Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service that provides businesses with benefits such as innovative operating models, operational excellence, and organic agility to compete in today’s fast-paced marketplace. But to reap these benefits, you’ll need to get your operations onto Azure.
That’s easier said than done.
Microsoft Azure migration entails migrating all your infrastructure, data, and applications to the cloud. Doing this is complex and time-consuming. Microsoft does have a tool called Azure Migrate to facilitate this process. And while this does streamline the migration, there still needs to be a team in play to do that work and make sure everything ends up in the right place, and in line with modern coding languages and approaches.
If you’re going to manage this in-house, you’ll need a team with expertise in the necessary languages and applications as well as the bandwidth to handle the project. If you don’t, you’ll need to train current employees, scale up your internal IT staff – or both. This can be resource-intensive and time-consuming, eating into the efficiencies gained by migrating to the cloud.
For many businesses, outsourcing Azure migration to a nearshore service provider is the best option.
Before you begin the Azure migration journey, your team will have to select a migration strategy. Also known as cloud rationalization, this process entails evaluating assets and identifying the best method for migrating them to the cloud. This process can be complex. There are five different strategies- rehost, refractor, rearchitect, rebuild and replace- and the use of one or a hybrid of these rationalization methods is best determined on a case-by-case basis.
Once you’ve identified a strategy, you must begin the actual migration process, which includes three steps.
First, you need to break open your app and redevelop it for the cloud. This means re-architecting and writing code for the application and developing, testing, and deploying it. This stage is the most resource- and labor-intensive, requiring a high volume of custom coding. For businesses that don’t have the in-house bandwidth to handle this, an outsourced team can help keep the project on track and on budget.
Once you’ve re-developed your app, it’s finally time to migrate the database. Microsoft does provide a database migration service that can streamline the process. However, the availability of this service can be spotty, particularly for countries other than the U.S. and Canada. If you’re outside the covered region, you’ll need an IT team to handle the this project. And even if it’s available in your region, you’ll still need personnel to manage and QA the migration.
Once you’ve updated your application and migrated the database, the next step is to launch the application. After that, the job is done, right? Not quite.
The optimization process is critical to enhancing the way you use the cloud.
There’s no easy solution here. To optimize cloud usage, you’ll need to monitor costs, take advantage of savings offers from Microsoft and look for new opportunities to cut usage or reinvest in new projects.
The goal here is to maximize performance while keeping costs down. Managing cloud costs plays a huge role in achieving ROI on your cloud investment.
Optimization will be critical after launch but will also be a necessary part of ongoing management of your new infrastructure.
Azure migration and cloud optimization are tough, lengthy processes. And while the process is worthwhile for its long-term benefits, it’s certainly something you won’t want to do twice if you don’t have to. Once you have your infrastructure migrated to the cloud, it’s critical to keep the databases and applications up to date so you don’t have to re-architect infrastructure again.
Additionally, ongoing security will be essential to protect company and user data. As the rates and damages of cyberattacks and data breaches grow, data protection and security monitoring will be indispensable to the management of your cloud infrastructure.
Keeping your applications and databases up-to-date and secure requires 24/7 monitoring throughout the life of the infrastructure. For organizations with a large IT staff, this might not present a problem. But for many companies, allocating considerable resources to monitoring a project after completion isn’t feasible. As a result, managed IT services might be a better option.
Migrating to Azure calls for a skilled and efficient team. For businesses with smaller or overburdened IT teams, nearshore outsourcing will make more sense than going it alone.