Azure Migration Strategy
Migrating to the cloud can be a daunting experience for organizations of all sizes, which is why Vandis has worked closely alongside Microsoft Azure to provide the best value and services to our clients. Our extensive Cloud & DevOps practice has been built to assist our clients in migrating their workloads or broader infrastructure to the Azure platform. Having executed migrations across multiple industries, Vandis can speak to your organization about migrating in a security first manner, along with cloud governance and cost management. Vandis has a proven process to provide full lift & shift services to our clients. Our engineering team begins by establishing your company’s motivation to move data and workloads to Azure such as:
- Hasty datacenter exits or major license/hardware renewal cost avoidance
- Cloud-first application development edict handed down from the CxO-suite
- Replacement of a physical disaster recovery site
- Application by application categorization, ‘six R’ pattern match, and serial migration
Once we’ve established your organization’s motivations to move data center operations to the cloud, we evaluate your existing application estate, governance requirements, Azure platform knowledge, operational impacts, security posture, and networking topology. This first effort establishes the people, policies, process, and technology requirements to make your migration a success.
Don’t Allow Analysis-Paralysis to Set Which Will Stifle Progress
The biggest block to success in the cloud is the failure to start. For a large application estate, organizations will need to come up with a solid plan of action. We can work with your team to begin experimenting with a few projects first to prove the value of the cloud, and then determine how to best scale to fit your needs. One critical part of planning your migration is identifying the readiness of your applications to migrate to the cloud. Typically, there are five ‘buckets’ that we can assign each workload to:
Locked hardware implementation (eg. building management or security systems)
Application may operate at a speed or scale that is not viable in the public cloud
Suitable for cloud only after major engineering work
Often, there are mainframe or on-prem hardware dependencies
May currently require technology that can’t be clustered and distributed
There are no major impediments to migrating the app to the public cloud
Some modifications need to be made, such as upgrades from SQL 2008 or Server 2003 dependencies
All application tiers are suitably distributed and available to public cloud
Stateless elastic front end
Highly available back end
Ideally includes the ability to use PaaS services where valuable
We have a battle-tested process for migration, which involves four phases, each with distinct goals and deliverables. The below should be viewed as the ideal path with ample time to measure twice and cut once before moving, though we’ve encountered plenty of situations where we’re asked to ‘rebuild the plane’ while in flight. We understand that not every customer fits into the mold and that some circumstances require an expedited focus on one or more of the areas below.
1. Discovery Workshop
Workshop Examining Your Business
- People - How well suited are your existing staff for a technology pivot?
- Policies - Will your or your customer's policies and regulatory requirements present any roadblocks to using the public cloud?
- Process - What does public cloud or hybrid cloud mean for your existing IT processes?
- Technology - What, if any, updates need to be made to your technology and workloads to make them cloud ready?
Minimum Viable Cloud (MVC) Deployment
- Develop and build the MVC
- Migrate pilot workloads as representative use cases
- Validate applications and operations on the MVC
- Build initial Migration Factory teams with people, process, playbooks, and technology
- Verify economic model against larger estate of applications
- Map security, compliance, and operational approaches against new controls
- Position the organization to adopt cloud resources at scale (Phase 4)
Discovery, Assessment, and Planning
- Perform a gap analysis on current skill sets within IT
- Recommend updates to governance policies to allow effective use of Azure
- Provide a process framework that focuses on automation to support future state workloads
- Create a public cloud suitability heat map outline for your core services
- Define required remediations for effective cloud deployment
- Build program management teams and establish project plans
- Security and governance controls implementation
- Build migration factory – infrastructure, tooling, processes, playbooks
- Operational transformation and cloud service management
- Workloads and data migration / production cutover
- Knowledge transfer and enablement
- Post migration support and handoff of applications
- Economic alignment and controls
- Executive presentation, training, and handoff
Migration Tools From Microsoft
Moving data and compute resources between environments can be a daunting task for enterprise organizations, but the team at Microsoft has developed Azure Migrate to ensure businesses feel more confident before, during, and after their migration phase. Beginning with a cloud assessment, Azure can analyze virtual machines and workloads with reports noting resource dependency, readiness status, and cost estimates.
Azure Database Migration Service
Migrating databases does not need to be a hassle, as Microsoft's Database Migration Service enables enterprises to migrate at scale from multiple data sources. Microsoft provides data migration services for SQL, MySQL, and PostgreSQL.
Azure Data Box
Don't have the option to transfer data over a network - or don't want to cripple your bandwidth? Microsoft offers Azure Data Box, an offline solution to move terabytes, or even petabytes, of data with up to AES 256-bit encryption.
Azure Site Recovery
Don't allow your business to go offline - learn to minimize downtime and recovery with Azure Site Recovery. With replication, failover sites, and recovery processes, Microsoft Azure keeps you up and running, all without the need to build or maintain a secondary datacenter.
Common Business Use Cases
As organizations move outside their premise datacenters into Azure, they are ready to look at operational security beyond traditional next-generation firewalls. Organizations are looking for layers of attack and threat protection to help modernize their application stacks. Vandis engineers are experienced in deploying solutions to protect your web application workloads, both on-premise and in the cloud, and to provide best in breed front end security. Vandis’ DevOps team works to modernize applications and create a defense-in-depth strategy to shrink your organization’s attack landscape. To further improve security, our DevOps team can aid in application re-architecture that is optimized for cloud environments.
Organizations are being mandated to update their applications for cloud readiness. Once updated, your organization’s legacy applications will be modernized and optimized to both out-perform on-premise metrics while also being secure and cost-effective. Vandis’ DevOps team will work with you to assess:
- Legacy Applications
- Secrets Administrators
- Data Protection
- Continuous Integration & Delivery
- Software Development Life Cycle
Highly Available Dynamic Applications:
The cost and time required to modernize and migrate each application to the cloud can be daunting to many organizations. Vandis can help build an architecture that leverages automation to dynamically shift your workloads between private cloud and Azure while maintaining application performance and availability. This solution will allow your organization to have a protected workload that is no longer bound by geography, bare metal capacity, or bandwidth.