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4 Things to Consider Before Migrating to Azure

26 Jan 2015 by Jessica Hall

Businesses across the globe will need to take action before the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 end of support deadline on July 14, 2015. One option that is being assessed by businesses is Microsoft Azure, a cloud platform offering compute, storage, data, networking and app services.

However, before your organization decides, consider these four items.

Analyze the workloads. David Mayer, practice director of Microsoft Solutions at Insight, suggests companies ask specific questions about workloads, including:

  • What are the workloads in your organization?
  • Which workloads are appropriate for use in cloud?

“This is not a one-size-fits-all scenario,” says Mayer. He adds, “Most companies aren’t thinking, we’ll just take every single server we have and drop it into Azure, although you theoretically could do that.”

Instead, organizations need to analyze the environments and workloads they have and also consider all the variables within the business. Then, they can determine what environments are best fits for running in cloud before committing to Azure as the right solution, whether that’s completely or as part of a hybrid approach.

Survey the current environment. Mayer also suggests looking at the current management infrastructure, as that will introduce a new set of variables. Before new ecosystem, he recommends that organizations ask specific questions. “Do you have management processes and tools in place to correctly provision it, secure it or de-provision it?”

Review the cost. Take an in-depth look at the financial model of Azure. “For some organizations, it will look great on paper, but it may end up costing more than other solutions in the long run,” advises Mayer.

Explore hybrid solutions. Many organizations are pairing Microsoft Azure with other solutions, as the reality is that some workloads—those that are highly transactional, critical to the business or are highly regulated and need on-the-spot reporting—aren’t best facilitated by cloud. Mayer states, “Roughly 90 percent will have a hybrid cloud strategy.”

For a closer look at what the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 end of support means and for tips on how to start planning your migration, watch this video.