What is Azure Migration? Azure Migration Step by Step Guide

by | Azure

Azure Migration

Migrating your system from on-premises data centers to Microsoft Azure can be a complex and time-consuming process. This article is designed to help businesses understand the fundamentals of Azure migration. In addition, it will also provide a clear roadmap for successfully transitioning to the Azure platform.

What Is Azure Migration? 

Azure migration is the process of moving an organization’s applications, or infrastructure from on-premises or another cloud provider to Microsoft Azure. This involves moving a single application or data set or a complete environment consisting of multiple applications and data sets to the Azure platform. In addition, Azure migration allows organizations to take advantage of the cloud’s scalability, reliability, and security benefits.

What Are The Different Phases Of Azure Migration Checklist Phases?

A detailed overview of the different migration phases is given below in a systematic order.

Pre-planning: Creating the right migration architecture

This step involves assessing the current state of applications and other data and determining the target architecture in Azure. The two important aspects in the planning phase include:

  • Understanding the current state of your workloads and applications
  • The scalability and performance of your workloads and applications

In addition to these technical considerations, planning for the operational aspects of your migration is essential. It includes identifying the teams  responsible for different aspects of the migration, such as planning, preparation, migration, and ongoing operations.

Choose The Integration Approach

When choosing the integration approach, it is vital to consider the complexity of your workloads and applications and their dependencies on on-premises resources. There are two different integration approaches available in Azure. Furthermore, it is also important to consider the resources and expertise available in your organization.

  • Shallow Cloud migration
  • Deep cloud migration

By following this Azure migration checklist, you can ensure that you choose the best integration approach for your organization.

Establish The Purpose of Migrating to Azure

The purpose of migrating to Azure can vary from organization to organization. However, some of the common reasons include cost savings, increased scalability, improved disaster recovery, and access to advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities.

Through careful planning and execution, organizations can ensure that the migration is successful and provides the desired benefits.

Determine The Key Migration Objectives and KPI’s

Determining key migration objectives and KPIs provides a clear and measurable way to evaluate the success of the migration. For example, some organizations may be looking to reduce costs, while others may be focused on improving scalability and disaster recovery capabilities. Whatever your objectives, it’s essential to ensure that they align with your overall business goals.

Establish A Performance Baseline

Establishing a performance baseline allows organizations to measure their systems’ current performance and identify any potential bottlenecks. In addition, with a performance baseline, it would be easier to determine the performance of migration.

Sort Out the Migration Components

This process involves identifying which components of the organization’s systems and applications will be migrated to Azure.  Organizations should take advantage of Azure Migrate, a tool that helps to discover, assess, and migrate on-premises workloads to Azure. It also helps to identify dependencies and interdependencies between components. Also, the Azure migrate pricing option is much simpler with the help of customized pricing options.

Decide Migration Method

Several methods are available for Azure migration, each with its own possible set of advantages and disadvantages.

  • Rehosting
  • Refactoring
  • Revisioning
  • Rebuilding

Organizations should carefully evaluate their current system and their long-term goals, to determine which migration method best fit their needs.

Implementing The Migration

This step involves executing the migration plan, which was developed in the previous stages. Furthermore, it also requires a combination of technical  support and excellent project management skills. Azure Site Recovery and Azure Database Migration Service are advanced migration services to implement the migration process. These services help to automate and simplify the migration process, reducing the risk of errors and downtime.

Test Workloads and Applications Functionality

Testing the functionality of workloads ensure that the applications are efficiently working in the new environment. Testing should be done in a controlled environment before the migration is finalized. Through this testing procedure, organizations are able to identify and fix any issues that may arise, such as compatibility problems or performance issues.

Furthermore, testing also ensures that the migration meets the organization’s security and compliance requirements and that all data is completely secured.

Continuously Monitor and Improve

This essential step ensures that the organization’s systems and applications run smoothly and efficiently after the migration. Monitoring should be done continuously to detect any issues or problems that may arise.

Organizations can also benefit from Azure’s built-in monitoring and management tools (Azure Monitor and Azure Log Analytics) to monitor and improve. Additionally, these tools provide real-time visibility of the performance, enabling organizations to identify and resolve issues quickly.

4 Steps to a Successful Azure Migration 

To ensure a successful Azure migration, we have clearly stated the steps needed for each phase.

Step 1: Plan 

  1. Before migrating to Azure, determine the business needs and goals. This includes understanding what workloads and applications need to be migrated. Also, determine any specific requirements or constraints.
  2. Conduct a thorough assessment of the existing on-premises infrastructure, including hardware, software, and network components. It will help identify any potential issues or challenges that may arise during the migration process.
  3. Determine the ideal target architecture for the migrated workloads and applications. It includes selecting the appropriate Azure services and resources, as well as defining the deployment model (e.g., IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS).
  4. Develop a high-level project plan that outlines the steps and resources required to complete the migration. It should include a timeline, budget, and key milestones.
  5. Identify and involve key stakeholders in the migration process. This includes IT staff, business users, and any third-party vendors or partners.
  6. Obtain the necessary approvals and resources to move forward with the migration. It includes approval of required resources and budget, as well as obtaining any necessary permissions or approvals from relevant parties.

Step 2: Migrate 

  1. Identify and prioritize the workloads that need to be migrated to Azure. This could include applications, databases, virtual machines, and other data sources.
  2. Select the appropriate migration method for each workload. Options include Azure Migrate, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Database Migration Service.
  3. Set up Azure infrastructure to support the migrated workloads. It may include creating virtual machines, and networking resources.
  4. Perform a test migration of the workloads to ensure they function correctly in the Azure environment.
  5. Set up monitoring and alerting to ensure that the migrated workloads run smoothly. Also, it will help to identify any issues that may arise.
  6. Perform the final migration of the workloads to Azure, ensuring that all data is transferred correctly and that there is no disruption to business operations.
  7. Validate the migrated workloads to ensure they function as expected in the Azure environment.
  8. Maintain documentation of the migration process and any issues that you have encountered to ensure that future migrations can be performed smoothly.

Step 3: Optimize 

  1. Determine which workloads are most important to optimize first and create a plan to tackle them one by one. It may include analyzing current usage patterns, identifying areas for cost savings, and determining the potential benefits of migrating certain workloads to Azure.
  2. Use Azure tools such as Azure Monitor and Azure Advisor to assess the performance and scalability of your migrated workloads. This will help identify any bottlenecks or potential issues and allow you to make adjustments to optimize performance.
  3. Take advantage of Azure services such as Azure Functions, Azure Automation, and Azure DevOps to automate processes and improve efficiency. It will assist you in saving time and reduce the risk of human error during the optimization process.
  4. Regularly monitor and review your migrated workloads to ensure they run smoothly and efficiently. Use Azure tools to track performance, identify any potential issues, and make any necessary adjustments to optimize performance.
  5. Seek out guidance and support from Azure experts, such as Microsoft Cloud engineers, to ensure you are making the most of Azure services and optimizing your workloads to their full potential.

Step 4: Secure and Manage 

  1. Implementing Azure Security Center helps protect Azure resources by providing security recommendations, threat alerts, and monitoring for Azure resources.
  2. Configuring Azure Identity and Access Management (IAM) allows you to manage access to your Azure resources. You can create and manage Azure AD users and groups, assign role-based access to resources, and set up multi factor authentication for added security.
  3. Enabling Azure Backup allows the creation of backups of Azure VMs, SQL databases, and storage accounts. Also, it provides features such as a recovery services vault, and point-in-time restore to help ensure that your data is safe and recoverable in case of an outage or disaster.
  4. Setting up Azure Monitor helps monitor your Azure resources’ performance and availability. It provides features such as alerts, logs, and metrics to help quickly identify and resolve issues with your resources.
  5. Configuring Azure Resource Manager allows you to manage your Azure resources as a group. You can create resource groups to organize your resources, apply policies to enforce governance and compliance, and use tags to organize and track your resources.

Most Common Challenges That Businesses Face During Azure Migration Process 

Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise looking to modernize your infrastructure, understanding and addressing the challenges of migration are important. During the migration process, businesses often face the following challenges that slow down the process of Azure migration.

  • The Complexity of the Azure Migration Process 

Migrating to the cloud can be a complex process, especially for companies with large and complex IT environments. It requires careful planning and execution to ensure that all data, applications, and systems are migrated successfully without disruption to business operations.

  • Security Concerns

One of the main concerns for companies considering Azure migration is their data security. Companies must ensure that their data is secure and compliant with industry regulations during the migration process.

  • Integration with Existing Systems

Another challenge companies may face the integration of their existing systems with the cloud platform. This requires careful planning and testing to ensure that all systems work seamlessly.

  • Cost and Budget Constraints

Migrating to the cloud can be a costly process, especially for companies with large IT environments. Companies need to carefully consider their budget and the costs associated with the migration process.

  • Lack of In-House Expertise 

Many companies do not have the necessary in-house expertise to successfully migrate to the Azure platform. As a result, they need to hire external consultants or IT service providers to run a smooth Azure migration process.

Top 9 Benefits of Azure Migration

Migrating to the Azure cloud can benefit businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition in today’s fast-paced business environment. The Azure platform offers a wide range of tools and services that can help businesses to scale their resources, improve security, increase productivity, and reach a global audience. In addition, there are several benefits of migrating to Azure, including:

1. Cost Savings

Azure offers cost-effective hosting and storing solutions and flexible pricing options that allow organizations to pay only for what they use.

2. Scalability

With Azure, you can easily scale up or down to meet your changing needs, which is not always possible with on-premises infrastructure.

3. Security

It provides a secure, compliant, and resilient platform for storing and managing data, with multiple layers of protection and continuous monitoring.

4. Increased Productivity 

Azure offers a range of tools and services that can help organizations streamline their processes, automate tasks, and improve collaboration.

5. Integration

Microsoft Azure can easily integrate with other cloud platforms and on-premises systems, allowing you to create a hybrid cloud environment.

6.Flexibility

This platform offers a wide range of services and tools, allowing you to choose the best solution for your business needs.

7. Global Availability 

Azure has a global network of data centers, allowing you to access your resources from anywhere in the world.

8. Improved Performance  

It provides fast and reliable performance, allowing you to deliver a seamless user experience.

9.Scalability

Azure provides on-demand computing resources that can easily scale up or down as needed, allowing businesses to quickly and easily adjust to changing workloads.

For further details, refer to the blog, What benefits can be gained from an Azure migration?

Azure Migration Tools: A Guide to Move Your Workload to The Cloud

As software enterprises evolve, the need for efficient and effective cloud migration tools becomes increasingly important. Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, offers various migration tools to help businesses seamlessly move their applications and data to the cloud. We will explore the various Azure migration tools available and discuss their features, to help software enterprises make informed decisions when planning their cloud migration strategy.

Azure Migrate 

Azure Migrate is a potent tool that helps organizations plan and executes their migration to Azure. With Azure Migrate, businesses can easily discover, assess, and migrate their on-premises workloads to the cloud with minimal disruption to their operations.

 Key Features

  • The assessment feature of Azure migrate allows organizations to determine the best approach for moving their workloads to Azure. The detailed analysis will help to identify which applications can be moved as it is, and which require re-architecting.
  • Azure Migrate provides you with detailed migration recommendations, including an estimated target deployment cost, and steps to perform the migration.
  • It also supports the migration of various types of workloads, including VMware VMs, Hyper-V VMs, Physical servers, Databases, and more
  • Azure migrates also enables you to track the progress of your migration and troubleshoot problems through integration with Azure Monitor and Azure Log Analytics

With Azure migrate dependency mapping, discovery, and assessment capabilities, businesses can better understand their current infrastructure and plan their migration more precisely. Furthermore, Azure Migrate is a must-have tool to ensure a smooth, efficient, and cost-effective migration process.

Azure Database Migration Service (DMS)

Azure Database Migration Service (DMS) is a service that allows you to migrate your databases to Azure. This service allows you to perform a “lift and shift” migration of your existing databases to Azure without any changes to your application.

 Key Features

  • DMS supports the migration of various types of databases such as SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and PostgreSQL
  • Azure Database Migration Service has the ability to perform both online and offline migrations. Online migrations allow businesses to keep their databases up and running during migration, minimizing disruption to their operations. Offline migrations allow businesses to perform a migration with minimal disruptions to IT infrastructure.
  • DMS provides detailed migration recommendations, including estimated target deployment costs and migration process.
  • It ensures high availability and data durability during migration through integration with Azure services like Azure Virtual Network, Azure storage, and Azure SQL Database. 

Azure Database Migration Service (DMS) is a powerful and versatile tool that can help businesses securely migrate their on-premises databases to Azure. Furthermore, DMS provides easy monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities, which ensures a smooth migration process, minimizing downtime and impact on the business.

Azure DataBox

Azure DataBox is offline data migration solution that allows businesses to easily and securely migrate large amounts of data to Azure. The solution is designed to help businesses overcome the challenges of transferring large amounts of data over the internet.

Key Features

  • Azure DataBox Gateway, a cloud-based service, enables customers to manage their DataBox devices and track the progress of data migration.
  • Azure DataBox provides enhanced security features to protect data during transfer. Data is encrypted at rest and in transit, and the physical device is tamper-proof to protect data from unauthorized access.
  • This service provides detailed monitoring and reporting capabilities, allowing customers to track their data transfer progress and troubleshoot issues as they arise.
  • Azure DataBox also includes detailed documentation and support to ensure a smooth migration process.

Overall, Azure DataBox is a cost-effective solution that can help businesses of all sizes easily transfer large amounts of data to Azure.

Azure Site Recovery (ASR)

ASR is a disaster recovery solution that allows you to replicate your on-premises systems to Azure. In the event of disaster, a disaster recovery service provided by Microsoft Azure aids in protecting your on-premises and Azure virtual machines (VMs).

Key Features

  • ASR enables large enterprises a test failover feature that allows enterprises to test their disaster recovery plan without impacting production environments.
  • It supports a wide range of operating systems, including Windows and Linux, and supports both physical and virtual machines.
  • The solution also supports replication of multi-tier applications, such as Microsoft SharePoint and SQL Server, with automatic configuration and recovery of dependencies.
  • ASR integrates with Azure Monitor, providing detailed monitoring and reporting capabilities for failover and recovery operations.
  • ASR is available as a pay-as-you-go service, providing a cost-effective way to ensure the business continuity.

Azure Site Recovery is a comprehensive disaster recovery solution that supports replicating multi-tier applications and provides detailed monitoring and reporting capabilities.

Azure Express Route 

It is a service offered by Microsoft that enables businesses to create private connections between their on-premises infrastructure and Azure data centers. This service provides a more reliable, secure, and consistent way to access Azure services than the public internet.

Key Features

  • ExpressRoute enables businesses to create private connections to Azure data centers using their network infrastructure.
  • ExpressRoute also provides enhanced security by eliminating the need to traverse the public internet, reducing the risk of data breaches and other security threats.
  • The service offers a range of connectivity options, including Ethernet, MPLS, and VPN, to meet the needs of different business scenarios.
  • ExpressRoute also supports Azure ExpressRoute for Microsoft peering, which allows businesses to connect to Azure services such as Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform with ExpressRoute.
  • ExpressRoute is a pay-as-you-go service with no upfront costs, so businesses can scale their connections as needed.

Large and small businesses can also use ExpressRoute to connect to Azure services across different regions and countries, providing a more consistent and reliable user experience. In addition, the service provides a more reliable and consistent connection to Azure services, with lower latencies and higher throughputs than the public internet.Top of FormTop of Form

How Much Does Migration to Azure Cloud Cost? 

Whether you are migrating from SQL to Azure or from other clouds to Azure, the first element you will think of is the cost of migration. The cost of migrating to Azure Cloud can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the size and complexity of your current infrastructure, the amount of data you need to migrate, and the specific services and resources you plan to use in Azure.

The cost of migrating to Azure Cloud can vary significantly depending on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of your current infrastructure, the amount of data you need to migrate, and the specific services and resources you plan to use in Azure. In general, you can expect to pay for the following when migrating to Azure:

  • Infrastructure Costs: These include the cost of virtual machines, storage, and networking resources.
  • Data transfer Costs: If you need to transfer a large amount of data to Azure, you may incur data transfer charges.
  • Services and Features: Azure offers a wide range of services and features, such as databases, analytics, and AI, which can be purchased on a pay-as-you-go basis.

To get a more accurate estimate of the cost of migrating to Azure, it is a good idea to use the Azure pricing calculator. This tool allows you to specify your infrastructure and workload requirements and estimate costs based on current Azure pricing.

Why Are Companies Migrating from AWS to Microsoft Azure? 

There are numerous reasons why companies migrate from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Microsoft Azure. Here are some common reasons why Azure is better than AWS.

  • Reduced Licensing Cost 

Organizations that have already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem may find that using Microsoft Azure is more cost-effective. This is because they can utilize their existing licenses to run workloads in the cloud rather than purchasing new licenses to migrate on-premises Windows server instances to AWS. Also, the Azure hybrid feature in Microsoft Azure allows users to utilize their existing Windows Server and SQL Server on-premises licenses in the cloud with no additional cost.

  • Integration with Microsoft Products 

Many companies already use Microsoft products, such as Office 365 and Dynamics, and may find it easier to integrate Azure into their existing systems and infrastructure.

  • Global Presence 

AWS has a limitation on transferring data between its availability zones, which are located in 24 geographic regions. On the other hand, Azure has a strong global presence with data centers in more than 60 regions around the world, providing companies with a reliable and secure platform for their global operations.

  • Develop a Machine Learning Model with Zero Coding  

Both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure offer platforms for developing machine learning models. AWS offers Amazon Sagemaker, which requires coding to develop a machine-learning model. At the same time, Azure provides the Machine Learning Studio with a visual, drag-and-drop interface that does not require any coding.

  • Expertise and Support 

Microsoft has a long history of providing enterprise-level solutions. Also, it has a large team of experts and support staff available to help companies migrate to Azure and troubleshoot any issues.

Cloud Migration from AWS To Azure  

There are a few steps you can take to migrate from AWS to Azure:

  • Identify the Resources You Want to Migrate: Make a list of the resources you want to migrate from AWS to Azure. It includes applications, data, and infrastructure.
  • Plan Your Migration: Determine the best method for migrating each resource based on its type and size. There are several options for migrating resources, including using Azure Migration Center, Azure Site Recovery, or Azure Data Factory.
  • Set Up an Azure Account: If you do not already have an Azure account, set one up and choose the necessary services in Azure.
  • Migrate Your Resources: Follow the instructions for the chosen migration method to transfer your resources to Azure.
  • Test and validate the migration: After the migration is complete, test the resources in Azure to ensure they are functioning as expected.
  • Cutover to Azure: Once you have confirmed that the resources are working properly in Azure, you can cutover to Azure and decommission the resources in AWS.

Unlock the potential of Azure migration services with Kloudeo 

Are you looking for a reliable cloud migration service provider? At Kloudeo, we have a team of expert Microsoft Azure Migration Consultants to help you with smooth and successful Azure migration. Our team will thoroughly assess and address any potential weaknesses in your current system to ensure the integrity of your new cloud-based platform. Our team follows best practices to ensure seamless operation.

Conclusion

Azure Migration is a valuable process for companies looking to move their on-premises infrastructure and applications to the cloud. Organizations can successfully plan and execute their migration to Azure by following the step-by-step guide outlined in this blog. Additionally, organizations can improve efficiency and competitiveness by utilizing Azure’s advanced features and services.

For further inquiries, visit Kloudeo now! 

 

Written by Kashif Hassan

Kashif

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