Moving to the Cloud – What You Need to Know

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Perhaps you’re contemplating moving your data and business processes to the Cloud, or maybe you’d like to improve your organization’s cloud strategy. Either way, you probably have questions about costs, the migration processes, or even the terminology surrounding cloud technology. As a long-time Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) for Microsoft, BroadPoint has supported many organizations that have moved their operations to the Cloud. We’ve heard all the questions, and we have answers.

A successful cloud migration begins with a plan

Every successful project starts with a plan. Migrating to the cloud is no different. We’ve identified the steps that make up a successful cloud migration plan:

Step 1: Involve all the key players

For most businesses, migrating your data and processes to the Cloud is a significant change, and it will require broad organizational input and support. The key people in your organization need to be fully on board and willing to actively champion the project. Representatives from owners, users, and IT working together for the project’s success will lead to a smoother, faster cloud migration process that meets everyone’s goals.

Step 2: Inventory the physical and virtual servers you already use.

While your current management tools may provide a good representation of the hundreds—maybe thousands—of applications your organization is running, you need an inventory mechanism that can feed data into subsequent steps. With cloud migration assessment tools from Azure, you’ll have a complete inventory of servers with metadata for each—including profile information and performance metrics—allowing you to build your cloud migration strategy. Using this knowledge, map your servers to represent your on-premises applications. This will help identify dependencies or communication between servers so you can include all necessary application components in your cloud migration plan—helping reduce risks and ensuring a smooth migration. Then group your servers logically to represent the applications and select the best cloud migration strategy for each application based on its requirements and migration objectives.

Step 3: Evaluate your on-premises applications.

Once you have mapped your application groups, evaluate how best to move each on-premises application. Again, use the cloud migration assessment tools for resource recommendations and migration strategies for your application servers.

Automated cloud migration tools will also provide insight into your environment and dependencies to build out your cloud migration project plans. Assess your situation now to build a template for future use that aligns with individual applications, locations, or groups within your organization. Start with apps that have fewer dependencies so you can get your migration off to a quick start. Microsoft’s Azure Database Migration Guide provides step-by-step guidance.

If the process seems daunting, our experts at BroadPoint can help. Our team is gold certified in Microsoft Dynamics 365. We can lead you through your inventory assessment or perform it for you.

With an effective plan in place, you’re prepared to migrate to the Cloud.

Cloud migration approaches

What’s involved in the migration? That depends on the approach you take. There are various approaches:

  • Rehost allows you to move your existing applications to the Azure Cloud quickly. All applications are moved as-is without code changes.
  • Refactor may involve changes to the application design but no wholesale coding change.
  • Rearchitect allows you to modify or extend your application’s codebase to scale and optimize it for the cloud. You can modernize your app into a resilient, highly scalable, independently deployable architecture and use Azure to accelerate the process.
  • Rebuild has you rebuilding an application from scratch using cloud-native technologies. With this migration strategy, you’ll manage the apps and services you develop, and Azure will manage everything else.

If you’re unsure which migration approach is best for your company, work with our experts during the planning process. Together we can create a multifaceted application strategy to determine when rehosting, refactoring, rebuilding, or replacing applications will deliver the most value. Additional applications can be built using cloud-optimized and cloud-native design principles. Request that we contact you.

Migration complete; what’s next?

Congratulations! You are ready to operate in a secure and well-managed cloud environment using Azure security and management services to govern and monitor your cloud applications. If you begin using these services during your migration, you can continue full speed ahead to ensure a consistent experience across your hybrid cloud. You can also monitor and manage your cloud expenditure with tools like Azure Cost Management. This solution allows you to track resource usage and control costs across all your clouds with a single, unified view. Take advantage of rich operational and financial insights to make informed decisions.

What does it all cost?

Moving to the Cloud will likely reduce costs over time. Microsoft’s handy Azure calculator can help you calculate costs. Before cloud computing, organizations would purchase computing hardware and software and locate them in on-premise data centers. An IT staff was required to maintain those data centers. Computers were like other capital expenses: usually, large one-time purchases followed by several years of depreciation. Once you move to the Cloud, you are not responsible for those costs, and you pay only for usage. Your capital expense is now an operating expense with a monthly charge. Your BroadPoint partner will be able to give you a firm price for operating your cloud solution.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to cloud migrations. Our BroadPoint experts are here to guide you and answer your questions. Contact us at BroadPoint today.

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