The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many businesses, forcing them to look towards cloud solutions and remote working as the future of business practices. While some businesses have already made the switch, some organizations are overwhelmed with the company data and critical workloads transition to cloud infrastructure.
Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform, Azure, is a popular choice because of its competitive advantages to organizations, such as optimized costs, simplified management and monitoring processes, increased flexibility and scalability, and enhanced security.
However, employees who operate at the front line of the migration know that the transition of the company’s data and workloads to the cloud is easier said than done.
This article will review the procedures involved in migrating to Azure’s platform and provide azure document processing to make the change effective and painless.
Before we review the migration process, let’s consider a checklist of things to consider before starting your transition to the cloud.
Azure Migration Checklist
This list aims to give you a framework to help you plan the migration of your on-premises applications to Azure. Here’s the checklist:
- What resources will be migrated?
- How will the resources be migrated?
- What is the order of application dependencies?
Providing an accurate answer to the above questions will help you have a smooth migration:
- Determine the deployment methods and lifecycle processes
- Plan your account structure
- Plan your network topology
- Think big, start small
Azure Migration Process Explained
Microsoft suggests that there are four steps to a successful migration to Azure, which include the following:
Step 1: Discover and Evaluate
Before you embark on your migration journey, ensure you’ve prepared best by taking the following actions:
- Carry out a thorough analysis of your present environment.
- Determine which services, programs, and servers will be migrated.
- Please work with your IT and business teams from the start; they are the people who use these services. Involving them early in the process will ensure you stay on the same page as you advance, and they can also provide the needed advice and assistance for the migration.
- Apart from knowing the services and servers, construct a dependency map to give you an overview of how these services or serves interact. Most big organizations have hundreds of applications running before attempting to migrate to the cloud; you should investigate each application appropriately.
Step 2: Migrate
The next step is the actual migration. You should select the target systems and services – which you’ve highlighted in the previous step – in Azure. There won’t be any need to generate resources in Azure if you move existing VMware systems and relational databases.
If you don’t have an existing VMware system or relational databases, you can use Azure Migrate and Azure Database Migration Service tools to create the required resources. Building the resources is vital before migrating your on-premises servers to Azure to handle additional workloads.
Preferably, it’s ideal you start with smaller migrations instead of the bigger mission-critical workloads. This approach will help you learn and test the migration-related tools, methods, and procedures. Also, starting small helps lower error risks when transferring your bigger workloads in the future.
Step 3: Optimize
After successfully transferring your services to Azure, the next phase is where you review the implementation. Here, you’re looking for potential areas that you can optimize. For example, you can balance task needs and costs by performing ongoing cost analysis and review.
Step 4: Monitor
Following a successful migration to Azure, you need to monitor your workloads for efficiency. You can use the Azure Monitor feature for this. The Log Analytics agent is also necessary to collect data from your Azure virtual machines.
The Log Analytics agent allows you to configure reporting and alerting procedures. You can set up alerts in Azure Monitor for many data types, from specific strings from log files to metric values like CPU usage, health metrics, and auto-scale metrics.
Another excellent monitoring tool available on Azure is Azure Sentinel. This feature allows users to perform security information and event management on Azure and configure visibility and event logging for security events.
Azure Cloud Migration Best Practices
Here are some of the things you can do to ensure an effective and efficient migration to Azure:
1. Ask and Answer the Questions
When formulating the strategy for Azure migration, it always helps to ask questions from a business perspective. Businesses should deliberate on as many elements as possible for a smooth transition.
It’s essential to understand the following:
- Why are you moving to the cloud?
- What exactly are you going to move there? (the whole infrastructure or a part of it)
- What are the cost and ROI?
- What are the benefits?
- Other questions along those lines
2. Discover Your Infrastructure Components
Make a thorough and current list of every element of your infrastructure. By knowing which infrastructure will be affected beforehand, you will be ready for the migration of any application, service, or workload. Failure to complete this stage could result in significant problems both during the transition and subsequently.
3. Assess the Existing Components
Once you’ve created a list of the features and products you will move to the cloud, you should assess them to determine how prepared they are for the change.
Review, evaluate, and contrast your on-premises workloads with their Azure counterparts (such as database performance or storage capacity). Address any inconsistencies to guarantee that your system’s requirements are satisfied.
4. Maximize Azure Migration Tools
Microsoft provides valuable tools that make preparation and migration stages much more effortless. Some of these include:
- Cost Estimator
- Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment Tool
- Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit
- Microsoft Migration Accelerator
- Azure Migrate Tool
- Azure Migration Itself
This piece can give you an idea or framework to help you have a smooth Azure transition. Follow this guide and make the process less complicated.