How to Seamlessly Migrate Data To Azure
When it’s time to bring your company to new heights, you don’t want anything to get in your way. While big changes always come with challenges, these obstacles shouldn’t stop you from accomplishing your goals and moving into the future of your business. When it comes to migrating your data, applications, and resources to Azure, the technicalities and decisions can be daunting. With the right advice and experts on your side, though, you can jump over these hurdles and arrive at a new and improved IT infrastructure for your business. Learn how to seamlessly migrate data to Azure with this overview.
The Importance of a Smooth Transition
While the plans and goals that go into an Azure migration seem daunting and even tedious, these efforts are a necessary part of helping your migration go off without a hitch. If you don’t create a thorough transition strategy, you’ll have to muddle through system downtime, messy applications, and unorganized data. This slows down your business and makes it harder to get back on your feet once your new infrastructure is up and running. Moreover, a stressful transition puts unnecessary pressure on your employees. By taking your time and planning a seamless migration, you make the process as uncomplicated and hassle-free as possible for everyone involved.
Examine Each and Every Workload
Azure promises improved workloads with better efficiency and lower costs. However, not every on-premises workload is worth migrating. Legacy applications, complex databases, and other resources might not make cost-effective moves to Azure. This is especially true for applications that will only be able to run on Azure’s infrastructure-as-a-service model. High-performing and continuous workloads—such as virtual machines—might be more expensive to migrate to Azure.
Take the time to qualify all of your workloads to determine what should move, what you need to refactor, and what can stay the same. The sooner you decide how you’re going to handle your workloads, the easier it will be to create a cost-effective migration strategy. Plus, knowing how each workload will change is invaluable information as you guide your teams through the migration process.
Prepare for Your Data Transfer
The amount of data you’re transferring plays a huge role in how you migrate and how long the transition will take. Businesses that need to move large amounts of data must find ways to migrate smoothly with minimal downtime. Additionally, companies must prioritize business-critical data—such as information that employees and clients access every day—so that the migration process doesn’t disrupt operations. Below are a couple of considerations to make as you plan your data transfer.
Hot vs. Cold Data
Categorizing your data into hot and cold helps you optimize your storage strategies before, during, and after your Azure migration. Hot data refers to information that your employees always need access to. This is the data you want to prioritize during your transition. Cold data, on the other hand, isn’t necessary for day-to-day operations. You can keep cold data in slower, more affordable storage solutions while reserving faster and more sophisticated storage for hot data. This multilevel strategy keeps data storage efficient and cost-effective.
Data Transfer Strategies
There are different ways to move or store your data throughout your Azure migration. Azure’s Import/Export service is a secure way to move large quantities of data by shipping disk drives to an Azure data center. Alternatively, you can backup cold data with the Azure Backup service. Once in the cloud, you can restore your data to your new infrastructure whenever you’re ready.
Choose Your Migration Strategy
Once you know how you want to handle your data and workloads, it’s time to choose a migration strategy. Each Azure migration method has its pros and cons. Consider the needs of your data, workloads, and overall business to determine which one is right for you.
Also known as the lift and shift method, rehosting is the process of moving applications to the cloud without performing any underlying changes. This is a fast and straightforward method that’s perfect for legacy migrations. Unfortunately, simply rehosting applications might make them less efficient or cost-effective once they’re in the cloud.
Refactoring means moving an application with minor changes. Refactoring might include making code changes, but no major overhauls of the application will occur. This is a great method for critical applications that need to migrate with minimal downtime, but could still use some updates and modernization. However, no major changes will occur, which means this isn’t a good method for workloads that require big architectural changes.
If you want to make major changes to an application, you’ll want to use the rearchitect strategy. This involves a full revamp of the application’s codebase. While this method is more complex than the first two, it allows you to maximize the efficiency and flexibility of your new cloud network. If you want to utilize the full potential of your Azure infrastructure, this is a good migration strategy for you.
As the name suggests, rebuilding involves completely recreating applications within Azure. This strategy replaces the old application with a custom-built one that serves the same purpose. This works best with less complex applications that are independent of other business operations. Rebuilding is an affordable strategy that allows you to sidestep software licenses or middleware dependency.
Think Both Short Term and Long Term
When learning how to seamlessly migrate data to Azure, it’s easy to focus on what’s happening right now. However, your strategy must also address what happens next. Short-term goals are a great way to prioritize your workloads and ensure your business stays functional throughout the transition. Long-term goals, on the other hand, help you hit the ground running once your new infrastructure is in place. Having something to work toward post-migration will also help you continue to optimize your system as your business reaches new heights.
Don’t Migrate Alone
Finally, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to manage your Azure migration alone. The friendly faces at Atmosera are here to help you navigate every step of the journey. With our free Microsoft Azure migration services, you can create your strategy and transition your company with as much help and as little hassle as possible. Start down the path to a better infrastructure today when you start your partnership with the experts at Atmosera.