Overview

Skill Level: Any Skill Level

Learn how to migrate to the Azure cloud

Ingredients

There are a lot of good reasons for enterprises to move to the cloud, such as greater business agility, enhanced scalability, and lower costs. However, any cloud migration process can be confusing, and Azure migration is no different.

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.

Microsoft recommends a four-step process for migration. This process will help you to outline your approach and performing the necessary preparation that will make the transition easy and will not impact your business.

Step-by-step

  1. Assess Cloud Readiness

    Discover—use cloud migration assessment tools to analyze your physical and virtual servers and application performance. This step will help you decide which elements in your IT ecosystem you should migrate to the cloud.

    Cloud readiness plan—determine the scope of the migration, set a realistic plan with all the details and specific requirements of the business, and create a list of metrics that will define the success of the migration. The end goal to preserve, application performance, systems access, and data security within your chosen Azure service.

    Evaluate cost—evaluate the cost factor and choose the price plan that suits you best. Use the Azure TCO calculator to build a customized cloud assessment that will help create a personal business case to support an Azure migration.

    Acquire cloud-based service management—rethink your IT service management and disaster recovery practices, as well as how Azure integrates with your existing on-premises infrastructure. Consider the usage of cloud-based IT service management solutions.

  2. Migrate

    Rehost / Lift and Shift—”Lift and Shift” lets you migrate on-premise applications to the cloud with minimal or no changes. For example networking environment design, VM image uploading, and enabling virtual machine connectivity in a manner nearly identical to the physical environments.

    Refactor—in this step, you make some changes to the application design, but not to the code. The application will later use IaaS and PaaS benefits offered by Azure.

    Rearchitect—this step involves making changes to the application codebase to make it fit in the cloud, which can be modernizing, modifying or making it scalable and deployable by itself.

    Rebuild—this step involves the complete rebuilding of an application using cloud-native applications, the service that Azure offers.

  3. Optimize

    Even after an application is deployed on Azure, you should configure the relevant management and monitoring systems. Implementing these solutions ensures that you can manage your applications effectively and ensure high availability of your Azure environment.

    Use cloud monitoring tools like Azure Monitor to gain visibility into cloud health and performance. For instance, businesses can utilize CPU disk and memory usage for their virtual machines (VMs), monitor application performance, and check network and application dependencies across various virtual machines.

  4. Manage Security and Compliance

    Secure your data—while acknowledging that the cloud can provide increased data security and administrative control, IT leaders are still concerned that migrating to the cloud will leave them more vulnerable to hackers than their current in-house solutions.

    Keep our data private—cloud services raise unique privacy challenges for businesses. As companies look to the cloud to save on infrastructure costs and improve their flexibility, they also worry about losing control of where their data is stored, who is accessing it, and how it gets used.

    Maintain compliance—As companies expand their use of cloud technologies, the complexity and scope of standards and regulations continue to evolve. Companies need to know that their compliance standards will be met, and that compliance will evolve as regulations change over time.

  5. Conclusion

    Microsoft Azure supports a wide range of public, private, and hybrid cloud infrastructure. Azure also offers many network, application hosting, container hosting and management, monitoring and logging, analytics, security, database, and machine learning services.

    Now that you understand the process of migrating your application to the Azure cloud, you can start to build a larger migration strategy for your business. 

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