10-Step Azure Migration Checklist

by | Azure

Migrating to the Azure cloud may seem simple, but various technicalities are involved in successful Azure migration. The seamless transition is only possible when you Hire Microsoft Cloud Engineers. To avoid failures in Azure migration, thorough planning, and a laser-focused project approach is required.

According to the research, one out of three cloud migrations projects fail due to various reasons. But if done right with all the essential steps from the Azure migration checklist, it offers various advantages to different enterprises.

How to Migrate to Azure Cloud: Azure Migration Checklist

Cloud migration is a revolutionary process for various businesses, but with Azure, it is also a game-changer process for your enterprise. With several advantages to increase security, boost efficiency, and increase flexibility, it tops the list of the migration process compared to other cloud computing platforms. Agility, cost, certainty, and other commercial and technological advantages of a successful cloud transfer are enormous. Still, the damage of a botched move is also enormous—impaired scalability, data loss, business interruption, etc. However, moving to Azure requires careful planning, like any other significant organizational change.

Although cloud migrations are frequently more straightforward than cloud transformations, this does not imply they are accessible. There are many factors to take into account and many preparations to make while the Microsoft Azure Migration Consultants will inculcate the 10-step Azure Migration Checklist. Here, we have listed the 10 essential steps for successful cloud migration. We will walk you through every one of them.

Azure Migration Checklist Phases

  1. Pre-planning: Creating the right migration architecture
  2. Choose the integration approach
  3. Establish the purpose of migrating to Azure
  4. Determine the key migration objectives and KPIs
  5. Establish a performance baseline
  6. Sort out the migration components
  7. Decide migration method
  8. Implementing the migration
  9. Test workloads and applications functionality
  10. Continuously monitor and improve

Step 1: Pre-planning: Creating the Right Migration Architecture

The first and foremost step is making an Azure cloud migration plan with the defined business goals for your enterprise. You can create a clear and concise migration strategy that meets your needs by defining the key goals. As a part of this process, your organization must find the answers to the following questions.

How the transition from on-premises to Azure will benefit your business?
What essential applications and data sets are you looking to shift to Azure?
What is the final design of the Azure cloud infrastructure you have in your mind?

Figuring out all these questions are important for your business to succeed in the long term from Azure cloud migration. At this point, hiring Azure Cloud Architects to lead the full-fledged cloud migration journey is crucial. They are primarily responsible for defining the necessary refactoring for migration, designing data migration strategies, and selecting the order of applications and datasets for migration. To assist you in a seamless Azure cloud transition, they will assist you in all strategic and technical planning throughout your migration project.

Step 2: Choose the Integration Approach

When you move your dataset and applications to Azure, you can choose the two main options during migration. The two primary levels of cloud integration include deep and shallow cloud integration.

Shallow Cloud Integration

The lift and shift method of moving to Azure is known as shallow cloud integration. Few or no changes are made to the cloud servers to execute the application on Azure. As a result, the application is ready to work in the new environment with the slightest modifications. 

In this approach, you normally do not make use of the Azure-specific set of services. Furthermore, the application is lifted as it is and shifted to Azure in the same manner, and this model is also known as lift and shift. 

Deep Cloud Integration

To make use of Azure cloud capabilities, you can change your application throughout the migration process; this method is known as deep cloud integration. Deep cloud integration is a complex process; at many points, you need the assistance of an Azure migration specialist. Many Azure cloud initiatives go above and beyond the lift and shift procedure. Many businesses implement a specific cloud optimization approach to protect their datasets and benefit from the Azure cloud platform.

Step 3: Establish the Purpose of Migrating to Azure

Identifying the main benefits you want from migrating to Azure will help you comprehend the Azure platform services you need and cut off the ones you do not.

Do you want to modernize your business through Azure migration? 

If, essentially, this is the reason for your migration to Azure, then you should be careful to tick the complete Azure migration checklist for measurable benefits. 

Step 4: Determine the Key Migration Objectives and KPIs

It is crucial at the start to clearly define the goals to follow the straight direction for Azure migration. The objectives generally fall into two broad categories: cost benefits and operational benefits. In addition, the KPIs should measure the operational and financial benefits of moving to Azure. The primary categories for KPIs are the following:

Main Category  Sample KPI 
User Experience  Page load time
Response time
Session duration
Infrastructure  CPU usage
Disk performance
Memory usage
Network throughput
Application Performance  Error rates
Business Engagement  Cart ads
Conversions and conversion%
Engagement rates

Once all the workloads are transferred to Azure, you will be able to assess any improvements and errors that have been made.

Step 5: Establish a Performance Baseline

Baselining is the process of evaluating your current service performance to evaluate whether the post-migration performance will be acceptable or not. It also confirms the post-migration performance and assists you in the migration plan completion. Additionally, baselines can help to identify any issues that develop during a cloud migration.

Step 6: Sort Out the Migration Components

It is totally upon the business owners whether they want to move their application o Azure all at once, component by component or service by service.

Identify Service Connections

Figuring out how services are related to one another and which services rely on the other services is essential. Also, the monitoring tool can monitor the application performance and create dependency diagrams for complex and large applications. Furthermore, the dependency diagram determines which components should be migrated in what order.

For more details, refer to our blog; what is Azure Migration? Azure migration step-by-step guide

Step 7: Decide Migration Method

At this point, you are clear about the key expectations from Azure cloud migration. Additionally, ticking all the points of Azure migration checklist to proceed with this stage is essential. The decision of the setup of the Azure cloud environment is already made. But the integral question is how you will move your data sets, systems, and application to Azure.

To achieve the results, it is important to evaluate all the data sets to choose the appropriate method to optimize and host them in Azure. The well-known framework for this purpose is the 5R strategy.


The backup of the current infrastructure is created through re-hosting, which helps in the long run when migrating the on-premises data and application host in Azure. Both servers are in working condition until the new Azure environment is fully operational. 


Before moving the application to Azure, the new Azure system must already be built. A highly experienced cloud migration partner is required to create the new system in Azure.


This is the ideal range between refactoring and re-hosting. Your new Azure could server will be modeled the same way as the current server, with specific improvements in the areas that could perform better in Azure.


In some cases, if your company uses specially created software, you might need to create entirely new software compatible with your Azure cloud server. Azure offers some pre-made solutions that you can utilize to design something superior to what you’re now utilizing. However, rebuilding any necessary software typically costs a little higher.


You may replicate your outdated system by using Azure-based versions of your programs. However, some SaaS systems may have higher overhead expenses than your old system, requiring more expertise.

Step 8: Implementing the Migration

We now have reached the migration stage, where we begin putting all that preparation into action. The ideal option for your business depends on what will benefit it the most. Data migration is not a “one size fits all” process. Your data can be moved in three different ways.

  • Bidirectional Sync
  • Upward Sync
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) Sync

Step 9: Test Workloads and Applications Functionality

Testing the applications in the Azure environment is important. Are your new programs working the way you expected, along with all the necessary benefits?

Every application and workload migrated to Azure should show peak performance. The purpose of testing is to make sure that everything is operating correctly. Additionally, to ensure that you’re utilizing any new features and meeting the KPIs you defined at the beginning of the transfer process.

Step 10: Continuously Monitor and Improve

Even if you harness most of the benefits of Azure, successful Azure migration is still an ongoing process. The new Azure cloud environment is closely monitored to identify any areas for innovation or improvement.  Effective monitoring involves more than merely noticing issues or pinpointing potential improvement areas. Knowing when to get rid of unnecessary items is another important aspect.



Written by Kashif Hassan


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