Cloud migration is a broad and complex topic. Having automated and assisted Managed Service Providers (MSPs) with over 1,000 customer cloud deployments, we've developed deep expertise on the topic and numerous best-practices to ensure the projects are successful.
In this article, we’ll review several migration strategies across the most relevant dimensions of the IT system for MSPs. We’ll explore how to migrate the most common IT system components from an on-premises environment to Azure. These include Active Directory and user identity, shared files, SQL Servers and databases, email, line-of-business servers, desktops, and applications.
We won’t focus on application re-architecture here. Instead, we’ll approach the migration with the perspective of trying to minimize the impact to the end-user. A lift-and-shift approach will be used for the most part.
Once an IT environment has been migrated to Azure and has been running for some time, it’s wise to consider re-architecting and modernizing the environment. Upgrade to the latest operating system versions, leverage PaaS services when possible, and take advantage of Azure’s usage-based billing by autoscaling the IT environment to save costs.
As we review the available deployment and migration options, we’ll point out various cost and performance considerations to keep in mind. There is sometimes no single best option for all scenarios, as the decision depends on the relative importance of direct cost, performance, and ease of implementation (i.e. indirect cost of support and maintenance).
We'll start with one of the foundational questions on the next page - which components, exactly, will you be migrating to the cloud?