A Know-How of Cloud Migration: Azure and Its 4-Step Strategy
Azure Cloud Migration Services
Migration to the Cloud is today’s most happening trend in the IT industry, mostly due to rapid digital transformation.
The trend is finding its scope all across irrespective of the size of an organization. But the real question that continues to haunt many is, ‘which is the best cloud option?’
Here in this article, we will see Migration to Azure cloud!
Migrating to Microsoft’s Azure is the most-sought option for many firms facing challenges with the on-premises infrastructure.
Azure is preferred as one of the leading cloud platforms because of its services that include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
However, migrating to Azure needs precise planning followed by a four-step approach.
Step-by-Step Azure Cloud Migration Strategy
The first and foremost thing for a successful Azure migration is developing your ‘Own Azure Migration Strategy’. Then comes the following:
Step 1: Assess
This step’s success is built on three aspects: Discovery, Mapping, and Evaluation of on-premise applications.
- Discover: Use cloud migration assessment tools and compile the inventory of your existing physical and virtual servers in the existing environment, which should also include information and performance of your applications. The end of this step keeps you ready with information about servers and their metadata, thus helping you proceed with your cloud migration plan.
- Map: Map your servers depending on their suitability to on-premises applications and group them accordingly to represent their relevant applications. This helps you get a complete idea of those applications and their dependencies on each other.
- Evaluate: Now that you have grouped applications, it’s time to check what migration strategy suits them. This requires cloud migration assessment tools to learn Azure recommendations and migration strategies. Then evaluate the cost factor and choose the one that suits.
Step 2: Migrate
This step includes adopting four different sub-steps including Rehost, Refactor, Rearchitect, and Rebuild.
- Rehost: Just move your applications to Azure as they are without needing any changes to the code. This is often termed as ‘lift-shift’ migration. But ensure the applications you move don’t require any additional code changes and directly go for orchestration only in the Azure platform.
- Refactor: In this step, you make little 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 PaaS offers.
Step 3: Optimize
This is again a three-step process involving: Analysis, Save and Reinvest.
- Analyze: Use Azure Cost Management and analyze your cloud spending in more efficiently with accuracy and extended transparency. This can help you plan your investment further!
- Save: Deal effectively with your migrated environment to fit in workloads using Azure’s unique offerings such as Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances.
- Re-Invest: Enjoy the flexibility that Azure offers to modify, secure or make advancements to your migrated and existing workloads, turning that into savings.
Step 4: Secure and Manage
Safeguard your data and applications with Azure’s Secure, Data Protection and Monitoring options
- Secure: Get Azure Security Center for effective cloud security management and advanced threat protection for your cloud workloads. Azure security offers additional protection, giving you full visibility and control over cloud applications’ security and increased threat detection and recovery rates.
- Protect Data: Backing up apps in Azure keeps your data away from potential security threats, avoiding additional costs and business disruptions while ensuring compliance.
- Monitor: Azure Monitor helps you easily monitor and track the health of your cloud data, apps and other infrastructure, alongside providing the right insights and analytics.
Azure has been increasing in popularity for its effective options in the right budgets. As the statistics show, Azure accounts for around 30 percent of the overall cloud market and 17% of the IaaS and PaaS market shares.
Four Azure Migration Alternate Strategies
For successful infrastructure migration to Microsoft Azure, the enterprises will need a migration strategy that addresses their organizational requirements.
The following are the foremost strategies for migrating an application to the Azure Cloud:
1) Lift-Shift Policy: In this strategy, the applications from the on-premise platform are migrated to the Cloud without impacting the underlying application settings. It is suitable for legacy migrations and teams with limited Cloud computing and Azure skills can leverage this strategy.
- Pros: This strategy allows users to migrate quickly and easily with lesser application breakdown issues.
- Cons: Application may not leverage the Cloud resources to the fullest.
2) Subjective to Code Changes: This strategy involves some changes only to the application code, leaving other significant aspects. The user can leverage the benefits of IaaS and PaaS derivatives such as Azure App Service, Azure Functions and Azure SQL Database Managed containers. This is suitable for firms where application portability is a concern.
- Pros: This is a quick way to improve your infrastructure.
- Cons: It is not feasible to make major alterations to the infrastructure.
3) Architecture Revamp: This approach involves modification, optimization and deployment of apps (that demand high agility, scalability and resilience) to the Cloud platform.
- Pros: Allows you to reach scalability requirements cost-effectively. New applications can leverage Azure capabilities. Improved Agility.
- Cons: Complex, expensive and migration involves a high risk of faults and service disruption.
4) Restructure: This approach involves the redevelopment of applications from scratch using cloud-based technologies by using Azure PaaS. With this, the firm can avail complete development and deployment services. This strategy is suitable when you have applications with limited functionality and lifespan and slow down the business processes.
- Pros: No expense and complexity of software licenses, middleware, and existing resources.
- Cons: The level of functionalities in custom-made apps will be decreased.
Even after choosing the most beneficial strategy, you might encounter the following challenges during your cloud migration journey. Let’s have a glance!
Azure Migration Challenges and Ways to Overcome Them:
1) A Paradigm Shift: The primary challenge that arises during Azure migration is a misunderstanding of the concepts pertaining to a cloud platform and on-premise systems. Before starting the migration process, the management should train their teams with Azure’s unique attributes and prepare them for a paradigm shift in the Cloud platform.
2) Provisioning Local Bandwidth: When migrating to an Azure platform, the firm should calculate the required local bandwidth capacity beforehand. In the case of a hybrid cloud platform, the firm should acknowledge that traffic that previously ran over high-speed, low-latency LAN will run over the WAN. So, one should create enough local bandwidth.
3) Migration Downtime: It is evident that downtime is inevitable during the Cloud migration journey. So, the firms should strategically plan each step of migration such that the downtime has minimal impact.
4) Underlying Dependencies: As almost all applications are interdependent, the dependencies should be taken care of when migrating applications to the Cloud platform. These configuration connections should be determined beforehand to prevent service interruptions.
5) Security Concerns: The fear of losing confidential data and security breaches is the prime concern while moving the infrastructure and software to a Cloud platform. So, the firms must deploy security protocols and implement a virtual private network with end-to-end encryption.
6) Application Compatibility: Before initiating the Cloud migration process, the firms should ensure that applications, apart from databases, are compatible with the Cloud environment. The applications should be deployed into the Azure test environment and tested for their compatibility.
7) Dealing Adversity: Hefty data loss or application errors pertaining to Azure Cloud migration are unlikely to occur. However, it is essential to have a robust resilience plan in hand. Have adequate knowledge of unique disaster scenarios during Cloud migration and plan accordingly.
When migrating to an Azure Cloud, underestimating the planning scope and requisites will incur severe issues and disrupt the business process. So, the key takeaway is to prepare yourself before leaping to the Cloud migration process adequately.
Azure Cloud Migration Benefits
Migrating to Azure cloud platform offers you key business benefits such as:
- High productivity
- Enhanced scalability
- Increased availability
- Faster disaster recovery
- Effective backup storage
- Advanced data security
- Reduced costs
AWS vs Azure vs GCP – A Breakdown of Cloud Migration Services
How Veritis can Help You?
Veritis team of Azure cloud consulting experts can offer you effective cloud migration support in line with your business goals and planned expenditure.