Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 1: Introduction

So you’re interested in the Cloud, in particular, the Microsoft Azure Cloud. Great, now what? Where do you start?

Most organizations that are interested in Azure start off by trying to determine which workloads could be moved to the cloud, and what type of return on investment (ROI) and cost savings they’ll receive.

The challenge right now, is that there is an ever-growing list of tools, utilities, and options available to perform cloud assessments, planning, readiness checks, and migrations.

So the question is: What tool do you use, and when?

That’s what this series aims to explore.

 

The Migration Journey

When you embark upon the migration journey, the process can be divided into the following phases:

  1. Discover – You first need to discover all the target systems before you can assess their eligibility to migrate to the cloud.
  2. Assess – With your systems discovered and inventoried, 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.
  3. Migrate – After identifying which systems are eligible to migrate, and after performing a proper assessment to understand the costs (and potential cost savings), we can now finally perform the actual migration.
  4. Manage – Now that the systems have been migrated to the cloud, we still need to manage them; including activities like monitoring, backups, disaster recovery, etc.
  5. Optimize – Just because we’ve migrated to the cloud, doesn’t necessarily mean we “set it and forget it”. We want to ensure we are accounting for high availability, ways we can enhance security on our systems, adjust for performance needs (or lack thereof), and of course, reduce costs as much as possible.

As we explore each of the tools, you will notice that some perform a dual-function (i.e. Discover, and Assess), whereas others perform a single-function (i.e. Migration, Manage, or Optimize).

 

The Tools List

So, let’s start with a list of the currently available tools. Since some tools perform multiple functions (i.e. Discover and Assess, etc.) we may group the tool into one category while it also belongs in another category. However, at the end of this series, we will provide a flow-chart that helps to determine which category(ies) they span/fall into.

  • Discover
  • Assess
    • Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool
    • Azure Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator
    • Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment
    • Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Deployment Planner Tool
  • Migration
    • Azure Websites Migration Assistant
    • Azure Database Migration Planner
    • Azure Migrate
    • Azure Migration Center

 

In this series, we will explore each of these options, and hopefully clarify their use. We will also briefly touch on Manage and Optimize, along with some third-party tools.

So now that we understand where we are starting from, let’s consider the first tool in our list, the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit.

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