Azure is a cloud computing platform and an online portal that allows you to access and manage cloud services and resources provided by Microsoft. These services include virtual computing, networking, storing data, and transforming it, depending upon your requirements. Azure supports multiple programming languages, including Java, Node.Js, and C#.
It’s free to start and follows a pay-per-use model, which means you pay only for the services you opt for.
Interestingly, 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies use Azure services for their cloud computing needs. As it is a fast, flexible and affordable platform, its pricing and capabilities make it the best public cloud offering on the market. It is the second-largest cloud service provider right now.
Cloud computing is a technology that provides access to various computing resources over the internet. Cloud computing can be used for various purposes: machine learning, data analysis, storage, and backup, streaming media content and so much more.
Reduced cost, scalability, high-end security are the major reasons for cloud migration. Migrating to the cloud requires a lot of preparation and advanced work, but it is generally worth it, resulting in savings and greater flexibility. The overall goal or benefit of any migration to the cloud is to host applications and data in the IT environment in the most efficient way possible, based on factors such as cost, performance, and security.
A cloud migration strategy is a plan an organization makes to move its data and applications from on-premises architecture to the cloud. Not all workloads benefit from running on cloud-based infrastructure, so it is important to validate the most efficient way to prioritize and migrate applications before going live. A systematic, documented strategy is crucial.
Your exact roadmap for migrating to the cloud depends on the size and complexity of your environment. These are the basic steps:
Step 1: Planning your Migration
Before getting started, you should be clear on your reasons for the move and which strategy can best support them. Start by assessing your current environment. It is important to calculate your cloud server requirements based on current application resource requirements to avoid buying more than you need. At this critical stage, you will need the resources and expertise of a specialist. An application performance management (APM) solution can provide complete, real-time visibility into your environment and all its dependencies while rolling up strategy as part of the package.
Step 2: Choose a Migration Strategy
Once you have planned your migration and collected data on your current systems, you must decide on a migration strategy. These are the six most common approaches:
- Rehosting (Lift and Shift”): Replicate on-premise architecture in the cloud. This involves lifting your stack and shifting it from on-premises hosting to the cloud.
- Replatforming (“Lift and Reshape”): It involves making a few further adjustments to optimize your landscape for the cloud. Again, the core architecture of applications stays the same.
- Repurchasing (Drop and Shop): This means redesigning and developing an application using cloud-native features. Even so, repurchasing might be your most cost-effective option if moving from a highly customized legacy landscape.
- Refactoring (Re-architect): This means optimizing an application for the cloud by re-architecting. Refactoring is generally the most expensive option, but also the most compatible with future versions.
- Retiring (Decommission): Once you have assessed your application portfolio for cloud readiness, you might find some applications are no longer useful. In this case, turn them off.
- Retaining (No Movement): For some organizations, cloud adoption does not yet make sense. In this case, plan to revisit cloud computing at a later date. You should only migrate what makes sense for your business.
Step 3: Migrating your Apps and Data
Planned accurately, your actual migration should be plain sailing. Still, keep in mind cloud security concerns, such as complying with security policies and planning for data backup and recovery. Also, be sure to use APM to baseline premigration performance in preparation for the next step.
Step 4: Validating post-move Success
You cannot declare a cloud migration successful without evidence that it works as expected. With a solution like AppDynamics Business iQ, you can prove the benefits of cloud migration by comparing pre-and post-move application performance, from both a technical and business perspective, in a low-risk test environment.
With more than 200 services and numerous benefits, Microsoft Azure is the fastest-growing cloud computing platform adopted by businesses. Microsoft Azure’s total revenue is expected to surpass $19 billion by 2020. This growth in the implementation of Azure by businesses is creating various opportunities for professionals in this technology.