Step-by-Step Azure Migration Planning
Migrating your datacenter to an IaaS platform like Azure is a big step for small businesses. There are many benefits to moving to the cloud – like increased productivity, better agility and decreased costs – but getting there is a daunting process.
In this guide, we’ll break down the specific steps involved in each phase to guarantee a successful migration.
Breaking Down Azure Migration Phases
Microsoft recommends a four-step migration process for migrating to Azure:
- Discover: Catalog your software and workloads
- Assess: Categorize applications and workloads
- Target: Identify the destination(s) for each of your workloads
- Migrate: Make the actual move
Let’s take a closer look the four Azure migration phases.
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can help you successfully migrate to Azure and optimize your
new environment. Contact us to learn more.
Discovery involves identifying all existing workloads and
applications in your infrastructure so you can prepare them
for migration. It’s an extensive and tedious process, but
critical to success.
Missed applications and workloads can become headaches later on, so you’ll want to make sure your application inventory is complete and up-to-date.
Review these areas during the preparation phase:
To maintain the same
datacenter performance, security and stability while
managing costs, analyze your on-premises workloads in your
existing virtual or physical environment and compare them to
equivalent resources in Azure. Be sure to address networking
requirements, how many subnets you’ll need to provision, and
whether you’ll provide your own DNS servers via Active
Purchasing new storage
every time you reach capacity is a constant burden. There
are a few types of Azure storage to consider depending on
the nature of your data.
Standard vs. premium:
Regular Azure storage has a certain IOPS maximum for each
virtual disk. Premium storage delivers high-performance,
low-latency disk support for virtual machines with
Hot vs. cold: How you store your data in Azure depends on how often users access it. A multi-temperature data management solution will help you conserve costs. Hot data requires fast storage, while data that is rarely accessed (cold data) is stored on the slowest storage.
The cloud gives you instant
access to computing resources. When planning, you should
look into Azure Autoscale. The autoscaling feature
dynamically scales applications to meet changing performance
Azure virtual machines will also give you more control over your computing environment. An Azure VM gives you the flexibility of virtualization without having to buy and maintain costly physical hardware.
Once you have a better understanding of Azure
products and how they fit into your migration strategy, it’s
time to evaluate your existing infrastructure. Here are some
tools to help:
Microsoft’s Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment tool
This tool automatically inspects your
on-premises environment, whether physical or virtualized,
and provides a checklist for moving your workloads to the
cloud. After the assessment, the tool generates a report
detailing the workload attributes/configuration that are
ready to move and what requires further investigation before
moving. The report also provides additional resources to
resolve issues and prepare the workload for a move to Azure.
Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) toolkit
MAP Toolkit is an agentless inventory, assessment and
reporting tool that securely assesses IT environments for
various platform migrations including Windows Desktop OS, Office
Products, Windows Server OS, SQL Server, Hyper-V, Microsoft
Private Cloud Fast Track and Azure. Since version 8.0, MAP
Toolkit can assess environments and provide readiness
information for both physical and virtualized workloads
migrating to Azure.
Both of these tools can help you carefully review and document all applications, workloads and processes you currently use, including:
- Current Infrastructure: Map your virtual and physical system configurations to an equivalent Azure instance. Evaluate specs like CPUs, disk size and storage demand.
- Current Network Architecture and Capacity: Assessing your network architecture and capacity will help you evaluate bandwidth to replicate changes made on virtual machines. Use a capacity planning tool or bandwidth assessment tool to determine whether replicating a virtual machine would kill your network.
- Performance Requirements: You need to know what IOPS you’ll require to avoid lags and maintain the same performance in your new Azure environment.
- High Availability/Resilience Requirements: You need a system that will function in the event of failure. Thoroughly document your disaster recovery processes, resiliency configurations and recovery time objectives to ensure your data can be restored easily in your new environment.
Process: Once you move to Azure, what maintenance steps need
to happen to continue running effectively? Determine how
your maintenance process will need to change in the new
Now that you’ve audited your
existing environment, it’s time to map out how to get your
servers in Azure.
Have questions about mapping your existing workloads in Azure? Schedule a free call with one of MIS Solutions’ cloud migration specialists.
three likeliest targets for your workloads are:
- Microsoft Azure
- A Cloud OS Network
- Office 365
You’ll likely migrate productivity and communication-related
workloads to Office 365. This may include moving email to
Microsoft Exchange Online, document management to SharePoint
Online and moving instant messaging, voice, video and shared
application communications to Skype for Business Online (now
Factors like speed, ease of migration, cost and desired functionality will inform the cloud destination for your workloads. For instance, websites would benefit most from the speed of Azure data centers, elasticity of the storage, processing power and memory. These factors help keep sites responsive even during peak demand.
Virtual machines are another component to consider. VMs are on the other side of an Internet connection and subject to the unpredictable nature of Internet latency. Most companies prefer to migrate non-critical VMs to less expensive cloud resources. You’ll want to put VMs in the cloud that won’t be adversely impacted by latency and don’t require frequent connections to other resources.
Operating systems are another consideration. Is the workload you wish to migrate running an Azure-supported operating system?
Make sure the VM you’re migrating doesn’t exceed 32 cores, or the maximum 448GB allowable memory.
Still have workloads running on physical servers? The terms for converting physical server workloads into a VM aren’t always straightforward. Working with a proven partner can streamline the process.
Now that you’ve audited and prepared your
existing workloads and applications, you’re ready to migrate
You can spend significant time reading up on best practices, studying available tools and preparing for the trial-and-error inherent in any new pursuit. But the potential savings are not worth the risk involved in attempting a complex cloud migration without the right expertise.
Looking for help planning and carrying out your Azure migration? At MIS Solutions, our cloud experts have successfully migrated more than 1,000 companies to the cloud. Schedule a free call today to learn how to extract the most value from Azure.