For us to talk about Azure and migrating your data to a cloud service, first we need to understand what it is and how it works, since moving data to a cloud service has seen a large global implementation over the past few years, especially with our recent shift to remote working which forced companies to lean on cloud services and applications more than ever.
Many companies are still resistant to adopt cloud services, however there are many others who were already using cloud services to lower costs, simplify operations, and roll out applications faster. If you are one of those who are still in doubt, this blog is to help better understand cloud applications and how Azure can be beneficial to your company.
What is cloud migration?
Cloud migration is the process of moving digital business operations like data, applications, or other business elements into the cloud, it involves moving data, applications, and IT processes from some data centers to other data centers. Much like a move from a smaller office to a larger one, cloud migration requires quite a lot of preparation and advance work, but it ends up being worth the effort, resulting in cost savings and greater flexibility. The term “Cloud migration" often describes the move from on-premises or legacy infrastructure to the cloud or can be applied as the migration from one cloud to another.
There are various types of cloud migrations. One of the most common is when the data and applications are transferred from a local, on-premises data center to the public cloud. However, a cloud migration could also involve moving data and applications from one cloud platform or provider to another - a model known as cloud-to-cloud migration. A third type of migration (one that is becoming outdated), is a reverse cloud migration, cloud repatriation or cloud exit, where data or applications are moved off of the cloud and back to a local data center.
Moving a company’s data to a cloud can seem like an unnecessary move, but it comes with its advantages for your company to be more effective and have more security when operating your daily tasks. Here are the main benefits of migrating your infrastructure to a cloud platform like Azure:
Scalability: Cloud computing can scale up or out to support larger workloads and greater numbers of users far more easily than on-premises infrastructure, which requires companies to purchase and set up additional physical servers, networking equipment, or software licenses.
Cost: Companies that move to Azure often vastly reduce the amount they spend on IT operations, since the cloud providers handle maintenance and upgrades. Instead of keeping things up and running, companies can focus more resources on their biggest business needs – developing new products or improving existing ones.
Performance: For some businesses, moving to the Azure can facilitate them to improve performance and the overall user experience for their customers. If their application or website is hosted in cloud data centers instead of in various on-premises servers, then data will not have to travel as far to reach the users, reducing latency.
Flexibility: Users, whether they are employees or customers, can access the cloud services and data that they need from anywhere. This makes it easier for a business to expand into new territories, offer their services to customers anywhere, and let their employees work flexibly.
The general goal or benefit of any cloud migration is to host applications and data in the most effective IT environment possible, based on factors such as cost, performance and security.
For example, many organizations perform the migration of on-premises applications and data from their local data center to public cloud infrastructure to take advantage of benefits such as greater flexibility, self-service provisioning, redundancy, and an adaptable pay-per-use model.
Cloud migration strategies
Moving workloads to the cloud requires a well-thought-out strategy that includes a complex combination of management and technology challenges as well as staff and resource realignment. There are choices in the type of migration to perform as well as the type of data that should move.
First, identify the application. Every company has a different reason to move all data to the cloud, and goals for each organization will vary. Next steps are to figure out how much data needs to be moved, how quickly the work needs to be done and how to migrate that data to Azure. Take inventory of data and applications, look for dependencies and consider one of the many migration options.
Consider your costs. An organization may have a bundle invested in hardware infrastructure and software licensing. If that investment is steep, it is worth weighing whether it's worth it to migrate to the cloud. In most cases moving to Azure can have a initial cost, but in a long-term is a money saver for the company.
Here at Wappo, the number one cloud platform that we recommend to our clients is Azure. Azure is Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure platform with more than 200 products and cloud services designed to help you bring new solutions to life. Contact us to know more about how we can help your company. You can also read more about Azure here.