The rapidly changing digital landscape across Australia has driven businesses to accelerate their path towards cloud migration. Cloud can offer many benefits such as on-demand, self-service environments, and flexibility, which can help businesses to embrace the digital transformation.
The process of cloud migration is complex. Without a clear cloud migration strategy, your business has increased risk to run into inefficiencies, runaway costs, and missed the opportunities that are present in cloud environment.
Telstra Purple has been helping businesses in their adoption of cloud for years. There are five key considerations that we use when helping our customers migrate to the cloud. These five steps help our customers to prepare, migrate, and manage post migration work successfully, while also controlling costs and getting the most out of their new cloud environment.
As a starting point, first you need to discover all the target systems before you can assess their eligibility to migrate to the cloud. The challenging part is deciding where to get started. If you have specific scope like a Database migration, then this is relatively simple.
As cloud migration affects many business departments, it is advisable to invest more time with discovery to avoid any migration hurdle.
Typically, a discovery exercise results in understanding:
- System dependencies
- Compliance needs
- Technology implications
- Infrastructure needs
With the information gleaned from the discovery phase, you can now assess if the target systems are a good fit to migrate, what the optimal target system size in the cloud will be, and what the estimated costs will look like.
Migration assessment is important and often includes classification of compatibility checks and whether the workloads are cloud compatible or not. This process can be different depending on the workload. Some tools are available to help assess the workload and check compatibility before cloud migration can happen.
For example: When planning to migrate an on-premises SQL workload to Microsoft Azure, tools like Data Migration Assistant (DMA) can be used for assessments. DMA helps you to identify feature gaps and check the compatibility issues that may affect the database functionality when migrating your databases to Azure SQL Database.
After identifying which systems are eligible to migrate and performing a proper assessment to understand the compatibility, costs, and infrastructure needs, we are now ready to perform the actual migration.
We recommend performing a migration of a low priority workload first to evaluate the sustainability, availability, and cost of the migrated workload. Once the validation is setup, we can now start the migration of the workload to the cloud as per define migration schedule. Depending on the kind of workload we are planning to migrate, there are tools which can help the cloud migration with minimum downtime.
For example: In the case of a database migration, services like Azure Database Migration provides you with the ability to perform online or offline database migration from a large number of database sources, such as SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, DB2, MongoDB and PostgreSQL, to Microsoft Azure Data platform using the Azure Portal with the minimal downtime.
Now that the systems/workloads have been migrated to the cloud, we still need to manage them, including activities like security, cost management, monitoring, backups, disaster recovery, etc.
After migration, management and maintenance form a large part of an IT portfolio. There are some tools which can help you to manage and monitor some of the important aspect of cloud.
For example: You can take advantage of tools like Azure Cost Management and Billing to monitor cost across your cloud. Some management activities like database backups can set to executed automatically in SQL Azure. For security tools like Azure security management and monitoring can help to manage and monitor many security aspects on cloud natively with minimal cost themselves.
Migration to the cloud does not mean we are done. We want to ensure we are also taking into consideration non-functional elements such as high availability, security, performance and to reduce costs as much as possible. As your IT requirement grows so does your cloud costs, its complexity, and chances of it running into inefficiencies. Therefore, it is important to closely monitor and often optimize the cloud workloads.
Efficiency is one of the advantages of the cloud solutions, benefits like instantaneous scalability, cost effectiveness (only pay for the resource you use) and agility to response quickly as needs changes. Depend on what your optimization focus is, there are many tools available that can help you to optimize your cloud workloads.
For example: You can take advantage of tools like Azure Advisor and Azure Cost Management and Billing provide you with cost analysis and optimization guidance to help you achieve the cost efficiency you need.
Cloud migration is an important step towards your business digital transformation and without a proper cloud migration strategy in place it can be painful especially when it comes to performance and cost. In Telstra Purple we account for these challenges and help our customers to develop a cloud migration strategy which can help them to migrate with confidence.