Consulting with a Conscience™

A cruciallogics blog

Written by Amol Joshi
on November 11, 2022

The switch to Azure Cloud can be a big decision for any business. After all, data is the lifeblood of any company, and entrusting it to a third-party platform can be a daunting proposition.

However, Microsoft Azure is one of the world's most popular and trusted cloud providers. Making the switch can offer several benefits for your business, including increased efficiency, scalability, and security.

Of course, as with any significant change, you must keep a few things in mind to ensure a smooth transition. In this blog post, we'll explore some best practices for moving your data to Azure Cloud to make the switch confidently.

1. Plan ahead. Planning before switching to Azure Cloud is critical as with any significant change. Sit down with your team and map out precisely what you need to do to make the transition. This will help guarantee that everyone is on the same page and that there are no surprises along the way.
2. Choose a suitable licensing model. One of the most important decisions you'll need to make when moving your data to Azure Cloud is which licensing model to use.

There are three main models to choose from: pay-as-you-go, subscription, or bring your own license (BYOL). Pay-as-you-go is best for businesses that only need occasional access to Azure resources, while subscription is more suitable for those who require constant access. 

BYOL is ideal for businesses that already have an existing investment in Microsoft licenses.

3. Consider your data governance strategy. Another important aspect of moving your data to Azure Cloud is your data governance strategy. Data governance is about managing and protecting your corporate data assets. 

When switching to Azure Cloud, you'll need to think about how you'll store, track, and protect your data so that it meets all applicable compliance standards.

4. Train your staff accordingly. Once you move your data to Azure Cloud, you must train your staff accordingly. They should be familiar with all platform aspects to take full advantage of its features and capabilities. Ensure to provide them with adequate training materials, so they feel confident using Azure going forward.

5. Test everything before going live. Before switching from on-premises storage to Azure Cloud, testing everything first is essential. Set up a test environment and migrate some of your data over so you can iron out any issues before going live with Azure Cloud. This will help ensure that there are no problems when you do finally make the switchover.clint-patterson--jCY4oEMA3o-unsplash


Events that Prompt an Azure Cloud Migration

A few common scenarios usually trigger organizations to start thinking about Azure cloud migration.

Maybe your on-premises infrastructure is reaching capacity, and you need to expand.

Or perhaps you're finding that maintaining your own data center is becoming too costly and resource-intensive. Whatever the reason, if you're considering an Azure cloud migration, you're not alone—many organizations are making the switch for similar reasons.

Before You Migrate to Azure Cloud…

There are a few things you should consider before making the switch to the Azure cloud.

First, take stock of your current on-premises infrastructure and assess what can be migrated and what needs to be re-architected. You'll also need to decide which cloud deployment model makes the most sense for your organization: public, private, or hybrid.

And finally, make sure you have a solid plan for managing and securing your data once it's in the cloud. 

Problem Solving With Azure Cloud

Azure Cloud is an excellent platform for businesses of all sizes. It is reliable, scalable, and offers various features to meet your organization's needs.

Ability to Convert Capital Expenditures to OPEX, Pay As You Use

Organizations must make substantial upfront investments in hardware and software with on-premises infrastructure.

This can strain cash flow, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.

On the other hand, Azure Cloud computing follows the pay-as-you-go model, which can help free up cash flow and make it easier to budget for IT costs.

Make your organization's security posture stronger

As organizations increasingly move data and applications to the cloud, it's essential to consider the security implications of this shift.

Azure Cloud offers several features and tools that can help to enhance your organization's security posture, including Azure Active Directory, Azure Security Center, and Azure Information Protection.

When used together, these tools can provide a comprehensive approach to securing your data in the cloud. Additionally, it's noteworthy to keep in mind that Azure Cloud is constantly evolving, so it's crucial to stay up-to-date on the latest security features and best practices.

Best Practices for Moving to Azure Cloud

Before you make a move, there are some things you need to know about best practices for moving your data to the Azure cloud.

Perform a full assessment of your workloads before moving them

This may seem time-consuming, but it's essential to ensure that your workloads will be compatible with Azure and that you clearly understand your costs. You can use tools like the Azure Migration Assessment Tool and Azure Site Recovery to help with this process.

Estimate your bandwidth needs

When moving data to Azure, bandwidth is one of the most significant considerations. Make sure you clearly understand your bandwidth needs before beginning the migration process. This will help you avoid any potential bottlenecks and ensure a smooth transition.

Select the right storage option for your data

Many storage options are available on Azure, so selecting the right one for your data is important. You'll need to consider factors like performance, durability, cost, and compliance when making your decision. You can read more about storage options on Azure here.

Use platform-as-a-service (PaaS) whenever possible 

Whenever possible, opt for PaaS over IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service). PaaS can make migrating data and workloads to Azure much easier since it takes care of many of your infrastructure concerns. You can learn more about PaaS here. 

Set up monitoring and logging 

You should set up monitoring and logging before migrating data to Azure so that you can keep track of what's happening during the migration process and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

The Cost of Optimizations and Azure Cloud Migration

Migrating data to Azure Cloud is an intelligent way to optimize your company's IT infrastructure and save on costs. However, certain risks associated with any data migration must be kept in mind.

The cost of optimizing and migrating data to Azure Cloud can be significant, but the benefits are clear. By moving data to the cloud, organizations can take advantage of economies of scale, better utilization of resources, and improved security. In addition, cloud-based data is more accessible and easier to manage.

As a result, the cost of optimization and migration should be considered an investment in your organization's future. By following best practices for moving data to Azure Cloud, you can ensure that your transition is smooth and successful.

During Migration

1. Migrate data during off-peak hours

To avoid performance issues, it's best to migrate data when usage is typically low. This will help ensure that your migration doesn't impact your users' experience.

2. Use a tool like Azure Site Recovery

Azure Site Recovery can help you migrate data with minimal disruption. It's a good idea to use this tool or a similar one during your migration process.

3. Perform regular backups

During any migration, there's always a risk of data loss. To protect against this, performing regular backups of your data before and during the migration process is essential.

4. Test, test, test

Before fully transitioning to Azure, testing your data and workloads to ensure they're compatible and functioning correctly is crucial. This will help avoid any disruptions down the road.

After Migration

Use Azure Resource Manager

Azure Resource Manager can help you manage and monitor your resources after migrating to Azure. It's a good idea to use this tool to help keep track of your environment.

Implement security best practices

Now that your data is in the cloud, it's crucial to implement security best practices to protect it. This includes using strong passwords, encrypting data, and enabling two-factor authentication.

Perform regular maintenance 

Regular maintenance is important for any IT infrastructure, but it's especially critical in the cloud. Schedule regular updates and patches to keep your Azure environment secure and up-to-date.

Migrating data to Azure Cloud doesn't have to be a daunting task. You can take advantage of all Azure offers with the proper planning and execution. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your transition is smooth and successful.


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