You’ve already envisioned the benefits: you know migrating to a cloud-based hosting platform can boost the performance of your organization’s computing infrastructure. You can see how it’ll improve efficiency, save time, and reduce costs. And you’re prepared to join the hundreds of thousands of other businesses, large and small, that have already chosen Microsoft Azure for its service quality, security, reliability and global reach.
But there’s no getting around it: migrating to the cloud entails significant organizational change. To make the best possible use of the Azure platform, you need to understand its unique attributes and keep them front-of-mind throughout the migration process, and beyond.
Fortunately, Microsoft offers an extensive set of tools and services that can help ease and simplify migration. And as a Microsoft partner with extensive experience helping our clients shift existing applications to the Azure platform, Red Level can ensure that you’ll take advantage of right tools to make your path to the cloud as trouble-free and effortless as possible.
Think Ahead: Advance Planning Eases Migration
The better you plan and prepare for your cloud migration process, the smoother it will be. This, in essence, is why you need a project liaison like Red Level. Not all workflows are amenable to a simple “lift and shift” strategy in which applications and virtual machines are replicated in the cloud and redeployed there without code modifications. And migration is rarely a one-time event in which all the tools and services that are ultimately destined for the cloud are moved simultaneously. Having a sound strategy to address these challenges is the key to success.
It makes sense to begin the Azure migration process with a discovery phase in which you take inventory of your existing infrastructure. The goal of the discovery phase is to identify the applications and virtual machines that are the best candidates for early migration.
Your first migrations are most likely to be successful if you’ve chosen applications or virtual machines that can have few or no dependencies on other processes, authorization mechanisms or external databases. It’s also helpful—because it’s most efficient—if you select virtual machines with high memory or CPU utilization or those that are approaching storage limits. Red Level offers granular assessments to automate the discovery process for VMware, Hyper-V or on-premises environments.
In addition, Red Level has the ability to scan for and help remediate database incompatibilities that would otherwise block or complicate migration.
Migrate with Care to Reduce or Eliminate Downtime
Once you’ve identified the best sequence in which to move your applications to Azure, you’re ready to begin the actual migration phase. To minimize downtime, we’ll design an asynchronous or synchronous replication plan ensuring that live systems can keep running while they’re being copied to Azure.
When selecting a migration tool, it’s important to take into account the amount of time and bandwidth necessary to migrate your virtual machines. Our solutions work with Azure-compatible Windows Server and Linux machines migrating from any platform. We can move a limited number of virtual machines per day, depending upon the bandwidth that’s available.
We can help you choose among a variety of available tools to find the solution that’s best for your business’s network architecture, connection speed, and individualized migration plan.
Optimize for Peak Performance
In order gain the most possible benefits from your investments in the Azure platform, you’ll need to continue to refine the ways your team makes use of it. This part of the migration process—the optimization phase—includes ensuring peak performance, availability and cost reduction as you move towards your short- and longer-term goals for your infrastructure.
To protect all of your cloud-hosted infrastructures in today’s complex threat environment, Microsoft has developed logging and monitoring capabilities for Azure and non-Azure workloads alike, and includes access to a built-in security dashboard that offers real-time insights into alerts and detected vulnerabilities.
Azure is rapidly becoming the cloud infrastructure platform of choice for organizations today. It’s cost-effective, accessible, and offers true hybrid solutions that can easily be integrated with other Microsoft tools and services, both on-premises and in the cloud. Azure also offers pricing benefits to current SQL Server and Windows Server customers, who can bring their existing on-premises licenses to the cloud for significant savings.
Let Red Level help with your journey to the cloud. Our Microsoft-funded assessment services (a $15K value) are available at no cost to you. Red Level’s free assessment services include proof-of-concept setup, so that you can see Azure in action within your business, and Architectural Design Sessions, to help you build a personalized blueprint for your Azure infrastructure.
For more information about migrating to Azure, contact Red Level today.