If you run an online business, you’ve probably heard of Azure – the Microsoft PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) since 2008. If not, you will most likely stumble upon it when you consider switching to a cloud hosting platform.
Cloud hosting became very popular due to its lucrative qualities as compared to dedicated servers. However, moving your data to a cloud isn’t a walk in the park.
Azure migration poses a few challenges, like any other data transferring process.
Azure Cloud Services – Get Your Facts Straight
But first, the facts. Azure is a cloud services platform located in the Microsoft data centers. It works on a pay-as-you-go approach and includes four components:
- Microsoft Azure
- Microsoft. Net services
- Microsoft SQL Services
- Live Services.
All in all, Microsoft Azure offers an operating system and developer services.
The main thing Azure does is it runs applications locally. What’s more, it can be used for scalable applications with numerous users. That’s because it offers unlimited data storage and servers.
A part of the applications run on-site. Another lot of components will be located in the cloud.
Now, let’s see what are the three top challenges to be aware of with Azure migration.
1. Planning Difficulties
According to a CloudEndure survey, 52% of companies plan to choose cloud adoption. Unfortunately, not many of them think out the planning part too well.
At first, companies are more than aware of all the benefits of cloud migration. They dive headfirst into the process, only to find out that it takes longer that anticipated or that they encounter exceeding costs.
Most often than not, they find themselves unable to manage the tech aspects that are involved. Thus, they are exposed to considerable risks or performance lags.
On the one hand, it’s tempting to consider you could do it yourself if you’re savvy with cloud technology. On the other hand, migration implies more than data replication.
One small mistake and you’ll have to deal with unnecessary complications. Moving an entire infrastructure from the in-house servers to the cloud could result in a potential data disaster – unless it’s managed by specialists, of course.
One of the mistakes you don’t want to make is transferring all business systems at once.
We don’t deny it sounds enticing, but anything that seems too easy can result in unwanted mishaps – which are either time-consuming or extremely hard to fix.
So, for you to avoid the issue above, you might want to consider planning the transferring process beforehand. Your plan could look like this:
- Set up a clear outline of steps.
- Single out the main data components that need to be moved.
- Approach any risk directly so as not to have issues with retroactive integration of chief components like security.
Training and communication are key terms in this process. The best approach is to establish a kickoff meeting where everyone is informed about their specific roles in the unfolding operation.
Knowing what obstacles might stand in your way is a huge step towards taking the best approach.
2. Azure Migration Requires Careful App Integration and Compliance
Impact-analyzing is the best thing you can outline before considering Azure migration.
Your initial plan should include and foresee the fact that every app has some integration points:
- Payment gateways
- SMTP servers
- Web services
- External storage
- Third-party vendors
Take the above into consideration to make sure the apps are scalable. Scalability is the capacity of a software or hardware product to function optimally when it is moved to another context.
If hundreds of applications need to be relocated from your data center, it’s easy to see why it may get complicated.
A lucrative suggestion would be to perform a proof of concept (POC) beforehand. This way, you will get a clear insight into where you stand and how relocation-ready your system is.
- The existing applications
- Network challenges you’ll likely face
- Cloud provider support evaluation
Also, pay attention that your OS (Operating System) is compatible with Azure. Cloud providers usually offer migration support. So, look into to what Microsoft has in store.
An Azure expert or service provider can clearly delineate every outcome and phase of the process.
Of course, you can do that too, if you set your mind to it. But why complicate everything when you have better alternatives? One of them is entrusting the Applied Innovations team with the support you need.
Another misstep is considering that Azure migration will automatically solve other ongoing issues. Service disruptions or data loss can still occur if your applications experience performance lags in the first place.
Apart from the technological issues, don’t forget about regulatory aspects that need to be addressed.
That’s especially true if your business is located in the US, Canada or the European Union. For instance, you need to comply with the Control Objective for Information and Related Technologies and Safe Harbor.
3. Staff Management
With every significant change in structure or procedures comes the struggle of adjusting every department.
Your strategy will also display different objectives accordingly. The funding and staffing aspects will become the most pressing. As a result, you’ll have to do your best to re-think them.
Some employees will need to master new management techniques. After all, both on-premises and cloud-based storage need to be handled. Web developers will have to operate changes in applications, images or drivers.
On another note, business processes will have to be redesigned when migrating. You want to make the most out of the possibilities offered by cloud technology. Again, those are more resources you need to allocate.
If you imagine cloud migration as the superimposing process in photography, you’re in for a disappointment. You can’t “forklift” applications, move and juxtapose them to the cloud and expect them to work flawlessly.
Once you settle in the post-migration phase, pay attention to the maintenance process that could result in downtime.
As you can see, re-architecture is no child’s play, and the tasks are computationally complex. As mentioned in the previous section, software needs to be re-synced and scaled. That means your web developers won’t have enough time to handle other operations.
But what does it mean for your business? Server management is just a piece of the puzzle. You can’t afford neglecting other pressing issues while dealing with cloud technology. Nor can you hire an army of proficient developers to keep everything under control at all times. Well, you can, but it’s going to cost you – a lot!
So, why not let experts handle them for you? Our committed team at Applied Innovations is ready to prove how we can make life easier for you post-Azure migration.
Don’t wait any longer and opt for our Azure managed hosting pack.