Pre-migration assessment is an inevitable step in the journey of the cloud-without which your move to the cloud can get haywire. An assessment gives you a basic understanding of the feasibility of your enterprise with the cloud- in technical, organizational, and financial terms.
How to get started?
When beginning a migration, it’s important that you know the details about your applications, the number of servers and/or VMs, and plan ahead on how to move components to the cloud.
There can be uncertainties about the total savings and perceived complexity while taking this step. Though moving existing workloads to Azure can yield significant benefits, justifying the investment requires confidence that you’ll save a significant amount on operational costs and that your current workloads will work as expected in the cloud.
Many workloads can run immediately on Azure without modification, while other workloads that have operational and application dependencies in an on-premises environment require further analysis and planning.
If your applications are composed of multiple servers or VMs, you should be investing in consolidated planning to identify them, separate them and shift them to the cloud. This is not a manual process, and you’ll need intelligent planning tools to do it. Similarly, it could get quite challenging in finding the accurate cost comparisons when you’re estimating the load and Azure VM instance. An automated analysis to map on-premises capacity to VM instance is mandatory, without which your estimations might fall short and subsequently cause performance issues. It might also lead your estimations to be too high and parallelly stretch your budget.
The 4-step Assessment Plan
The technical and business planning for cloud migration comes down to four straightforward steps:
Discover on-premises applications and servers
It’s likely that your organization runs hundreds of servers and VMs. While your current management tools might have a good representation of these you’ll need an assessment mechanism that will feed data into subsequent steps.
Discovering servers and VMs is usually a straightforward process. It relies on interaction directly with the endpoint (using an agent) or managing hypervisor (such as VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V). Ultimately, the goal of the Assess step is to collect server and application information, including type, configuration, usage, and applications that might be running.
Identify application and server dependencies
Once the discovery is complete, you’ll need to map any dependencies or communication between your servers (and applications). This is critical because when migrating an application, you need to know all the servers and processes the app is using- and that will help to map the next course of action properly.
Many tools provides server dependency mapping, but don’t provide application dependencies. To ensure a full picture of all communication among workloads, you need a tool that will perform both. This will allow you to create visual maps of all your applications and workloads, which enables their interaction as a single entity for costing, configuration analysis, and eventually the migration.
This involves a cycle of steps. While the assess step enables you to ensure that the workload will function on your cloud platform, it can also give you metrics on the compatibility of the workload in the cloud.
For instance, there can be cases where the OS that the workload runs on isn’t supported? Or there may be specific hardware dependencies that might not be replicated in a cloud environment? The Configuration analysis is aimed to give you a snapshot of the workloads that migrate with no modifications, those that might require basic modifications, and those that are not compatible in their current formation. It might as well as provide guidelines to remediate potential issues or recommend configuration changes.
The final piece of the Assess step is collecting resource usage reporting (such as CPU, memory, and storage). This is important because on-premises VMs are often overprovisioned, but they are just utilized under 20 percent. If you were to take the physical configuration of your onpremises server and map this to an Azure VM series type, you’ll likely find that you’re paying for more performance and scale than you need.
As the cloud is costed as a usage model, it needs to be ensured that your choice meets both performance and economic targets. The goal in any cloud model is to drive your VMs to at least 90 percent utilization, while making sure you meet both the performance and reliability goals. Through historic resource analysis, intelligent cost analysis tools can determine the actual usage of your workload and suggest the best cloud Azure VM series to use.
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