Are you thinking of migrating your ERP solution to the Microsoft Azure Cloud? To avoid confusion and surprises, it is recommended that you do further research because it is important to understand the ins and outs on how to start your migration. Our team at TMC can help ensure your migration to be as smooth as possible and can answer any questions regarding your migration to Azure. In regards to being ready to migrate, decide if your company’s speed, security, and performance are meeting your expectations or could it improve? If it needs improvements, continue to read what the Cloud can do for you and your company.
The vast majority of initial moves to Azure are often re-host migrations, or “lift and shift”, as these are most common, I will reference this scenario as an example.
There are four stages:
This means understanding what it is that you are moving and what the best process will be. This includes everything from involving the business stake holders, to cost calculation to application evaluation. This analysis should give you an output that not only details where the application could go but more importantly, where it can go.
Microsoft offer several tools to help with some of this. First up is Azure Cloud services Total Cost of Ownership. This allows you to estimate the cost savings you could make by migrating to Azure.
2. Migrate to Azure
This is an assessment tool that is FREE and allows you to discover, document and assess your workloads and their dependencies. You can then create cost estimates for running them in Azure.
Now that you have your environment discovered, grouped and sized correctly, you can begin to migrate your workloads. Microsoft provide a service for this also, Azure Site Recovery (ASR). This service allows you to replicate your servers from your on-premises environment. For most services it is application aware, meaning it can replicate services like SQL server without any data loss. Before you implement ASR it is important to use your data from Azure Migrate to capacity plan for your replication requirements. Taking this step allows for greater speed and efficiency during replication and migration of workloads.
Microsoft also provide a script repository for migrating large numbers of VMs at once. These can be from VMware, AWS, GCP or physical servers. There are some limitations, most restrictive is lack of support for Managed Disks, but you can always flip these manually later. The scripts and guide can be found here.
How long it takes to migrate your workloads is determined by your business requirements. However, once complete, it is vital that you revisit these workloads for optimization. An Azure Partner can provide recommendations but the key areas to focus on are:
- VM sizing – Ensure the VM is running on an appropriate size to gain maximum cost efficiency
- Storage tier – Ensure the disks associated with the VM are using the correct tier to balance performance requirements against cost.
- Reserved Instances – Once the VM is sized correctly, purchase Reserved Instances to achieve the maximum discount to run your workload for one to three years.
4. Secure and Manage
Now that your workloads are migrated and optimized, your final step is to ensure they’re secure and managed correctly. The best place to start with this process is Azure Security Center. This provides unified security management and allows you to take action to mitigate risk and implement actionable recommendations. This will include common requirements like disk encryption and anti virus. More advanced and platform specific features like Just In Time Access are also available.
So to recap, there is 1 prerequisite then 4 main steps:
- Understand and create your Cloud Operating Model
- Assess your current environment
- Migrate it!
- Optimize your utilization
- Secure and Manage it
If all of the above is completed and optimization and security are reviewed regularly you can be confident in the quality of your environment state. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or read more about it.