These days, many businesses are turning to the cloud for their storage and computing needs. Personal servers aren’t enough to host the vast amounts of data that most companies deal with on a daily basis, which is the main reason for the sudden shift.
If you’re currently looking for a cloud service to transfer your data to quickly and you’re considering Microsoft Azure as your source, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a guide with five steps to accelerate your migration through the cloud. They should help make your transition a much more painless process.
Preparing Your Move
Since cloud integration involves your entire company, migrating is a process that you need to plan out with everyone, and not just the IT team. You must take the time to figure out where your company is currently and how this change will benefit it down the road, as well as if the changes that you’ll make will be worth it in the end.
Even though Azure has services to assist with migration, you still need to develop a strategy on how you want to move data and services over. There are quite a few routes you can take. Some are relatively basic and allow you to get your toes wet before fully diving in, while others are much more complex if you want to take a deeper dive right away.
Each of the following strategies is a part of the 5 Rs of cloud migration. They range from easy to implement to much more challenging, so take the time to determine which is best for your company. Regardless of which one you pick, knowing it beforehand will help speed things up as you go.
Also known as lift-and-shift, rehosting is one of the most common approaches to migration since it involves little to no reformatting of your current data architecture to implement. Many companies enjoy this approach because it’s much cheaper and faster than many of the other strategies in this list.
However, the big downside is that you might not be able to utilize all the resources that you’ll be paying for with your cloud provider. Azure, in particular, has many valuable services that you likely haven’t had access to before, so you’ll need to reformat to use them.
If you need to make minor changes to help your programs interact with the cloud database better, you’ll want to consider replatforming. This process is very similar to rehosting, but it helps with the main fault of that strategy. If your current platforms can interact more fluidly with your new cloud services, it’ll make it easier for you to utilize the unique services at your disposal.
Of course, replatforming is only a small-scale change; if you need some larger-scale adjustments, refactoring is the better choice for you. With this strategy, you will need to make a lot of changes to your current platforms before the move even takes place. This can be quite time-consuming and cost a good amount of money, but the migration process afterward will be much smoother. Plus, you will be able to recode your platforms to fully integrate with the new services you’ll have access to.
One thing you’ll need to determine with your IT team before going with the refactoring strategy is if it’s worth the hassle of restructuring all your current platforms. Sometimes, it’s easier and more cost-effective to simply rebuild from the ground up. On top of that, the rebuilding strategy allows your old system to remain intact while you build a new one in the cloud.
As a last resort, some companies turn to repurchasing to reduce the overall workload of a migration. While replacing components of a current workload with those you bought from a third party will save your team a lot of time and stress, it will still take some time to get used to the new software, and it will obviously cost more to go this route. That doesn’t mean that repurchasing is not a viable option, though.
Replicating Your Processes
After you’ve picked a strategy and run it past your entire company, it’s time to start the implementation process. Once you’ve begun and made any changes that you need to your current platform, it’s time to replicate all your data and programs. You don’t want to immediately move everything over to the cloud. While this is undoubtedly faster and the goal of these five steps is to accelerate your migration through the cloud, you run the risk of losing everything.
Replicating your data keeps it from either corrupting or getting deleted on accident. Anything can go wrong during data migration, so duplicating all of your company’s information is a vital step in the process that you should never skip.
Testing the Migration
Fortunately, you run a test migration while the replication process continues processing information. You can do this by using a non-production virtual network to practice moving all your data onto. We actually offer a Microsoft Azure virtual desktop service as a part of our service here at Atmosera. If this is a step you want to try out, we recommend looking into what our AVD can offer you.
Once this process has ended, you can test out your various programs to make sure they run and see if all of your data made it over. Finding potential problems now will save you a lot of time and stress down the road since the alternative is finding and fixing them after the actual migration.
Orchestrating the Launch
Once the replication process is complete and you’ve figured out any issues discovered in the test migration, you can get underway with the orchestration of your launch. It’s best to start with either your simplest or most vital programs. Some companies begin with simple ones since they’ll be easy to move and get out of the way, while others start with the more essential ones since your company will be able to utilize them right away.
The best choice for you depends on what area you want to speed up. If you need to simply move everything over as soon as possible, it’s good to start small and build up from there. If you know this process will take a long time and want to resume your company’s most crucial tasks as soon as possible, you’ll want to start with the more important programs first. You should order everything after that in a way that reduces downtime and maximizes output.
Finalizing the Migration
After you have laid everything out, it’s time to finally begin the migration. As long as you follow all the other steps in this guide, this part should be a breeze. However, due to the nature of moving large amounts of data, this process could still take a while. Even though there’s no good way to accelerate this procedure, you can always pause it if you need to momentarily allocate your resources elsewhere. Once you’ve resolved that situation, you can go back to migrating.