Azure cloud migration best practices – What do they encapsulate?

Microexcel > Microsoft Blogs > Azure cloud migration best practices – What do they encapsulate?

Despite it being the ‘laze-towards-weekend’ Friday, Sally and her team were hustling for an emergency meeting called by the CTO of the company. The past night events of yet another server breakdown had put the lid on the crumbling IT infrastructure, and it was not something unexpected.

Sally’s company was relatively new in the e-retail space – but their niche product category had attracted customers worldwide, who had doubled in the last quarter. The explosive growth was not sufficiently supported by their on-prem infrastructure. Despite the latest expensive upgrades, the servers always buckled under pressure, during peak season- Imagine an influx of spectators in the present-day Colosseum – It would collapse in no time, won’t it?

So, they needed to act quick – to migrate to a robust, scalable, fast-computing cloud architecture. Having done her homework on the cloud computing platforms, Sally had found Microsoft Azure to be the best choice for her company in terms of:

  • Scalability
  • Cost
  • Flexibility of resources
  • Security, to name a few

While Sally had researched extensively about Azure cloud migration strategies, what she was particularly looking for, were guidelines and checkpoints before creating a roadmap for the migration- a list of best practices that would help override the common complexities during the migration process. On consultation with Azure experts from her peer network, she had drilled out some of the best practices going beyond cloud-native tools, and compiled them as a checklist:

Azure migration best practices checklist

Best Practices for business-driven scope expansion

In the case of a business-driven scope expansion, where the ambit of business operations spans across different geographies with unique data requirements, the migration should factor in:

  • Global markets, where depth of penetration of the business is determined, region-wise across the globe. This in turn underlies potential complexity in asset distribution, compliance requirements, user-access, and regional resilience.
  • Data sovereignty requirements and data privacy regulations determine compliance often local to a specific region, and its understanding helps to decide the best approach within the framework of compliance for that specific regional data center.
  • Assessment of process changes for global assets and user-base complexities by evaluating cross-datacenter dependencies, identifying global user impact, and checking for compliance.
  • Migration process changes for deployment to multiple regions considers network bandwidth designs, Azure Site Recovery Vault design, configuration, and process server design
  • Optimization and Promotion of process changes kicks in while addressing global complexity. It covers initial automation testing, business change plan, business testing for each region after a successful single deployment, and promotion flights where promotion is delivered in pre-defined collections of users(flights)

Best Practices for technology-driven scope expansion

  • VMware migration, which can catalyze the whole migration process, as VMware hosts can transfer multiple loads to the cloud.
  • SQL Server Migration where each migration instance can move multiple databases to the cloud, thereby accelerating the overall process of migration.
  • Multiple data centers migration entails a great deal of complexity with each move and therefore should be carefully assessed for all crucial parameters.
  • Extra planning when existing date center is beyond network capacity in terms of speed, stability or unsatisfactory performance, and these constraints can cascade to the cloud network, if migration process is not strategized optimally.
  • Governance and Compliance that are critical in determining the success of a migration, ensure that the cloud adoption team and IT governance teams are in-sync with each other.
Best Practices as Key considerations for accelerated migration to Azure

Adopting the best practices for Azure migration accelerates the process, overriding the most common roadblocks, while helping to streamline and optimize, both technical and non-technical processes of the business. Therefrom, the journey to cloud migration entails different phases, scenarios, business cases with many milestones to lead. How does the whole migration process pan out for your business?

Let us get back to Sally’s Friday hustle, with which we started this piece. The decisive outcome of her meeting with the CTO to go ahead with Azure platform, put her IT team on a comprehensive project planning track – the starting point being choosing the right technology partner for the migration, with in-depth industry expertise and experience to customize the capabilities of Azure cloud as per their business requirements.

Sally’s company not only successfully migrated to the cloud in about 6 months’ time but also got to leverage the technology collaboration with a Microsoft-certified partner, with value-additions.

Now, server downtime is no longer a rider on peak seasons, neither is business expansion nor security – Sally has not, a “worry in the cloud” about it!