Once a company decides to dip their toes into Azure, the biggest question they must answer is “How should we migrate to Azure?” This question is often answered by a simple migration of some or all their servers into Virtual Machines in Azure. This might be a quick and relatively simple way to migrate, but is it the best?
The question companies should be asking isn’t “How can I migrate to Azure?”, but “What is the best way to migrate each application?” Since Azure is a collection of a vast array of services, there are several different ways to migrate every single application. So, what are the ways you can migrate to Azure?
If you have a web server, the most obvious migration is to web apps. Microsoft has a great tool to assist with the migration called the Azure App Service Migration Assistant, which can analyze the web server (IIS on Windows and Apache on Linux are supported) and performs the migration for you.
On the database side, not only can you simply backup your database to a BacPac file and restore it on an Azure SQL server, but you can also use several other tools. The Data Migration Assistant can move a SQL Server database into an Azure SQL Database in a straightforward upgrade. Azure Database Migration Service can migrate Oracle and SQL Server to an Azure SQL Database Managed Instance running in Azure. After that, SQL Server Migration Assistant can migrate Oracle, MySQL, SAP ASE, DB2, and Access to an Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Data Warehouse for a complete migration.
But if you really want to take advantage of Azure, why not re-write your programs to be serverless? By going serverless you free yourself from the constraints of scaling up and out, and migrate to systems like Cosmos DB and Azure Functions, which are already globally redundant and almost infinitely scalable.
However, sometimes there are programs that simply must run in a virtual machine. So how do you migrate them? Azure Site Recovery not only can provide DR protection, but can be utilized to migrate a server, whether if it is in Hyper-V, VMWare or a normal physical box by failing over to Azure and just keeping it there. The downtime is measured in minutes and is mostly automatic.
In the following weeks, we will be going more in-depth with all these solutions, so you can pick the right cloud journey for your applications, and make the most of your investment in Azure.