The cloud is a no-brainer if you want a scalable, secure and cost-effective digital solution for your business. In fact, research reveals 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020.
While there are many solutions available, we recommend Microsoft Azure to our customers. Not only is it a leading system, offering a vast range of cloud services, but you can also quickly deploy, manage and scale your servers and applications across the global Microsoft cloud network.
However, many businesses do not know where to start with a migration to Azure. So, here are our tips to help you migrate to Microsoft Azure and ensure the best Azure SQL Server Performance for your budget.
#1 Get Business Buy-in
As with any major transformational project, clear communication is required to get buy-in across your organisation for your migration to Azure. To achieve this, we would recommend that you:
- Clearly communicate your business case - You need to conduct thorough research into your systems and operations to build your business case. This includes your business drivers and an evaluation of the suitability of your current architecture for migration.
- Work with your exec team - Understand and analyse the priorities of your executive team. Try to ascertain what risks they view as high-priority and their attitude towards new technologies. Also, clearly explain the benefits and risks and present a clear timeline for your proposed migration.
- Work with your non-exec teams – create a clear communication plan to achieve buy-in throughout your migration. You may also want to identify cloud champions to fight your corner, implement best practices and invest in early training to mitigate any concerns.
#2 Evaluate Your Capacity
You need to analyse your current environment and forecast the future use and capacity of your proposed Azure deployment.
To achieve this, identify which IT assets you intend to include in your migration. You should also update your inventory of web applications. This can help minimise the risk of missing a key dependency during your migration.
#3 Conduct Performance and Risk Assessments
You need to understand the current performance of your servers, including your networking resources and storage requirements before you conduct your migration. This is because, once you understand your performance utilisation, you can start to understand how to optimise your Azure SQL Server performance.
This often comes as a pleasant surprise for many businesses, allowing them to reduce costs. For example, many servers sit idle in data centres, taking up space and using up power. These idle servers are the best candidates to move to Azure and cut costs.
Finally, once you understand your performance requirements, you need to do a risk assessment to ensure your applications still run with the same on-cloud Azure SQL Server Performance, compared to your current strategy.
#4 Create a Migration Strategy
Once you have completed these steps, you need to create a migration strategy for your business.
Every migration strategy is different for every business. While some organisations only require a simple “life and shift” rehost strategy, others may need to undertake a full rebuild, for example. Alternatively, you may need to refactor or rearchitect your infrastructure. Let’s look at these four different strategies now.
This is a no-code option, which lets you migrate your existing applications quickly. It is sometimes called a “lift and shift” migration.
This option is often used to migrate applications that do not need to immediately change their capabilities. It is also suitable for those apps designed with Azure IaaS (Infrastructure as a Server) scalability in mind.
As a result, a rehost provides your business with all of the benefits of the cloud, but without any risky (and potentially expensive) code changes.
This cloud migration strategy involves some changes to the design of your application but no major changes to your codebase. It is sometimes referred to as a “repackage”. This strategy is often used when code portability is a concern.
A refactor is a quick way to modernise your applications. Using this strategy, your applications can drive innovation by taking advantage of Microsoft’s IaaS and PaaS (Platform as a Service) products. These include the Azure SQL Database Managed instances and containers, and the Azure App Service.
A rearchitect strategy is often used by businesses that want to take advantage of their existing applications, while harnessing the agility of the DevOps practices instilled in Azure. It is often implemented by businesses that need to modify an application’s existing code base to optimise it for the cloud.
This approach gives you the opportunity to modernise your applications, while using Azure’s capabilities to accelerate this process. As a result, you can scale and manage your applications with confidence and in a highly cost-effective manner.
For this final migration strategy, you need to rebuild your applications from scratch using cloud-native technologies.
This strategy is often used by businesses that need to build new cloud-based applications because, for example, their legacy applications are slowing them down due to their limited functionality.
However, the Azure PaaS provides you with a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud. As a result, you do not need to worry about the complexity and expense of procuring various software licences across your resources and can apply innovative DevOps practices.
With this cloud migration strategy, you can also manage your applications, while Azure manages everything else. As a result, you can build innovative apps that integrate cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT).
You need to have the right migration strategy in place to protect your corporate data and minimise downtime across your network.
At QUBARK, we conduct a thorough Azure Migration Study to help organisations make the best decision for their architecture and business. This comprehensive study includes an audit, where we identify what assets can be migrated and the best target solution, a cost projection, a full migration plan, and a presentation of our conclusions to your business.
We have already helped a wide range of companies succeed with their Azure migration by taking the hassle completely out of their hands; not only by completing the migration itself, but by being able to advise on the elements of Azure that would work in their business’ best interests.
If you’d like any further information about this service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.