We are in the midst of unprecedented times with far-reaching implications of the global health crisis to healthcare, public policy, and the economy. Organisations are fundamentally changing how they run their businesses, ensure the safety of their workforce, and keep their IT operations running. Most IT leaders are thinking hard on how to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. They are also trying to retain momentum on their well-intentioned strategic initiatives. Azure enables organisations to act faster, continue to innovate, and pivot their IT operations to what matters most.
In many of our discussions with customers, we hear uncertainty about how to navigate the cloud migration journey. There is an urgency to act, but often a hesitation to start. There is, no doubt, a learning curve, but with best practices and prescriptive guidance on where to begin, how to best steer, and how to avoid the pitfalls, Spanish Point will make that journey stress free. To get you started on your accelerated journey to Azure, here are our top three recommendations.
Perform a comprehensive discovery of your datacentres using free tools such as Azure Migrate or Movere. Creating an inventory of your on-premises infrastructure, databases, and applications is the first step in generating right-sized and optimised cost projections for running your applications in Azure.
The priority should be to cover the entire fleet and then arrive at key decisions related to candidate apps that you can migrate first and the appropriate migration approach for them. As you run your assessments, identify applications that could be quick wins (hardware refresh), software end-of-support, OS end-of-support, and capacity constrained resources are all great places to prioritise for the first project. Bias towards action and demonstrating urgency with triggers that need immediate attention can ensure that you are able to drive operational efficiencies and flip your capital expenses to operational.
You will run into complexities as you drive your migration strategy—some of these will be related to the foundational architecture of your cloud deployments, but a lot of it will be about how your organisation is aligned for change. It is important that you prepare people, business processes, and IT environments for the change, based on a prioritised and agreed cloud adoption plan. Every migration we’ve been involved in has had its own unique requirements. We find that customers who are moving quickly are those who have established clarity in ownership and requirements across stakeholders from security, networking, IT, and application teams.
On the technical front, anticipate complexities and plan for your platform foundation for identity, security, operations, compliance, and governance. With established baselines across these shared-architectural pillars, deploy purpose-built landing zones that leverage these centralised controls. Simply put, landing zones and the platform foundation capture everything that must be in place and ready to enable cloud adoption across the IT portfolio.
In addition to designing your baseline environment, you would also want to consider your approach to managing your applications as they migrate to Azure. Azure offers comprehensive management solutions for backup, disaster recovery, security, monitoring, governance, and cost management, which can help you achieve IT effectiveness as you migrate. Most customers run in a hybrid reality even when they intend to evacuate on-premises datacentres. Azure Arc is a terrific option for customers who want to simplify complex and distributed environments across on-premises and Azure, extending Azure management to any infrastructure.
Organisations who have the most success in executing on their migration strategy are those who follow an iterative, workload-based, wave-oriented approach to migration. These customers are using free first-party migration tools to achieve the scale that works best for their business—from a few hundred to thousands of servers and databases. With Azure Migrate you have coverage for Windows Server and Linux, SQL Server and other databases, .NET and PHP-based web applications, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). These capabilities give you options for migration to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) offerings like Azure App Service and Azure SQL.
The key to success and executing effectively is targeting specific workloads and then executing in phases. In addition, leveraging capabilities like dependency mapping and test migration ensures that your migration cutovers are predictable and have high success rates. We strongly recommend using a lift-optimise-shift approach and then innovating in the cloud, especially during these times.
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