You have seen how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, leaving many people out of jobs and many companies grappling with the need to allow their employees to work from home in a secure, cost effective, scalable manner. But how can you cope with the increased demand for our stakeholders to be able to access corporate resources, while keeping cost under control and the cyber attackers at bay? With your competition still be innovative despite the global economic and health challenges, how do you get a foothold and get a handle on things? Well, you can start by migrating your Windows Server to Azure.
In this overview I will discuss how to migrate your existing Windows Server workloads (i.e., AD, File Services, LOB apps, etc.,) to Microsoft Azure. If you are a technical resource looking to learn more about the process and what it takes, then this overview is for you. If you are a business decision maker looking to understand how you can use Azure to overcome the current economic and health challenges, then this overview is for you.
Why migrate your existing Windows Server workloads to Azure?
It is very obvious that the current economic climate requires more from us. You are faced with many challenges, one of which is to ensure stakeholders can access the resources they need, when they need, from anywhere. You have to ensure that these resources are always secure and up-to-date as well as scale to meet the usage demands. By migrating existing Windows Server workloads to Azure, you can meet these demands and more.
While running our Windows Server workloads in Azure is a good thing, the rich integration that it offers with our wider more comprehensive IT infrastructure is where you see the most value. You can easily and securely connect our on-premises network back to Azure making the most of our investments there, while taking advantage of what the cloud has to offer.
What exactly does the process involve?
I know that migrations can be daunting, especially when you are dealing with business critical workloads. There is a lot at risk, however, the tools you use play a huge role in the overall success of any such project. Azure Migration helps to manage the entire lifecycle of Windows Server migration projects leading us enabling us to be successful.
The Assess phase
In order to set the stage for a successful migration, you must first understand the dependencies between your workloads and which ones are prone to downtime, in your on-prem environment. By doing this you can reduce disruptions and even plan for the ones that are inevitable, making the process more comfortable for everyone involved. Start by identifying the workloads you want to migrate, the business requirements, and architectural dependencies.
It is very common to create an inventory of your apps and workloads, then carefully evaluate the difficulty and risk of migrating each one. This exercise helps you to plan based on issues and opportunities. Azure Migrate: Server Assessment can help you with the assessment and the inventorying of your apps and workloads, and help you to better prepare for the actual migration.
The Migrate phase
With the assess phase completed, you are ready to start migrating workloads to the cloud. Because this overview is focused on Azure and and more specifically Windows Server on Azure, we will look at Azure Migrate: Server Migration.
Server Migration is a tool that help you to seamlessly migrate your VMWare VMs, Hyper-V VMs, and physical servers to Azure. This tools helps you to manage the entire migration process, from creating the compute, networking, and storage resources in Azure, to moving the actual workloads to the cloud.
The Optimize phase
After a successful migration the next step is to analyze the workloads migrated to the cloud and make the necessary adjustments so resource consumption can be more efficient. Here you can manage cloud costs and manage spend by setting up cost alerts, budgets, and right size your architecture so you are not consuming more Azure resources than you actually need.
The Secure and Manage phase
No IT solution is complete without security. Microsoft does a very good job at securing the underlying infrastructure that will run your workloads, however, you must also take in the process of security of your resources. Services like Azure Security Center and Azure Advisor help you to manage your apps and workloads in a secure and efficient manner, making sure you can confident in your work.
Microsoft provide an Azure Template for Azure Migrate that can help you to estimate your migration cost.
Here a video on how to deploy Azure Migrate: