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Guide to Understanding the Basics of Cloud Migration Planning

By: MaryBeth Hamilton

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Cloud migration planning is a complex process that requires thoughtful consideration of the various elements involved. It’s important to understand the basics of cloud migration planning to ensure a successful transition. By doing so, your organization can maximize the benefits gained from moving your workloads and data to the cloud while minimizing downtime and disruptions. This includes identifying key components such as the ideal infrastructure, security measures, target environments, architecture changes, and testing strategies.

How to Make the Case for Cloud and Migrate to a Modernized Infrastructure

IT leaders understand how legacy systems expose them to sophisticated threats. They’ve done the math on how much it costs to secure, maintain, replace, and manage their on-site equipment and it adds up quickly. 

Despite all this, not all IT leaders are able to convince executive leadership that cloud migration to a more modernized infrastructure is non-negotiable. They continue to hit roadblock after roadblock, no matter how many tactics they take. Our experts share a few practical points, including security and costs, to help convince executive leadership it’s time to make a move to the cloud. 

Cloud Statistics 

Few execs would want to admit it, but many are driven by the proverbial bandwagon. It might help to remind them that 70% of businesses have accelerated cloud migration in the last year. The primary reason for this wasn’t data modernization or cost performance (even though those were incredibly important), it was cybersecurity

Security Impact 

Phishing and ransomware remain the top two penetration tactics, and cloud providers like Microsoft Azure have capabilities to ward off these threats and invest significantly to ensure their products are secure and protected. When you work in these platforms, security is at the identity level. This kind of granular strategy is the best way to keep phishing threats at bay. Yet it’s important to note that not all executives realize that the cloud is only as secure as the organization makes it. The scope of protection can’t be as simple as a few hastily deployed modules and while moving to a cloud infrastructure can provide additional layers of security, it is not a replacement for a robust cybersecurity program. 

Migration, Disaster Recovery, and Business Continuity 

Migration to the right cloud infrastructure can reduce the steps needed for effective disaster recovery and can be a strong starting point that can be built upon to include additional disaster recovery capabilities. Yet a common misconception is that moving to the cloud equates to business continuity.

The good news is that the latest functionality makes it easier to run backups on a set schedule for potential offsite recovery. You don’t have to set up a separate data center to accomplish this either, which means you don’t have to pay for double the infrastructure. Managed service providers (MSPs) like Dataprise design solutions that make it possible to get back up and running under even the direst of circumstances. 

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Key Cost and Performance Considerations 

When executive leadership thinks about IT, they often think about dollar signs. However, it’s not enough to just Google search ‘average cost of migrating to the cloud’. The reality is that expenses can range widely based on the scale of the workload. Working with a trusted MSP like Dataprise can help accurately determine how much consumption each client needs, which allows the team to come up with real estimates that show what costs will be in Azure vs. buying the hardware themselves. For example, a performance-based model in the cloud could cost $2,266 per month vs. $6,666 in an on-premise model. 

Organizations can also typically save even more money once the system has been up and running for a few months, as it can be reconfigured and optimized to bring down monthly expenses. Cost savings are based, in part, on Microsoft Azure pricing models, but the other element is the sheer flexibility that modern infrastructure offers today. For instance, workloads can be turned off if they only run at certain times of the day. If someone forgets to deactivate a machine, an organization can automate the process.

The Journey to Azure: The Benefits of Cloud Migration

First step in the cloud migration planning process is selecting a cloud provider. Here at Dataprise we’ve migrated thousands of clients to Azure. Through an Azure Cloud Migration, organizations can leverage their existing investments to gain access to enterprise-grade scalability and agility. Let’s explore the many ways that migrating workloads to the cloud with Azure can benefit your organization.

First and foremost, you’ll be able to access a cost-effective platform that is secure and reliable. As one of the leading providers in infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Microsoft Azure provides customers with an array of options for powering their applications and services. This includes pay-as-you-go pricing models, global coverage in more than 140 countries, integrated data management solutions, and ad hoc analytics capabilities.

Second, Azure Cloud Migration gives your business enterprise-grade performance through a self-managed platform built from industry standard components – note, our 40+ Azure Certified Experts here at Dataprise are pros in managing these environments. This means that your teams can focus on accelerating digital transformation initiatives instead of dealing with infrastructure setups or escalations.

Third, Microsoft’s hybrid cloud approach makes it easier for companies to take advantage of new opportunities without disrupting existing operations by leveraging traditional architectures alongside public cloud resources with minimal downtime or high latency issues during peak usage times such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Additionally, businesses will be able to extend their IT footprint into other regions quickly.

With a cloud platform selected, your organization should look at the value in leveraging a cloud migration partner like Dataprise to manage the migration.

How Cloud Migration Services Deliver Maximum Efficiency

Partnering with a cloud migration service provider offers a range of benefits that can greatly simplify and de-risk the Azure cloud migration process.

These include guiding your organization through the key steps necessary to ensure a successful cloud migration. First, organizations should identify the specific needs and goals of their business in order to determine what type of cloud implementation will best meet those requirements. This includes evaluating factors such as storage needs, data privacy and security requirements, budget constraints, and the desired level of availability.

Azure Migration Process Diagram 01

Once the ideal solution has been identified, organizations should define a comprehensive cloud migration strategy that outlines their desired timeline, budget, and any special considerations. This will help ensure that the transition to the new environment is smooth and successful. Additionally, it is important to develop detailed plans for data migration, ensuring all necessary data is transferred securely and accurately.

A successful cloud migration requires close collaboration between IT teams, the business, and any additional stakeholders. This ensures that all individuals are aware of the project’s progress and any potential risks or issues along the way. Having frequent discussions with key stakeholders can help to ensure they understand how the transition will affect their roles and responsibilities. Finally, organizations should continuously monitor their cloud environment for any issues or changes that may arise as the migration progresses.

By taking these steps and leveraging the right cloud migration services partner, organizations can reap the benefits of a successful transition to the cloud while maximizing efficiency. In doing so, they will gain access to greater resources, improved scalability and security, lower costs, and an overall more streamlined business operation.

The Importance of Cloud Infrastructure Management Post-Cloud Migration

Cloud infrastructure management is a process of managing and organizing your cloud computing resources. It includes the technology, processes, and people that support the daily operations of cloud-based services. The goal of using cloud infrastructure management is to ensure that your business can take full advantage of the benefits of the cloud while avoiding any potential risks or pitfalls.

Why Cloud Infrastructure Management Matters

Cloud infrastructure management enables businesses to scale their IT operations more easily. This also allows for faster response times and improved performance, resulting in greater customer satisfaction.

Cloud infrastructure management also helps increase efficiency by reducing the number of manual tasks required to manage an organization’s IT systems. Automation tools can be used to simplify routine tasks such as provisioning servers, deploying code updates, and configuring networks, freeing up valuable time for more strategic work such as optimizing workloads or troubleshooting problems. This not only boosts productivity but also helps reduce costs associated with manual labor.

Finally, cloud infrastructure management provides a secure environment for data storage and transmission. Security protocols help protect sensitive information from cyber threats, while built-in redundancy ensures that data remains available even in the event of an outage or system failure. This helps organizations maintain compliance with industry regulations while providing peace of mind that their data is always safe and accessible.

3 Necessary Steps for a Painless Cloud Migration

Step 1: Plan and Prepare 

Before even preparing or migrating, set time aside with your internal stakeholders to assess current workloads and infrastructure. With cloud technology, there is not a “one size fits all” approach. One of the major benefits cloud technologies allows organizations is that you only pay for services used. The time allotted will help your organization determine the goals for the migration while creating a roadmap for the move. To maximize efficiency and minimize cost, this step is essential. Curious about how to frame migrating to the cloud to your executive leadership? Dataprise has you covered with one of our top blogs from 2022

Step 2: Migrate and Test 

Once the team is on the same page, next it’s time for the migration to begin. There are a couple of different paths your organization can take to get to the cloud so let’s jump into all of them: 

SaaS Applications with Cloud Storage for Backup 

One partial route an organization can take is by purchasing SaaS applications to use the cloud storage they provide as a backup. O365, Salesforce, and Quikbooks are examples of SaaS applications with this capability. Since the shift to a hybrid work environment, trends are showing that organizations are less likely to invest in heavy on-premise infrastructure in favor of cloud storage because of the flexibility it can provide to its hybrid workforce. 

Hybrid Cloud 

In some circumstances, it may be impossible to migrate 100% of your infrastructure to the cloud. Occasionally, organizations will have legacy applications that are critical to the business – but because of how they were set up and how long ago they were set up, they will not be able to run on newer versions of software. That’s where the hybrid cloud comes into play. This model will allow the legacy applications to stay in on-premise data centers but it also provides a line of business applications in, for example, Azure Cloud. 

“Lift and Shift” 

Over the past year, the “lift and shift” model has become the most prominently used. It allows organizations to move an existing application and the data associated with it to the cloud with minimal or no redesigning. 

With the migration completed and your workloads in the cloud, next up is continuous testing. This is an important part that you will not want to skip! With any type of disaster in your life, would you rather know exactly what to do, right away, or would you rather open up a manual for the first time and have to learn what to do while simultaneously mitigating the disaster? 

Step 3: Optimize and Maintain 

After migration comes optimization and maintenance. Once your migration is complete, your organization can focus on optimizing your workloads for the cloud. This could involve fine-tuning your cloud resources to meet your exact needs and reduce costs. 

With anything in life, proper maintenance is key to smoothly operating systems. It is important to keep your newly created cloud environment up-to-date and secure. Maintenance tasks can include applying patches and updates, monitoring performance, and making the necessary changes to ensure your workloads run smoothly. 

Case Study: Florida Fish & Wildlife’s Journey to Azure with Dataprise

In 2019, the Florida state legislature passed the “cloud bill” (HB-5301), mandating that state agencies migrate from on-premises data centers to the cloud for their network infrastructure and telecom communication needs.

This meant that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would need to find a cloud partner that could help them modernize while also meeting the information technology needs of an important state entity. With Azure providing a platform that enabled them to build scalable websites and web workloads, and drive innovation for existing and future apps, as well as being Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) compliant, Microsoft was the right choice. And Dataprise was the right partner for the migration.

“Dataprise AirNet is a Microsoft Gold Partner that we got through Microsoft to help us with our migration journey to the cloud, and they were integral to our success. We’re able to do more with less now because we’re able to optimize our resources. I feel good knowing that we’ve made this journey to migrate into Microsoft Azure to make sure that future generations are going to have a good environment,” said Glenda Atkinson, Chief Information Officer, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Explore Dataprise’s Azure Cloud Migration Services


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