Migration to Azure - Strategy

25 Feb 2021 0 minutes to read Contributors

Migration to Azure

 In this series of blog we will discuss about how to strategize, plan and migrate from on-premise to Azure. We will be divide this into following articles

  • Migration to Azure – Strategy
  • Migration to Azure – Azure VMs
  • Migration to Azure – Azure SQL Database

Migration to Azure - Strategy

Migrating your datacentre to Azure is a big step for small businesses. There are many benefits to moving to the cloud – like increased productivity, better agility and decreased costs – but getting there is a daunting process.

In this guide, we’ll break down the specific steps involved in each phase to guarantee a successful migration.

Microsoft recommends a four-step migration process for migrating to Azure:

  • Discover: Catalog your software and workloads
  • Assess: Categorize applications and workloads
  • Target: Identify the destination(s) for each of your workloads
  • Migrate: Make the actual move

 

Discover

Discovery involves identifying all existing workloads and applications in your infrastructure so you can prepare them for migration. It’s an extensive and tedious process, but critical to success.

Virtual Networks

To maintain the same datacentre performance, security and stability while managing costs, analyze your on-premises workloads in your existing virtual or physical environment and compare them to equivalent resources in Azure.

Storage Solution

Purchasing new storage every time you reach capacity is a constant burden. There are a few types of Azure storage to consider depending on the nature of data.

  • Standard vs. premium: Regular Azure storage has a certain IOPS maximum for each virtual disk. Premium storage delivers high-performance, low-latency disk support for virtual machines with input/output-intensive workloads.
  • Hot vs. cold: How we store our data in Azure depends on how often users access it. A multi-temperature data management solution will help us conserve costs. Hot data requires fast storage, while data that is rarely accessed (cold data) is stored on the slowest storage.

 

Assess

Once you have a better understanding of Azure products and how they fit into your migration strategy, it’s time to evaluate your existing infrastructure. Here are some tools to help:

Microsoft’s Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment tool

This tool automatically inspects your on-premises environment, whether physical or virtualized, and provides a checklist for moving your workloads to the cloud. After the assessment, the tool generates a report detailing the workload attributes/configuration that are ready to move and what requires further investigation before moving. The report also provides additional resources to resolve issues and prepare the workload for a move to Azure.

Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) toolkit

The MAP Toolkit is an agentless inventory, assessment and reporting tool that securely assesses IT environments for various platform migrations including Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 2010, Office 365, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014, Hyper-V, Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track and Azure. Since version 8.0, MAP Toolkit can assess environments and provide readiness information for both physical and virtualized workloads migrating to Azure.

Both of these tools can help you carefully review and document all applications, workloads and processes you currently use, including:

  • Current Infrastructure: Map your virtual and physical system configurations to an equivalent Azure instance. Evaluate specs like CPUs, disk size and storage demand.
  • Current Network Architecture and Capacity: Assessing your network architecture and capacity will help you evaluate bandwidth to replicate changes made on virtual machines. Use a capacity planning tool or bandwidth assessment tool to determine whether replicating a virtual machine would kill your network.
  • Performance Requirements: You need to know what IOPS you’ll require to avoid lags and maintain the same performance in your new Azure environment.
  • High Availability/Resilience Requirements: You need a system that will function in the event of failure. Thoroughly document your disaster recovery processes, resiliency configurations and recovery time objectives to ensure your data can be restored easily in your new environment.
  • Maintenance Process: Once you move to Azure, what maintenance steps need to happen to continue running effectively? Determine how your maintenance process will need to change in the new cloud environment.

 

Target

Now that you’ve audited your existing environment, it’s time to map out how to get your servers in Azure.

The three likeliest targets for your workloads are:

  • Microsoft Azure
  • A Cloud OS Network
  • Office 365

 

Migrate

Now that you’ve audited and prepared your existing workloads and applications, you’re ready to migrate to Azure.

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