07-27-17 | Blog Post

Cloud migration in Azure: How to successfully move to the cloud

Blog Posts

Data moving to the cloud for cloud migrationMicrosoft’s Azure cloud offers many benefits for organizations, most notably more efficiency, agility, and lower costs. But getting to the cloud can present a huge challenge and often seems overwhelming. There are many issues that can crop up before, during and after the migration process. We’ll talk about some common issues around moving to Microsoft Azure and how to overcome them.

Common issues include:

  • Application compatibility: Not all applications are meant for the cloud, especially public cloud. It’s a good idea to test the applications in the environment you’ll be running them in before migration. If you’re planning a lift-and-shift strategy to rehost your applications, you’ll certainly want to make sure the migration is even feasible. This includes closely examining your application’s architecture to see its possible integrations and dependencies on other on-premise workloads and services, including third-party vendor support.
  • DR planning: Data loss is always possible, especially during a migration. What does your DR plan call for in this scenario? Have you tested migration components of your applications and failing back to an on-premise environment in case something doesn’t go as planned? A strong DR plan is an absolute necessity for a successful migration to Microsoft Azure (or any cloud, for that matter).
  • Mitigating user/business downtime: When migrating to the cloud, keeping business operability is key. You’ll need to monitor your legacy application migration carefully to ensure there is minimal to no downtime. This includes cutover window times and making sure you’ve successfully executed more than one disaster recovery test.
  • Security: What protocols do you have in place at the application level to adequately protect you during a migration? Do you have end-to-end encryption or a VPN? Data is especially at risk when it is in transit unless you have proper security measures in place.
  • Time: Timelines for cloud migration vary depending on how many applications you’re moving and how large they are, but a typical timeline is three to six months. Make sure you’ve adequately planned enough time to not only allow for the migration but mistakes along the way.
  • Compliance assessment: If your legacy application needs to be HIPAA compliant or follow any other compliance standard, it will certainly need to be compliant in Azure as well. You’ll want to conduct a thorough analysis of your current system requirements and identify which cloud-based controls you need to meet those requirements.
  • User experience (UX): How will your application look in the cloud? Is it vastly different? There could be major changes you’ll need to alert your users to before your Azure cloud migration, so you’ll need a strategy to address them.

There are many other issues to consider, including more detailed analysis of business operations, application performance assessments, verification management, and change management policies. While these don’t all need to be finalized before the migration is complete, they are important components to a successful migration.

Successful migration to Azure has its challenges and shouldn’t be taken lightly. But with careful analysis, a strong DR plan and enough time set aside to dedicate to the migration, you can successfully switch from a legacy-based IT to a faster, more agile cloud-based model.

For more tools and tips, check out Tech Target’s guide to cloud migration, or Microsoft’s own planning tool to assist you with your migration.

If you’re in the process of moving to Azure or currently use some Azure services and are looking to add more, we can help! We offer fully managed Microsoft Azure services to help you keep better track of your environment as well as your budget. Speak with one of our cloud experts today or visit our public cloud page to learn more.

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