There are many ways that businesses use cloud technologies in 2022, with everything from cloud storage to big data analytics. Over the past two years, the rise in remote and hybrid working has increased trust and understanding of the public cloud, and it is predicted that many businesses will migrate more workloads to the cloud in 2022 than ever before.
Out of the three major public cloud providers, AWS, Azure and Google, Azure has the broadest feature set to ensure that all businesses can migrate to Azure, regardless of the workload. Moving to the cloud has a multitude of benefits for businesses, including cost savings, stronger security, the ability to scale, and more. Although many businesses understand these benefits, they are still reluctant to migrate to the cloud due to the migration process itself. In this article we will discuss the 5 steps required to ensure a successful Azure migration.
Assess Current Situation
The first step to ensuring a successful Azure migration is to assess your business’s current situation. Within this assessment, you should consider what on-premises workload will be moved to the cloud. This will include which applications, the amount of data transfer necessary to move to the cloud, the maximum and minimum levels of compute currently required, the policy and procedures, and which users currently rely on the workload.
Although the Azure Cloud is feature rich, if your business uses legacy applications, they may not be compatible with an Azure’s PaaS, this may require the use of IaaS, which can be more costly than remaining on-premises. The amount of data transfer is a key factor influencing the time it will take to complete a migration. Finally, it is important understand user requirements, as the user experience will be paramount to the success of an Azure migration.
Decide on a Migration Method
There is no single method of Azure migration, as every business has different requirements, technical expertise, and ambitions from the project. Some of the common types of migration include lift and shift, refactoring and replatforming.
Lift and shift is the simplest form of migration and is simply moving all data and applications from on-premises servers to the cloud. Refactoring is where a business will move data and applications to the cloud, whilst re-architecting them to better suit the cloud environment. Finally, replatforming is in between the other two examples, where applications are moved to the cloud, with minor modifications to take advantage of the new cloud infrastructure.
Plan the Migration
There are multiple stages to an Azure migration, and a well-planned migration will result in more effective use of cloud infrastructure, with less impact to the users of the systems. In this stage, businesses must also consider security and compliance to ensure that they are protected from current and future cyberthreats. Many businesses that do not adequately plan their migration often have to move their systems back to on-premises for a period of time after the migration to make corrections. This is a costly and disruptive exercise that can hurt a business’s modernisation strategy. This can avoid this by involving a trusted IT partner for the planning and implementation of an Azure migration.
Once the plan is finalised, either the business or their IT partner can migrate the workload to the Azure cloud. This is often completed whilst employees do not require access to the IT systems as there may be periods of downtime. It is common for businesses to start small, by migrating a section of files, or applications to ensure that everything is working as intended, before ramping up and the number of files, users, tools, apps and databases migrated to the Azure cloud.
After the migration is complete, it is necessary to monitor the new cloud environment to identify any issues, possible areas of optimisation or cost savings, as well as any ways that the user experience can be improved. This optimisation process should be ongoing, as the ways in which users interact with IT systems often change over time, and there are new updates to applications and the Azure cloud that can necessitate further changes to the system.
Looking to migrate to Azure?
If your businesses still have legacy, on-premises infrastructure, migrating to the Azure cloud can provide many benefits, most notably, cost savings and the ability to quickly and easily scale. If your business does not have the technical expertise in-house, or if you want to find out more about how your business could benefit from Azure, contact us today.