP and Telephony Integrations

For businesses running Server/SQL Server 2008 + R2, Microsoft has some excellent cloud incentives that you should plan your migration around. You can save up to 55% on the running costs of SQL and Server 2008 machines by using existing licenses and the Azure Hybrid Benefit scheme. With proper assessment, you can determine whether this scheme and others, will offer a good return on investment for your business.

Application packages with few dependencies are good candidates for testing in the cloud, but others may be more difficult to migrate. Legacy software applications may have compatibility issues in the cloud, and fallbacks for business-critical systems like telephony need to be considered to ensure uptime. This may uncover additional bottlenecks in your infrastructure, such as older ISDN telephone lines. If you plan to run a resource-intensive program natively in the cloud, you should also make sure that your corporate internet connection has enough bandwidth both upstream and downstream.

Existing server hardware gives you an excellent template to use when calculating your cloud investment cost. You can use the Azure TCO Calculator to figure out your total cost of ownership, helping you determine whether cloud migration is right for your business.

Your Migration Strategy

There are various strategies that businesses use when undergoing a cloud migration. You’ll be able to determine which is best for your business after a comprehensive assessment of your existing infrastructure. The two most popular strategies are:

Rehosting

This option is one of the quickest and most popular migration strategies. Also known as “lift and shift”, this strategy replicates your existing IT infrastructure and initiates it in the cloud, with no coding required.

Rehosting is primarily used when an application or database needs its requirements met using a scalable Infrastructure as a Service (Azure IaaS) virtual machine.

This migration strategy is best used in conjunction with a fallback on-premise server or database system running in parallel, to ensure uptime during the optimization and securing of your new cloud infrastructure. Rehosting is fast, but it’s a high-risk option that may perform poorly until properly configured and patched to take advantage of cloud-native features.

Refactoring

With refactoring, the application will undergo a period of architectural change before being migrated to the cloud. Unlike rehosting, refactoring can help ensure that your applications will take full advantage of cloud-native functionality and benefits.

You can do a complete refactor, which will be more efficient but requires a significant architectural change to the program. There’s also minimum viable refactoring, which requires less development and is typically paired with cloud-native security, management, and database solutions to expedite the migration process.

The benefit here is that your application will be properly optimized to run in a cloud environment, requiring less processing power to do the same job. This can result in significant cost savings when compared to rehosting.

Refactoring does require an upfront investment in development to ensure cloud-compatibility. This can be costly and time-consuming, so you need to assess whether this option is viable for your business IT plan.

Other Strategies

Two other strategies you could use are revise and rebuild. Both of these require a substantial upfront investment in cloud-native development and are less commonly used.

Optimization and Security

Once you are up and running, the final aspect of cloud service management is optimizing and securing your new network. This will be an ongoing task for your IT team, supplemented by cloud-native ITSM tools in Azure.

Azure Cost Management can help you prevent overspending on resource allocation, freeing up funds for other IT initiatives.

Azure Security Center offers a unified security protection suite across all your VM instances, helping you maintain security and compliance with data regulations.

Enterprise Security isolations can also mitigate security risks. The public cloud shares computing resources, but isolation will reserve a single machine, for use only by your business.

Azure Migration with Trianz

No matter where you are in the stage of your cloud migration plans, Trianz can help. As a leading Microsoft Azure Managed Services Partner, Trianz has extensive experience with planning and implementing changes to corporate IT infrastructures.

Find out more at trianz.com/cloud, or get in touch using the form below!

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