Businesses are increasingly migrating workloads to the cloud, spurred on by the move to hybrid working, increased trust, and an understanding of the advantages it can provide (including cost reductions, scalability, security, and flexibility).
However, even if organisations understand these benefits, they can still be hesitant to begin their cloud journey due to uncertainties around the migration process itself. Below, we’ve put together five key steps that help ensure a smooth and successful Azure migration.
- Assess your current environment
Before planning your migration strategy, you need to assess your current environment. This should include evaluating which on-premises workload will be moved to Azure. You will need to consider applications, how much data transfer will be necessary, maximum/minimum levels of compute currently required, policies/procedures, and which users currently rely on the workload.
This will help determine the cost of migration (influenced by legacy application compatibility), how long it will take (influenced by the amount of data transfer), and how successful it’s likely to be (influenced by user requirements/experience).
- Decide on a migration method
There are different methods of migration which you may deploy depending on your specific requirements and in-house capabilities.
Lift and shift: this is the simplest method, whereby you move all data and applications from on-premises servers to the Cloud.
Refactoring: where you re-architect data and applications to better suit the Cloud environment before moving them over.
Replatforming: this sits between the above methods, where applications are moved to the Cloud and minor modifications are made to benefit from the new Cloud infrastructure.
- Plan the migration
Thorough planning is critical for ensuring a smooth migration, effective use of Cloud infrastructure, alignment to compliance standards, and robust security.
Failure to properly plan can result in businesses moving systems back to on-premises while amendments are made, which can be costly and disruptive.
- Carry out the migration
Following the completion of your plan, you can start the migration itself, either in-house or with the assistance of an IT partner. This should be completed at a time when employees are offline if the migration will create significant system downtime. Many businesses begin by migrating a small selection of files or applications. This serves as a test, to ensure everything works as planned before increasing the number of files, users, tools, apps, and databases migrated to the Azure Cloud.
- Optimise your Azure environment
After the migration has been completed, you will need to assess and monitor your Azure environment to identify potential optimisations, cost savings, or issues. This is not a point-in-time activity, monitoring should be ongoing to reflect changes in user behaviour, requirements, application updates, and other alterations.
As detailed above, taking the first step can be daunting when moving to the Cloud. You may be unsure how to prioritise workloads for transition, or which migration method to use to ensure the best outcome. That’s why, in partnership with Microsoft, we’re pleased to be offering complimentary Azure Migration Assessments which will evaluate your infrastructure and provide insights on the business, cost, and technology benefits of migration.
During this assessment, a Microsoft expert will carry out a comprehensive discovery of your existing VM, databases, and physical servers, as well as relevant performance data and utilisation.
They will then provide insights and recommendations for moving to Azure, including Cloud readiness ratification and prioritisation of workloads to move to Azure. You will receive cost benefit analysis and a customised migration plan, including recommended next steps.
How do I sign up?
To get started, simply sign up here and a member of the Advanced team will get in touch to discuss next steps.