Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform, similar to Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services but is significantly more seamlessly integrated for those who have already used Microsoft technology in the workplace . It is a collection of large servers, and includes Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Managed Database Capabilities.
Essentially, the Azure Cloud is a set of physical servers in one or multiple data centres that customers can access remotely. It can be used for analytics, virtual computing, storage, networking, or to replace or supplement your on-site servers.
Azure relies on a technology called Virtualisation – servers, storage, physical hardware or data centre resources are migrated to the Azure Cloud and are available virtually, accessible from wherever you and your employees are.
The Azure Cloud has a wide range of services available for deploying, building, and managing apps. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Virtual Machines – create a Windows or Linux virtual machine almost instantaneously
- Azure DevOps – great for collaboration and leveraging agile tools to plan, monitor and discuss work between teams
- Azure Cosmos DB – a fully managed, serverless NoSQL database for high-performance applications of any size or scale
- Azure Active Directory – a cloud-based access management service that helps your employees access external resources, such as Microsoft 365 and other SaaS applications
- API Management – a central interface to create, provision and manage API for web and cloud applications and services
Timeframes for migration to the Azure cloud will differ by company, but we aim to have the actual migration complete within a 12-hour period. However, cloud migration projects typically take 2-6 weeks from starting to Go-Live.
Your 777 Networks Azure migration expert will always be on hand to help you plan the cloud migration process, but the process will usually include:
- Assign a lead migration architect, to help you effectively plan and execute migration to the Azure cloud
- Prioritise the components of your migration
- Perform any necessary refactoring
- Create a data migration plan
- Switch over production
- Review the application and resource allocation
We’re sure you’ve already heard about all of the great benefits of migrating to the cloud, but what about Azure, specifically? Here are just some of the many great benefits of Azure cloud migration:
- Disaster recovery
- Azure is fast
- Compliance with local regulations
- Work wherever, whenever with Microsoft’s global reach
- Azure has over 600 services, so whatever programmes and applications your business uses day to day can be managed via the Azure platform
Migrating to the Azure Cloud can be a big step for small businesses, but the benefits by far outweigh the effort. Below you’ll find a simple, broken down process for migrating to the Azure Cloud.
- Discover: catalogue your software and workloads in preparation for migration. Consider:
- ERP and Line of Business Applications
- Virtual networks
- Storage solutions
- Design: Build out a test environment.
- Build a test environment for each application
- Migrate all apps and data to the new infrastructure in test mode
- Monitor the performance and resource utilisation
- Review user environments and enhancements required
- Test: Prove the environment is working by engaging with users
- Test each process end to end feeding back and tweaking in ‘normal’ day to day use mode.
- Stress test the systems under high load, analyse failures and put in place failsafes as required.
- Carry out a backup and recovery test.
- Migrate: Physically make the move to the Azure cloud in ‘live’ mode
- Agree with switch date and time for all systems
- Carry out the final system migration
- Disable access to the previous environment so new data is not accidentally created
- Provide ‘live’ cover on the switch day analysing user feedback and making tweaks as required to get an A grade customer experience.
Alternatively, you could let 777 Networks’ Azure migration experts handle it for you. We’ll handle your business cloud migration, ensuring that everything is done accurately and to suit your requirements, giving you and your team increased productivity, enhanced security, and technological longevity.