On-premise application transition to Azure cloud: Best Practices
Three best practices for transitioning an on-premise application to the Azure cloud include extensively planning the transition beforehand, incorporating security from the beginning, and practicing proper data and resource management. Two common mistakes often made when transitioning to the Azure cloud include not anticipating the costs of using Azure, and not having a research framework in place.
In order to identify the best practices and most common mistakes made when transitioning an on-premise application to the Microsoft Azure cloud, we searched technology media websites such as Sam Solutions and Computer World , Azure cloud training websites such as Cloud Academy and Cloud Best Practices, articles offering insights into Information Technology, and Microsoft's official Azure migration guide for information about best practices and mistakes. We identified which practices and mistakes were most frequently mentioned in the chosen articles and guides, and used these as our three best practices and the two most common mistakes. The most commonly mentioned best practices and common mistakes were also corroborated by Microsoft's official Azure documentation, further revealing that we had identified the true best practices and most common mistakes.
Best Practice: Extensively Planning Beforehand
Extensive planning is essential when transitioning an on-premise application to Microsoft Azure's cloud because, according to Sam Solutions author Natalia Sakovich, any transition to a cloud-based service "will majorly affect a company's daily workings" and change daily routines for employees. Sakovich also reveals that it is important for companies to ask 'why' about their intention to switch to Azure cloud before asking 'how'. This is because Azure may not be the best solution for every company.
According to the Cloud Academy website, planning a cloud-based transition is vital because early preparation provides time for employees to be trained in how to use cloud-based systems. Organizations that have made use of cloud training for employees are "80% more likely to adopt a fully cloud-based platform" and "three times more likely to achieve their goals for innovation", according to Cloud Academy. Early preparation for a cloud-based transition also helps to improve communication with employees regarding the technology that they use every day.
The Cloud Best Practices website reports that a key determination during early preparation is whether the cloud-based migration "will be IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service)." Early preparation for a cloud-based transition should also include the following six hallmarks: Measurability, Guidance, Practicality, Continuity, Specificity, and Accountability, according to Cloud Academy.
Best Practice: Incorporating Security From The Beginning
Microsoft Azure has unique, built-in security features that are "important to understand fully from the start", according to the Cloud Academy website. One of these features is the ability to choose how data is accessed, and by whom. The 5Nine technology blog points out that although Azure offers unique security features, it is the user's responsibility to "understand how to use the virtual aspect of security effectively." The blog also discusses how Azure security decisions should be discussed within an organization before decisions are made.
The Microsoft Azure website also recommends that security research be done from the beginning of the transition, to ensure that Azure is "compatible and accepted within the industry."
Best Practice: Proper Data And Resource Management
According to the 5Nine technology blog, Azure users must "understand how existing resources would be defined by Azure." Therefore, it is important for organizations to define existing resources within Azure's parameters. According to 5Nine, existing resources can also be recreated within Azure rather than transferring them to the new system, which can save time and money. The Cloud Best Practices website explains that making important decisions about the transition of existing resources can "play a critical role in deciding between IaaS and PaaS."
According to Cloud Academy, Microsoft Azure offers tools that help users locate resources that may need to be defined in Azure parameters. The Microsoft Azure documentation also reveals that Azure contains templates that help users to "create an outline for your resource management and migration."
Common Mistake: Not Anticipating Costs Of Using Azure
- According to technology website Soft Choice, there is a "lack of transparency in Azure consumption", due to hidden costs within the application. These hidden costs can cause Azure clients to "overspend by 270%."
- Computer World theorizes that this mistake may be occurring because companies do not understand that the cost of resource transference may outweigh the savings gained from reducing the size of their IT department.
- According to Cloud Academy, excessive hidden costs of transitioning to the Azure cloud can be avoided by understanding how Azure works, and by minimizing resource redundancy.
Common Mistake: No Research Framework
- A research framework must be in place when transitioning an on-premise application to Microsoft Azure's cloud, because a lack of training can cause existing data to not be "defined within Azure's parameters", according to Cloud Academy. This mistake can cause errors within the Azure application.
- The Soft Choice website reveals that the lack of a research framework when transitioning to Azure may lead to all company resources being transferred to the new system when an organization should actually "look through resources and take note of those that are suitable for migration." This will save time and money.
- Having a research framework in place also helps an organization to define how long it will take to transfer their resources and how much bandwidth to allocate for the project, according to Sam Solutions. The Cloud Academy website reveals that the Azure Solutions Architecture Suite "can assist in building your desired features within Azure."
In conclusion, best practices for transitioning an on-premise application to Microsoft Azure's cloud include extensively planning beforehand, incorporating security from the beginning, and practicing proper data and resource management. The most common mistakes made when transitioning to Azure include not anticipating the costs of using Azure and not having a research framework in place.