Challenges Faced During Azure Migration

Feb 17,2021 by Nishant Nath
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Posted by Priyanka Singh

When you have decided to move computing requirements to a high-end cloud environment it is a major step. Almost every process within an enterprise is expected to undergo some critical changes. The key challenges which on-premise infrastructures had to face were disaster recovery, redundancy, backups, secure data accessibility, high availability and scalability. This is why there was a need to integrate on-site applications with the cloud hosting in order to get game-changing solutions. But, whenever you start the journey towards a new platform, there is bound to be teething troubles and the migration to the Azure cloud is no exception in this regard.

Challenges and Issues faced during Azure migrations:

Not only do you need to be aware of the problems which can arise during migration to the Azure cloud, you also need to have a plan on how to overcome these problems.

There are obvious differences between traditional and on-cloud deployments and a lack of understanding of these can be the first big problem which may crop up during migrations. You will find there are some concepts which are completely unique to a cloud environment. Those who are handling migration must understand the unique features of Azure cloud and the change in mindset which therefore must happen to ensure a smooth transition.

When you are experiencing a migration to the cloud, downtimes are inevitable. It is naïve to think that you will not face downtime; rather, it is better to plan ahead to tackle it. This will help you to reduce the effects of downtime to a great extent.

Another problem which often arises during migrations is the lack of sufficient bandwidth. When you migrate to the IaaS platform you need to know how much bandwidth you will require. You may have heavy traffic shuttling between remote clouds and locally-hosted systems in a hybrid environment. So, traffic which had earlier run across low-latency and high-speed LAN will now have to run across WAN. In short, the local bandwidth provisions may not be enough.

Applications will never run in a vacuum and therefore, during migrations, you must consider dependencies. There may be many configurations which become invalid when such a move occurs. Therefore, your task is to identify these possible changes and plan accordingly so that services are not disrupted.

There are quite a few enterprise grade apps which need external databases for working smoothly. You may host databases in house and shift the app only to Azure; alternately, you can move the entire database to Azure to get more benefits. But for this you must know the compatibility problems which may crop up between the existing app storage and Azure storage. These problems are common when the original database had been built using software that is now outdated.

Just as you must ensure that databases are compatible you also have to make sure the applications are compatible prior to cloud migration. The best way to do that is through tests. You can place the apps in question for testing in the Azure test environment. The process needs to be thorough to detect vulnerabilities and compatibility issues. If these issues come to light post production, you will have to experience major service interruptions to get them fixed.

Since VMs are being adopted by enterprises a lot today, IaaS migrations are likely to include many of these virtual machines. The Azure is a good choice for VM hosting but you are required to check the compatibility of every VM before migration.

Perhaps the biggest concern for the CIOs of businesses when handling migration to Azure is data security. You should make use of secure protocols at application level depending on the type of case. However, creation of a VPN with proper end-to-end encryption is mandatory for everyone.

Wherever the apps may have been hosted, you will need right procedures for managing them efficiently. So, you must know about the kind of service agreements needed and capacity planning strategy. You should know how billing will work and where data is going to be sent for application monitoring. When you choose to migrate to Azure, you will be getting a diagnostic API which can inform you about event logs, trace failures and crash dumps. You may use this interface to create monitoring rules which makes planning more clear-cut.

Finally, another significant challenge which you can face while shifting to the Azure cloud is the absence of a disaster recovery plan. Although it is highly unlikely that app errors or data losses will occur, it is still very necessary to have a proper DR plan in place. You can use the Azure cloud for data restoration when it has been used for backups for local storage. You should ideally study all possible types of disaster situations which are typical of the Azure cloud hosting environment and then make plans accordingly.

Challenges while Azure migration

Microsoft has been the leading name when it comes to the operating system and developer services. Due to its unlimited capacity to store data and accommodate servers Microsoft Azure can host applications locally. This makes most of the components stay on the cloud and the rest of the applications keep on running on-site but may lead to some cloud migration issues. Despite being such amazing technology, Azure migration accounts for some of the challenges.

Here are those Azure migration challenges–

a. Mismanaged Planning–

Deciding for migration is not the only viable step, it also needs a proper pre-planning. There are many benefits of migrating your data from AWS to Azure but also lead to its complementary AWS to Azure migration challenges. The major problem is the data disaster. Transferring the whole data at a time seems risky and is in reality as well. To avoid this first prepare a clear-cut outline of steps. Then move on to the segregation of data i.e. deciding which data needs to be moved and which can be kept on-premises. This further deals with Azure cloud issues.

b. Careless App integration and compliance–

Migrating applications is a sensitive task and involves many important integration points that are very frequently ignored. Points like Payment gateways, external storage, SMTP servers, etc. account for the scalability of the applications. This Azure challenge a bigger problem when there are applications in bulk to be migrated. To deal with carrying out POC (Proof of Concept) is the best solution to date. This automatically deals with any network challenges and leads to successful evaluation.

c. Unmanaged staff–

Companies tend to forget about the employees working in multiple departments that might not be knowing a bit about cloud migration. This cloud server migration problem simply has one solution and that is by educating each of them will all the points of cloud migration. Design your migration process in a way that is comfortable with all the departments. This is because every asset is equally important for the business to run smoothly.

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